Aug 21, 2009, 7:00 PM
Post #9 of 22
Why I live in Mexico:
Re: [BajaGringo] trying to decide whether or not to move...
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1) Treatment of humans. This situation is changing for the worse, with the imposition of the U.S. backed "war on drugs", but for the most part, "Respect for the rights of others," is more than a dusty phrase from history. From the euphemistic name for penitentiaries ("Centers for Social Readaption") to workers' cooperative savings institutions like the tandas, the Mexicans treat their fellow man (and woman) as fully functional human beings, worthy of respect and expecting them to uphold the honor and dignity of their fellow persons.
2) A joyful Noise. Mexico is, without question, a noisy country, though less so than many. People accept the rights of their neighbors to enjoy their lives, and unlike the United States, do no consider it an assault that others are happy, singing or playing cards late a night.
3) Being a pedestrian. One does not need an automobile, and the commercial culture is built on a human scale. When a foreign (U.S.) builder developed a housing subdivision outside Mexico City a few years ago, the lack of commercial and social activities nearly destroyed the development. Go into any colonia anywhere in Mexico, and you find not only private businesses, but a church and schools. This is planning for the human, not the car.
4) Sexual honesty. One needs to mention that the Mexican constitution guarantees equality before the law regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Sexism and homophobia certainly exist, but as a social contract, it's much further than the United States can muster. One's sexuality is largely one's own affair ("the rights of others," again) and -- given the lip service paid to "fidelity" in the United States -- land of serial monogamy -- at least no one is pretending. In the United States we pretend porn is not one of the nation's largest industries. In Mexico, you can buy porn in front of the Palacio Nacional at any newsstand, and no one says boo about it.
5) Driving. On my way down to Mazatlan from west Texas, my old Volvo started to die. Outside Ojinaga, a guy named Chito stopped in his "held together with baling wire and spit" Toyota pickup... couldn't figure out the problem, went home, got his brother's big truck, came back, towed me into Ojinaga, then took me to a motel... and the next morning came to get me, took me to his mom's house for breakfast, then to his cousin Martin's who had made a part out of an old Ford truck to get the car running again... for about 30 USD. The Volvo has since "disappeared" -- by my choice -- and I travel by bus. Something neither shameful nor unusual in this country, nor the hellish experience it is in the United States when one must leave the driving to someone else.
6) Reliability. I can rely on walking into a shop, market, restaurant and not being shot by a crazed junkie. I can walk down almost any street in Mexico, day or night, and -- if this 50+ year old middle-class guy sees a bunch of teenage boys hanging out -- has no need to cross the street. I can rely on a polite and respectful "buenos noches, Senor", not a whap up the side of the head. I can rely on alternatives being found for inconveniences. I can rely -- if I remember my manners -- on people remembering their, and treating me with respect and dignity.
(This post was edited by DavidMcL on Aug 22, 2009, 9:40 AM)