Most of what you've heard about Mexico is wrong, part II

Playa Panteon, Puerto AngelLast week, I needed to take a taxi out to the suburbs of Oaxaca City to play some tennis. The place where I'm staying is close to the main bus station, and that's a good place to catch a taxi.

When I got there, I asked the first taxi driver in line to take me to "Deportivo Brenamiel, Carretera Internacional". This turned out to be a problem, because I mis-pronounced both "Brenamiel" and "carretera". The driver understood me to say "deportivo internacional" which, for all I know, could be in Huatulco.

There was a group of three people waiting for a taxi, so I thought, I'll just let these people take this taxi, and I'll get the next one. However, a young woman in this group of three observed what was happening, and said "Deportivo Brenamiel" to the driver, with the proper pronunciation. (You have to roll the "r" in "Brenamiel", which is something we English speakers aren't very good at.) The driver said, "Oh, Deportivo BRENAMIEL". I got in the cab, and we were on our way.

However, for all I know, those three people had just gotten off a long bus ride, and would have liked to be on their way home. Instead, they gave up a chance to get in a taxi right away in order to help me out.

As was the case in previous incidents like this, documented on this blog, I thanked these people profusely, but my limited ability to speak Spanish is an obstacle to communication, so I've taken the trouble to write this as another way of expressing my gratitude.

Now, the former Senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum, said last week that President Obama should not have sent his daughter Malia to Oaxaca City. (No, I didn't cross paths with her group.) Here's a message especially for you, Rick: There's no need for you to ever go to Mexico. There are plenty of mental institutions in the United States that are capable of taking care of you.

Click here for more pictures I've taken along the way.


0 #1 Rochelle 2013-02-01 09:39
Bob, Bravo for showing the everyday kindness of Mexicans to visitors. But I would add two details. Travelers should maintain common-sense precautions as they would at home or anywhere. And the colorful charms of Oaxaca mask the oppression of the poor there by the dominant political class.

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