Friday, January 29, 2010

Guanajuato, Mexico -- Shoplifting in GTO

Ok...Ok...I have calmed down, just a little.

My last post dealt with my disdain over watching a group of Mexicans globing handfuls (more like hand over fist) of glazed, smoked turkey into their mouths at the Supermarket.

You must know that this is not an "isolated incident" and is not the first time my wife and I have seen this behavior. This is not a few Mexicans of the underclass stealing food. What I am saying is that anyone of any apparent social class can be seen helping themselves to the merchandise in the supermarket and eating while shopping.

It is as though this is absolutely acceptable behavior.

In the States we call this stealing, thievery, robbery, shoplifting.

In Mexico they call it...well, I do not know what they call it.

What I cannot figure out is why it is done so much across the socio-economic spectrum.

Years ago, before there were supermarkets in town, my wife would shop at the local markets. These are somewhat similar in structure to a "Farmer's Market." There would be (and still is) a huge warehouse-like building with food kiosks set up inside with almost anything imaginable, and then some, for sale.

She would get her vegetables and meat from these places.

She told me that it was all too often that the proprietor of the little kiosks would slice up something they were selling and let the customer try it out. The butchers (Carniceros) would cook up something and have it out on top of his counter for you to sample. The theory being that if you liked it maybe you would buy some raw meat to cook up and feed your family that night. Same thing goes for anything, really, within the market.

Whether it was meat, candy, fruit, vegetables, there was usually a sample offered to the customer to see if they liked it.

This try it first approach is pervasive. My wife taught English and the students were are always wanting to try it first and then if they liked the class they would begin paying.

This is insane to me but hey, I didn't invent the Mexican culture.


My wife has offered this as a possible explanation for why some Mexicans walk through the Supermarket and act like that they are in a help-yourself-to-all-the-free-food fair.

There is Spanish word that come to mind that sums it all up in my mind:



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