Another Honest Mexican


Another Honest Mexican

10 March 2006 Interviews & Editorials, LIVING 9

In the spirit of this post, and while it is fresh in mind, today another honest Mexican was encountered, this time in Cancun. Of the Working Gringos, one is in Merida and indeed working, while the other is waiting in the Cancun Airport for a flight to Curacao to visit an old friend.

While riding in a taxi to the airport, this Working Gringo realized he didn't have enough effectivo to pay the driver, so he asked him to stop at an ATM machine. When we arrived at the nearest bank, Working Gringo dashed inside to get his cash, leaving his suitcase in the taxi. When he returned, the taxi driver politely informed him that this was not a good idea.

Well, this Working Gringo *already knew that*, but retorted that we have lived in Merida for over four years and have never been ripped off. Not once. That may be right, said the taxi driver, but this is not Merida. This is Cancun. There are people here from all over Mexico who drive taxis and you can't trust all of them, especially the ones from Tabasco... (We have noticed before how Yucatecos have a thing about the folks from Tabasco.)

Working Gringo thanked him for the reminder and the taxi driver began to talk of other things, how he and his family struggled after Hurricane Wilma and how things have improved back to the point of normal since then.

Eventually, Working Gringo learned that he was originally from Merida. Figures.

At the end of the ride, WG gave him a sizable tip, saying, "un regalito por tu honistad. (a little gift for your honesty)". His face lit up and, with an undercurrent of conviction that said more than his remark, shouted "andale!" and took WG's hand.

No, Mexico isn't perfect. But its people are trying all they can to make it better.

And to that, we say andale!


  • mitch 15 years ago

    Puerto Vallarta 1985. Took a taxi to a leather shop. Found what I wanted to buy. Reached for my wallet - wasn't there! Oh no....My money, credit cards, passport, employee ID. Gone. Gone. Gone. And I am so screwed, screwed, screwed!

    Left the shop, standing at the door wondering what am I going to do?!

    Taxi comes rolling around the corner, a lady is half hanging out the back window waving my wallet at me. I grab it. They keep going. I yelled, "Muchisisima Gracias"! She smiled back and waved.

  • Cooper M. 15 years ago

    Personally I believe that Bush led our Country as Americans astray.

    I'll leave it up to the rest of you to Debate...but I do know there're a lot of STUPID American Republicans...who's Vote in Elections is only influenced by Habit of whom they think will benefit them financially. Anyone who denys this Majority will be the Stupid one.

  • Working Gringos 15 years ago

    Dear Eduardo,
    We apologize if anything we have said has made it sound like Mexico is full of criminals. Certainly that is what the media in California (and the US) make it sound like, and that was a prejudice that we had before we moved here. Now that we have lived here for almost seven years (!), we understand that crime in the Yucatan is much lower than anywhere else we have ever lived (California, New York). Yes, getting ripped off in a taxi can happen anywhere in the world, but in our experience, it is much LESS likely here in Merida.

  • Eduardo 15 years ago

    Working Gringos... I always try to read all your blogs and observations about life in Yucatan and the surrounding areas. I thank you for doing it. I was born in Merida but right now I happen to live in California. My thoughts about many of your comments are that you sometimes try to make people think that Mexico is just crime and bad people or is full of criminals. Maybe that is not your intention since you live in Merida, but the way you sound to me is that people are always expecting to see or to experiment when they go to Mexico. Talking about your taxi experience: that is not only a possibility in Merida (being Robbed or Ripped off), that happens here in the States quite often. Besides thay there is more crime here, drugs and things that people do not see in the news or newspapers. Why??? It seems that the media have one line only about something else better than the States. You don't ever see good things from other countries on TV or in newspapers. Whenever they take the time to talk about other places besides US, it is about something wrong like crime, drugs, etc. So talking the way you sometime do is not fair or good.

  • Brenda 15 years ago

    Loved reading this article. We deal with so many taxi drivers in Cancun and it seems that most of the time we are trying to haggle with them because we know what the "true" prices are suppose to be.
    We have however run into a few really honest and downright nice ones and always take their phone number to call them when we need a taxi.
    I am really enjoying your articles.

  • Tito 16 years ago

    That is a very nice observation. We had a similar positive taxi experience during a June trip to Mérida, when after a very harried pickup of arriving relatives on a delayed flight that was accompanied by lost luggage albeit an excellent Mexicana response, we crammed four people with lots of bags into a airport van whose driver was not overly pleased with the load, and who did not speak a word all the way into town.

    After officiously leaving us at our Casa ÃĀlvarez Guest House destination, the driver could have easily driven off with a laptop and backpack stowed under a seat, and which we all forgot about. However, he checked the vehicle out before leaving, pulled them out, and motioned for us to return to pick them up.

    Would be I could state the same about Mérida bus drivers. They are terrible and need to be reigned in. Pedestrians who walk close to the curb risk getting slaughtered by macho drivers roaring down narrow streets. As a Mexican who uses public transportation throughout the country, I can honestly state that they are by far the worst in Mexico.

  • Working Gringos 16 years ago

    Hola Drew,

    Merida is a huge city of almost a million people, and it has a long history of attracting expatriates, from Germans and Koreans, to Lebanese and Italians. While the U.S. probably provides the most expatriates today, they cannot be grouped into a single "clique". We can, however, observe some social groupings (although doing so will probably get us in trouble, but what the heck):

    The expatriate social groups of Yucatan:

    The Assimilated - They have been here so long that they've forgotten they're expatriates.

    The Retired - They are the most traditional group. They're here to stretch their dollars and live an easy life. You can find many of them hanging out at Merida Insider.

    The Gay Community - Why do you think all these renovated colonial homes look so good?

    The Missionaries - They're doing their God's will, following a tradition as old as Mexico.

    The Escapists - They were tired of the cold, the rat race and the same old thing, so now they're trading stocks on the beach.

    The Professionals - They saw a business opportunity and went for it, but now they're working harder than ever, poor dears.

    The Expatriated - Their companies saw a business opportunity and sent them here, whether they wanted to come or not, poor dears.

    The Investors - Why own one Mexican vacation rental or beach property when you can own two?

    The Lingerers - Well... it started out as a vacation but they haven't left yet...

    The Rogues - Yes, there are still people who come to Mexico because they got in trouble back home.

    The Self-Deported - There are U.S. citizens of Mexican descent who are compelled to return when close members of their family are deported.

    The Adventurers - They were living in Belize last year, they love living in Yucatan, but now Uruguay is looking pretty interesting...

    The Bohemians - They just want to be freeeee!

    It should be noted that these groups often overlap, and we've probably missed a few. We belong to several of them ourselves.

    In Merida, the center of English-Speaking expatriate life is the Merida English Library.

    As for shopping real estate, you should visit our advertisers or our Links page. There is plenty of real estate to choose from on the Gulf Coast.

    We've also written an article called Driving in Yucatan about getting around that you might enjoy reading.


  • Drew Farnese 16 years ago

    Will be visiting Merida in March and was wondering how to get around... hotels, meet realtors... We are interested in the area especially the beach... Progresso, Chelem, Celestun et al... Do you folks there have a "clique", for lack of words, of Ex Pats? In other words, an information center for visiting Americans. Is it safe to drive from Cancun to Merida? Would certainly appreciate all the help you can send... Drew

  • kathy 17 years ago

    Vaya, pues!

    Really interesting blog. I just might have to steal the template... :)

    I have to turn the computer over to the boys so they can play Runescape, but tomorrow, I'll be back. Great writing, commentaries and you're so right. :)

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