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Living Half a Life

Maybe I should explain why I haven’t been blogging. The reason is that I’ve misplaced my humor about living in Cancun. I’m just sick and tired of it. It’s not funny anymore. And I don’t feel right using my blog to bitch and moan about all the things I’ve already bitched and moaned about in the past.

It would be redundant. Redundant is boring.

I’ve come to realize that Cancun is, and forever will be, a hustler’s city. Heavy tourism breeds a lack of respect for the land, the people and the animals. Cancun is a very troubled frontier town that is governed by backward-thinking corrupted officials. People come here from other places to escape things; it’s a city full of people who ran away from something. In short, it’s a troubled place full of troubled and unhealthy people.

These are not my peers.

Because Cancun is new it lacks culture. Every time I fly back to Cancun from some place that actually has art museums or science museums I die a little bit. Or a lot. I can’t believe people willingly raise children in this backward place. The world doesn’t need more adults who think like people do here.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not unhappy here, that is, I have close friendships with some lovely people here. And I enjoy the volunteering I do. And I enjoy my Book Club. And I like how cheap my house was to buy because it means I can live on next to nothing with no debt. I like my little life here.

My problem is that my life is little here. I’m not made to live a little tiny half a life.

I’ve resisted blogging because I don’t want tell the truth about life in Cancun any more. I just want to do my work, get coffee with my friends, and plan my trips back to civilization.

And I hope that one day soon we will be able to make plans to move from here. I’ve never wanted anything more than to move from here.

I look forward to missing my half-life in Cancun.

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38 Responses to “Living Half a Life”

  1. Nancy
    September 30th, 2009 21:02
    1

    I have never been to Cancun but can hear what you are saying… but I am just wondering if it would be easier a little ways away?? Could you move to Isla?

    I hope you blog about everything you’re feeling, no matter what.

    Cheer up, amiga.

  2. Nancy Z
    September 30th, 2009 21:06
    2

    You made me cry..I know you are too full of spirit and love to not live your life to the fullest! You must miss your daughter,too!
    Go forth and be happy!!!!

  3. Joe from Dallas
    September 30th, 2009 21:44
    3

    Kim,
    This is redudant…Read below some of it applies …
    We all love to read your blog…so bitch on !!!!

    JOE FROM DALLAS
    January 7th, 2009 18:19
    3Kim,
    You made lots of friends here on your blog.

    I’ll help you and you do not even know me but I know you are the “real deal”, lady.

    I shot my butler and maid and fed my foul mouth parrot to the dog. !!!
    Now I am feeding the dog some cat food so he will leave.

    Yeah things are bad but reaaly not any worst than anywjere else .

    As I mentioned I was at the Barcelo Costa 12/21 – 12/28 (I have been there about 8 or 9 times. And I will return
    The pool,restaurants and hotel were about 60%
    full per their management because of the bad economy everywhere. This hotel has a big European clientle. Nice people are worried about their jobs.

    My truck is paid for. My mortgage comes back every month like a bad habit.The stock market kicked my butt.

    US people know that they are living beyond their means. Credit is free and easy. Now they are facing some problems ..we all are LOL

    Yeah I am a tourist and I love Mexico and cannot relate to your specific comments because I have myopia. I was born in the Bronx and got out quickly care of the US Navy.

    You are successfull in Mexico and will be the same in the US. I know you will be fine no matter where you live and when you decide to leave Mexico.

    As they used to say in the Bronx………no I cannot say that here LOL

    You have friends who are people who got to know you and respect you.

    You rock !!!
    Joe

    RiverGirl
    January 7th, 2009 19:08
    4Joe – As always your comments make me happy1 Thanks for the support!

  4. islagringo
    October 1st, 2009 07:11
    4

    Wow! Tell it like it is. This is NOT the paradise that people think it is. IMHO, things just keep getting worse and worse around this neck of the woods. I so enjoyed my time in Huatulco. Community pride. No museums or such since it is also a new town but no serious crime. (a stolen bicycle led the crime page in the newspaper!) As you know, I have been to quite a few places in Mexico. The worst city? Cancun. I think it would be great if you changed your blog to “Rivergirl Rants: The Real Life in Cancun” or something like that. I’m just sorry you are so unhappy.

