I'm in the same place for two nights for the first time in a week. So I have a little more time to write and check email and the like.
I'm always amazed how different things are in Mexico from what most Americans think things are like. Maybe things are worse up in border towns in the north. Or some of the nasty resorts. Or in the slums of Mexico City. But down south, in the Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Chiapas, Campeche, and Tabasco, everything is fine. Clean. Civilized.
The drivers here (I've done a lot of driving) are generally more polite and courteous than drivers in America. Actually the people here might be more polite and courteous than Americans, too.
When it comes to driving, there are some different rules, like using your turn signal to indicate what others should do (a car with the left blinker going means you should pass it. Unless of course it's turning left, but then it will pull over to right. Usually). But if you learn the rules, the driving here is easy and the roads fine (as long as you keep your eye out for topes, killer speed bumps).
Now yes, in the back roads of Chiapas, we did see a freshly butchered cow being sold on the side of the road. But who doesn't like fresh meat? And that's the country. There are still cowboys riding around.
You can even drink the water... at least in three cities. Maybe it's clean everywhere. I don't know. My rule is to ask a middle-class person. If people who can afford to buy bottled water say the tap water is fine, I'll drink it. There's no magical Mexican immunity from drinking dirty water. It's either clean or it's not.
With the recent flu problems, there is a great emphasis on hygiene. I wish I could say the same about New York City. Even many street food carts, and they're a lot of them, have hand-washing stations.
And Villahermosa, where I am now, had a horrible flood two years ago. Today everything seems find. I dare you to go to New Orleans and say the same about the flood five years ago.
I know people talk with their feet and you don't see too many Americans sneaking across the border to live here. It is poorer here. And people want a better life. I'm just saying it's not all bad here. And it's far less third-world than most Americans think.