It’s all fun and games until you have to use the toilet. Or go outside. Or drive a car. Or do anything really.
Mexico’s been good. It’s a tropical paradise with friendly people and insanely tasty food. It’s a country full of funny little details, small things you notice from time to time. Like the fact that everyone seems to have one leg here. I think out of the 20 people I’ve ever seen with one leg, 18 of them have been here in Mexico. True story.
Or the fact that they don’t care about the environment at all. The more plastic the better. Why bother turning of your engine if you’re only gone for 5 minutes? Or the fact that if you’re over 1.80 you can forget to be comfortable in any bed, sofa or chair.
But these are just details, personality traits, small quirks that gives any country a certain charm. But there’s quite a few details that the travel bloggers and Pinteresters (can you say that?) conveniently omit when they talk about Mexico. Here’s some issues people don’t usually tell you about Mexico:
Mexico, get your shit together. Literally. Going to the bathroom here is like playing Russian roulette. Every day you have a Mexican standoff with your porcelain pal. “Do you feel lucky, punk?”. Sweat dripping down your back, “please just let it flush this once, I promise I’ll go to church more.”
This joke of a sewage system must be a major factor in panic and/or heart attacks. Sometimes it won’t even flush pee for god’s sake. How do people live like this? We had 8 days straight with a working toilet that even flushed paper, and it was the best 8 days of the trip.
Of course, in the room for our last 4 nights we were met with those dreaded words again: “Please, no paper in the toilet”. Are you kidding me? Just sort your fucking sewage system out, yo.
The street vendors (and sellers in general)
Imagine going into a store. You’re pretty annoyed as soon as a store clerk is onto you and disturbing your peace. Now picture that sales clerk, on steroids, following you relentlessly. And there’s not one. Nor is there 5. They go as far as the eye can see. They all sell the same. It’s skulls, key chains, backpacks etc. And they all have the best price guaranteed. There’s no time to breathe.
Now I get that Mexico is a poor country. I get that people are trying to feed their families. But if you think harassing and nagging the customer constantly is the best way to sell a product you might need a refreshers course in marketing and sales. In Mexico they’re on you like a hawk from the minute they see you.
And trust me when I say that they see me. I’m two heads taller and two sizes bigger than the average Mexican male. I stick out like a sore thumb. Just leave me alone already. If I want your help, I’ll ask.
I thought the Maltese summers had prepared me for anything. They hadn’t. It took about 30 hours before I was longing back to that cool August weather in Malta.
Words can’t even describe how insanely hot and humid it’s been here the last 3 weeks. It’s not even enjoyable. I’d say “come down and experience it first-hand”, but I don’t wish that upon my worst enemy.
My great plan of wearing each t-shirt at least twice before doing laundry failed spectacularly. I had to re-stock my t-shirts on day three already. The long-sleeved shirt and the hoodie I brought for some reason? Threw them out that same day.
The temperature has been around 35 degrees with a solid humidity of 85-90% every single day. Don’t come to Mexico in July. Just don’t. It’s not worth it.
The seaweed season
The beaches here are lovely. White sandy stretches are flanked by azure blue water and green palm trees. It’s like a postcard. If the postcard was sent from a dumpster perhaps. Turns out that this time of the year is seaweed season. And boy is it in fashion.
It looks like nature took a dump all over the place. And the smell, oh my god the smell. It’s like my t-shirt on day 2 of no laundry. Some hotels and beach resorts do a tremendous job cleaning it up and making the beaches accessible, but some places are beyond hope. Playa del Carmen was one of those places. It’s absolutely disgusting, and something to think about if you’re planning to come here in summer (which is low-season in Mexico).
The speed bumps
How many god damn speed bumps can you possibly need? Sometimes there’s two within 10 metres. Like you even have time to accelerate after the first one anyway. Because the speed bumps here are not the kind you’re used to, you know the long-ish bump you can gently cruise over if you just slow down a fair bit.
No, the Mexican speed bump is designed to ruin your car unless you do a full stop. Even on a road with a speed limit of 70 km/h will have the spawns of Satan along the way. And they come so often. Accelerate – full stop. Accelerate – full stop. Fuck off.
My favourites are the ones that aren’t indicated. You’re just cruising down the street minding your own biz’, then BOOM! Hit the brakes or be indebted for life to the car rental agency. Great system guys, keep up the good work.
Other than it’s been aight though. 7/10, would visit again.
Me, after a long day in the sun, when I finally see a good toilet.