  5. jillian
    October 1st, 2009 08:08
    5

    Mexico is such a nice place to visit.

  6. RiverGirl
    October 1st, 2009 08:27
    6

    Nancy D – I think we might be able to be happy in a part of Mexico that’s not so tourist oriented…and away from the mafia business that is here. We may move, to another part of Mexico, but first we need to see if hubby gets his Green Card. If he gets that we’ll go back to the US.

    Nancy Z – Thanks for commenting amiga! I do miss my kid. That’s a big part of why I’m not happy with living here…it was a lousy place for her to live. I’m glad we were able to get her out of here. Colorado is much healthier for her to grow up in.

    (Nancy Z is one of my oldest friends in the world, have known her since I was 16.)

    Joe – Your comments are always over the top with enthusiasm, you always cheer me up! Thanks!

    Isla Gringo – I’m glad to hear what you say. We may lean on you for advice about other places in Mexico to consider moving.

    Jillian – Too true. A gringo friend who used to live here, says that Mexico is a great place to go on vacation but that no one should live here.

    Thanks for all the comments everyone.

  7. Gary Denness
    October 1st, 2009 10:28
    7

    Kim,

    I read your blog because of the bitching. It’s a natural reaction to life. Please do carry on!

  8. Croft
    October 1st, 2009 10:53
    8

    Sorry Kim! There are so many beautiful places in Mexico. We have seen many of them and will be checking out more this winter. The ones we stay away from are the heavy duty tourist traps as they do not represent the “real” Mexico.

    Do some exploring in Mexico. Try out the west coast where Wayne went, head South to Chetumal. Mexico is a very diverse country and you will find your place.

    I am assuming your husband in Mexican. He would not like the USA and would be exposed to the worst kind of racism (probably as would you). Unless you found a nice little progressive, accepting hick town up there I suspect you would be even unhappier. I am sure that you (like I) have talked to many Mexicans who tried out the USA only to return, sadder for the experience.

    I know you have done a lot of thinking already but you have to do a lot more. You live in one of the most beautiful countries on earth amongst some of the greatest people!

    We have all missed your Blog. Perhaps we will meet this year when we get to your area.

  9. IslaLife
    October 2nd, 2009 09:43
    9

    I love your honesty, I think you are correct about many of the things regardig Cancùn, but you have the birthplace of this huge city just a ferry away.. Isla Mujeres has a lot of culture, but maybe it`s too small?
    Keep writing, never stop!

  10. Harrison
    October 6th, 2009 06:38
    10

    If not Cancun then where do you plan to go?People flock this part of the world just to shake away their ‘stress’.Stress from running away,stress from doing things they feel not good about.
    Every tourist place is like this,used and abused by strangers and this abuse comes to be called as ‘tourist destination’.
    What you can do is to work on making your place abuse free.Why should someone make your town their dumping yard?
    Cancun is yours not from now but since a long time ago.Don’t live a half life in a half town,make it big as you want to.Meet as many people as you can to make Cancun clean of corruption and abuse.
    All the best to you.

  11. Tiffany
    October 6th, 2009 19:14
    11

    That was very well said, and I always suspected that might be the case about life there. You make me appreciate life in the big (yet less naturally beautiful) city.

  12. Joe
    October 6th, 2009 23:10
    12

    pobrecita.

  13. Jason
    October 8th, 2009 22:28
    13

    I lived in Cancun from October 1999 to September 2001 and I am so glad that you have been totally honest in your recent post. One poster rambled about american racism when what I saw in Cancun was overwhelming racism toward the indians and americans even mexican americans were called poachos, which I’m sure I spelled wrong. I worked in timeshare and I found that toward the end of my stay there I wanted to protect americans from all the vulters that would decended on them. There are plenty of good hearted people in Cancun but the majority are just plain evil people! The majority of the ignorant people treated animals as compeditors which ment if they could kill an animal or run over them they were doing the right thing. This is the truth about Csncun whether you like it or not.

