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Impressions of Mexico

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to Latin America, Mexico, or Central America.

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Impressions of Mexico

Postby Jester » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:51 pm

IMPRESSIONS OF MEXICO



MEXICO IS NOT HOT. IT'S COLD!!
November and December were cold. RIDICULOUSLY cold. Maybe it was a cold up in L.A. at the same time, I don't know. But there are differences. In Glendale my high-rise condo never got cold. Sometimes I would open windows on a cold winter night just for fun. I could always close them when I got out of bed, and the place would warm up, and I could work at home easily. Whereas, down here, you can never get warm. The cold blows into your house. The door doesnt fit the doorframe snugly. The house is not insulated. SO it's like living in an adirondack shelter that happens to have electricity and cable TV. Invigorating, hell. Sure cold is OK if you're bundled up and bustling around doing chores outdoors. But try sitting still and working! Try getting up in the morning! Well, you get up in the cold when it's camping, what's wrong with you. But here's the revelation: it's WORSE than camping. It's like camping on a giant frozen lake. The floor here is cold and stays cold. There is no carpet, no wood. Just tile on cement. Probably the same thing they have in a frozen meat locker.

I stayed in a cheap motel when I first came down here. I actually got fed up and rented a place because the floor in the motel was so cold. like ice, when I got up at 5 or 6am. Went back up to the USSA, got my stuff, moved in to the little rental casita. Guess what? Same frozen floor.

Oh hell! What about the guys who go mountaineering in the Alps or the Himalayas? They are camping on ice! THEY can take it! SORRY. NOPE. They are not standing in place. They are not sitting at a computer. Trying to set up and run a home office while perched on a GIANT BLOCK OF ICE, is something those adventurers DON'T DO.

"Oh, you're not very tough. ****I**** LIKE a cold dip.
Yeah well SO DO I. On New year's Day I organized Polar Bear Dips in the cold Southern California surf. But you know what? AFTER I came OUT of the surf, I dried off, bundled up, and GOT WARM. I didn't STAY there. Whereas, in Mexico, there is NO RESPITE. Mexicans LIKE VENTILATION. So anywhere you go to get warm, they HAVE THE DOOR OPEN. And if you go to buy affordable Mexican restaurant, it's OPEN-AIR. They grill without a hood, so they CAN'T EVEN ROLL DOWN PLASTIC WALLS, the way an open-air place in los angeles would. You just sit there, or stand there, shivering while waiting for your tacos. And then you sit there shivering while you eat them. What is that?

I use to have a warm ski jacket and long underwear when I lived in NEBRASKA, and made early morning sales calls from Minnesota to Iowa to Nebraska. I SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT THAT STUFF TO MEXICO.


FREEDOM
It's not that I love everything about Mexico. I clearly don't. But messed up as it is, the government here is not trying to enslave or exterminate or dumb-down its people. The government here is not lying every single time.

There are lots of police, and also some military, but they are after actual bad guys, and they leave me alone. There are no security measures aimed at imaginary terrorists. Seatbelt use is mandated for drivers, not passengers. But even drivers don't use them. And so on.

There are fewer rules here. There is no zoning. You can start a business wherever you want. Outside the city, you can build whatever you want. No rules whatsoever.

Once you've tasted increased freedom, the old slavery becomes repugnant. Not just me, but many other gringos are disgusted at the police-state interrogation they face to return to the USSA.

I may or may not stay in Mexico. But I will not be going back to the USSA.


ASSIMILATION
Noone speaks English except people with money, and the deportados, who are many. People who get deported from the U.S. linger here in Baja California Norte, like moths around a flame.

I really AM one of THOSE gringos. It really DOES bother me that things are different here.
-- I whine about the bumps, ditches and potholes in the roads.
--I complain that the there isnt enough variety in street food.
--The barking dogs otside my home office are starting to annoy me.

There is no race hostility toward me (White-looking).

The most frosty-looking people are the lighter-skinned men who dress like hipsters. They seem to go around with a chip on the shoulder.

After I grew a mustache and goatee, some men would talk to me in Spanish, asking directions. Grooming makes a difference! ;)

I would clearly be welcome to assimilate here if I learned Spanish well.


WATER
I drink (high-end) Bonafonte purified water from a water-cooler type dispenser. This is the best they have here. There is no natural spring water available in quantity. California's Arrowhead (natural spring) water seems to be available in convenience stores, in 1.5 liter bottles and below.

Most people don't drink the tap water here, not because it's dirty, but because it's salty. It's just used for bathing and washing.


