Mexico

Mexico, while geographically still on the North American continent, is a typical example of a Latin American country. Millions with poor education and low-level life-style, opposed to a small gang, keeping both money and control in tight boundaries. It's a shame, to see what has become of this ancient mystery! Folks are happy to rip you off wherever, whenever, whatever. Exploitation in every aspect is fairly common. Else, there is little to no understanding of economy at all. I have hardly seen more trash flying around anywhere else. Moreover, they are even more racists among themselves than with foreigners, for which they share a common dislike, regardless where you are from. It's rather a tribe of natural born hypocrites.

Then again, it only seems logical. The Spanish were most certainly not what you'd call a role-model. In addition, at that time Europe was already halfway into the steelage, while the native population still very much enjoyed living in the stoneage. In other words, some 20,000 years behind. You can easily train a monkey to do a trick, but it will never have the brain to actually understand how it works. One thing I find particularly amazing is the fact, that despite being largely illiterate, most people have at least three cellphones. Brave monkey.

If it was your idea to start a business in Mexico, you'd better be prepared to have plenty of patience. To get things done; IF; the answer is never today, but tomorrow; premanently. Corruption is the standard way of speeding it up a little. Just make sure you have very good escape route. They usually shrug it off if it's between natives, but as soon as foreigners are involded it's the end of the world. Well, I mentioned that bit about hypocrites, didn't I? Oh, and if your product was to be finished on time; and of a certain quality; you might consider having it done in China.

You don't need to wait for sunset to run into some robbery or bad jokes alike. There are many dummies, err, security guards, hanging around with sick tank-busters and a monkey's brain. If you think yourself smart enough to walk alone, go ahead. However, you really ought to leave that gun at home. For one reason, you are unlikely trained to use it properly, for another, you are most certainly not the immortal Dirty Harry. More important, those security people tend to get it all wrong in the first place.

Regarding the security of your neighbourhood, that would primarily depend on where exactly that was. If you don't much care about money, places like Polanco, Las Lomas, or further out may seem appropiate. Else, the typical urban jungle style vicinity is fairly decent. However, there are certain regions, like Ecatepec or Chalco for example, you absolutely don't want to go; not at day, and lesser so at night.

Statistics are a fancy piece of paperwork. However, regardless how nice they may be to look at, they are typically miles away from reality. Just take something as essential as the official inflation rate. Tripple that number and you'll get an idea of what's really happening. During the 10 years I was living there, prices for most goods went up three times, while some nearly quadrupled.

They have a strange way of thinking; or perhaps my own logic is out of sync. Anyway, it seems a bit odd to first sell off petrol and water resources to the big daddy in the North, and then re-importing at double or more the price. In addition, water in particular is of major concern. Not to the native dummy, of course, but from a European's point of view. Mexico has one of the highest per capita rates of water being wasted.

Traffic is chaos in perfection. The only rule: There are no rules! Vehicles are falling apart in real-time, and having kids in the driver's seat of public transport is nothing exotic. If one could simply transfer the whole thing to Britain, or better still, Germany, Mexican streets would be deserted immediately. To call them streets is a bold statement anyway.

Dpending where you came from, you may be surprised to learn that most tranport happens on the road, either individual, per cab, or per bus. There are no trains, except for one or two tourist attractions. You'd probably want to get on a flight to go from Mexico City to Cancun, rather than spending two days aboard a coach, wouldn't you? But beware! If you were thinking to take the ordeal of an extended bus ride; because it's supposed to be cheaper; you'd find yourself cursing by the time you arrive, because tickets cost just about the same!

Mexico is the place to go if you fancy a year with 500 days. Out of those, 499 are used to have a party for this or that, while the remaining day is kept to sober-up before starting all over. It comes to no suprise why the country is, what it is. If you are one of those splashing out money to hang out in a gym, go ahead, there are plenty; and given the average pollution that might even be the saver option compared to just taking a walk or using the bike.

In general, the natives are quite a social bunch. Everything out of the ordinary is the perfect reason to have yet another party; or least to stop doing what they were about to do. They seem to take the greatest joy in talking forever. Um, and it's probably save to forget about making appointments. They just don't work around here. One more thing: To simply say no apparently poses a major problem to the natives. The common default is either one of maybe or perhaps.

Networking in Mexico is no problem. You'd be surprised of the variety of unexpected places where you could find a public computer. As a rule of thumb you should estimate anywhere between 15 to 20 Pesos per hour. If you are travelling with your own Laptop, you'd be well advised to stuff it into a simple bag rather than some flashy designer case. Make sure to have a fully charged battery in the bay before plugging it into any sockets. Power comes and goes, where the latter has the precedence.