  14. Jason
    October 8th, 2009 22:41
    14

    Cancun in Mayan means the nest of snakes and boy is it. The sharks in the ocean are not the ones to fear it is all the ones on land that you should worry about! Two years in Cancun made me very proud to be an AMERICAN!!!

  15. Pennsy_Al
    October 9th, 2009 16:21
    15

    Hop a bus to Mérida! Culture, from museums to free city-organized music in the streets and parks, non-commercial good movies in the Olimpo theatre off the Plaza Principal (usually evening showings, several times weekly). Art galleries. Choice of classical musuem or Yucatecan trovas at times on 92.9 and 1003.9 fm, good Yucatecan music on XECF 1090 am (daytime only). And need we mention that there’s an active US & Canadian community, restoring center city architectural gems or (like me) heading out to other neighborhoods.

    We never cared for Cancun, though we do find some charm a bit south in Playa del Carmen. So we find your conclusion unsurprising. Do keep writing!

  16. RiverGirl
    October 9th, 2009 17:19
    16

    Wow everyone, thanks for all the great comments. If I wasn’t completely exhausted right now I would respond to every comment specifically. But I AM exhausted, it’s been a crummy week and my brain hurts.

    I appreciate all the support and the good ideas. I do think that I sometimes expect too much of Cancun, it’s not a culturally rich place, I shouldn’t expect it to be. I need get outta here and go to Merida or Campeche or somewhere.

    Hugs all around.

  17. Susan
    October 10th, 2009 05:20
    17

    Hey Kim,

    I just wanted to say thank you for speaking out not only for yourself, but for me.

    Even though my passion brought me to this beautiful place, I share the same frustrations. Everyday that passes I lose more passion for a destination that I love so much.

    Hugs for you.

  18. susiej
    October 12th, 2009 06:13
    18

    I just stumbled across your blog and understand your thinking completely. I live in PDC part time and am growing increasnigly tired of the ulterior motives of almost everyone I meet. It’s very different from anything I’ve experienced and I’m from Colorado also. I can think of maybe one or two folks I’ve met in the last three years who just were just nice folks and not out for something for themselves. It’s a different kind of place to live. I’m going to visit Merida in December and am curious about how that differs from a tourist town. Keep writing. I laugh when people ask me how I like living in paradise. Sometimes it is.

  19. Bruce Coppola
    October 13th, 2009 07:23
    19

    Even as a tourist, I think Cancun has little to offer for anyone interested in more than just beaches and drinking. We used Centro as a base on our last Yucatan trip simply because of a good deal on a hotel and woudn’t do it again. Not that there was anything terrible about it for a week, but neither was there anything especially interesting. The few things worth seeing and doing in Cancun required a drive thru the chaotic traffic. I became a pretty good glorieta jouster tho!

    Merida, Valladolid, Campeche, Progreso…all have more to offer. Farther afield, Mazatlan, in spite of being a tourist mecca, is also a real city with history and culture and spontaneously generous and friendly people. We met a woman on the street while just walking around and (long story short) wound up spending an afternoon with her & her friends at a city-sponsored dance in the main plaza. The week we spent in Merida a few years ago was a joy, and left us wanting to experience more.

    Although, one thing this Michigan Gringo cannot understand: how can you stand the summers down there?!? :)

  20. RiverGirl
    October 13th, 2009 09:28
    20

    Thanks for all the comments. Cancun is sometimes a paradise, and lots of times not.

    Bruce – Thank you for saying (indirectly) that Cancun Centro is boring. You are completely right.

    I do love driving here, I must say, driving in Cancun is a contact sport!

    You are right, I need to explore other areas of Mexico.

