Friday, September 7, 2012

It's Dangerous Over There

Before I left San Diego, California for Tijuana, Mexico, a San Diegan friend warned me: "Be careful, David. It's dangerous in Mexico."
I smiled at him.
"No, I'm serious, David. Be careful. Mexico isn't safe. Trust me, I know."
This is a friend who has spent a total of one weekend of his life in the Republic of Mexico, in a resort hotel in Puerto Vallarta.

* * * *

As I was on my way to the Tijuana International Airport, the taxi driver asked where I was headed. "Mexico City?" he said, incredulous. "Man, you better watch your back there. Mexico City is a dangerous place. Lots of crime."

* * * *

I had coffee with a friend in Mexico City. When she heard I was headed to Oaxaca, southern Mexico, she told me a few anecdotes from friends who ran into some trouble. "Don't travel at night, and be on your guard," she warned me. "Oaxaca isn't safe like Mexico City."

* * * *

Once I reached Chiapas, at the southern tip of Mexico, multiple locals warned me about crossing the border into Guatemala. "Things are really violent in Guatemala," they told me. "Don't go out at night, don't talk to anybody, stick to the tourist areas. And don't even think about going into Guatemala City, the capitol. That country is very dangerous."

* * * *

I'm leaving for Nicaragua tomorrow. The bus will cross through El Salvador. Some Guatemalan friends have told me, "El Salvador is dangerous. Be careful, David."

* * * *

I can only imagine that this pattern would continue, ad infinitum, if I were to continue traveling southward. Nicaraguans would warn me about Costa Rica, Costa Ricans would warn me about Panama, and so on and so forth, until I reached the tip of Patagonia, where the Chilean locals would warn me:

"Don't even think about crossing over into Antarctica. The penguins will rob you and stab you."

1 comment:

  1. On the bright side, once you pass through the south pole, shit starts to get WAY safer.