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Cultural Differences in S. America vs N. America

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Cultural Differences in S. America vs N. America

Old 03-08-18, 04:53 PM
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Cultural Differences in S. America vs N. America

Hi,

so I'm in Mexico City right now, taking a break from touring. I rode around Colombia for a month then flew to Panama and rode North to Mexico. My overall experience with the people has been pretty negative, to be honest and I'm wondering if it would be any different were I to return to South America and do a longer tour there. I'm not intending to be inflammatory with this post, this has just been my experience.

In Colombia I found the country to be very beautiful and while there wasn't really much, if any, public land anywhere the hotels were everywhere and cheap and generally pretty decent. I'm pretty big and I'd like to think my appearance conveys a willingness to defend myself so while I did see MANY seedy people eyeballing my wallet and bicycle or questioning me obviously trying to feel me out, nobody was actually stupid enough to try anything. I didn't appreciate the looks, though. I also found it annoying how people, mostly men, would stare incessantly at me and often say or shout something once I had passed. A LOT of dogs chased me as virtually none are well trained and they all seem to think they own the road. Each time I stopped my bike to stare them down and in all but one case that worked and the dogs backed off. One incident outside of Medellin had me wondering if I would get out of the confrontation without any chunks missing from my body. The dog would NOT let me get away. Every time I tried to move it would lunge so I got ready to hit it and it would back off. Fortunately by brandishing an empty pop bottle (I know, pretty funny) I scared it enough to get some distance while the dog spazzed out on some other nearby dogs; not fun.

Those experiences were more or less the same in all the countries I've been to. Some had fewer dangerous dogs and worse roads or more people shouting/laughing at me or generally being "pendejos" but overall my experiences with the people have been the low point of the trip. I actually stopped learning more Spanish as I'm so annoyed with the people here I'm not interested in spending more money/effort on communicating with them.

I'm sure most people have slightly better experiences as my unusual height seems to be an invitation to many to be disrespectful (until I turn around and call them on it, then they couldn't be nicer) but I have also heard similar things from even normal folks.

What I'm wondering is if I were to return to Bogota or Quito and ride through Ecuador, Peru Chile and Argentina and perhaps Bolivia and Brasil also, would my experiences be the same or no?

I haven't done a lot of research on touring in those countries apart from reading a handful of travelogues and watching videos on YouTube none of which are very good indicators as people tend to gloss over/not film the negative stuff. I suspect things would be more peaceful in certain places in Peru and Chile as I get the impression that they are not as densely populated (?) Probably the same is true for much of Argentina.

Would things be any different on the dirt road/singletrack routes? I was surprised when I took a gnarly backroad route in Costa Rica that locals would sneer at me and not reply when I waved or said "Buenas tardes". Usually I find people in the country to be more friendly than city folks.

I dunno...am I just doomed because of my size to be hassled by everyone when I tour or what? Seems that way.
Maybe I should just tour England, there even the dogs just mind their own business, haha.
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Old 03-08-18, 05:01 PM
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Maybe you’d be more at home in the Netherlands.

Dutch men revealed as world's tallest - BBC News
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Old 03-08-18, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Maybe you’d be more at home in the Netherlands.

Dutch men revealed as world's tallest - BBC News
Yes, I am headed to the UK in April and from there I will take a ferry to Mainland Europe, definitely looking forward to their excellent cycling infrastructure Might not want to leave!
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Old 03-08-18, 07:59 PM
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I've toured in a bunch of countries in Latin America, visited several others, and have had overwhelmingly positive experiences. Colombia has a sterling reputation among touring cyclists. I found the people in Colombia and Mexico to be exceedingly friendly.
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Old 03-08-18, 08:11 PM
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Your initial post doesn't mention it, but did you bother to have a conversation with anyone in those countries? I'm taller that most of the folks down there, and Caucasian, so I also stick out and got a lot of looks while traveling through Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. When I started having conversations with most (especially in the Andes and over a few beers), most of the folks were just curious; where I came from, why a white guy was traveling in their country, what I did at home, etc. Just seemed like pure curiosity to me.

