Why I Hate Mexicans….

….today. It´s a long enough journey from Mexico City to Merida, without any delays. Just under 20 hours. But because a super obese blind woman selling CDs on the metro decided to stop right in front of my seat as we came into the metro station I needed to get off at and refuse to move an inch despite my vigourous pushing, making me miss my stop; because hundreds of Mexicans behave like animals the moment you show them a queue on a form of public transport, preventing me and my rucksack to get on the next train; because taxi drivers think all gringos with a rucksack are prime targets for ripping off – I did not accept the ride from the driver who wanted to charge me 200 pesos for a 3 minute journey to a metro station just two stops away; and because Mexican families in general think that the best way to way through tunnels to the bus station is in a sideways line, and to walk very, very slowly – because of all that and more I missed my bus. And now I have a six hour wait for the next one.

For anyone who feels my analysis is harsh….it´s just as well I had to queue for a half hour to get at this internet cafe terminal, during which time I have calmed down a little, or this post would have been full of fairly extreme profanity, and suggestions of potential solutions to this problem in future. Solutions involving machine guns and dynamite. Pendejos.

Although the wait did mean I had to watch four people typing crap into the computers in full caps. Why do all Mexicans have to write in full caps? Don´t they know that´s rude?? It just winds me up, it does…

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44 comments

  1. I’m sorry about your incident, but if you missed a bus because of a missed metro station and not a 3 minute taxi then you failed to plan your time well.

    Remember that Mexico city is chaotic and you simply cannot underestimate traffic.

    Whenever i’m going on a flight I’ll always be sure to be about 3 or 4 hours before the flight at the airport (just in case i get delayed and arrive there still 1 hour before the flight).

    1. If I hadn´t planned the journey well, I wouldn´t have been so pissed! I gave myself 2 hours to do a 50 to 60 minute journey! Missing the stop cost me maybe 10 minutes. The cab driver cost me about 1 minute – but that thieving twat is the biggest you know what of them all! Trying to get on the metro at Pino Suarez for those last three stops cost me about 25 minutes – 15 minutes trying to get on the train, 10 minutes leaving the station to get a cab. I stood there trying to get a cab for 10 minutes before one stopped. Then there were all the other general idiots holding me up!

      I´m still here at TAPO. I´ve been here for about 5 hours already and still have 2 more hours to go. I´ll not forgive any of them, and will be wishing them evil until I finally get to the beach!

      Then all will be well again, I´ll stop hating Mexicans and will start enjoying my holiday! And don´t worry…..there have been days I´ve hated Americans, Brits, Frenchists and the dreaded Hun as well!

  2. As a mexican who knows mexicans IN mexico…I promise not All type in caps. On behalf of my peeps….I’m sorry :( I get what you’re saying. Though I would love to say that my people are an orderly, timely, organized and patient lot….I know that’s not usually the case. I hope you have better experiences waiting for you in the next few following days. Chin up!

    Actually, my mother always made sure to tell me “ponte lista” (have been hearing those words for as long as I can remember). “Ponte lista” every time we’re about to take the train, make a line, bargain for a better price etc. I remember being very annoyed as a child as she’d shove me forward in a line, or would grab me tightly and make sure I got a seat in the train. She was constantly eyeing the people around us and watching out for any cheats or “alguien que se ponga listo”. I would get very embarrassed, because people always seemed annoyed by this behavior and I thought my mother was making us look impolite and uneducated. Your post made me reflect on her behavior and how much life in Mexico ultimately shaped her “ponte lista” way of life. Mind you it’s not been all bad, as I usually get a seat in the train now (I do give it away to those who need it more, if necessary) and will shove my way through Manhattan with perfect ease. Definitely comes in handy when in Mexico. I can see how this would be a necessary method there! It doesn’t reflect well on Mexico as a society though.

    So…what’s the point of my little story? Hmmm. Nothing I guess.

    Moral of the story? Shove harder!

    1. Your story was very relevant – loved it! And where did you learn ´Chin up´?!?!

      I know Mexicans aren´t all like that, and I do most profoundly apologize to the one or two percent who do know how to queue…! (only kidding…!)

      Anyway, I must abadon this internet terminal in TAPO and get some shoving done!

    1. It didn`t get any better. Accidents delayed the bus for 2 hours near Villahermosa. Then my bus broke down. I arrived 31 hours after I left home. But still, I did arrive….

  3. Sounds like typical Mexican travel to me. Regarding typing in ALL CAPS, no they do not “know” it is rude. It´s not rude to them. That issue of typing in ALL CAPS being rude only applies to a certain segment of the population who buys into it.

    1. Don Felipe…..had I had a gun I would have shot people that day for chewing their gum too loudly, or simply for being a bit ugly…..

      The thing about CAPS LOCK which aggravates me is when the message finds it`s way to my inbox. It`s harder to read. Also, when my other half leaves it on and I don`t notice till after a log in has been rejected…

  4. Sorry Gary. By this time I am sure you would have calmed way down and are again loving the Mexican life and all the people in it. (I am not a Mexican myself, but I do love the people and the place… even after similar experiences during the past 2 years) I just wanted to remind you of the stories that became public after the events of 911, of people who missed their taxis and buses and rides or for some reason were late and did not make it on the planes… Food for thought. There is also a saying that I don’t quite remember right now, but it goes something like this: The best experience of the trip (should?) comes from the journey and not the destination… or something like that, but I think you got my point. I hope you took some pics during your delays to share when the trip is all done!! Keep well. Looking forward to those pics of the good and the bad of your trip.

  5. Hola Gary!

    Sorry to hear of your travels. After having now spent nearly a week in Mexico City, I can certainly commiserate. We’ve been taking the metro and metrobus around town, and people seem to have no manners and no concept of other people around them.

    Like entering a train/bus. Seems like the once the person in front of you has entered, he/she is happy and just stops. Never mind the fact that there’s plenty of empty space between the doors, and another half-dozen people who still want to get onto the train/bus. I had a woman glare at me this morning when I said, “con permiso” and tried to scoot around her so that others could board behind me. Pendeja!!!

    And then there are those who stand in the doorways for stop after stop after stop. Pendejos!!! (They do this one in Boston too, by the way.) Why don’t they move away until they are about to get off? There’s a reason those doors have a certain width, and it isn’t so that they can be flanked by two people on each side, leaving room for only one to squeeze through.

    Then there are the jerks selling CDs blaring the music around the train. I politely asked one to turn his music down a bit. He then told me he had, after turning it down an infinitesimal amount. But then he decided to aim his speaker at my ear and stood next to me for a few more stops. Pendejo!!! In Boston anyone blaring music on the subway would be arrested. And rightly so!

    And the all caps thing had me in stitches. It’s so true! LOL…

    Yeah, this place ain’t Japan.

    But I love it anyway.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Mexico City, DF
    For at least the next couple days

    1. Kim, you’ve just described a fair portion of my everyday life. And I’m kinda used to it. Don’t like it, but used to it. So imagine, if you will, the crap that had to happen to prompt this post!

  6. I request that for additional annoyance, frustration, y amazement, you visit my supermercado en Oaxaca. The crazy, overcrowded mercados with thousands of puestos seem logical for craziness and molestation, but a regular Safeway, WalMart, Fred Meyer-type of grocery store should be cleaner, more organized, and less annoying than my local Chedraui actually is! Do Mexicans need to bring their entire family to shop and then push through the cajas rapidas with their 15 dias of groceries every single Sunday? And, why must you walk right up to the five-wide group blocking every aisle and ask “con permiso” before anyone gets a clue that they should move? Not to mention that no one seems to think that walking down the right side of the aisle with their cart would create just a little more order. It’s always a first come, first-to-push-through, rudest-is-king kind of shopping experience at my local Chedaui.

    Love Mexico but–can we please have a ‘buck up and be polite’ campaign!

    1. I am totally familiar with your story, and don’t need to go all the way to Oaxaca to enjoy the ‘experience’. Truth be told, my other half wears the trousers in our household, if only because my temper takes so much more to bring to boil! But whenever she suggests we go to Wal Mart or Soriana on a Friday evening or Saturday/Sunday anytime, I put my foot down. No way. Not in a million years. And it’s not open for negotiation….I’ve got plenty of time to look forward to in hell after I die thanks very much!

  7. I totally agree with you… Mexicans tend to have little or no regard for others. There is no “public empathy” or any notion that society can be more efficient and pleasant if individuals adhere to certain norms in public places.

    However, note that this lack of regard for others is common all over the developing world. Go to China and it will be worse (the concept of a queue is totally alien to them). Mexico City is definitely far less civil than Tokyo, London or Toronto but it is an extremely courteous place compared to Beijing or Kolkata.

