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Living In Mexico: Confessions Of An Insane Gringo

Let me first say that whether or not I am actually insane could be debated. However, my personal pendulum tends to swing toward the yes column. So, there you go, my first confession.

The second confession is that I totally get that more than a little umbrage has been garnered as the result of my insane rant about Gringolandia and her citizens, The Gringolandians. Ok, I get why these communities end up coming into existence. It's easier for people to have a refined and well-developed gringo infrastructure. It is easier living in an enclave where you don't have to learn the language so you could live with the locals.

It is as the Blogger says,

"The overwhelming majority of Gringos who live in Mexico have moved directly onto a movie set...But, this is okay. Most of us love the movies, and here is your chance for a plum role. Relax and enjoy, dahlings. These, after all, are your Golden Years. Reality, be damned." (Source)

Ok, so I get this. Reality be damned. But, if I can acquiesce to Reality be damned why am I lying, a recent accusation by my Gringolandia pals, if I harp in a few dozen articles about the fact that more than one or two Real Expats as well as more than few Mexicans I know object to the Movie Set?

Because I haven't mentioned sources of my information, it is now the axiom around the Guanajuato Movie Set that the Insane Gringo is lying about my "someone told me this and another person told me that…" reporting. If I had not agreed to "off the record" when I talked to these folks who fed me good article fodder then I would not have had as much to write about. "A very good thing," I can hear the Guanajuato Gringolandians screeching.

My wife and I were in the living room of one of those individuals who I reported was also hit by a bus. I told him of our illustrious Gringolandian gang who claims I lied about that incident. He was not surprised and said if the instigator continued his "Doug is lying through his teeth rant" to let him know and he would set this gomer straight.

My plan is to go to each and every person who gave me info to ask them if I can mention their names as my sources in the event I need to in a court-of-law situation—something recently rumored to be bouncing around the Gringolandia Movie Stars.

My claiming to have been hit by a bus has been one of their favorite things to gag and choke over and proclaim that I lied. Well, not only has it happened to me, and others, I just learned from my friend of a Gringo woman who not only was hit, but she was on the sidewalk and the automobile driver drove onto the sidewalk and so seriously injured her that she had to be hospitalized and have her leg repaired surgically.

I recently received an email (I've posted it online) in which a woman and her daughter read my books and articles, and as the result, reported a safe and pleasant time in Guanajuato without injury or illness—BECAUSE OF MY WRITING!

Now, correct me if I am wrong here: Isn't one gringo getting hit by a bus one too many? How many times, exactly, must it happen, and to what extent should the gringo's injuries be before these Gringolandians say, "Hey, maybe it's a good thing for Doug to tell people where they can avoid getting hit by a bus?"

I have a chronic illness for which there is no cure. I am unsteady on my feet when the symptoms are at their worst. As the result, it does not take a whole lot to shove me off a sidewalk whereupon: BAM! I am clipped by a bus. (Granted, I should have reported my inability to withstand well the shoving in my stories to begin with. However, why, is what I want to know?)

At certain times of the day in Guanajuato, the Guanajuatenses, especially the youth, are not careful in their rushing about on the sidewalks. This is exceedingly dangerous even on a good day for someone with my illness or someone with a handicap. They appear not to care but I do not know their hearts. You would think they would stop and help you when they knock you down but they don't. I think it is mostly carelessness, unthinking youth, but again I don't know their hearts. So, how should one approach this?

Silence for fear of being branded a liar by the Gringolandians? Silence for fear of getting arrested by a gringo thinking he has more power than he does? Is that how it should be handled?

The man, in whose living room we sat yesterday, told us of his agreement with our evaluation of Guanajuato and her citizens. If someone doesn't agree, then fine, but allow us to have our opinions. He, too, is thinking of somewhere else he might go. Nothing's wrong with that, is there? It doesn't mean Guanajuato isn't right for those who want a taste of The Movie Set.

Realty be damned, remember?

He was puzzled at the Guanajuato's Gringolandians' claim and subsequent rumor mongering that I hate Guanajuato. He was puzzled because he's taken the time to know us and thus he knows differently—we don't hate Guanajuato. His questions were why free speech was a seemingly too hard a concept for these Movie Set lovers to grasp. I could offer no answer.

Another confession:

I love that Mexicans, including the Guanajuatenses, don't butt into your business. This is a hallmark of the culture that is so obvious that it was an immediate attraction for us. No Mexican, ever, has sought to butt into our personal business nor sought to tell us what to do or how we should do it. I love that about Mexicans!

Americans, on the other hand, think it is their basic human right to not only tell you what to do but if you don't do what they say, they will seek legal means, criminal or civil, to force you to do their will.

I also recently learned of one individual on The Movie Set who appears to be spearheading having me arrested, jailed, and deported for what, in his self-proclaimed expert knowledge of Mexican law, is my alleged crime of libel. He went so far as to have a meeting about me.

I was forced to seek legal counsel, pay an hourly fee, for what took less than ten minutes to find out that I had libeled no one under Mexican or any other country's law. And why? Because of a hideous aspect of American Anglo culture.

Just this morning, while picking up laundry, someone decided it appropriate, someone who did not know us from Adam, to ask why I didn't carry the laundry instead of my wife. This was an American woman. A Mexican never would have asked a stranger such a thing. There I was, a hole in my spine and afflicted with a neurological disease on top of that, and this American thought she would butt her nose into our business to see why the chauvinist pig man wasn't carrying the laundry.

It never occurred to this American that perhaps I could not, or was not supposed to, carry heavy loads.

Submitted by:

Douglas Bower

Learning a New Language Has Never Been Easier




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