18
   

One morning in Mexico....

 
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 08:08 pm
@CalamityJane,
You mean, away from the border areas?
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 08:09 pm
@CalamityJane,
Not in the last five years, and I know it's changed. I just don't believe the entire place has changed in every nook and cranny, and in every heart.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 08:11 pm
Both roger - near the border and away!

osso, of course not everywhere, but Baja California for sure and that's where
Slappy was (Cabo). I've been to Cabo, it's basically a tourist trap for Americans
but outside of Cabo it's not as safe.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 08:13 pm
@Slappy Doo Hoo,
Nothing like a game of ... chess to bridge the language gap. Good for you. (And it's nice to see you.)

chai2 wrote:
Unless you're in some American-friendly tourist place in Mexico, you're fucked.

It is my understanding that fucked is literally what he was -- again, good for him!
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 08:16 pm
I go to Mexico often; to distinctly non-touristy places to visit family. I was there in October and was perfectly comfortable bringing my four-year old daughter along. The reactions here are typical, but exaggerated.

Think about it. People live and work and raise children in Mexico just fine.

I think that Slappy's actions, going home with a strange woman you just met in a bar, is stupid in just about any country-- and I certainly wouldn't recommend it in Mexico. This is a very good way to make yourself a target of organized crime.

If you are smart and responsible and you take a little time to learn about where you are going, visiting most parts of Mexico is not particularly dangerous.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 08:20 pm
@CalamityJane,
I've never been to Cabo. San Felipe and La Paz, yes, though in the eighties..

We did have a couple, neighbors, get killed on a road to Cabo, also back in the seventies. I'm kind of assuming the driving has not become better

Ever read Children of Sanchez? It's about the vecindades in mexico, df.. and a family history from each person's pov, by Oscar Lewis. There were pros and cons about that book at the time. Anyway, trouble as a neighbor.

On the other hand, look at the US.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 08:33 pm
@ossobuco,
I have German friends living in Guadalajara. They've been there for over 20 years and always felt safe and liked living there. This has changed in the past
few years, as crime has risen to incontrollable dimensions, while police is
just as corrupt as the criminals themselves.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 08:35 pm
@CalamityJane,
Ah, the police. People to avoid.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 09:52 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

I go to Mexico often; to distinctly non-touristy places to visit family. I was there in October and was perfectly comfortable bringing my four-year old daughter along. The reactions here are typical, but exaggerated.



And your wife is Mexican or Mexican American, isn't she?

and yes, before you start complaining, yes it does make a difference having someone from that culture with you.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 10:07 pm
@chai2,
Also, I don't think you're taking your 4 year old, or your wife and yourself to parts of the city with bars, where there's going to be unsavory characters, regardless of what country you're in. Not speaking the language, which I'm guessing you do, at least somewhat, makes a difference.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 10:09 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:
Unless you're in some American-friendly tourist place in Mexico, you're fucked.


Not so much the case.

You do have to be reasonably sensible, and the original post wasn't a brilliant example of reasonably sensible. But really, many people travel in non-touristy areas of Mexico each year and come back happy and unharmed.

Gotta say that the Canadian media coverage would suggest that the tourist towns like Cabo are the places are to avoid, as that's where Canadians tend to get injured and killed.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Apr, 2009 10:17 pm
@chai2,
I don´t agree with your first post. I think that any smart traveler will be safe in many areas of Mexico. I have also traveled to small towns in Egypt and Guatemala... both countries that are more dangerous than Mexico. If you are smart and do a little homework, you can keep yourself from danger.

I do agree with your second post. There are places/times in Mexico that I would not take my wife or daughter (or even go myself). But then there are areas in the US I feel the same about.

Intelligent people shouldn´t be afraid of traveling in Mexico (given they do their homework and stay away from bad neighborhoods). The exceptions would be the few areas-- such as Juarez, that are experiencing unrest.

My point is that with the sensationalized news reports that focus on violence Americans tend to get a greatly exaggerated and unwarranted sense of danger.

