Monday, June 23, 2008

When Gringos Attack

I thought I would write another article about a subject that's been near and dear to my heart since the wife and I moved to Central Mexico. We are here in the Colonial City of Guanajuato, where we've lived for more than five years and counting. It has been interesting to say the least. If you are one of my dear Hatemongering Readers who wants to kill me (not joking), then you know that I've written a lot about how Gringos act when they move to Mexico and pretend they are expatriates.

Why, why, why, you ask, do I keep writing about a subject that garners not just hate-filled comments, threats, but an occasional attempt (still not joking) to kill me?

Well…the reason is simple yet multifaceted.

No one writes about this issue. Other than a few really sad posts on Internet forums, you will not read about what life really is like as an American living in Mexico. In the top five or so books that are commercially available in this genre, you will not read even a hint as to what you can expect in your life as a Gringo living in the Gringolandias in Mexico.

And, let's face the truth for once, shall we? The vast majority of potential retirees move to the cities that have Gringo Enclaves, which the Mexicans call: GRINGOLANDIAS. No amount of denial, flustering and blustering, ranting and raving, threatening and vile profanities is going to change the truth. Nearly 100 % of the Gringos in Mexico live in cities that have very well developed Gringo infrastructures.

What you will read in the books and Ezines that want to attract you to Mexico so they can sell you an overpriced house are glowing reports and promises on how the local Mexicans will "Love You Here" and are "As Friendly and Honest as Christ Himself." They tell you that moving to Mexico is like walking onto the set of the old TV show "Fantasy Island." They promise there will be a "Fantasy Island Welcoming Party" just waiting for you since you've come to set the little brown people free from their third-world bondage.

By the way, before you begin plotting my death anew, the phrase "little brown people" came from the mouth of a Gringolandian in Guanajuato when she explained why the Gringolandians were raising money for their charity—to help these little brown people.

Trust me, you will not hear or read this in the move-to-Mexico literature on the market.

If you talk with the "I-Really-Would-Love-To-Kill-You-Doug" fans of mine (still not joking) in Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende, they would utter such superlatives as, "Doug Bower is very well known here and he's a big-fat liar." They engage in hyperbolic language like, "You are the most hated Gringo in all of Mexico." You would think that the collective lot of them could muster enough brain cells to come up with a testable hypothesis once in a while. But, may I just say that drug addiction and alcoholism, something for which they are widely known among the Mexicans who serve them (I know because I've talked with their servants), can cause mass hallucinations and delusions. So, there you go.

In recent days, I've run across others who have the courage to write about what they see and hear in the Gringolandias that have infected the Republic of Mexico. One thing I've reported besides the ill treatment of Mexicans by the Gringolandians is the actual physical assaulting of Mexicans by Gringos. The Canadians with whom I've spoken tell me they see this behavior performed more by Americans who think it Appropriate Pro-Social Behavior to attack someone with a right cross rather than discuss the problem with people of other nationalities. Once when I was sitting in San Miguel de Allende, I saw a Gringa roll up a newspaper and hit a beggar who asked for a peso. She treated him as though he were a mangy cur to be shooed away.

In Barry Golson's book, Gringos in Paradise, he recounts a story told to him by a Mexican woman about a church service that took place one morning. Apparently a Gringa, who lived next door to the church, had grown tired of the noise that is inevitable when two or more Mexicans congregate for any reason, and decided it was Appropriate Pro-Social Behavior to take her water hose and hose down the congregants of this church as they fellowshipped in the church's courtyard. Granted, the Noise Factor is something that the American Gringo often fails to take into consideration when making the decision to move to Mexico. However, this woman attacked an entire group of Mexicans with her water hose as the solution. Another incident reported by Golson was when some Gringo walked into a bar and unplugged the jukebox because he thought it excessively loud.

In Puerto Vallarta, there is a renowned woman who, every time she thinks the Mexicans and their animals are too loud, blasts the cosmos with one of those fog horns that come in a can of highly-compressed air that you can buy as to use on your boat. I actually met this woman.

Another woman in Vallarta, who chose as an act of her own free will to live next door to a bar, would throw things, like marbles, at the bar patrons when the noise got too loud. As a result, she nearly lost her life while walking home in one early evening because some Mexicans decided to give her a beating.

An academic related to us stories she was told by Mexican locals in a certain Mexican town about seeing Gringos slapping cab drivers.

Sheila Croucher, a professor of political science at Miami University in Ohio, and author of "Globalization and Belonging: The Politics of Identity in a Changing World," made these observations about San Miguel de Allende:

1. San Miguel de Allende attracts one of the largest foreign populations in Mexico.

2. Most do not learn the local language and reside and socialize within an isolated cultural enclave. These immigrants practice their own cultural traditions and celebrate their national holidays. Grocery stores are stocked with locally-unfamiliar products that hail from their homeland.

3. American professionals largely work illegally in San Miguel and pay no taxes.

4. They typically do not pay their servants the Social Security taxes required by law.

5. The illegal businesses run by the American gringo community rips off the local San Miguel de Allende government in excess of more than four million pesos a year in unpaid taxes.

6. Some Americans are actually illegal aliens and do not bother with proper documentation.

7. Some are even involved in the Illegal Drug Trade and take drugs across the different Mexican state lines.

And, this pretty picture of Gringolandia is never addressed by its inhabitants. They have not yet, in the five years I've been writing about this answered the tenets of argument. I wonder how they will respond to the others who are making the same observations as I have made. They will attack you personally. They will call you names. And, some of them will threaten you. You've got to take these crazies seriously. They have the motive and the monetary means to have you assaulted.

Ad Hominem, Beg the Question, and Red Herrings and any other fallacies you can think of are the only arguments you will get out of them. Not one, count them, zero, has tried offering a reasonably constructed counterargument.

I have to add this: Almost all of the expat literature that exists paints a picture of Mexicans as the most lovingly honest and patient people on the face of the earth…that Fantasy Island Welcoming Party. One woman in San Miguel de Allende wrote that you won't find sinful things there since "this is a Catholic country."

Patient? These Gringos evidently have never ridden in a car with a Mexican driver or stood on a street when the slightest lull in traffic causes drivers to have to halt their forward motion. The way they lay on horns and drive on sidewalks, you would swear the possibility of a traffic jam was not included in the Mexican Driver's Handbook.

Honest? Today we got into a cab. When the driver learned where we lived, he kicked us out of the cab claiming there would too much traffic in that neighborhood. I didn't even flinch or offer a protest. We got of the cab. It would have done no good to resist. We hailed another cab and told the cab driver where we lived. His response was, "OK." No protests, no mention that the traffic was too heavy in our neighborhood. We told him what the other cab driver said. He said to call the cab company and complain because the first cabbie was telling us a lie. And, it was obvious we were told an outright lie because the traffic in our neighborhood was even lighter than usual!

I've lost track of how many Gringos stupidly hand over large sums of money to Mexicans for loans or building projects, only to have the Mexican disappear into oblivion with the Gringo's money, never to be seen again! The Gringos don't ask for a receipt for the money nor do they ask for the person's name, telephone number, or address. They just hand over money to people they don't know and may never have even seen before. Do Gringos behave this way in the USA? I don't think so!

Click Here For My Print and eBooks

No comments: