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Ciudad Juarez, Mexico round 3

Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.

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Ciudad Juarez, Mexico round 3

Postby MattHanson1990 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:41 am

To celebrate my 25th birthday, I decided to go on another Happier Abroad adventure, my third trip down to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. This trip sure had a lot of memories, and I continued adapting to the Mexican culture.

Day 1
I met up with Iaroslav in El Paso not long after I got off the Greyhound bus from Albuquerque. Iaroslav was a Ukrainian guy who stumbled across HA upon searching for foreign dating services online. He and I had a conversation about the social scene in El Paso. From what he told me, the girls were easier to chat up and meet in El Paso than anywhere else in America. He also told me it was easier to find jobs and that one could just go directly to the company to get his foot in the door. However, the conversation was cut short as we had to part ways before I crossed the border into Ciudad Juarez to get settled in to the hostel. Just after getting checked in, I saw another girl sitting on the couch with one of the girls I met my first trip to Juarez. I cold approached her, we had conversations in Spanish, and she smiled and giggled the entire way through...WOW!!! Turns out the woman was the hostel owner's sister and is 29 years old. Then I went onto Avenida 16 de Septiembre to exchange my dollars for Mexican pesos. While in downtown, I noticed there were gorgeous women EVERYWHERE, and not all of them had boyfriends. Also, most of them dressed feminine and not sexy. Then I met up with the petite Mestizo chick who lived a couple blocks from the hostel. She, her aunt, and I went to an eatery which served flautas; we got three flauta meals, and the cost of all three of them totaled to 135 pesos, which is around 8 USD. Later, I met two other foreign travelers at the hostel, one from Australia and the other from the Netherlands.

Day 2
I went over to see the Mestizo woman again, and she fixed lunch. And the food she fixed was muy deliciosa. It was spicy since it had chili, which looked similar to the green chili that's popular in New Mexico. At the mestizo woman's house I also met a 50-something man, and after lunch, he and I went to Las Misiones Mall. Las Misiones was laid out similar to an American shopping center, but it had a somewhat different vibe that at typical American malls. Sears was the only American store there. After we got back from the mall, I found out from the mestizo woman's aunt that she just got involved with the 50-something man, which shocked me since she was involved with me already. Later that evening, I went to a friend's parent's house deeper into Juarez, and to my surprise, the two Peruvian girls from Albuquerque I met on my second trip to Juarez showed up as we were celebrating my birthday two days early. We watched Spaceballs and then had a short party afterwards. At the house, the hostel owner have conversations about other places in Mexico. She told me about Chihuahua City and how pretty it is. She also said that the people in Chihuahua City were warm and friendly but more reserved; however they would not be reserved in the same sense as Americans are. Then we got quesadillas at a Mexican restaurant to take back to the hostel, where I met a Mexican traveler from Chihuahua City who was couchsurfing.

Day 3
Not much happened that day, but I spent time with the Mestizo woman's cousin and the family for a while. Late that night something memorable but negative happened. The Mexican traveler and I walked down Calle Agustin Melgar to catch a taxi to go to a nightclub, but on the way, the Policia Municipal stopped us and searched us. The search took only a couple of minutes, which lasted much shorter than searches conducted by law enforcement officers in the US. However, the officer who searched me took my pesos. $%^$!!!! But this was something memorable; I got to experience how corrupt police can be in Mexico. The police in Ciudad Juarez can be corrupt, but for the most part they're nowhere near as corrupt as they were five years ago. Back at the hostel, we told the owner what happened. And she told me that they were much more corrupt in 2010 than they are now. And then I asked her about the hundreds of women being murdered in Juarez. From what she told me, that ONLY occurred in the 1990s and has not happened since then.

Day 4
It was my 25th birthday, and I went downtown with the petite woman and the 50-something man, mainly to look for other girls for me. The 50-something man thought I was going for the prostitutes, but I told him that I wasn't going for that and that I was only going for companionship instead of sex. There were beautiful girls everywhere as always. Then later, I got stopped by the Mexican police a second time when I was going to the eatery with the flautas. And again, the officer took a few pesos from me. I thought to myself "the police in Juarez are becoming more corrupt again; shouldn't the hostel just relocate to El Paso?" But I went to an ATM to withdraw 200 pesos. And shortly after, I approached a group of gorgeous women near the Mercado Juarez, struck up conversations with them, and they flowed naturally; the girls even smiled and giggled the entire time, and one even asked me where I was from. This says right here that quality women are literally EVERYWHERE in Ciudad Juarez.

Day 5
The hostel closed its then-current location on Agustin Melgar and relocated deeper into the city, and it turned out to be the hostel owner's sister's house. The hostel owner drove me to the new temporary location, her sister showed up and then we both went inside. She and I struck up conversations in Spanish again, and just like day one, she smiled and giggled the entire time. Keep in mind that on day two, I found out she had a boyfriend. However, there was a refreshing difference from when I found out girls I liked in the U.S. were taken. And that is not all of her female friends have boyfriends. In America, whenever a guy finds out a girl he likes has a boyfriend, most of the time he also finds out that ALL her female friends have boyfriends as well. This is because single men outnumber single women in most cities in America, but in Ciudad Juarez there are more single women than in America. Other refreshing differences from American women are that the hostel owner's sister is dating a nice guy and likes him for who he is and not because he is very good-looking and makes a lot of money. She also doesn't ditch her friends either; the individualistic society in America says a lot about why American women ditch their friends the minute they get a boyfriend. Anyways, she and I also discussed the differences in Mexican and American cultures. She agreed with me when I mentioned differences between Mexican women and American women, the social disconnectedness in America, the "work to live" vs "live to work" mentalities, and the differences in the cost of living. Later, I got settled into a friend's apartment where I spent the last three days on this trip; I met this guy on couchsurfing.

Day 6
I crossed the border into El Paso to meet up with my friend Hanny at UTEP, where he and I watched a couple of his animated videos. Then afterwards, I cold approached two Mexican girls in Leech Grove, and just like in Juarez, the conversations flowed naturally. The first girl was fluent in both English and Spanish so we alternated between the two. But the second girl lost her Spanish shortly after she moved to the U.S. from Mexico. With the second girl we discussed the differences between Mexican and American cultures. She noticed that people at Arizona State University (ASU) kept to themselves whereas people at UTEP were more open to making friends and meeting new people. I got the second girl's Facebook info. I friend requested her when I got back to Juarez, but she hasn't accepted it yet; and two days have passed. I think it's likely because this time of year is very hectic for college students as they're preparing for final projects and final exams. Later, I cold approached two women at the Asenzo bar, struck up conversations, and one of them asked me where I'm from. The couchsurfing guy and I went to another bar, and we discussed different cultures. While social norms are different in every culture, he told me that in certain aspects, dating customs are the same everywhere. For instance, the guy asking the girl out has always been done for thousands of years. And then he told me the hot girls in bars will reject a lot of guys, regardless of the country. As I said earlier in this post, there is actually a difference between a hot girl and just a simply pretty one. A hot girl is one who dresses sexy whereas a simply pretty girl dresses feminine. He did agree with me about social disconnectedness in America being a contemporary thing. And then we discussed other issues like physical health as well as confidence and self-esteem. From what he said, one would need confidence and self-esteem to fit in regardless of the society. In a sense it's true. But it's not exactly the same case as in America. In saner cultures like Mexico, one develops real confidence and real self-esteem naturally. In contrast, one would have to prove himself every day in America.

Day 7
It was the last full day in Juarez as I was headed back to the U.S. the next day. Not much happened, but I saw the petite woman one last time. She told me she was moving to Calle Oro, which is closer to downtown.

Day 8
I made it from Ciudad Juarez back to Los Alamos in one day. And the most memorable part of concluding the trip was chatting up a 25 year old woman from Juarez at the Greyhound terminal in El Paso and after we got off the bus in Albuquerque. Even she preferred Mexican culture over American culture since people in Mexico can see their friends and family every day whereas in America, people only see their friends on the weekends. And from what she told me, people in Juarez are friendlier and more open than people in El Paso, although people in both El Paso and in Juarez are friendly and open. It's just that El Paso is slightly Americanized.

WOW, what a better way to celebrate my 25th birthday. And I think this next time I go to Juarez, I'm going to spend even more time there; if I do end up staying with the petite woman's aunt, I may consider NOT coming back to America anymore.
MattHanson1990
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Re: Ciudad Juarez, Mexico round 3

Postby Ghost » Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:36 am

Geez, the cops came up and just took your money? How much did you lose? That could've been really bad if you had a lot on you. That sounds like shit the American cops would try to do. (Well, they call it civil asset forfeiture, so I guess the difference is they are not so direct and honest about robbing people.) Did they give a reason for taking it, or just took it and left without saying anything? Sounds like it didn't bother you too much. If it had been me I don't know how I would've reacted. That might be more of a problem in border towns and cities. I wonder how common cop-theft would be in places like D.F. and Guadalajara.

Anyway, sorry to get a bit rant-y. Sounds like other than that, it was great. If you try to relocate more long term to Mexico, do you have a plan to pull it off? Say a job you can work there, or a business, or something?

I think you're a great example of how successful a guy can be abroad if he takes an interest in the culture and language. This is no doubt a major key to your success in Mexico. :)
Ghost
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Re: Ciudad Juarez, Mexico round 3

Postby xiongmao » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:46 pm

Cops took your money? Wtf. I heard about corrupt cops in Thailand, but as always I slipped under their radar.

I am mulling over going to South America later in the year. But safety is a big issue for me. Chile and Colombia are possibilities. Maybe Paraguay as well. I've heard a lot of good things about Argentina BUT they are from guys who have been there a few years ago. I've met some Argentinians here in Spain and they're here because it's getting very bad back home. Argentinian women have great personalities though (the ones I've met anyway) but as far as looks go the Colombian women here in Spain are in a totally different league. And imagine, in somewhere like Bogota there are 12 million people and practically no foreigners.

Anyway, I hope all the lurkers here consider learning Spanish, it really does open a lot of doors.
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Re: Ciudad Juarez, Mexico round 3

Postby E Irizarry R&B Singer » Sat May 02, 2015 12:12 pm

I love it when people don't listen to me.
Matt, I take it you read my 2013 Ciudad Juarez monger report right?

In that report, what did I do with my MXP pesos once I got them? That's right; I put them in the bottom of my feet inside my sock. The police aren't going to search there most of the time.

If you had done that, you wouldn't have lost your pesos to the Policia Municipal de Ciudad Juarez. Lo siento, mi pana.
It's time to expatriate to evade your fate; it's time to expatriate before the barn door permanently closes on "US" sheep.
Debut mixtape "The Skilled Neophyte of RNB (x64)" dropping Spring 2016 - Follow me on Twitter @eirizarryRNB
E Irizarry R&B Singer
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Re: Ciudad Juarez, Mexico round 3

Postby travelsouth » Thu May 14, 2015 5:32 am

E Irizarry R&B Singer wrote:I love it when people don't listen to me.
Matt, I take it you read my 2013 Ciudad Juarez monger report right?

In that report, what did I do with my MXP pesos once I got them? That's right; I put them in the bottom of my feet inside my sock. The police aren't going to search there most of the time.

If you had done that, you wouldn't have lost your pesos to the Policia Municipal de Ciudad Juarez. Lo siento, mi pana.


I have a few notes to add here. If any authority figure in Latin America is shaking you down you should pretend you don't understand things you don't want them to know you get. Second in broken Spanish ask to go to your embassy or consulate. Ask them their names and say we could visit your friend at the consulate to "translate" for you.

I've done the money in the sock thing before. I've had the fake wallet with just enough money in the back to make a thief or pig happy thing going before too. The best thing to do is book a hotel with a safe in the room. That hotel needs to have a lot of good reviews online as well. Keep that big chunk of change in your safe.
travelsouth
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Re: Ciudad Juarez, Mexico round 3

Postby E Irizarry R&B Singer » Thu May 14, 2015 11:26 pm

travelsouth wrote:
E Irizarry R&B Singer wrote:I love it when people don't listen to me.
Matt, I take it you read my 2013 Ciudad Juarez monger report right?

In that report, what did I do with my MXP pesos once I got them? That's right; I put them in the bottom of my feet inside my sock. The police aren't going to search there most of the time.

If you had done that, you wouldn't have lost your pesos to the Policia Municipal de Ciudad Juarez. Lo siento, mi pana.


I have a few notes to add here. If any authority figure in Latin America is shaking you down you should pretend you don't understand things you don't want them to know you get. Second in broken Spanish ask to go to your embassy or consulate. Ask them their names and say we could visit your friend at the consulate to "translate" for you.

I've done the money in the sock thing before. I've had the fake wallet with just enough money in the back to make a thief or pig happy thing going before too. The best thing to do is book a hotel with a safe in the room. That hotel needs to have a lot of good reviews online as well. Keep that big chunk of change in your safe.


Good points. More work involved, but sounds effective.
It's time to expatriate to evade your fate; it's time to expatriate before the barn door permanently closes on "US" sheep.
Debut mixtape "The Skilled Neophyte of RNB (x64)" dropping Spring 2016 - Follow me on Twitter @eirizarryRNB
E Irizarry R&B Singer
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Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:26 am
Location: The fuckin' U.S. of Gay *ugh*


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