SAFETY AND DRIVING
There is no sense of danger here except from carloads of drunks in the worst part of town on Saturday night. Only got lost over there once. Most poor areas are very quiet and safe.

Speaking of getting lost, there are almost no street signs. Plus the same street can have two names. Plus people make up names for the streets, since they don't know the real one. Plus, there are almost no maps.

White-looking people give better directions.

But directions are generally terrible, maybe the worst I've ever had. Like turn right at the Oxxo". Well, there is an Oxxo convenience store on every corner. Or, "it's after the Pemex". Well, every gas station is a Pemex.

There are pedestrians everywhere, and effectively no street lights in some areas. You have to look for pedestrians and bike riders coming out of the dark. There are many stop signs, they are badly positioned and hard to see, and they don't reflect your headlights. Plus one is missing occasionally. So you have to think where a stop sign COULD be, or maybe USED to be, and stop there anyway.


BUSINESS
Mexicans correct my math errors and give me more change than I expected. They are very honest people, especially the women.

It's a poor country. but everyone works. Even a meth-addict deportado involved with part-time drug distribution will still hustle a buck as a handyman.

They are scrappers, many working hard and long for a buck. They don't mind hard work at all. A proprietor looks at gross profit for the day, not his net hourly wage. They are not jealous of their time.

People don't always finish what they start. But they can pick up where they left off, if you give them a chance to get back on track.

Workmanship is sloppy to ok, but always functional. At the same time they are very careful and diligent within the confines of what they are used to doing.

What they don't do is to think up things they could do to improve things. Things tend to stay like they are. Anyone who does imagine and build something new, geared to the local market, succeeds. It doesn't take much. A wifi cafe in a shack. A hot dog stand at the gate. A zumba studio in a cheap storefront location. The place is literally underdeveloped. There is a lot of room for improvement, for new businesses, and for new construction. Big American(and Mexican) corporations are arriving to fill the gap, but there is lots of room for small-scale American-small-town-style retail businesses.

Unlike the U.S., an old man can get a job here, as a bag-boy in a market.

There are times when you tip, and times when you don't. You do tip the bag-boy.

There is a general sense that life is hard, but good. They are fundamentally happy with their meager lives in a way that Americans aren't.

They do not look ahead. What happens today is what happens today. (Obviously this would be different for corporate types, but I am not running into them.) Except they will plan ahead for a major, agreed-upon objective, like a birthday, quincinera, etc. Then they come together and work together like ants. They are better at teamwork than American suburbanites, or Western Armenians. They are aided by the fact that they are not competitive with each other the way we are.



MEETING PEOPLE
They are very careful, they don't take people's honesty for granted. Strangers are greeted at arms length, unless it's a tourist-oriented establishment. They do not assume you are a good person, till they have spoken with you.

I thought the people might be loud and outgoing, like Armenians or Argentineans or Italians, but they are quiet and observant. I can see why a guy like Falcon likes them.

At the same time, they can be hospitable, warm and charming, and if there is beer or food, and the "ice" has been broken, they will share it.

They clearly wonder what I am doing here.


SHOPPING
Big box stores offer great service. There is someone to ask questions of, and they will walk with you to the spot. If something is not on the shelves they will go search the warehouse. Noone seems stressed. Doctors take all the time a patient needs. Utility companies have desks where people can come in, sit down, and talk over problems like unpaid bills. You can pay bills online, but it's even harder to do than in the USSA.

In the big box stores, if you ask up front if they speak English, the answer is usually no. If you launch into very bad Spanish and do your best, they will often then pull out a little English. I don't know if they:
--were embarrassed to speak a language badly, till they heard you doing the same, or
--grew tired of the torture of listening to you, or
--just wanted to make sure you didn't think you were in the U.S.
Jester
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Postby gsjackson » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:50 am

Good warts-and-all stuff.

Since you didn't assess the females, perhaps you're thinking about looking elsewhere for them. One asset you have that may be under-appreciated is the abundant sunshine we take for granted in California, Arizona and Mexico.

I know two Ukrainian and two Russian women here in Tucson -- a little older, but still attractive. They all talk about how much better they feel here in the sunshine, as opposed to the cold and grey of home. They say that it makes a real difference to their frame of mind.

So, my thought is that this is something that can be marketed somewhat successfully if you're looking to bring a woman back to the North American west. Mexico in your case, if the USSA is out.
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Postby manly5000 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:18 am

Thanks for the report Jester.