    1. I can just say you clearly didn’t get the post, haven’t read any of my other posts….edited for the sake of being a little more diplomatic!
      :)

    1. I checked out his blog….a Mexican in London. The irony! Shame he had to deposit such a choice comment for his first (and probably last!) contribution to my literary ramblings…

  8. Gary I am a Mexican and live in Mexico City. I read your other posts also, they are quite objective and interesting but I started with this one. I understand your frustration but I understand the word pendejo too, which you used for all Mexicans including me. So what if it was just in that occasion for that particular mob that included you, then make it clear! But if you are going to call one day all Mexicans Pendejos, and then the next day just keep writing about our culture with amazement, that is really nonsense!

    1. You still have not understood the post, the sarcasm, the expression of frustration with regard differing cultures, the humour (which I accept doesn’t always come across with text without prior context), the recognition of the moment, nor my use of the word pendejo which was clearly directed at all those ‘idiots’ who crossed my path on that fateful day. Most people who read my blog know what the word pendejo means. I didn’t use it in a covert, secret code, type way. For your last point….you should have read more into the very first sentence of my post. It meant what is says, nothing less, nothing more.

  9. Enough arguing…my irritation at being called arrogant on the basis of this one post has faded somewhat already. Leo, I offer you an olive branch, and a reminder of home. I have one postcard available at the moment, from Xochimilco. I’m sure it’s a place you have many fond memories of.

    If you want it, just let me know where in London to send it to, and I’ll pop it in the post for you. And all will be well with the world again. Just click on the link to see it.

    http://garydenness.co.uk/2010/03/16/xochimilco-postcard/

  10. Gary thanks for the olive branch which I accept gladly. Also thanks for including the clarification; I understand Mexico can give difficult days and that you did not meant to attack all Mexicans :)
    I really like Xochimilco, I used to go party there in my teen years, so the postcard gave me nice memories. There is really no need for sending the postcard, but if you insist, I sent you my address in your contact link.
    Well obviously apart from this post, I really enjoyed your other articles so well done with your blog!

    1. No probs Leo! To be fair, my blog is a story of life in Mexico, the good days and bad days all included. Each new post needs the posts of days gone by for the context – this post taken on its own could be interpreted various ways I guess. I dare say there are days when you curse Londoners with their weird ways of doing things. I’ve had plenty of those.

      I’ll pop the postcard into the box at the Postal Palace when next I pass it. Hope you’re enjoying the good things London offers anyway amigo!

  11. As a Mexican I understand your post Gary, I think what irritates Leo is not what you said but the fact that a foreigner said it… Mexicans complain all the time about other Mexicans, because the norm is that Mexicans litter, cut queues, ignore rules, don’t respect pedestrians, have no regard for the time of others (lack of punctuality) and pay little attention to detail or to a process (i.e. find the easiest, least demanding way to achieve anything)…

    That doesn’t mean Mexicans are horrible, we have in fact many positive attributes which I’m sure all of you know (friedly, relaxed, etc.). But we are not a very civil(ised) society, and there is much we can learn from other societies. If I ever become Minister of Culture, I will ask a group of American, Scandinavian, British, German and Japanese pedagogues to design a textbook on Civic Behavior and Respect, or something like that…

    The day Mexicans will stand on the right on escalators, or the day Mexican motorists will yield to pedestrians, then we will be able to see ourselves as a civilized people. Until then…

    1. I get what you are saying. But I couldn’t write this blog without reflecting the irritants as well. Like I said in my last comment to Leo, this post is one part of a long story. Funnily enough I did chat to Kim, who also often comments here, about this post. I confessed that when I had finally boarded my bus and reflected on what I had written, I half anticipated finding a load of hate mail and maybe a death threat* or two by the time I next got onto the internet.

      The most important part of the post was the first word. “…..today”. It was my way of saying that everything that could go wrong, has; that all the annoyances that you occasionally come across, all stepped right in front of me in the space of five minutes; that every cultural difference that I don’t necessarily like are slapping me in the face just when I’d like them not to. And that, importantly, this isn’t how it always is, and tomorrow will, I’m sure be different.

      I wasn’t sure if everyone would get that. Kim did, and so did most people I think. After all, no death threats materialized anyway!

      It’s just as well I closed my recent poll before Señor Leo arrived, or there’d have been one more ‘I want to punch Gary on the nose’ vote!

