Photo: Eneas De Troya
1. That somebody dares to call you naco
Especially if they call you pinche naco. That’s mean.
2. An earthquake while you’re on the toilet
3. A direct confrontation with Mexican bureaucracy
Start preparing at least a night before the confrontation takes place. They’re gonna be rude, they’re gonna treat you like shit, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ll eventually learn that you have to arrive at government offices before seven, because “the system” always crashes at some point in the morning, that you have to bring extra photocopies of every single document requested and that you’ll probably have to return a couple of times because shit happens… You’ve been there, you know it’s true and you hate it.
4. Those Chinese copycats
Like Cerono beer or that company which actually registered the Social Security Institute logo.
5. Acapulco during holy week vacations
Every single place with a decent beach ends up looking like a representation of hell on earth. If being restricted to a square meter of paradise isn’t infuriating enough, remember you’ll have to escape the overcrowded tropics prematurely if you don’t want to get caught in the most epic of traffic jams on your way home.
6. The emo subculture
Young emos made their way to the national headlines back in 2008 because everyone else wanted to beat them. It’s not funny, but it’s actually true.
7. People taking possession of the streets
Especially if they show up with a piece of cloth in one hand and shout things such as “todo, todo, todo, viene, viene, viene…”
8. People talking to you in English while in Mexico
Don’t get me wrong here, we’re always eager to help a visitor in distress, and we’ll do so if it’s in our reach. However, don’t come speaking to us in English as if you were in the middle of an all-inclusive gringo resort in Cancún. Some of us speak English, but we greatly appreciate when someone makes an extra effort and tries to learn a couple phrases in our own language. A simple “¿Hablas inglés?” is a step in the right direction.
9. The absence of Coke
I know you sugary drink junkies will deny it, but Mexicans have a big issue with Coke consumption. If you are the exception rather than the rule, you’re probably in denial and pissed off already…but we’re not the world leaders in Coca-Cola consumption just because.
10. Street bumps
The Mexican version of street bumps or “baches” are so big that some would seem like a side entrance to hell… and they’re specially useful if you want to change tyres prematurely.
11. Being left with the last tortilla…
Yes, the one on the top.
12. Cruz azul
It just applies if you’re a Cruz Azul fan.
13. Call centers
Something went wrong with your internet, no problem, you call the company, you’re forced to hear the first round of advertisements, you go through seven menus, a second round of advertisements, another menu, relaxing music to soothe you while every operator is busy, it seems somebody’s gonna attend you, false alarm, the music just changed tracks, every operator is still busy, a human voice!, the voice doesn’t have the least idea how to help you, you get transferred, relaxing music to soothe you while every operator is busy, a second human voice, the voice asks you to hold on the line, you hold on the line forever, you lost connection ten minutes ago and didn’t even notice, you call the company… and it’s always like that, every single time.
14. Bic ballpoint pens
They don’t know how to fail, my ass!
15. Political campaigns
Unless you’re a politician… in that case, you can contribute with the present list by writing your name in the comments section.
16. The song known as El Sonidito
Especially when it was the big thing and you heard it ten times a day… everywhere.
17. La Selección losing a football match against the gringos.
We were supposed to be good at football… what the hell happened?
18. When the bus driver tells you…
“Please, start moving to the back of the bus, there’s still plenty of space there”…and there’s no space there.
19. And when you actually arrive to the back of the bus to get down…
And the same driver decides it’s time to get his revenge on you for not moving to the back when he told you and decides to open the back door to let a flood of people in. Now’s a good time to acknowledge you’re gonna be late for work.
20. And let’s not forget that beautiful experience that occurs every time the driver assumes that slowing down is good enough for you to actually get off the bus.
Those drivers… always over assuming.
21. Forget to say “por favor” or “gracias”
Mexicans have this boldly tattooed on their souls…with a little motherly help. It’s a matter of protocol that most of us apply automatically. If you respect such protocol, you’ll probably obtain what you want…or not, but at least no one will be pissed off at you, and that’s always a good thing.
22. The gas truck on a Saturday morning
23. Señorita Laura…
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina