Reflections on Mexico City Trip

Looking back on our visit to Mexico City and the great time we had there has made me reflect on the expectations of the trip.

General: The main purpose of the trip was to visit our daughter Emma and her husband James. The trip was made greater by the addition of son Jim who came to Mexico City after visiting friends in California. When planning the trip we planned to visit some of the attractions that the city has to offer. As you know, we did visit the Anthropology museum and the Frida Kahlo/Diego Rivera museum/house and studio. Looking back, these were interesting but not the highlight. Having the family together and enjoying the vibe of the city and the great cuisine of Mexico were truly the highlights of the trip. When we embarked we were somewhat apprehensive of visiting Mexico. There had been some Americans kidnapped and killed at the border, the US State Department issued an advisory, and there are stories of drug cartels and violence in the media. Although there are, I am sure, sketchy areas in Mexico City (as there are in all large cities); I never did not feel safe in the areas we visited. I came away losing apprehension that I had for our daughter living there.

Politics: Before leaving I renewed my conviction to not discuss politics with anyone in a foreign country neither their politics nor American politics. I leave politics at the boarder and I feel that it not polite for a guest to discuss political figures or policies in a country that I am visiting. I am glad that I pretty much followed through with this position. We have a tremendous problem with drugs flowing across our border with Mexico. Interdicting those drugs, I have come to believe, is only part of the solution. I do not believe that managing supply alone can solve the problem. We need to do something about demand. I do not have so much as a suggestion as to how to approach this, it is well beyond me. But, I do not believe we can only blame Mexico alone.

Although I will not discuss politics, I do hear political comments. The Mexican people are fearful of visiting the US. We had a long conversation with the young owner of The Red Tree House. He does some business in the US. His family is concerned for his safety when visiting here. He is admonished to not go to malls and entertainment venues.

Another Americanism that I found interesting is that the Mexican people don’t like the fact that we refer to ourselves as “Americans”. After all, they are also part of the American continent, as are South Americans and Canadians. I did not hear a suggestion as to what we should call ourselves. I will have to think about that. In the meantime I believe that I may start saying that I am “from the US” and leave it at that.

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