      *I’ve had worse reactions to a post before! Back when that New 7 Wonders of the World poll was going on (2006? 2007?) I ran my own poll on my blog. There was a tie for the last available spot on my poll between Stonehenge and the Taj Majal. I therefore exercised the executive privilege that comes with being the blog owner, and as I had personally voted for Stonehenge and not the Taj, declared the former to one of the 7 and the latter not to be.

      Weeks went by with few comments. Then on the morning of the official result I woke to find hundreds of comments on my blog, almost all them from irate Indians. Turns out that my blog was number 3 in Googles search results for ‘New 7 Wonders poll results’ and a few other terms.

      I had to delete dozens of them for really very poor language use, and a good handful wishing me to meet a painful and messy end. And a few more that threatened to make that happen themselves!

  12. Excellent observation by Daniel Sosa. It´s not so much what is being said but who is saying it. A perfect analogy is that I can say my brother is a sumbitch, but you cannot. I am a Mexican citizen but I was born above the Rio Bravo. My wife is Mexican, and even with her I watch my tongue when speaking of my Mexican paisanos, even more so with the rest of the family.

    It is a natural reaction, a gut reaction, the erupts when an outsider starts to criticize. In the case of Mexico, the situation is even more ticklish because Mexico has a love/hate/envy relationship with the United States. We have a huge inferiority complex. You, Gary, though not a Gringo, look and sound like one to Mexicans.

    And, yes, nobody criticizes Mexicans more than other Mexicans. And, if you will forgive me for saying so, it´s totally with cause. My paisanos drive me nuts, but I like living here. Frequently, I wonder why.

    1. I promise, should I ever need to refer to your brother using unsavory language, I will do it out of your earshot! :)

      I get what you’re saying, and I guess my response is as above. But you’d be the first to turn off, I think, if I wrote a rose tinted, all is golden account of Mexico. If I were to do that, I might as well move to SMA…!

      Did you notice you said ‘we have a huge inferiority complex’, not ‘they…’. I’m curious. Maybe it’s something you do regularly. Maybe I’m getting a little senile. But I’ve always felt you write as part of the ‘they’ not the ‘we’….

  13. Gary, that story about the irate Indian bloggers is hilarious… Anyway, I urge you to keep writing as if no Mexicans read this blog -that is, posting your thoughts just as they come to your mind, without being “politically correct” so as to not offend some of your readers. To me, the value of your blog has to do with the way you, as a Brit, observe, interpret and understand Mexico, including its places, institutions and people. So if you started to self-censor your ideas and observations to avoid patriotic invectives from the odd English-speaking Mexican who finds his way to your blog, I would be disappointed.

    Felipe, I completely agree with your remark about our complex of inferiority… We have serious identity issues, and I think that the PRI’s 70-year attempt to instill a solid sense of identity in our minds failed miserably… Octavio Paz’s “The Labyrinth of Solitude” explains very well how the sense of inferiority of Mexicans, and our problems of identity, are inextricably linked to “our” history. “Our” because all attempt to talk about a common, collective origin involves the creation of a narrative, a story, a myth…

    Anyhow, this post and the reaction it provoked were very interesting. I really appreciate posts where you do cross-culture comparisons, or where you try to describe and analyse aspects of Mexican culture or of life in Mexico. That’s what makes this blog so unique.

    1. Daniel, I write as I think, and if I had to stop doing that I’d stop blogging. It’s a fact of life that you can’t please all the people all the time, and every now and then someone will be offended. Such is life!

      To be fair, although Leo (certainly in my opinion anyway) misinterpreted the post, it was the first post he’d read and he too simply spoke his mind. No problems, all ended well. I write in a certain way, and maybe it takes getting used to anyhow! His own blog looks pretty interesting. Hopefully he’ll stick around here and leave a few more comments now and then. The more the merrier!

      Although this does bring me on to another point, which will involve some fairly wild generalizations. I kinda knew, when I made a peace offering, he would take it, because he’s Mexican. Mexicans seem to me, generally, to be far more open to reconciliation that Brits, and far less open to confrontation. The average Englander would have read my comment, downed his pint and then told me where to stick my postcard.

      I haven’t decided on what the exact social mechanics behind this are. Could it be that Mexicans are just generally more peaceable and friendly? They do have a reputation (which Don Felipe has commented on previously IIRC, with a certain amount of….doubt?!) for being a very friendly people.

