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Sunday, August 10, 2008

I have just returned from a week in Mexico City, Mexico. I have to say, I had a better time than I thought I would. Although I was there on business, I did enjoy seeing the impressive Museo Nacional de Antropologia and a bit of Palanco, a district within the city. The Mexicans are very gracious and I always felt welcomed, everywhere I visited. They never made me feel bad for not speaking the language. Unlike my experiences with the French or, for that matter, the English. They just don't speak "mer'ican" over there.

Mexico City is the second largest city in the world (by population, 23 million), and as you would expect in a third-world economy, it has its share of poverty. Having stayed in Palanco, it was only on my ride to the airport on Saturday morning that I was exposed to a bit of the squalor. Prostitution, homelessness, under nourished children. Hey, not unlike some areas here. In fact, it has become evident to me that the type of poverty you would expect to see in Mexico or any poor country, is the same poverty you could find in the United States. Not the same scale, mind you, but certainly the same degree.

And so, being the enlightened Westerner that I am, I contributed some extra to Mexico's struggling economy. At the airport I tipped my young shoe-shiner an extra 30 pesos and hopped on my airbus to the states, conscience freshly polished.

I'll speak for myself here: I do not do enough for the needy, here or abroad. And I'll bet you 100 pesos (10 US bucks), that for what you have, you don't either.


Rick said...

Much the same observation in San Juan when I'm down there - lovely place, lots of people and money, and lots of poverty that's become part of the decor. It was probably cooler there for you than Columbia would've been (good cool temps now, though).

George said...

31 pesos would have made you seem superior, while 29 pesos would have made you seem cheap. You tipped wisely.

Glad your trip went well.

Todd said...

Nubs, this is my major "soapbox" issue. How spoiled and selfish we are in America. On a mission trip to Mexico, I played soccer with 15 kids who all lived together in a home the size of my master bedroom. They had no idea they were poor. Thank you for sounding your voice as well. I came home only with the clothes on my back from that trip. I even gave away my suitcase. I still don't do enough.