The worst time I had in South America was in Argentina. Its probably the most 'white' country down there, and they think of themselves as socially 'above' the other countries. By contrast, the Bolivians out away from LaPaz were quite friendly and curious, and were honored to have me as a guest in their country.
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Old 03-08-18, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
Your initial post doesn't mention it, but did you bother to have a conversation with anyone in those countries? I'm taller that most of the folks down there, and Caucasian, so I also stick out and got a lot of looks while traveling through Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. When I started having conversations with most (especially in the Andes and over a few beers), most of the folks were just curious; where I came from, why a white guy was traveling in their country, what I did at home, etc. Just seemed like pure curiosity to me.

The worst time I had in South America was in Argentina. Its probably the most 'white' country down there, and they think of themselves as socially 'above' the other countries. By contrast, the Bolivians out away from LaPaz were quite friendly and curious, and were honored to have me as a guest in their country.
Yes, I've talked with many people along the way. I've met some really nice people to be sure, I especially liked the Atlantic Coast of Colombia for that but the bad apples tend to drag it all down for me.

I usually find after a long day of loud horns and road noise, barking dogs and people shouting at me I don't feel too social though so the conversations have been getting rarer.

I'm surprised and disappointed about your experiences in Argentina but I guess it shouldn't be such a surprise considering who immigrated there in the late 40s and 50s, I'm sure many did not keep closed mouthed when it came to opinions on race.

I'm happy to hear about your impressions of Bolivia though, I've wanted to ride that Bolivian Death Road since seeing it on Top Gear a while back looks beautiful and probably some good cornering to be had too.
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Old 03-09-18, 01:18 AM
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Aren't they all r@pists and drug dealers in S America, or was that just Central America?

And most of Africa is a sh!thole?
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Old 03-09-18, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by bikebasket View Post
naughty stuff!
can't be all bad......they have bandoneons!

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Old 03-09-18, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bikebasket View Post
Aren't they all r@pists and drug dealers in S America, or was that just Central America?

And most of Africa is a sh!thole?
Can we keep the politics out of our discussions, please?
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Old 03-09-18, 09:11 AM
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To the OP: as a gringo who spends 5~6 months a year in Mexico, i read your post as sort of having a chip on your shoulder and applying your ethno-centric perceptions to another culture rather than trying to understand and accept it. I may be wrong as I wasn’t there. I’ve found people throughout Latin America to be very warm, hospitable and very willing to help others when they need. I have made many local friends in my years here.

I experienced somewhat the same thing many years ago in Mexico when I was involved in an suto accident where my car was totaled. The authorities asked for huge amounts of paperwork from me: passport, visa, registration, insurance docs and title to my car. I replied to the Ministero Público that in the United States we don’t carry the title with us in our cars. He replied to me in Spanish: “Señor, you’re not in the United States”. That one sentence really drove home the lesson about accepting ‘what is’ in another culture.
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Old 03-09-18, 11:05 AM
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To be fair, spending 5-6 months a year somewhere may have given you the more in depth feel for subtle social cues the occasional tourist may not possess.

I don't know anything about S.A. but have experienced a certain standoffishness in, of all places, the Canadian Prairies. People will say how warm and friendly locals are supposed to be there but my experience touring was more often than not feeling very much like an outsider in smaller rural towns with few people willing to engage in conversation and some being quite cold or rude. But.. I understand the dynamics of how and why that was because it is still my own culture to a large degree.

perhaps the OP is just trying to understand a different cultural experience.
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Old 03-09-18, 03:05 PM
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I'm glad you brought this up because in reading some of your posts here recently I've been struck by how completely opposite our experiences have been. I'm currently in Quito after riding south from Washington state and have visited every country along the way except Belize.

I have had just about nothing but wonderful experiences with the people in every country. I've found them to be warm, friendly, welcoming, generous, helpful, and kind. I've met incredible people everywhere, in the countryside, in the cities, and in every country. Of course not everyone is friendly, but that's true anywhere. On the whole, the people have been fantastic. I found Panamanians and Ecuadorians to be less openly friendly, less likely to say hi as you ride by as Colombians, for example, but they've been as wonderful as anyone else when speaking to them one on one.

In addition, very rarely have I felt like someone was sizing me up or scoping out my bike and gear with bad intentions. Lots of people are curious about a gringo on a bicycle, and lots of cyclists are curious about the bike specifically, but very rarely have I felt that there were bad intentions. There have definitely been times where I felt there was more than just normal curiosity, but they have been so few and far between that they are completely drowned out by the amount of positive interactions I have with people.

