Jul 13, 2012, 7:21 AM
Post #23 of 29
Bronco: I do not usually spend my time on blogs to fight with others nor to find ego increase. There is an apparent, if inadvertent, vitriol in your response that I will tend to ignore and continue on.
The city I live in has the 26th largest population in the USA. We support two major league sports teams, several world class universities, the nation's leading hospital and a pioneering tourist area. Lately we have seen our skyline dotted with construction cranes while other cities are quiet. There is a rebirth of gentrification, the reuse of old buildings, rather than tearing them down. The population of the city, while in overall decline, has seen an influx of middle class people into re-gentrified neighborhoods. Our port and airport are busy and the port serves as a major gateway for importation of vehicles. There is a vibrant nightlife as well as a symphony, major legitimate theater, opera company. One of the new major manufacturers of sports wear was founded and is based here, by a local boy. We even have a metro and light rail system. Our citizens have been leaders in film, politics, jurisprudence, industry and entertainment. It is by no means a "crappy part of the USA...fly over place."
It is the city of Baltimore.
If you'd read my previous post you'll notice I said that I came here twenty years ago for all the good things that still exist and I watched and listened to the natives, reading their newspapers, watching their TV as they systematically destroyed the city by constantly accenting negativity. Yes, we have our areas that are like Fort Apache in the Bronx, every city and town has, but to live thrive and survive on a daily basis, these areas are avoidable and are, or will be, slowly improved, at least those areas that have not been abandoned to fear and where people believe that they can make a difference and keep their neighborhoods clean by not succumbing to fear.
You seem to have missed my point. I do not deny "your average kidnaps.....police and military" happens in Jalisco or near Lakeside, but my point is this: Just as in Baltimore, life goes on day-to-day, the average person here does not live in fear, we just go about our business knowing the territory. I observed the same thing in Ajijic when I was there in the spring and will see it again when I arrive next month. I do not expect to see the Plaza empty of people, I do not expect the Chapala malecon to be a ghost town, the markets sparse of shoppers, the street abandoned of cars. I expect to see people going about their daily routines, especially expats, and living a life they want. Maybe they are a bit more aware, but not fearful, not as it seems to be described here on this thread.
Bronco, what it appears you fail to appreciate in my posts is that while what you see has a reason to flee, because you have lived in this beautiful place for so long, to the rest of us who are not there the horrible acts seem not to touch you on a personal, every day basis level. Yes, your Mexican friends are in mourning and fearful, that is a tragedy, but you do not hide in your home because of that and by prior admission, the events do not, generally in your area touch or threaten the expat population first hand. The one incident of last year, when an expat was killed during a robbery is the only incident that I have heard about here NOB, and resisting a robbery when you are outnumbered is foolish no matter where you live. I do not see daily crime reports coming from your town, I do not read about the seven people who got shot on the street as we read here on a regular basis.
And yes, if people choose out of fear to abandon Ajijic/Chapala, it will become a self fulfilling prophesy, the cartels will control it totally. You further assume that I am some "buckaroo" looking for trouble, to the contrary, I am looking for a rebirth of my life in the 60's, and that I have found in Ajijic, but I am willing to try and keep it that way - by going about my day-to-day life, and not fearing.
Yes, I do fear sections of Baltimore and certain times of the day in Baltimore, but not because of organized murder or kidnaps etc like you have seen in Mexico, but because of random violence, person on person crime, a proliferation of weapons. And yes, I will not travel in Mexico at certain times to certain places, I am no fool. But I am, likewise not a person to live in a closet in fear. There is too much to see, to experience and even stepping off the curb in downtown has risk. I do not see the risk factor as being as high in Ajijic even as it is here in Baltimore.
BTW - I was born and raised in NYC - maybe that explains me better.