- Personal Stories & Opinions>
- The Growing Distaste for the Tourist Areas of Latin America
Living in Mexico City over the last 4 years, I can say confidently that I know the city more or less.
Of course, I don’t know everything.
There’s various parts of the city that I don’t know whatsoever!
And so, if someone were to ask me if I am an “expert” of Mexico City, I’d hesitate to say so.
But I’d probably say yes because I know Mexico City better than most foreigners.
However, there are foreigners who know the city much better than I do.
Without any question.
On top of that, I hate to try to be too arrogant about how much I know.
I usually prefer keeping to myself.
Which might seem ironic because I like to shoot my shit on this blog.
Which, ultimately, does piss off the occasional person.
Still, over the years here, I do try to “move away” from the tourist areas of Mexico City.
Well, to be fair, if I was to move to a new city, I’d probably start off with the tourist areas first.
For example, I’ve been thinking for a while of moving to a new country for a while now.
Given the Covid shit, I haven’t made the move just yet.
But the countries on top of my list have been the Dominican Republic and Colombia.
Of course, if I was to move to a new city, I’d obviously start off with the more popular area to move into first.
Like when I moved to a Mexican city called Pachuca not too long ago, I ended up moving to the center area.
However, after some time living in an area long enough of whatever city, I find myself moving away from the touristy area soon enough.
For me, there’s some internal desire above it all to meet locals beyond the touristy areas that is the bigger drive to push me out of the touristy areas wherever I am ultimately.
And that’ll be the first point to bring up as to why I move away from the tourism (among other reasons) when living in an area long enough.
Moving Beyond the Tourism
There’s a part of me that doesn’t like the Disney.
There’s a part of me that doesn’t like pre-packaged.
Coming from a small town in the US, sometimes I contemplate the small towns of Latin America.
Like this small village of Paraguay that I visited here…
Or this small village in Mexico that I visited here…
Or this small village of Colombia that I visited here…
Or, beyond all that, when my last girlfriend brought me to the small town where she grew up in a small town of the Mexican state of Hidalgo.
There’s a part of me that is curious about “the other side.”
Meaning how do small town folks get by in other countries outside of the US?
While I’m not sure if I’d ever live in a small town of Mexico…
There is a part of me that misses home and, at times, that feeling influences what I wish to see.
In this case, it does drive a stronger interest to see beyond the tourist.
Because, in part, I know most foreigners will never check out my small town…
Most go to NYC or Miami.
That's cool too.
But, beyond that, there’s something that simply drives you forward to see what is beyond the tourist package that you paid 5,000 dollars for.
Here’s the thing….
The guy who spent 1,500 on a shoe string budget to see Mexico got to see more and experienced more than you ever fucking will on your faggot ass 3,000 budget to Cancun.
You enjoyed Cancun?
That’s cool actually.
I ain’t talking shit about Cancun.
But if you were to ask me…
“Yo, want to see Cancun or some small town in Nayarit?”
I’ll take Nayarit anyday.
The only way you’ll get me to Cancun is if you got some crazy gal who will satisfy my deepest sexual fantasies for the occasion.
Otherwise, being honest, I see so much more value in going to the unknown.
When I visited the small town of Ixmiquilpan where my ex-girfriend was from, was it cool?
Eh, be the judge yourself by this video here.
It was cool.
It wasn’t Cancun in terms of natural beauty.
But, for whatever reason, I just don’t give a fuck about the “trail well paved.”
Maybe it’s because I want to meet the “Iowa folks” of Latin America in their respective small communities.
I want to hear their stories.
That isn’t to say that there isn’t a place for Cancun.
After all, to have a private room with a nice Venezuelan gal in a spot like that who can satisfy all my sexual desires…
That’s cool too.
But, as I get older, I give less fucks for the sexual.
Increasingly, I care more about something deeper.
So if you were to ask me…
“Matt, pick one: A weekend vacation with a hot Cuban gal who will do whatever you want in Cancun or a week long vacation going to various small towns of Cuba to meet folks and share experiences….”
Which do you pick?
In the famous words of Zoidberg – why not both?
Still, if I had to choose, it’d be the latter than the former.
So that’s the main reason why I prefer the “outside tourism area.”
To get away from it all and see what is outside.
But there are other negatives that, though they are ignorable enough, are worthy of a slight mention.
Away from the Gringos
Funny enough, I do see more value these days in interacting with other gringos.
In large part because I have more often interacted with other local Latinos than gringos.
So there is a part of me that wants to see how other gringos live down here.
Still, if you want to, getting away from the tourist trail permits that more easily obviously.
But, for me, there is a lack of interest in meeting those who will only be here for a short period.
Versus those who understand you better as to the longer time you have been down here.
For that reason, it can be harder to connect with those who are just tourists.
And, to a degree, disappointing when you look for someone you can connect with.
Sometimes, in my experience, you do wish to connect with someone who gets it.
