Mexico, as seen from the north shore of Lake Chapala.. This ain’t literature, but may be interesting.

Friday, November 19, 2010
By Fred Reed
Men’s News Daily

I get a fair amount of mail asking what Mexico is really like, some of it worried about the drug wars. The wars exist, though so far with little effect on the expats here. I don’t downplay the narcotraficantes, especially along the frontier, in Sinaloa, and the Sierra Madre. Murders are creeping in around Lake Chapala, though not murders of expats. As long as Americans want drugs and Mommy Washington doesn’t want Americans to have them, the problem will probably continue.

The drawbacks of living next to a voracious drug market with a school-marmish government are manifold. The only hope for Mexico is that the cartels will divide up the territory and live amicably. Until then, things will be iffy here. The following I hope will give an idea of other aspects of Mexico.

It is important to understand that there are at least two distinct Mexicos. In the primitive areas, largely meaning the mountains and canyons to the north, you find dirt floors, outdoor plumbing, low literacy, lots of cuernos de chivo–”goat horns,” or AK 47s–and very real oppression of women. Don’t go there. The book to read to understand Mexico is God’s Middle Finger.

Then there is the Mexico of Guadalajara, for example, sophisticated, often lovely, run-down, with first-rate bookstores and restaurants and agreeable people. You can get mugged in Guad, but the likelihood is less by far than in Washington.

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