      Or are Mexicans all just a bunch of girls? Wait, wait…I’m not questioning the sexuality or masculinity of y’all! When I was at school, one of my teachers, one of the very few wise old heads who actually made a difference to my education, once pointed out how dealing with an argument between boys was so much simpler than with girls. He’d stand back, wait. The boys would fight, and once the winner was clear and before any damage was done, he’d appear from nowhere and put a stop to the violence. And that was the end of the matter.

      With the girls….they’d kiss and make up if forced. And they’d smile at each other and be polite for months. But they’d spend the whole time bitching and scheming behind everyones back. It’d sometimes never get resolved.

      I’ve come across Mexicans like that. Often family members. Every Easter or Christmas or other family get together, people who hate each other will sit in the same room, eat at the same table, chat pleasantly with one another.

      The moment one of the antagonists leaves, I know just what will happen – the bitching and gossip will start. Now, I’m not saying this can’t or doesn’t happen in the UK. But it’s just as common in the UK for people to simply bear a grudge and refuse to be in the same town as the other, let alone the same table. My grandmother is a good example, if I remember the story right. She fell out with her brother, and they never again exchanged a word, until death intervened in their dispute decades later.

      I do in this case, prefer the British way of dealing with it. Generally speaking I am hard to offend, but once the line has been crossed, ne’er a word shall again pass my lips to that person. But I see the benefits of the Mexican solution.

      It could be that my limited observations of the Mexican way of dealing with arguments is all wrong though! And I hasten to add, I don’t think the minor disagreement between Leo and myself comes into either category here!

      1. THIS. YES.

        As a Mexican-American with all 100% Mexican relatives I APPROVE this comment. Not to say that all Mexicans are like that, but certainly a decent percentage of them are. I hate holidays for this exact reason. I just don’t like putting up with people, but my family sees nothing wrong with spending a special time of year with them, only to moan about them before they arrive/after they’ve left. None of us can stand each other, yet….we have pictures of us all merrily together every single Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthday…..

        One woman recently commented that us Mexicans are very family oriented and that’s a lovely quality we possess. I say to myself “if only they knew!” Then perhaps I wouldn’t be stuck helping out with a mortgage the next 50 years of my….

        Oh wait. Yeah. Ahem. This isn’t about me.

        Keep on posting! I appreciate seeing thing’s from the other perspective.

  14. WOW, WHAT A WONDERFUL DIALOGUE. WE MEXICANS ARE SUCH A CRAZY LOT. I LOVE YOUR POSTS GARY, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.
    Just kidding with the cap locks.
    Happy Easter Eggs.

  15. First of all this is a request to keep your disgusting parasitic filthy…

    * That wasn’t a particularly intelligent start to the comment I’m afraid. The rest of the comment, which really did go on and on, has been deleted by me. Natalie, you are clearly a poorly educated, ignorant, bigoted and ill-informed specimen of human life that is breathing in valuable air that could be put to better use elsewhere. My vacuum cleaner, for a start.

    I do tolerate most viewpoints, but there are limits. I do insist on commenters having an IQ greater that that of your average earthworm, and that, I’m sorry to have to inform you, is where you fall foul of my rules. I do hope the 1,000 word rant didn’t take you too long to write…. *

    I could go on forever….

    *No, Natalie, you can’t. Eventually you will die, like every one else. Including Mexicans. Although with the state of your health care system and the direction it is going, you may meet your maker sooner than they do. It’s also ironic, given the content of the bile you typed, that your maker’s son is called Jesus. He makes excellent tacos al pastor.*

  16. Alas, the entire comment of this individual was indeed shipped to those of us who opted for follow-ups. Aren´t Mexile comments moderated before the fact? I forget. But I´ll find out in a second when I hit the “post comment” button.

      1. I have the option to hold comments for moderation, but that’s not a route I want to go down. It stifles the flow of a conversation, and really I get too few idiotic comments like that one to justify it. Persistent offenders, and there have been one or two over the years, just get their email/IP addresses added to the banned list.

        It does mean the trash goes out to all the subscribers, but I don’t think it’s anything that they haven’t seen before. The important thing is that the comment doesn’t get a permanent home on the blog.

  17. ***Deleted by moderator*** ….and oh yeah, that after 4 years of college, I HAVE to take spanish…. ***Deleted by moderator***

    Maryan, I allow most comments, but if they are trash then they go to trash. I’ve left in the centre section of your comment though. Nothing wrong with that. It’s informative to know that even educated people can have their heads full of prejudicial nonsense.

    The Mexile

  18. ***Another silly comment deleted***

    This post has run its course methinks. Time to close the comments….

Comments are closed.