  21. Leo
    October 15th, 2009 19:14
    21

    Rivergirl,
    I have read some posts of yours which kept me coming back for more. I have said a few times, I am from the North East as well. I do appreciate the excitement that we have here. However, I also enjoy the “boredom” that Cancun has to offer. I can relate to the phrase Fat, dumb and happy while I am on vacation. I think enough at work all year long, looking forward to vacation and not having to think. I am well aware that, as a tourist, there are many people out to get as much of my money as they can… when it’s all gone, I am a gringo. I am ok with that.
    However, I return to Cancun because I have always felt safe there… Granted, I stick to the hotel zone and I am cautious… like anywhere else, minding my own business.
    Do you feel that due to the economy, things in Cancun have gone down the drain, or is it the small things that have always bothered you but are now catching up?
    I wish you the best of luck with your decision. Good things come to good people.

  22. Ashlie
    October 16th, 2009 13:55
    22

    I have lived in Cancun since 1995 and I am also married to a Mexican. Though I can sympathize with some of the things that you say and everyone has a right to “bitch” I do not agree with all your statements.I do hope that you find a place to live that makes you happy but for many of us expats from Canada, USA, Australia, etc. Cancun is that place and we chose to live here and we came here not because we were running away from something but because we wanted to.
    I do hope that not everyone who reads your blog will take your words verbatim and that they are aware that not everyone feels the way you do and they should read other blogs by other people who do like it here and who also have another view of what it is like to live in such a wonderful place even with all its flaws.

  23. RiverGirl
    October 18th, 2009 19:31
    23

    Leo – People here complain about the economy plenty, so it may be a factor in Cancun getting worse since I’ve been here. But I think that more than that is the uncontrolled growth here, and the increasing violence we are seeing here from the drug cartels. Seems the mafias are getting bolder and more aggressive, nastier.

    Ashlie – Your comment reads like you are worried that my post will give Cancun a black eye. Well, the best way to combat that is to come out and tell us what you love about Cancun…what’s so great about it? Tell us…publish the good side, no one is stopping you. If Cancun has a black eye because of little ole me then it has much bigger problems than I knew about.

    I admire people who can be happy here…they have an ability to put up with the horrors here that I seem to lack. Good for them, but you know what? I wouldn’t want to become desensitized to the shit I see here, I wouldn’t like myself if I could ignore the way animals are treated here, or ignore the garbage or ignore the executions that are reported in the news every week here. If I start ignoring those things, and not feeling their real meaning, then I will be truly lost.

  24. Moise Levi
    October 25th, 2009 08:32
    24

    I use to reside in Cancun ; 1991 to 1997.
    I use to own a café called “le café de Paris”.
    By the way I know Ashlie :)
    I had the chance to meet some wonderful people.
    My café was quite famous with local expatriates.
    I left for three reasons ;
    1) Cancun got too big, way too many criminals using it as a base.
    2) Crime ; three friends lost their lifes …
    3) A constant reminder that you will “always be un extranjero” (a foreigner) no matter how long you stay there. Yes, Mexicans are quite nationalists !

    Loved the place, but did not see a real future there …..

  25. RiverGirl
    October 25th, 2009 09:56
    25

    Moise Levi – Thanks for your comment. I would have loved to visit your cafe.

    When we moved here we were impressed by how often the “old timers” would tell us that Cancun used to be better. It was sort of weird, we heard it ALL the time. But I think Cancun’s largely uncontrolled growth has brought with it lots of downsides.

    Just two days ago some guy was stabbed to death just a block and a half from my house. It’s not comforting at all. I’ve never lived somewhere with a crime rate like this. And the cops here don’t seem to solve many of these killings.

  26. Boils
    November 3rd, 2009 17:03
    26

    Fact: Cancun is two things and only two things. It is a tourist destination for fat Americans and it is a drug city. Once you get those facts you see why Cancun is such an uncivilized dump.

    It’s only hope lies in a devastaging hurricane that renders the entire slop house asunder.

  27. greg
    November 6th, 2009 05:20
    27

    Hi.. I’ve just been reading your work for a short while, but it seems to me that you’ve hit that “wall” that some of my friends have that moved to Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel etc… Mexico is awesome to visit, but maybe not so much fun to live in long term..

    We will however take you with open arms to my favorite U.S. city, Denver. Beautiful, temperate (more than people think) and no insects :)

  28. RiverGirl
    November 6th, 2009 12:35
    28

    Boils – Great comment, thanks!

