You guessed it.. Everything around here costs money.
Decided it was about time to write a little about some of my experience of Mexico so far. Im still in Cuernavaca, not far from Mexico city only an hours drive away.
Funny things i´ve noticed so far. Actually noticed these same things the last time i was here September last year, and that is “Everything costs money around here“.. Everything. It´s not a bad thing, it´s actually not alot of money you have to cough up for small things around here but thats exactly it! You do pay for small things, and you pay for the strangest things. And that striked me as odd in the beginning of my Mexico travels, and as a backpacker (thats clinging on to its money) kind of pissed me off a little bit to. Until i got to know the reasons behind it.
You see, around here they have jobs for everything. Im not talking about the normal 9 to 5 jobs. Not the supermarket, daycare for kids not the typical jobs we have everywhere. Here, in Mexico and Central America, you dont get paid from the goverment if you are without a job. You dont get any kind of money from your state while you are seeking a job. There is actually no support social system that is working here for the people that are standing without jobs.. Nothing!.. You dont have a job and you´ve got kids!! thats to bad, you are on your own.
Which brings me to all the “jobs” around here.
This guy works on the corner of where the superama supermarket is.. (dont remember the street name)
You might notice he is not young! this is a “pretty” picture of few of the jobs that people are doing around here to survive. This old fella, comes dancing around your car, while you are waiting for the green light to switch on, right to Superama, the supermarket.. Have to hand it to him, a good strategy, people are coming out of the market, with they´re car filled with food and they drive by this old guy, that does´nt have the greatest singing voice in the world, and frankly does´nt know how to play this flute he is holding , but you feel sorry for him, so you give him 5 pesos.. Awww.. What the heck, i took a picture of the poor guy, and he is old.. I´ll give him 10 pesos.. Thats nothing, thats like not even a whole dollar..
But before you drive by this guy, before you leave the supermarkets parking lot you almost cant, with good conscious, leave that parking lot without paying the guy that steers you “safely” out of the parking lot 5 pesos.. Or if he looks old and should´nt be working then 10 pesos, because after all thats nothing comparing to where i come from and the US dollar!.. And, besides he needs the money more then i do. “I can afford it”!.
You pass this old guy on your way home and then you keep driving, until the next light. There you have all from young street kids, to elderly people almost attacking your windshield with cleaning liquids, before you can say anything to stop anybody, your already clean windshield, is all (not so) clean again. And what happens, well, although you tried your best by waving your hands frantically, forming the words clearly “NO THANK YOU”.. Now, you have to pay.. Why! because they´ve already spent work on it.. Plus they need the money more then you, and after all its only.. Well, you know the drill by now.
On your way home, from the supermarket and all these lights you stop at a gas station because you need gas on your car. You ask for whatever gas you might need, again your windshield is being attacked. And you have to.. Well, dont have to but you are asked for tips, and its just plain rude not to. Thats how it goes, and there are more lights to cross on the way home, people have to make earnings.
Scary thing i saw the other day, maybe he was a drug addict, maybe that guy was starving, i frankly dont know, but in the middle of the traffic he laid himself down on shattered glass to try and get money from people, by “preforming”.. Would have been an cool act if he was´nt all scars on his back after that performances..
Anyways, on my way home yesterday a man followed me all the way from the store to the car, holding an umbrella over my head because it was raining, waiting for me to give him money for the service. Which i repeatedly said “no thank you” to, all the way to the car. Of course, i could give him a little 5 pesos.. thats all. And so i did, feeling pressured to do it.
All im saying, a one day here in giving people, tips, money for work that you are not asking for, that you dont need, that normally under no circumstances would ever be called or considered as a “job” in Europe, for example, well. It can easily end up in you spending some money you actually as a backpacker cant afford, but then again, if you dont help, then who will!!!.
And amazingly i´ve seen it worse. I know it is worse all over the world and kids are working from the age of 4. Guatemala had alot of those examples when i was traveling through there.
This is just supposed to be a little eye opener, a lille reminder of how good our lives are, where for us that come from countrys where we have a support system that actually works. We might not get alot of money from our state when we are standing without jobs, but we do get enough to get by. But people get greedy and forget to be thankful, things cost more and they “need” more. Instead of counting our lucky stars. It´s not all that bad in Europe.
Buenas noches out there