Not just the tourist…
And not just one of those stereotypical gringos who can’t handle a simple criticism of the country you two are in…
A normal person!
But maybe normalcy doesn’t come with living abroad?
Sometimes you wish it did.
And, at the end of the day, even if the long term gringo isn't a tourist, most do go back home anyhow.
Leaving you behind.
Among other negatives to “this part of Latin America.”
Eh, if you don’t like prostitutes, get out of here, you Puritarian!
Still, it’s a complaint that some have.
In that the more touristy areas have more prostitutes available.
Therefore, if you have more conservative values, then you get all pissed about it.
Personally, it don’t mean nothing to me.
Just don’t offer nothing!
When I was living in Roma Norte area of Mexico City years ago, there used to be this gal who offered services in nearby Rosa neighborhood.
On that specific street just a little bit south of where you’d see all of the gay bars that leads up to Reforma Avenue.
I haven’t seen that specific woman there in years now.
Maybe she found a better life.
Still, I remember her making an offer to me as I walked past her once as I exited a popular restaurant called Casa de Toño.
I kept on walking but noticed her often there as I walked by the area often in that year or two.
Again, hopefully she is better now as she seems to be gone from the area now.
Still, it’s not like that touristy area is the only one with prostitutes.
Just a few weeks ago, I saw some obviously gay, young prostitute in short shorts with an older, fat Mexican guy.
You won’t avoid it by being out of the tourist area.
Though, in my opinion, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding any sight of prostitutes when you avoid touristy areas.
The Hustlers & Homeless
Living in Mexico City, one of the things I hated most about living in downtown area (El Centro) of Mexico City was the amount of folks demanding money.
Be it homeless folks….
Or people trying to sell something.
It got really fucking annoying.
In my experience, El Centro is the worse for this because, for whatever reason, the homeless and hustlers are way more aggressive there than anywhere else in Mexico City.
For example, if I go to Roma Norte or Condesa (also touristy areas), it’s not as bad but noticeable.
If I go outside of those areas to like El Rosario or Copilco, then the homeless situation really isn’t a topic of the day.
It can be though for other areas of the city!
And it can be for other touristy areas of Latin America.
Simply put, the more tourists means the more folks who see easy dollars coming along in.
Consequently, you got more folks harassing you.
As you can see in this story here, I even got into a drunken argument with one homeless person in El Centro of Mexico City before.
One got under my skin too easily and the rest is history.
Still, outside of touristy areas, as I said, it’s not as big of an issue.
I already referenced this before in this article when talking about making friends with other gringos.
But I’ll keep it simple now as I explain it in relation to making a local friend.
Simply put, you get lonely.
When you move to another country, you get lonely.
Now, as you can guess, I value in making more local friends than gringo ones.
But I make friends from both types.
And, for me, that often means locals also.
However, you do notice that folks down here can see you in superficial terms.
For example, those types that only want to be with you because you can teach them English, give them money, be their token friend or have sex with them.
As I wrote more about here.
For example, as I wrote here, there was a Mexican guy named Vicente some odd months ago who seemed very friendly with me!
However, once he learned that I wasn’t going to practice English with him, he dropped me.
It didn’t bother me but it did leave a funny impression on how some locals down here see us.
“TEACH ME ENGLISH, GIVE ME MONEY, BE MY TOKEN FRIEND OR GIVE ME WHITE COCK!!!! OR ELSE I WON’T TALK TO YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOU!!!!!”
As I wrote here, it can be an obstacle to making genuine local friends down here.
Though, as I implied, it’s worse in touristy areas than non-touristy ones.
In non-touristy areas, I find the locals to be a lot less superficial.
However, if you want superficial local friends, than I guess it’s fine if you prefer to be in more touristy areas.
Still, it is what it is.
Most gringos who go to Latin America tend to go to comfortable areas.
Like Mexico City.
I can’t blame them.
For long term living, I almost prefer a more comfortable place.
Though there is a part of me that considers the less comfortable.
The less developed of Latin America.
Still, it should be mentioned.
Those who are new to life down here tend to stick to the most comfortable of comfortable.
The Polanco of Mexico City.
All of that.
Obviously, on the topic of tourism, that will all be very touristy.
As I said, I don’t see a problem starting out like that.
I prefer to break out away from that after enough time in a place.
Though, on that note, I would also like to say that there's plenty of comfortable places to be in Mexico City that are not Polanco or Roma Norte.
Plenty of gringos with no balls to ever leave the touristy areas think otherwise.
Nothing more to be said.
The only other thing that comes to mind – and it’s just a theory – that you prefer the less touristy after enough time living down here.
Especially if you been stuck to a place long enough as I said.
Still, you know where I stand.
For me, I tend to gravitate to the touristy areas whenever I show up to a new area of Latin America.
But that, for various reasons, I prefer breaking out from that.
If you don’t prefer that, that’s cool.
If so, also cool.
Either way, drop any comments below in the comment section.
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And thanks for reading.