How to tell when it is Tourist Season in Guanajuato, Mexico:.1. While sitting in the park waiting for your wife, you suddenly hear a barrage of English. You look around, only to witness an older couple fighting tooth and nail over where to go for lunch.
The wife huffs off to one bench and turns her back on her husband. The husband mealy-mouths off to another bench to wait it out. You sink down low in hopes that none of the Mexicans you have to live with in this city will associate your American Expat face with the Americans who act like spoiled children.2. You walk past the local pizza chain only to hear a woman reading her man (in English, of course!) the riot act for daring to want some pizza in Mexico. She ate there with him, in fact ate half of a large pizza, and then thought it appropriate to scream at him for taking her someplace so expensive.
Though she gorged herself on this American pizza chain's pizza, she thought she would attract the attention of the local populace by screaming about it afterwards.3. An army of well-dressed, perfectly-coifed American country club-type women come into the restaurant where you and the wife are lunching.
They look at the nice surroundings, go to the little-girl's room, and, on their return, launch into a flurry of hushed conversation (because there were no men with them to yell at). Then they huff off. At least they didn't scream.4.
You can really tell when it is tourist season by the sour looks, the mean, grimacing faces, the volume of the voices, and the fighting like cats and dogs. Then, there are those who march into a sidewalk restaurant, discover they do not like what's on the menu, and announce their displeasure loudly enough that everyone within a 40-mile radius knows they were looking for Taco Bell-style tacos.If you've been reading my column, you will recall that each tourist season I write about, well, tourists. I do not sit around all year waiting for tourist season to begin. I do not keep an editorial calendar where I have TOURIST SEASON marked on the month. I simply have my senses assaulted one day by the most senseless and unimaginably childish behavior that suddenly appears on the streets of my adopted Mexican city.
One day it is calm on the home front. The next day, all tourist hell breaks loose.Now understand this. Not all gringo tourists who come here stand in the middle of the town fighting like cats and dogs. There are some who actually know how to behave themselves in someone else's country. They seem like they are truly interested in absorbing a bit of the country's culture.
These are the good-guy tourists.But, the majority we see are simply frightening. These are the Bad-guy tourists.I did not realize why Americans have such a sullied reputation around the world until I left America and began to observe them in another country. It is not too difficult to figure out where the pejorative, "The Ugly American," came from when I observe my fellow countrymen acting the way they do.Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it a little pricey to make a trip, oh let's say, from New York to the geographic center of Mexico? Think of the costs involved! There is the airfare, the cabs, the hotel, the food, the gifts for everyone at home, and all the rest! It is not cheap.
You are not taking a little jaunt to the next county or municipality. You are making a huge effort and spending a lot of money to come to a foreign country to do what?fight?.Of all the mysteries in the known universe, this one has to be in the top ten! I really, very truly with all my heart, say to you that I do not understand this in the least!.Why would you come to Mexico to act like you haven't a thought in your heads or that you had been raised by wolves? Why not save the money for a divorce lawyer rather than spending it coming to Mexico to fight like a pair of pit bulls? You could have stayed home if that's how you wanted to act.By the way, I have seen this all too often for it to be coincidence. Each and every tourist season features American tourists fighting knock-down drag-outs while surrounded by horrified Mexicans.
And if you are thinking what I am thinking, the answer is NO! We have yet to witness Mexicans acting like this in public and have never witnessed it in private. Does it go on? I am sure it does. But they have the sense to take their disagreements into private quarters. In all the years we've lived here in Mexico, we have never witnessed the public rage that Americans seem to think is socially appropriate behavior.And how, you are wondering, do I know these tourists are Americans? It is because of what we hear during their donnybrooks:."I could have stayed in New York and gotten a decent meal.
"."I am leaving and going back to Washington, you filthy pig of a man!"."Why didn't you just stay home in Kansas City, you offspring of a goat?".
"I'd rather be back in Sacramento than here with you, you nasty grunt.".They make it clear to God and all His witnesses from whence they came.###..Have you tried to learn Spanish, or any foreign language and failed. Are you like the thousands of Americans who took years of foreign language study and cannot string two words together in the target language? LEARN WHY AMERICANS ARE SO FOREIGN LANGUAGE ILLITERATE and LEARN HOW TO LEARN SPANISH or ANY FOREIGN LANGUAGE!!.
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By: Douglas Bower