Even our experience with dogs has been different. I just haven't had many problems at all. I can remember three times in this trip that I felt a bit threatened by dogs, but usually they just want to protect their area by making sure I leave.

I have also been surprised at your inability to find a suitable tire. Most large and medium sized cities that I have been through have good bike shops with a selection of 700c and 29" tires. You might not be able to find exactly what you want, but I've always been able to find something that would work on my bike.

It's honestly been really surprising to me to read about how rough your trip has been. It sucks to read it because you're obviously having a tough time, and I really don't know what the difference is between your experience and mine. I'm sorry I don't have any advice to give, but I hope you figure it out and can enjoy your future miles more than these recent ones.
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Old 03-09-18, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by DanBell View Post
I'm glad you brought this up because in reading some of your posts here recently I've been struck by how completely opposite our experiences have been. I'm currently in Quito after riding south from Washington state and have visited every country along the way except Belize.

I have had just about nothing but wonderful experiences with the people in every country. I've found them to be warm, friendly, welcoming, generous, helpful, and kind. I've met incredible people everywhere, in the countryside, in the cities, and in every country. Of course not everyone is friendly, but that's true anywhere. On the whole, the people have been fantastic. I found Panamanians and Ecuadorians to be less openly friendly, less likely to say hi as you ride by as Colombians, for example, but they've been as wonderful as anyone else when speaking to them one on one.

In addition, very rarely have I felt like someone was sizing me up or scoping out my bike and gear with bad intentions. Lots of people are curious about a gringo on a bicycle, and lots of cyclists are curious about the bike specifically, but very rarely have I felt that there were bad intentions. There have definitely been times where I felt there was more than just normal curiosity, but they have been so few and far between that they are completely drowned out by the amount of positive interactions I have with people.

Even our experience with dogs has been different. I just haven't had many problems at all. I can remember three times in this trip that I felt a bit threatened by dogs, but usually they just want to protect their area by making sure I leave.

I have also been surprised at your inability to find a suitable tire. Most large and medium sized cities that I have been through have good bike shops with a selection of 700c and 29" tires. You might not be able to find exactly what you want, but I've always been able to find something that would work on my bike.

It's honestly been really surprising to me to read about how rough your trip has been. It sucks to read it because you're obviously having a tough time, and I really don't know what the difference is between your experience and mine. I'm sorry I don't have any advice to give, but I hope you figure it out and can enjoy your future miles more than these recent ones.
Haha I'm absolutely amazed at your experiences too! Maybe it;s just my appearance, even for a touring cyclist I stick out so I guess maybe that piques a dog's interest and they are more inclined to chase I don't know.

I was able to find a 40-622 Kenda tire kind of like a poor man's Marathon and I found a similar slick tire in another shop but I'm looking for 50-622 the maximum tire size (as stated by the manufacturer) the bike can have and yeah...nada. Probably going to order from a German place Marathon Almotions. Even today I went to a bunch of shops and it's "nope, not possible to order you tires or a casette or chainwheels etc. Did luck out and get a rear derailleur cable though finally, what a relief! Been running with a AAA battery jammed in the derailleur as a kind of single speed.

Next month ought to be better, heading to England again where things are much more civilized.
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Old 03-09-18, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Davet View Post
To the OP: as a gringo who spends 5~6 months a year in Mexico, i read your post as sort of having a chip on your shoulder and applying your ethno-centric perceptions to another culture rather than trying to understand and accept it. I may be wrong as I wasn’t there. I’ve found people throughout Latin America to be very warm, hospitable and very willing to help others when they need. I have made many local friends in my years here.

I experienced somewhat the same thing many years ago in Mexico when I was involved in an suto accident where my car was totaled. The authorities asked for huge amounts of paperwork from me: passport, visa, registration, insurance docs and title to my car. I replied to the Ministero Público that in the United States we don’t carry the title with us in our cars. He replied to me in Spanish: “Señor, you’re not in the United States”. That one sentence really drove home the lesson about accepting ‘what is’ in another culture.
You're right, I definitely view this place and compare it to Canada and unapologetically so, my country is quite simply better. I had a man sneeze snot all over my arm while walking through a market a few weeks ago, not even exaggerating, it got soaked, and he didn't even apologize, that's just one of many cases of people's complete lack of regard for spreading harmful bacteria/viruses. I've had a cold here twice in the 4 months or whatever it's been and I never get sick ordinarily so yeah, I judge people here.

