It was 2 AM.
Inside a dark and tightly packed nightclub of a Bolivian city called Cochabamba, I made my way through the crowd to get two mojitos.
One for me and one for a nice gal named Mariana that I was seeing while there.
It was a club we went to often.
One that left good memories and sometimes wish I could find a club like that one again to this day even.
When we finished our time there that night, we decided to take a walk outside to see what else is open.
Upon leaving, we come across two Bolivian dudes I knew.
They were brothers.
One named Fidel and his brother whose name I forgot while now.
Fidel was always extremely nice.
Easily one of the coolest dudes I’ve gone out drinking with.
Extremely fun to hang out with.
And his brother was like a more tame dude that was still cool to hang with.
Both being humble and down to earth.
But one much more wild and crazy to hang out with.
We saw them as we walked out of the club.
After some time talking, I ask them about which direction should we go.
Any good places still open to check out?
And Fidel recommended that we head towards this one direction where you have a more popular street with a few spots still open.
So we carried on as Fidel and his brother went inside the club that we just left.
Eventually finding another spot to get some drinks at before going to a motel that Mariana introduced me to before.
It was always the same one we went to anytime we spent the night together.
And, over the course of my time in Bolivia, I met various other characters that were cool to hang with.
Some dude named Mau that made for a good conversations with beer at a local bar that Mariana worked at.
To a white Bolivian-Brazilian dude named Sergio that was cool.
Some dude named Andres or something with an A.
In my short time in Bolivia, I found myself making friends so much easier there than any other place I’ve been to.
Why were they cool?
In short, while you do have some cunts in Bolivia and other non-likeable folks like anywhere in the world, the thing about most Bolivians I met was how down to earth and chill most were.
Not overly xenophobic unless you found yourself in more rural areas maybe.
Not as many upper class “fresa” types wanting to flaunt their English and come across as “better than thou.”
Not overly nationalistic.
And, being honest, I think we all find little corners in the world where we vibe better with the locals than elsewhere.
It’s a part of traveling.
Some places will have people you like more than other places.
While Bolivia does have many faults and plenty of xenophobic people like anywhere else, it didn’t feel too excessive outside of special circumstances.
Circumstances like going to a touristy area like Lake Titicaca and a local trying to scam you out of a few bucks for taking a photo of a mountain in the distance.
Or the extra gringo pricing that comes with being in a country where white people are much more of a minority than say Argentina.
But, as I went to Argentina afterwards, I found that, while I wasn’t being gringo priced as much, that came with the trade off of dealing with Argentines.
Who can be very cool people also!
But a little more “cold” and “distant.”
With more elitist attitudes among the population of “our country is better.”
Of course, this was in Buenos Aires where I’ve had these impressions more strongly.
In other parts of Argentina, like Misiones, the people were more humble and cooler to deal with.
In the same way that one of the coolest Argentines I ever met was from a place called Corrientes.
Where, on one night in particular, we are drinking and getting wasted while chanting “VIVA EL DIABLO!” with his Spanish wife on a table next over with a concerned look on her face.”
“Ay dios….Matt es una mala influencia. Mi espsoso ya es SATANICO!”
That was a fun night!
And since then?
I’ve found myself in Mexico City over the last 4 and a half years.
While I have my complaints about Mexicans, I have many things I like too.
But, similar to the stories above, your mileage varies by where exactly you are located and how you personally vibe with the locals.
For example, you got gringos who love Condesa and Roma.
I think they’re OK.
As I wrote here, I can see the value in touristy areas like El Centro Historico.
But the locals you more commonly find there?
More annoying than anywhere else in Mexico City for me personally.
More pretentious folks.
So on and so on.
And while I know gringos who prefer Condesa, I prefer areas like Pedregal de Santo Domingo or Lindavista.
Less pretentiousness among the locals.
Less people wanting to practice English with me.
Easier to vibe with the locals by far.
But they’re all still Mexican.
Nobody is perfect.
Mexicans in general, when compared to Bolivians for example, can be a little more nationalistic.
Easier to get their egos bruised when confronted with a fair critique of their country.
But, despite that, I overall like Mexico City and most of the people that come with it.
Though not everyone agrees!
What About Other Gringos?
But it’s a true statement that each gringo will find that he vibes differently with people of one area better than the people of another.
For example, I know a guy who likes northern Mexico over southern Mexico.
He thinks people in southern Mexico around Chiapas or Oaxaca are too “collectivist” or “socialist” in mindset?
Too left leaning.
And he just doesn’t vibe well with them versus people he meets in northern Mexico.
For him, people in northern Mexico seem “less left leaning” but also are just easier to relate to.
Better personalities for him.
However, I know another gringo who likes southern Mexico!
Granted, he only likes the women.
He prefers small, petite medium brown women of higher indigenous ancestry.
Therefore, he really likes Peru also.
And I could go on and on.
There’s one gringo I know who likes the Dominican Republic.
Thinks the people there are “real bros” and easy to connect with.
I don’t like the Dominican Republic that much.
I’d spend more time there to get more of a taste of the Caribbean part of Latin America and also because it makes for a great spot to party and have a shit ton of fun.
Outside of that?
A real dump in my opinion.
Mostly because I don’t like the typical person I’ve met there.
It just seemed to me, based on my brief experience there, that the Dominican Republic has a SHIT TON more people looking to scam you somehow.
That isn’t to say that I didn’t meet any cool Dominican folks.
For example, I met this nice Dominican gal named Deborah who gave me the best head I ever had in my entire life even up to now.
A nice lady you can read about here!
So some Dominican folks are cool, to be fair!
If you’re going to suck my dick like it’s your last supper, then I like you!
You’re a cool person.
Still, while every country has people I met that I liked, there are some countries where I simply vibe better with the locals than elsewhere.
As I said, Bolivia has always been one that has stuck out to me.
It’s not a country that I would consider living in perhaps necessarily because it carries so many other problems that might make it less convenient for long term living.
But it did have the friendliest people I have ever met in all of Latin America.
Without any question.
Of course, it depends on where in Bolivia you are in too as I said before.
A place like Santa Cruz has more people who were more stuck up.
A more rural area or a place with more poverty like Potosi has more of a xenophobic “what are you doing here?” vibe.
And places with too much tourism have more locals seeing you as a piggy bank.
Still, what’s the point here really?
The Overarching Point
Look, if you are new to Latin America, you won’t know where you’ll vibe the best with the locals.
Even in a country, it can vary heavily as you see in the Bolivian example above.
It might be better said that I vibe better with people of Cochabamba that all of Bolivia.
In the same way that I found people in the Mexican city of Pachuca to be more humble and easy to get along with than some of the more pretentious folks in a bigger city like Mexico City.
And, even in Mexico City, you got parts where the locals are nicer than others.
But every place has faults and crappy people.
And there’s other things to consider before moving somewhere outside of just how you vibe with the locals.
But this is one thing to consider obviously.
You might find yourself spending years living in large urban capitals of Latin America of more popular countries like Mexico before deciding that you want something calmer and more humble.
Where you vibe with them more.
And where your personality fits better with the locals.
Especially as you get older and you change as a person also.
It’s a relatively obvious point but most folks coming to Latin America don’t necessarily compare and contrast which areas of the region they vibed with better than others.
At least not until they get experience under their belt.
At any rate, it’s a simple point to bring up and nothing more comes to mind that needs to be said.
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Thanks for reading.