5 Things I Totally Hate About Mexico

by gigigriffis

Okay, so they’re not quite this big. (Photo credit: Robert Dalton.)

So I spend a lot of time on this blog mulling over lessons I’m learning, feeling grateful about the life I lead, and sharing the highlights of travel with you. But this whole full-time travel thing isn’t all cream puffs. Sometimes, as you know, things go horribly wrong. Other times, places just aren’t as enchanting as you wish they were (I’m looking at you, Barcelona). And still other times, you find yourself in a place that you really like…but there are a few things you wish were different.

I guess it’s like relationships. You have to decide if the flaws of your place are something you can live with or not.

In the case of Mexico, I’m glad I gave it a second chance. I’m glad to be here now. I’m happy for the zip line adventures and the warm, sunny days, and the cheap tacos. But there are a few things that I could definitely do without. Like the yucky fungus Luna got as the summer season started. Or things with stingers.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here are my five least favorite things about Mexico in reverse order:

5. Chichi (which sounds way too close to Gigi) is slang for boobs.

Yeah. Have a chuckle. Sometimes when I introduce myself, people think I’m saying “hi there, my name is ta-tas,” which is simultaneously weird, uncomfortable, hilarious, and appropriate.

4. Scorpions.

Luckily, only two scorpions have decided to attempt to live in my house and neither of them stung Luna nor myself. Nonetheless, they’re not my favorite feature of the Mexican landscape.

3. Fleas.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a flea before. We didn’t really have them at Denver’s elevation and while I checked Luna throughout Europe, I never saw a bite or a bug. I prefer not treating Luna with crazy chemical poisons (which is what flea prevention meds are) unless it is necessary, and in Mexico it’s most definitely necessary. Even though I immediately treated Luna for fleas, I keep finding rogue bugs on both me (eww) and her (also, eww). Apparently they die when they bite her (that’s how the meds work), which is why I only see one very occasionally. But still, gross.

2. Cockroaches.

Worst. Bug. Ever. And they really, really like living in my house. No matter how often I pay the lovely woman down the street to scrub it from floor to ceiling.

1. Cockfighting.

As you’ve probably guessed, this one is a deal breaker. Not only do the people here think it’s okay to strap razorblades to the feet of starving, neglected roosters and cheer as they fight to the death, but there’s a massive gambling problem centered around the practice. People bet their homes, their cars, their livelihoods on these matches. On the gruesome death of a tortured and starving animal.

And this isn’t just an isolated problem. It’s everywhere. There were cages of roosters at the zip line course. My neighbor’s property is teeming with them. And when there’s a match, everyone goes out to watch.

Oh, Mexico. I both like you and dislike you. Everything else I can put up with, but cockfighting combined with mass gambling addiction? Yikes.

Ever visited a place that you simultaneously liked and disliked? And/or does your name mean or sound like something totally inappropriate?
Discuss.

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11 comments

Dalene June 17, 2013 - 7:22 am

Your numbers 2, 3 and 4 are reasons why I could never live in such a place permanently. I hate bugs. I hate being surprised by bugs. I hate being surprised in general so I suppose it’s not the bug’s fault that they are usually surprising me, but they do.

I’m fine for visits and short stays, but the minute I start freaking out because I think a spot of dust on the floor is a bug coming to kill me – I’m outta there. :)

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gigigriffis June 17, 2013 - 9:13 am

Me too! I think my poor landlord had a nasty surprise herself, as I trapped a roach under a cup and forgot about it until I was on the plane. Oops.

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Rebecca June 17, 2013 - 10:50 am

Your reasons 1-4 are some of the reasons why I really hate those kinds of things. I used to live in New Mexico and yes we had scorpions as well but, I never saw one.

Now that I am on the east coast I have had to deal with fleas one time in my apartment. While I did have to get flea meds for my cats and try and get rid of them…pie tin, soapy water and a light above it will drown the fleas and get rid of them…just be sure to flush the soapy mix. There are also sand fleas as well yuck.
As for places I have visited yes there is the good with the bad but, I suppose that is true no matter where you are in the world.
Plus I personally hate spiders if they scare me, bite me or are known to be poisonous then they are normally toast.

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gigigriffis June 17, 2013 - 12:47 pm

Ugh, me too. Luckily, I didn’t run into too many spiders (my last night in Sayulita I found one in the bathroom and it scared the crap out of me, though, so I was really glad to be on the way out).

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Antonio Monroy June 17, 2013 - 1:29 pm

You should pronounce your name more like “yiyi” (like the first syllable in ‘year’) which is how we are used to read “Gigi” in México. That will save you from all bad thoughs.
(Chichi character from “Dragon Ball” is also called Milk in México for this very same reason)

It is true we have some nasty bugs living around here, the 6 or 7 cm cockroaches are specially ugly and difficult to kill (because they are fast, and their exoesqueleton makes them difficult to smash). But whenever I think in Australia, I stop worrying about them.

Finally I have lived my whole life in México city, and I have never been in a cock fighting. I am not even sure if there is any place to see cock fighting inside Mexico city. I have hear they are popular in “palenques”.
For me it is quite a surprise to learn how high can the bets become.
Lately there have been a rise in animal torture awareness here in México. Even the popular bull runs are being debated as cruel.

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gigigriffis June 17, 2013 - 1:40 pm

Oh, that’s wonderful to hear about the awareness rising!

One of the things I didn’t mention here that really bothered me was watching a circus come through town and blatantly mistreat animals. It was so sad.

And you’re right, as with many problems in many countries, cockfighting happens more outside the main city – though I understand you can find fights in the city, they’re just secretive, since it’s illegal inside city limits.

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lee June 17, 2013 - 7:07 pm

i really like your ‘real’ posts

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gigigriffis June 18, 2013 - 8:24 am

Haha, you mean the ones where I complain?

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stacy June 19, 2013 - 10:28 pm

Where are you going next!!!!

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gigigriffis June 19, 2013 - 10:51 pm

I’m heading to the states to visit friends in mid-July and August is currently up in the air – maybe Europe, maybe the US… :)

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Armando AL August 4, 2014 - 1:09 pm

Oh! Number 5 is horrible. I have always lived in Mexico, except for the last two years in which I was living in San Diego for studies. First in Acapulco, and then in Mexico City, and I’ve never seen cockfights. Any abuse to animals is supposed to be punishable by law. Hopefully those practices will fade as the time passes.

Yes, cockroaches are there all the time, it drives me crazy. In Mexico City they appear mostly due to food waste (the house of my parents in Acapulco has zero cockroaches, but I recently visited an apartment in MC and there were tons of them).

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