I gotta say though, you need to head much deeper into the Mexican mainland. If all you know is Baja California del Norte, you haven't really even experienced Mexico. Just head south and stay out of the high mountain towns if you want some HEAT! 8)
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Postby MrPeabody » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:58 pm

You are 100% right about the cold. It's not that Mexico is that cold, but Mexican houses don't have central heating and they are built of materials like cement which are good conductors of heat which suck out any heat you put into it. It's like living in a freezer. You can always get a portable propane heater and gag on the fumes. And if you use an electric portable heater, they start charging you exponentially higher rates for using too much electricity. I spend most of my time in the winters wrapped in an electric blanket. It's the best thing I have found. In most Latin American countries they don't have central heating but there are still plenty of areas when it gets cold in the winter. When the temperatures get to 50 in your house, your hands and feet start freezing.
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Postby travelsouth » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:53 am

There is a lot more to Mexico than where you live just south of the border.
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Postby Jester » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:23 am

gsjackson wrote:Good warts-and-all stuff.

Since you didn't assess the females, perhaps you're thinking about looking elsewhere for them. One asset you have that may be under-appreciated is the abundant sunshine we take for granted in California, Arizona and Mexico.

I know two Ukrainian and two Russian women here in Tucson -- a little older, but still attractive. They all talk about how much better they feel here in the sunshine, as opposed to the cold and grey of home. They say that it makes a real difference to their frame of mind.

So, my thought is that this is something that can be marketed somewhat successfully if you're looking to bring a woman back to the North American west. Mexico in your case, if the USSA is out.



That was the original plan. Almost any Latin American can come here visa=free. And although FSU girls need visas, if you get em here there is zero enforcement. Plus most girls, even from Kiev etc., would be willing to come to MX if it was, say, Cancun. It's a "brand".
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
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Postby Jester » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:30 am

manly5000 wrote:
Thanks for the report Jester.

I gotta say though, you need to head much deeper into the Mexican mainland. If all you know is Baja California del Norte, you haven't really even experienced Mexico. Just head south and stay out of the high mountain towns if you want some HEAT! 8)



Haha I have heard about Jalisco girls and have scoped them out with Google Image Search. Look as good as Colombia generally IMO.

WAS considering a chick-hunting tour... the state of Jalisco, and the colonia of Coyocan in Mexico City. That is lower priority now for me because it looks like I have a chiquita here, and will be concentrating on other things for a while.

But just for the general intellectual curiosity of the thing, where in the mountains of Central Mexico would you go?
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
Jester
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Postby Jester » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:32 am

MrPeabody wrote:
You are 100% right about the cold. It's not that Mexico is that cold, but Mexican houses don't have central heating and they are built of materials like cement which are good conductors of heat which suck out any heat you put into it. It's like living in a freezer. You can always get a portable propane heater and gag on the fumes. And if you use an electric portable heater, they start charging you exponentially higher rates for using too much electricity. I spend most of my time in the winters wrapped in an electric blanket. It's the best thing I have found. In most Latin American countries they don't have central heating but there are still plenty of areas when it gets cold in the winter. When the temperatures get to 50 in your house, your hands and feet start freezing.



Exactly.
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
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Postby Jester » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:45 am

gsjackson wrote:
Since you didn't assess the females, perhaps you're thinking about looking elsewhere for them.




manly5000 wrote:
I gotta say though, you need to head much deeper into the Mexican mainland. If all you know is Baja California del Norte, you haven't really even experienced Mexico.




travelsouth wrote:
There is a lot more to Mexico than where you live just south of the border.



There are more ugly than cute here in Ensenada, by far. But it's STILL better than the US. They make a point of hiring cute young hotties in public-contact positions - like nice video rental store / wifi in an upscale mall. Chick there was a 9, thirty years younger, and she was HAPPY TALKING TO ME, since the store was otherwise empty. Alas her bf was calling to check on her even as we were speaking.

Baja Norte attracts ambitious working poor from all over Mexico, so it's not going to attract the well-off ranchers daughter.
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
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Postby Jester » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:53 am

Ok to follow up on GSJackson's implied question, I have pursued 1 young lady so far here, as detailed in this thread where I was seeking advice and licking my wounds:

http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/view ... sc&start=0

So here's an update re Las Chicas with the USEFUL TAKE-AWAYS

Although Miss N blew me off and got back with her young romeo who had been chasing her, there are GOOD SIGNS here in Mexico:

(1) Miss N's mom FB-friended me, and was cool with me seeing Miss N in the DAYTIME with chaperon (either of 2 other little hotties). THE POINT: A 56 year old White American didn't get shut down by parents. As I posted elsewhere, I was shut down by moms TWICE in the U.S. when courting sheltered, virginal, marriage-minded, brilliant 21 to 23 year olds.

This is a difference with HUGE importance, IMO.

Here in Mexico, by contrast, I was competing to step in and scoop up a beautiful chaste slender feminine 19-year-old. I LOST, but hell, I WAS IN THE GAME.

I WAS NOT CONSIDERED CREEPY FOR TRYING.

I touched her back and neck a lot, held her waist, pulled her hair playfully once, touched her neck, kissed her cheek openly and neck once, etc ALL WITHOUT RESISTANCE. She ate it up. She was working me too, though never physically.

I was IN THE GAME.

My heart aches right now.... but my head says I am ON THE PATH OF WINNING.
Last edited by Jester on Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:31 am, edited 4 times in total.
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
Jester
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Postby Jester » Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:00 am

You have to let Mexicans KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. Be SPECIFIC. They are open-minded, opportunistic, good listeners. And they are LITERAL.

So SAY WHAT YOU WANT.

I f you want to hire a couple of slender young ladies to work in an office, SAY SO. This is not the USSA.

EXAMPLE:

Tonight Mrs. E the launderess delivered my laundry, and she coincidentally had in tow her DAUGHTER, all made up and dressed up on a Monday night. (Not unusual for Mexico, but still I NEVER SAW HER BEFORE in months of living here.)

What prompted the intro? Well, in response to their nosing around, I let the neighbor ladies know last week when they dropped the laundry off, that I was interested in one of the two "jovenas" (young ladies) working for me. So they saw I was not going to go for their friendly fat middle-aged friend next door.

The point is that they can ADJUST if you LET THEM KNOW.

Which makes them HUMAN.

Unlike ossified, calcified, brain-dead North American Zombies, who regardless of gender or relationship or religion or lack thereof, will lecture about "someone your own age" WITHOUT STOPPING NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU SAY NO. (Or how many WAYS tou say no.)

Here they thought, well Jester moved in next door to the FFF (fat female friend), the FFF likes him (her first words on meeting me were to ask someone else in Spanish, "Is he single")... So, let's give her a shot. Maybe Jester is desperate and lonely and wants to get laid real bad. After all, he moved to a poor working-class neighborhood. Maybe he HAS no standards.

But when I DEMONSTRATED to them I had Las Chicas sashaying in (to work in my house and keep me company) 3-4 times a week, and ADMITTED I was pursuing one of them, THEN, UNLIKE NORTH AMERICAN SHITHEADS, they GOT IT.

So the takeaway here is that although Mexico is not the Philippines, and being 30 plus years older *IS* a negative here, yada yada, and Jester *DID* crash and burn after a valiant and skilled effort................. STILL... here's the difference... there is no HATE re older/younger relationships.

Her Mom was cool with it.

PS to Winston - I think you are a FB friend of mine, via HappierAbroad, right? (Please PM me if my real name is hard for you to look up or whatever.) Can you see my timeline? If so you can see her photos that she posts. Not hard to spot. Please vouch for her looks and feel free to comment and give your opinion.

I WAS IN THE GAME HERE.
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
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Postby eurobrat » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:52 am

Hey Jester, glad to see you're finally enjoying yourself outside California. It seems like it was just yesterday I was sitting at the pub with you enjoying a cold beer.
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Postby Jester » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:52 pm

eurobrat wrote:
Hey Jester, glad to see you're finally enjoying yourself outside California. It seems like it was just yesterday I was sitting at the pub with you enjoying a cold beer.



Miss you man. You're still in central Europe, right?
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
Jester
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Postby eurobrat » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:17 pm

Jester wrote:
eurobrat wrote:
Hey Jester, glad to see you're finally enjoying yourself outside California. It seems like it was just yesterday I was sitting at the pub with you enjoying a cold beer.



Miss you man. You're still in central Europe, right?


Yes in north Italy. Moving to Berlin soon.
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Postby Jester » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:23 am

eurobrat wrote:
Jester wrote:
eurobrat wrote:
Hey Jester, glad to see you're finally enjoying yourself outside California. It seems like it was just yesterday I was sitting at the pub with you enjoying a cold beer.



Miss you man. You're still in central Europe, right?


Yes in north Italy. Moving to Berlin soon.



IMO for a young man with EU roots, and with talent in business, no better place you could be choosing.

Godspeed.
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
Jester
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