You’ve Lived in Mexico Too Long

This is for ex-pats living in Mexico, if you are Mexican don’t get offended because this is just a joke. You know you’ve lived in Mexico too long when:

  • You think it’s normal to see an entire family (mom, dad, 3 kids) riding on a motor scooter together with not a single helmet among them.
  • You know several ex-pats living in Mexico who you suspect, or know, are wanted back home.
  • You know the proper amounts of money to bribe the cops with for various driving infractions.
  • You have forgotten what it’s like to be able to drink the water coming from your home’s faucet.
  • You think it’s normal to see a baby riding in it’s mother’s lap in the front seat of a car and not in a car seat.
  • You no longer expect law enforcement officers to actually enforce laws.
  • You can sing along with the horrible songs that the various gas companies blare from their trucks as they drive around.
  • You’ve adopted the attitude of “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission” and you now do things you shouldn’t figuring you’ll get out of it later.
  • You know somebody who knows somebody who has been executed by the mafia here.
  • If you look like a gringo, you’ve accepted that the “gringo tax” is just part of life here and you don’t fight it. (For the uninitiated the gringo tax is the extra that gringos get charged just because they are assumed to be dripping in dollars.)

OK, that’s all I can think of right now. You guys got any more?

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16 Responses to “You’ve Lived in Mexico Too Long”

  1. Fned
    June 6th, 2008 04:14

    As a mexican that is often mistaken for a gringa living in Mexico I can vouch for almost all of these (except the one about the mafia… I’m too much of a goody goody girl that nobody would tell me they know somebody that got executed by the mafia)….

    I’d also add:

    – You ask the waiter to bring you salsa and botanas even if you’re only planning to have a drink and you’re not really hungry
    – You find it normal when peseros race each other at the risk of their passangers’ life. It’s actually ok with you becuase you’re probably running late anyway.
    – You don’t get mad when you invite friends over at 4pm and they arrive at 5:30pm. In fact, you’ve anticipated this and start getting ready at 5pm.


  2. lisaloveloca
    June 6th, 2008 09:27

    LOL now I have the Zeta gas song stuck in my head- thanks BTW!! Hahahaa!

    How ’bout- You just say “Yes” to everything even knowing that you ain’t gonna do it. Then, you NOT do whatever it was you agreed to, with out a second thought or care.

  3. Gary Denness
    June 6th, 2008 14:01

    When getting robbed is no big deal! Just something different to blog about!

    I don’t get the Gringo tax here so much. Every now and then someone tries it on if I’m too close to the tourist zone, but generally I get away with it.

    Course, am I even a Gringo? There seems to be no definitive rule here. Some say it’s just Americans. Others, that it’s any native English speaker, which would include me.

    But hey, I’m clearly not Mexican, and people will just make assumptions as to where I hail from, so for all that, I guess I am a Gringo!

  4. RiverGirl
    June 6th, 2008 18:41

    I think you are a gringo in some situations. Sometimes being a gringo is being a foreign white person who’s native language is English. Other times it’s an American. So is a black American a gringo?

    Then some of it is your attitude, if you know the local customs you fit in better.

    I haven’t been robbed yet, so I can’t speak to it being normal. But in big cities I imagine it is normal.

  5. Susan in Cancun
    June 6th, 2008 19:11

    You left out a few…

    –It’s ok to cut in front of the line or push to the front, and it is actually expected.

    –Everyone knows someone that knows someone that will “make someone disappear”…should the need ever arise.

    –You get excited when you get into a car that actually has seatbelts! (this one is for those of us without cars.)

    Great post! Oh, I thought of you today at Plaza Las Americas when I saw a kiosk selling off their shelves. I guess that particular money laundering operation didn’t work out so well. 😉

  6. Fned
    June 7th, 2008 00:20

    About the gringo tax: hubby is tall white, blond and blue eyed…. but somehow he NEVER gets called a gringo and he NEVER gets the gringo tax.

    A (mexican) friend of mine told me mexicans can tell a european tourist from an american/canadian one and the european will probably get treated better and wont be taken advantage of….

    … or maybe it’s just that adorable french accent of his when he tries to speak spansih that makes him unressistable =)


  7. Islaholic Trixie
    June 7th, 2008 10:34

    The word “Minana” pops into my head!! When we are on Isla over the winter we tend to fall into the Minana mode!!

  8. Agnostic
    June 8th, 2008 13:51

    Reg the Gringo thing… I was told last time I was in Mexico it stemmed from the war between Mexico and the US (US invaded), and it stands for “Green Go Home!”. As in Green for the US’ soldiers combat uniforms… Hence .. the reason that European and non-US tourists does not get taken advantage of that often. 😉 (Note: This was confirmed by two native Mexico citizens….) ?????

  9. RiverGirl
    June 8th, 2008 14:06

    I had always heard that gringo came from griega,meaning Greek. Agnostic’s comment caused me to look gringo up on Wikipedia. Here’s the link:
    Wikipedia: Gringo

  10. heatherinparadise
    June 8th, 2008 16:48

    Wow, I’m just seeing this now, and I wrote a very similarly-themed blog yesterday…we’re like soulmates!

  11. wayne
    June 10th, 2008 19:03

    when you willing pay 7 USD to have your flip flops fixed because you know there is no way you will find another pair in your size!

    when you know it will do no good to complain to anybody about anything that goes wrong.

  12. RiverGirl
    June 10th, 2008 21:27

    It won’t do any good to complain, but we complain anyway…

  13. Gary Denness
    June 11th, 2008 10:51

    I’ve thought of another one prompted by the current weather in DF…

    ….when four days of cloud and rain is sufficient to bring on a bout of the Winter Blues.


  14. mexpat
    June 11th, 2008 11:20

    Wow- I had a friend tell the about the Army version of Gringo, but he’s pretty anti-American. Nice to know that the US was wearing blue during the Mex-Am war and then brown and didn’t wear green til much later. We should be Bluegos then, according to my friend’s story.

  15. mexpat
    June 11th, 2008 11:41

    Just thought of another- you know you’ve been here too long when you put on jeans because, BRRRR, it’s only 80F!

  16. RiverGirl
    June 11th, 2008 12:06

    Mexpat – Yes, for me it’s when I have to put on SOCKS! If I’m wearing socks (other than for working out) it’s because I’m freezing. And I get cold when it gets below 85 degrees.

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