I can understand having to adhere to legal procedures and such but I think if one were to consider objectively how things are here vs how they are in Canada and the USA you would have to concede in many significant ways that Canada and the USA are much better. And I'm not talking about things that require money to fix either. Looking before walking into a street, for example, pretty basic stuff; people generally don't do it here and often while I'm trying to avoid one smart phone zombie I'm being pushed into another or having to choose between plowing into a person and cutting off a taxi and possibly getting run over. There's really no excuse for that. If that's cultural, and I suppose it is, I really don't have qualms about decrying it. Even a lifelong Mexican's going to be pissed off when someone forces him off the road or into a car etc. I'm happy for you if your experiences have been more positive here but even you have to admit there's a lot that needs to change and before that happens it's annoying at best.

At any rate, the point of this thread is not to argue about whether the things I find objectionable are justified it's to find out if things are the same in the countries I didn't visit because if they are, I'm DEFINITELY not going to visit them in the future.

No offense intended, just a contentious opinion.
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Old 03-09-18, 05:43 PM
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My opinion is that Canada and the US aren’t better than Latin America, they’re different. I’ve travelled by car, bike, plane and boat over a large portion of this globe. I learned many years ago not to compare one culture to another in terms of better than/worse than, just different. I’ve learned many valuable things from traveling and touring. While some things I don’t care for, other things have made my life richer. Probably the the most important is the extremely strong connections within families and the way other cultures are interested in the welfare of their societies as a whole. If the society is successful as a whole, everyone benefits.

Your biases are showing.
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Old 03-09-18, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by TallTourist View Post
I was able to find a 40-622 Kenda tire kind of like a poor man's Marathon and I found a similar slick tire in another shop but I'm looking for 50-622 the maximum tire size (as stated by the manufacturer) the bike can have and yeah...nada. Probably going to order from a German place Marathon Almotions. Even today I went to a bunch of shops and it's "nope, not possible to order you tires or a casette or chainwheels etc. Did luck out and get a rear derailleur cable though finally, what a relief! Been running with a AAA battery jammed in the derailleur as a kind of single speed.
Are you looking at 29" tires as well? 29x2.0 is the same as 622x50. That's what I'm currently using and while you more commonly see 29x2.1 or 2.2, I see a lot of 2.0 as well.

I'm finding it hard to believe you can't find what you need in Mexico City but whatever. I just wanted to add that my experience has been completely different from yours and overwhelmingly positive. I hope you find a place where you can cycle happily.
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Old 03-09-18, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by DanBell View Post
Are you looking at 29" tires as well? 29x2.0 is the same as 622x50. That's what I'm currently using and while you more commonly see 29x2.1 or 2.2, I see a lot of 2.0 as well.

I'm finding it hard to believe you can't find what you need in Mexico City but whatever. I just wanted to add that my experience has been completely different from yours and overwhelmingly positive. I hope you find a place where you can cycle happily.
Yes, I found a 55-622 which I think equates to 29x2.1 but it was too big by like 3 mm! It's ok though, assuming it all actually gets here safely I'll have Marathon almotions in 50-622 soon and I ordered some Stan's tire sealant and rim tape etc so that'll be nice.

Despite all my complaining I still often have a smile on my face I just hoped for more, I suppose.
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Old 03-09-18, 07:35 PM
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Couple of real-life observations... Chile is an excellent place to tour. Very friendly people, high on the worldwide 'freedom index' (higher than the US). They tend to drive smaller cars than we do in the US, and they seem to drive slower. We were not honked at once, and only had a few minor run in's with dogs.

Have toured a lot in the western US (AZ, OR, CA, UT, CO) and the size and speed of cars and trucks, combined with narrow to no shoulders, make road touring simi-unpleasant. Off road is excellent, but we have mixed feelings about road tours moving forward. The worst 2 road rage incidents ever happened in 'bike freindly' OR. near K Falls... Hot day, but wow... mean spirited and won't be returning there.

We hosted a couple from the UK (Warm Showers) and they liked Columbia the best out of all the S.A. countries they toured thru. I would not go near Mexico anytime soon due to the drug violence, etc. Why tempt fate...
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Old 03-09-18, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by TallTourist View Post
You're right, I definitely view this place and compare it to Canada and unapologetically so, my country is quite simply better.
Meh, last time I was in your country I had a drunk guy spill half his beer all over my arm at about 1130am before a Soo Greyhounds game, and proceed to start crap over what he presumed was me being responsible. I don't really let that shape my opinion of Canadians, though.