    Greg – I hit a BIG TALL HUGE WALL! You are right!

    I lived in Boulder County for many years. Denver is on my short list of places to relocate to. The weather there is MUCH better than outsiders realize. Colorado has great weather!

  29. paul nj
    November 14th, 2009 06:36
    29

    I LIVE IN CANCUN FOR ABOUT 3 YEARS, 3 MONTHS OUT OF THE YEAR BUT IVE HAD A TIME SHARE HERE FOR 10 YEARS,IF YOU THINK CANCUN IS BAD YOU SHOULD COME TO NEW JERSEY!! I HAVE NEVER SEE ONE ACT OF VIOLENCE EVER IN ALL THE YEAR IN CANCUN EVEN LATE AT NIGHT ITS ALWAYS THE TOURIST STARTING TROUBLE !! IV BEEN ALL OVER THE WORLD AND THE MEXICAN PEOPLE ARE BY FAR THE NICEST, NO WERE IS PERFECT WHEN YOU DEALING WITH PEOPLE SO GROW UP AND LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OR THINGS WILL NEVER CHANGE FOR YOU !!!

  30. Sparksfly
    November 16th, 2009 11:55
    30

    RiverGirl-thank you for your honest comments. I have only visited..but I can see the point about everyone out to make a dollar. If I saw a “Tipping is appreciated” sign once..I saw it 200 times. That is a bit much. I am from Iowa and a bit naive…but it was clear that I was a dollar sign to most people in Mexico. When I travel to sites in USA…I do not feel that way at all.

  31. PAUL NJ
    November 16th, 2009 16:07
    31

    SORREY THOUGHT YOU ERASED MY COMMENT WAITING FOR YOUR THOUGHTS ?? BUY THE WAY YOUR RIGHT ABOUT THE ANIMAL TREATMENT BUT IN EVERY POOR COUNTRY I SEE THE SAME THING,I CAN ONLY THINK THEY DO NOT FEEL LOVED SO WHY SHOULD THEY CARE ABOUT ANYTHING. THATS WHAT I THINK THEY THINK !!

  32. JOE FROM DALLAS
    November 29th, 2009 02:02
    32

    OK ! OK ! GET YOUR DUBA IN GEAR KIM AND RESUMRE YOUR BITCH POSTING(S)

  33. JOE FROM DALLAS
    November 29th, 2009 02:02
    33

    OK ! OK ! GET YOUR DUBA IN GEAR KIM AND RESUME YOUR BITCH POSTING(S)

  34. JOE FROM DALLAS
    November 29th, 2009 02:03
    34

    sorry brain damage and seeing double submissions

  35. two bears
    December 7th, 2009 23:40
    35

    wow, sounds allot like Las Vegas Nevada, a city full of scammers and people with get rich quick schemes. I lived two years in this culturles landscape, but unlike Cancun Las
    Vegas had no real natural beauty. Las Vegas reminded me of a over sized miniature golf park. I remember it being full of time share scammers, slot machines and gaming tables, which typically resulted in most tourists leaving las Vegas penniless. Most locals affectionately called it the city of lost wages. the corruptions was unparallel. most tourist which had to much to drink,(drinks are free in most casinos, as long as your gambling.) were shaken down by Las Vegas PD, ending in legal fees totaling about 5000 U.S dolls in fines and court costs. talk about legalized corruption. please find a new home were you can raise your family away from this tourist traps, which cater to unsuspecting Americans and Europeans.

  36. mreeve2005@aol.com
    March 1st, 2010 13:44
    36

    I think you have done alot to help the poor cats and dogs in Mexico. They will be lost without out you. That is a noble thing that you have done.

    I want to go there but I am a city girl from Miami. If you can live in Miami, you will be able to live in Mexico (I think)
    Margaret

  37. CHUCK
    July 8th, 2010 15:18
    37

    You should take a short 2-3 hour drive and spend a few days in Merida. The people are warm and friendly. There are lots of museums and also a English library.There are so many things to see and do. I plan to start living there by the end of the year.

  38. kathy
    July 28th, 2011 11:54
    38

    I totally “get” this.

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