“Mexico is like our basement. Dirty, but a whole lot of fun things to do.”
She is my favorite comic and she hit the nail on the head. I’m pretty sure she means dirty in the good way. That’s how I think of Mexico anyway.
Have you ever been somewhere and felt that you belonged there? For example, I’m pasty white and from Ohio but I feel as though my soul is from Mexico. I have an unhealthy love affair with anything related to Mexico. So my opinion towards Mexico is usually a little biased.
A little while back my dear friend and I took a long weekend trip to Cancun. Everyone knows Cancun and it’s a huge tourist draw but every country has their tourist draw city. I live in New York City. Enough said. Of course everyone loves Cancun and immediately thinks the beach. That’s their tourist draw. That and Corona. Corona, however, is not my downfall. Mine is Pacifico. Naturally we spent a lot of time at the beach, drinking Pacifico and letting the guys on the beach selling wind chimes know that we weren’t interested buying cocaine. When we weren’t at the beach we were sitting on the balcony of our hotel drinking, snacking and just looking out over the ocean.
My biggest draw to Mexico is the people. Mexican people are the most chill, laid back and fun people I have ever met. Love em. My love for traveling is just that. The people. Mexico has such a laid back vibe, it’s impossible to be stressed. Mexicans themselves are so laid back just hanging out with them, you feel no stress. They don’t care. About anything. “Hey, can I get ketchup for my taco?” “OK”. They don’t give a shit. They will go grab the ketchup for you and not judge. They don’t care. Try altering the food in another country and they take offense to it and get all pissed off. Mexicans don’t give two shits. If it makes you happy, they say do it. I love this about the place. Puerto Vallarta is the only place I’ve hung out on a street corner and struck up a 20 minute conversation with a guy trying to sell me weed. He was the nicest most hospitable guy even though he knew I wasn’t going to buy. When I visited Cabo I filled my backpack with beers and made friends everywhere I went. I would be approached by guys trying to sell me fishing trips. I would graciously decline but come back with a “Would you like a beer?”. Their eyes would light up and they would say “Claro” which is Spanish for “Who the fuck wouldn’t?”
I sat on a curb and hung out with a guy that made a living helping people find parking in the area. We sat and chatted about life, family, Mexico and America. He commented how beautiful Indiana was. Turns out he was in prison there for a couple years. He was a really nice guy.
These people love to laugh too. The crazier you are, the funnier you are to them. I love this. I worked with Mexican guys in Nashville that chased each other through the kitchen with knives. Ask them, “it’s just fun, we no mad”. Well, if you’re not mad and just having fun then I say do it. Don’t come crying to me when you get hurt. The beauty is they wouldn’t, they would probably just laugh at that too.
Then there’s the people that say how dangerous it is in Mexico. Well, yeah it can be but so can anyplace if you’re in the wrong place doing shady business. In Cabo San Lucas, I hung out in a back alley with a truck full of Mexican guys eating tacos at some makeshift restaurant from a tent. Had a blast. Super nice guys, super fun and great food! I’ve been in some parts of the States where I thought my existence was done for. Have you been to some parts of Chicago? No, because you won’t come back. Let’s not talk shit about Mexico.
Also, I know we all try to travel on budgets but lets just all agree the cab driver is going to rob you. They all do, even in New York and all around the world. Be prepared for this and don’t let it ruin your vacation. Make a spot in your budget for “shady cab driver”. Pay what he wants, argue him down or figure out the bus.
The best thing about traveling is meeting new people and getting off the tourist path. This is where you make connections, get cheaper drinks, eat amazing local food, meet real people and make life long friends. Possibly even a place to stay for free when you return. You never know. If you’re in Mexico or anywhere really, show your love and respect for the people and their culture and you will be fine. Be genuine and real and they will return the favor.
I feel like you got the raw end of the stick Mexico and that I can’t change but you have a beautiful country and great people. Already planning my next Mexican vacation. Looking forward to seeing you again Mexico!!!
“travel is the only thing you buy, that makes you rich”