Travel is not for everyone. If you are in a foreign land with the opinion you are better than them, you're always going to be the outsider who doesn't get it. I experience it regularly with compatriot Americans, I'm honestly sad to see it creeping into Canadians.

I would suggest if those are your true opinions, cancel your Europe trip and spend some time in the scenic Canadian Rockies. The attitude isn't going to fly any better in Europe.
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Old 03-09-18, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DanBell View Post
I'm finding it hard to believe you can't find what you need in Mexico City but whatever. I just wanted to add that my experience has been completely different from yours and overwhelmingly positive. I hope you find a place where you can cycle happily.
This guy complained about Tubus racks (garbage because they rust if left out in the rain) and Ortlieb panniers (sick of them because they're waterproof). He bought a new bike in 09/17, and by 01/18 was considering replacement. Two weeks later he's discussing a third bike to be his "sole bike".

Some folks are hard to please. I wonder why OP tours at all since he's unhappy with racks/bags/bikes/people.
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Old 03-10-18, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Meh, last time I was in your country I had a drunk guy spill half his beer all over my arm at about 1130am before a Soo Greyhounds game, and proceed to start crap over what he presumed was me being responsible. I don't really let that shape my opinion of Canadians, though.

Travel is not for everyone. If you are in a foreign land with the opinion you are better than them, you're always going to be the outsider who doesn't get it. I experience it regularly with compatriot Americans, I'm honestly sad to see it creeping into Canadians.

I would suggest if those are your true opinions, cancel your Europe trip and spend some time in the scenic Canadian Rockies. The attitude isn't going to fly any better in Europe.
Yeah, Canada's definitely got no shortage of arseholes, no arguments there. When I say Canada is better I mean:
There are serious consequences for reckless driving
Canadians generally use turn signals to indicate their intentions which makes everyone get where they are going faster and with less stress
We have better roads and don't put speed bumps in the middle of our highways.
We don't have massive corruption (we have corruption but it's much less serious)

I'm sure many Mexicans would agree with me on these points. And it's not because of a lack of money. There is a lot of money in this country and in many Latin American countries but apparently it's not going toward improving any of the things I've mentioned (corruption excepted). Some of the locals I've talked to have said gov't officials just get involved in politics to improve their own financial situation and basically steal all that they can.

I recognise a lot of people will find my comments/opinions objectionable perhaps because they think I'm saying there is something inherently wrong with the people here. Nothing could be further from the truth. In Canada some of my favourite colleagues have been from Latin American countries. They left their countries of origin because they too were unsatisfied with the living conditions.

I've been to Europe a few times already, I really like it. I find most Europeans to be generally pretty civilised. Even the ones who may say objectionable things don't do it in quite the same way as those of us in the Americas and it comes off as kind of almost humourous (to me at least). The infrastructure in places like France and Holland is excellent and much much better than Canada or the USA (though I think USA highways are probably designed better, can't be sure). I think we could learn a lot from them like when to admit our faults and try to fix them. So yeah I'm definitely going.

Something tells me we'll just have to agree to disagree. I think I have a fairly objective opinion on what constitutes a better country, though. The things I've mentioned are just a drop in the bucket but yeah.

I'd sure like to get back to the original point of this thread.
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Old 03-10-18, 12:55 AM
  #22  
TallTourist
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
This guy complained about Tubus racks (garbage because they rust if left out in the rain) and Ortlieb panniers (sick of them because they're waterproof). He bought a new bike in 09/17, and by 01/18 was considering replacement. Two weeks later he's discussing a third bike to be his "sole bike".

Some folks are hard to please. I wonder why OP tours at all since he's unhappy with racks/bags/bikes/people.
If you're going to try to destroy my credibility you need to get your facts straight. You seem more intent on trying to make me look like an idiot than actually adding anything to this thread so I'll keep my efforts to respond to you brief.

I tour because I like to see beautiful places and ride attention demanding roads preferably at speed. Quite simple.

