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Dirty, Dangerous, and Destitute

Dirty, dangerous, and destitute. This is Mexico in the 2000’s. Right?

I remember hearing about that very dirty, dangerous, destitute city back in the mid-’70s. I heard about the garbage piling up due to the collectors strike, the notorious muggings, the sleazy subways, the horrific traffic conditions, the oppressive muggy summers, the unethical taxi cab drivers who cheated their fares, the high cost of just about everything, the city going bankrupt, and the very rude-we-hate-anyone-not-from-New-York mentality of the residents. I was sure I never wanted to go there. I was sure it was dark, ‘gangster’, and daunting; it would have been life-risking to go there, and it had nothing to offer me.

Wow. Really? New York? Man! Today I lament that the closest I’ve been is New Jersey and the Statue of Liberty… today I long to visit Central Park, check out Wall Street, visit the ole Seinfeld/ Soup Nazi district… check out where many of my favorite shows were filmed… including The Apprentice. A Broadway play… authentic and memorable for a lifetime, I’ve heard! I’d love to visit the Today Show plaza, Rockefeller Plaza, eat the local cuisine, pay respects at Ground Zero, stroll Central Park, shop, shop, shop! What a difference decades make and mostly positive media coverage!

Media coverage… what we hear rather than what we experience is too affecting. We should always listen to the news, but we should verify for ourselves the accuracy and severity of conditions. New York HAS improved, sure… but it is still New York. A big city with a park in the middle, the countryside surrounding it. There is still a crime, and some dirt, and there are homeless in the alleys, you can still find a rude cabbie, but somehow this is all part of its charm… we expect this but don’t anticipate this is ALL THERE IS to find in New York.

In the same light, I believe we can learn from this in application to Mexico. Now we know there is a crime (in some areas), some unsanitary areas, some rude citizens who don’t love tourists… there are many things to be aware of, cautious of, even afraid of… that’s where our common sense and wisdom come into play!

Stay away from suspect areas, stay IN the resort/ beach/ tourist areas; don’t be out (especially alone) at night, DO enjoy the sun and surf and activities offered; don’t flash your cash, DO enjoy the way your dollars will buy more!

Even so, with the most caution and wisdom, we can be assaulted by unforeseen events, we can be presented with unfortunate circumstances and situations – same as here in my hometown (San Diego) or in your hometown. Crime happens. Bad people are. Miserable experiences occur. Everywhere.

I have a much different opinion of New York these days. I would NOT fear going there, as I sincerely would have years past in my ignorance. I almost bought into the perception of our sister country.
Almost. I deal with travelers, vacationers there. They LOVE it. They convey beauty, serenity, and friendliness. They repeat their visits, and I have yet to hear of anyone recommending people stay away, or suggesting Mexico is dirty, dangerous, and destitute.

I see the websites… the beautiful beaches, the affordable luxury resorts, and hotels, the water and desert activities.. this seems like an ideal time to visit! It’s summertime, people are cash-strapped, and Mexico wants and needs tourism – they are more welcoming than ever!

That’s my opinion. What’s yours? – Marcy

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