By the way... with the exceptional exchange rate-- travel to Mexico is an incredible bargain right now.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2009 12:33 am
@ebrown p,
well all righ then...hurumph.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2009 01:10 am
@ebrown p,
Quote:
My point is that with the sensationalized news reports that focus on violence Americans tend to get a greatly exaggerated and unwarranted sense of danger.

Really? So the police forces being decimated by corruption and assassinations of its leadership thus leading to the Army taking over their duties is no big thing in your mind then.......
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2009 03:18 am
@CalamityJane,
CalamityJane wrote:

Me neither, dagmar, but in Mexico it could cost you your life.


or in India, Turkey, Morocco...wherever. Not if you do your homework though. I travel a good part of the year and have yet to feel unsafe. I go to the areas stricken with strife more often than not.
Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2009 08:30 am
Thanks for quoting chai2 Dag....dammit. Otherwise I never would have known she/he posted. At the same time, great reminder why I utilized the ignore function.

Cabo didn't seem like an area that would have been filled with drug lords and gangs...just looking at it on a map it's way off the beaten path too. But who knows. Walking downtown at night, I was still offered coke, weed, and my first night there a prostitue hopped in my cab. I was naive and thought it was just some woman sharing the cab until she got off at my hotel(no pun intended...I sended her away, even I'm not that nasty).

I've actually been to Juarez...bought a "Hard Rock Cafe" tshirt there, which I find pretty funny. Only for a couple hours during the day....I would never be over there at night, it was scary enough.

****, a few weeks after I got back from Istanbul the American embassy was bombed. Never know...
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2009 10:14 am
@Slappy Doo Hoo,
You see, basically we're just concerned of your welfare, Slappy, which is a good thing, we like you! Some of us....
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2009 10:18 am
@dagmaraka,
dagmaraka wrote:
Not if you do your homework though.


I agree! That was the issue though: being off the beaten path!
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2009 10:49 am
@Slappy Doo Hoo,
It bothers me a bit that people whose only experience with Mexico is the nightly news develop such a strong opinion of what life is like there, that they won't listen to people who have actually been there.

On my last trip I was in Torreon (a gritty working class city) and Monterrey (a thriving business center). I was never offered drugs or sex in either place. In fact, when I arrived at the Monterrey bus terminal, which happens to be in a very shady part of town-- there were prostitutes there, but none of them even said a word to me (should I be offended?). There is little risk to a smart traveler-- you just walk with purpose through these areas.

In Torreon, there was a old-time carnival in the park at the center of the city which was teaming with kids. Mija fully enjoyed the street performers and the rides. At night they play music and couples of all ages come out to dance under the stars. The really good food is in little house-front cafes in the neighborhoods. Here is where the fact I understand the language and have family really helps-- I probably wouldn't recommend that a naive traveler venture into the neighborhoods alone... but the city center is quite safe (if you don't do anything blatantly stupid).

There is some military/police presence in Torreon-- it is a little eerie to see men with assault rifles on the back of army trucks driving through town (although I have experienced much more of this in both Egypt and Guatemala). Still people live their lives just fine, and if you stay away from trouble, it stays away from you.

Monterrey is a fully modern city-- the business center would be familiar to any American. There are shops and museums wealthy neighborhoods and a Sesame Street (Plaza Sesamo) theme park. The mall there (complete with Starbucks) is eerily similar to Copley Square.

In Monterrey, security is great. There is quite a bit of wealth in the city... and wealthy people always have a way of making sure that things are secure. The city is full of families, business-people, workers tourists all of whom live pretty normal lives.

CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2009 11:01 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

It bothers me a bit that people whose only experience with Mexico is the nightly news develop such a strong opinion of what life is like there, that they won't listen to people who have actually been there.


I've been there, many many times and in different parts of Mexico. I have
friends living there, but I guess they all just don't like Mexico and paint a different picture then the one you have. What a pity!
0 Replies
 
 

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