If I have issues with my gear and want to ask others for their opinions on how I could resolve those issues and have a more enjoyable experience I don't see what's so bothersome about that but if you don't like it you are more than welcome to skip over my posts in the future.
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Old 03-10-18, 02:44 AM
  #23  
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I'm sorry you're having a tough time, but the main problem is, quite frankly, your attitude.

It sounds like you're overwhelmed being immersed in a foreign culture, and your reflexive response is to hate everything about it. That's understandable. It's common. But it's not good and it's no way to live.

If you go into it with the perspective that things are worse in Mexico, you will find things to be worse in Mexico. Presumably you are in Mexico because you wanted to see a place different from Canada. So try to relax. Remember that most people don't want to rob and murder you. Assume good intentions (within reason). Weird stares can be great opportunities to start conversations.

Keep an open mind and make an earnest effort to get to know the culture and how things work. You will come out the other side all the happier and better for it.

Originally Posted by TallTourist View Post
Yeah, Canada's definitely got no shortage of arseholes, no arguments there. When I say Canada is better I mean:
There are serious consequences for reckless driving
Canadians generally use turn signals to indicate their intentions which makes everyone get where they are going faster and with less stress
We have better roads and don't put speed bumps in the middle of our highways.
We don't have massive corruption (we have corruption but it's much less serious)

I'm sure many Mexicans would agree with me on these points. And it's not because of a lack of money. There is a lot of money in this country and in many Latin American countries but apparently it's not going toward improving any of the things I've mentioned (corruption excepted). Some of the locals I've talked to have said gov't officials just get involved in politics to improve their own financial situation and basically steal all that they can.

I recognise a lot of people will find my comments/opinions objectionable perhaps because they think I'm saying there is something inherently wrong with the people here. Nothing could be further from the truth. In Canada some of my favourite colleagues have been from Latin American countries. They left their countries of origin because they too were unsatisfied with the living conditions.

I've been to Europe a few times already, I really like it. I find most Europeans to be generally pretty civilised. Even the ones who may say objectionable things don't do it in quite the same way as those of us in the Americas and it comes off as kind of almost humourous (to me at least). The infrastructure in places like France and Holland is excellent and much much better than Canada or the USA (though I think USA highways are probably designed better, can't be sure). I think we could learn a lot from them like when to admit our faults and try to fix them. So yeah I'm definitely going.

Something tells me we'll just have to agree to disagree. I think I have a fairly objective opinion on what constitutes a better country, though. The things I've mentioned are just a drop in the bucket but yeah.

I'd sure like to get back to the original point of this thread.
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Old 03-10-18, 06:31 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Davet View Post
My opinion is that Canada and the US aren’t better than Latin America, they’re different. I’ve travelled by car, bike, plane and boat over a large portion of this globe. I learned many years ago not to compare one culture to another in terms of better than/worse than, just different. I’ve learned many valuable things from traveling and touring. While some things I don’t care for, other things have made my life richer. Probably the the most important is the extremely strong connections within families and the way other cultures are interested in the welfare of their societies as a whole. If the society is successful as a whole, everyone benefits.

Your biases are showing.

i'm sorry, but to me, that's some industrial-grade SJW bee-ess. despite our
longing to live in a world of rainbows and unicorns, that's just not reality.
people, societies, governments are all different, and some ARE better than others.
that's a fact.

unless i'm wrong...in which case a country/society/people that condones slavery,
institutionalizes corruption, and celebrates the practice of shaving the clitoris off
of little girls is equally worthy as a society/country that does not, like switzerland.

to the OP, as someone who has been living and traveling over a decade in some of
the world's most racist, xenophobic, backwards cesspools, my advice is accept that
their country/society is barbaric and there's nothing you can do to change it. enjoy
the sights and the adventure, and when it gets too much for you to bear, leave.
you cannot change them. they don't want your advice.

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.
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Old 03-10-18, 08:45 AM
  #25  
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OP, when you make absolute statements like "Canada is better", "I'm sure many Mexicans would agree with me", "I think I have a fairly objective opinion on what constitutes a better country", that tells me that the main problem is your attitude. When I travel to foreign country, one of my main motivations is to experience and observe a different culture. If you are constantly comparing things to home, you'll never be satisfied.

Why did you decide to go to Latin America in the first place? What were you expecting? Why have you stayed so long given your litany of complaints? As seeker333 pointed out, you have frequently complained on this forum about a lot of different things.
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