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Mexican shock
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2013-10-14 08:55:50 | Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico
Keywords: Adapt, third-world
It's my first time out in the so-called 'third world', outside the very organized Western society. Here, the whole society works using a whole different set of rules. I know I'm just a few hundreds kilometres from the USA, in an environment very much influenced by the giant neighbour, and that it's gonna be much different as I go further away, in other countries less influenced by the USA, but I sometimes feel I stepped into the Twilight Zone, not because the environment is abnormal, but because I feel I'm out of place, as if transplanted in a parallel universe.

It is disorienting but I go with the flow. There's a snob Western mentality part of my mind that finds some things unacceptable, but my travelling side is more open-minded and worries less about details. If I hadn't made the choice to become more zen when I was preparing for this journey, I'd be totally freaking out now.

One of the reasons to go in this journey was to become a better person. When I took a good hard look at myself a few years ago, I realized I had developed over the years a complex of superiority... I often think I'm better than others. I think it came about because I hated my mother and I despised what she was... and I thought I was better than her, just as she despised my mental abilities. It could come as well from a need of compensation for my lack of 'success' based on the general society standards. The fact I was a gifted child probably contributed to that as well. I won't bother you with more details about that (at least for now) but I wanted to be open about that.

My remedy to that is to force my nose in the rest of the world to adapt to their living conditions and see those people are no different than I am. Of course, there's a risk it could convince me I'm superior because I'm coming from a 'better' (in my eyes) environment. But I really hope that this worst scenario doesn't happen. Even if I'm not the most social person in the world, I've forced myself to be in contact with locals (mostly through couch surfing) and that opened my eyes to the fact that people are generous and even if the accommodation they share isn't to my snob-side standards, they're happy (with reason!) to share it.

When I was living in Canada, I often often prevented friends to come over my place because I didn't feel it was nice enough or clean enough (I didn't care much about cleanliness when I was on my own). In cases when I was expecting visit, I was rushing to clean the place and make it look good. I thought it was important and necessary. That was part of my upbringing. As I couch surfed in the USA, I've encountered many situations where I slept in conditions I wouldn't have tolerated for myself before even less imposed on guests. But, that told me my standards weren't that important.... and I might have been wrong. Yes, most people in the Western world are brainwashed by marketing to think that living in a house like in the magazines is the norm, just like touched up mannequins on cover of magazines are the only women type that is acceptable. Same goes for personal hygiene; by cleansing ourselves too often and too much we deprive our immunity system of training to defend itself... making it more vulnerable to the smallest bacteria. Of course, there are some basic health requirements in terms of cleanliness... but I think the Western standards are way exaggerated, mostly for the benefit of the soap companies. Most of the people on the planet don't abide to these standards, yet live well anyway.

By entering Mexico, I got in contact with this rest-of-the-planet. Part of me is shocked and would run into a clean hotel, eat only in nice restaurants and shop only in Walmart... but at the same time, another part of me is taking over and tell me it's okay... it's just a different way of living. It's not because I'm used to one way of doing things that it means it's the right way or more precisely the only one way. The world isn't a computer... not everything is 1 (white) or 0 (black)... and there are much more than 50 shades of grey! :-)

Although disorienting, I push through... because I believe it's for my own good. I take it as the first step of my improvement process. I'm out here to discover the world with my own eyes after all!

Related posts:
Becoming less judgemental
Am I afraid?
What do I want?


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