MEXICO--- A Cautionary Tale


I was warned.

... Repeatedly.


So many times it lost its potency.


 By well-meaning friends

 living in "safe" gated communities with armed guards

 By acquaintances

 who have never been here

 By media reports

 glamorizing and spreading alarm

 Who have a different definition of danger. And of what

 constitutes safety.

 Stupid me!

 I didn't listen

 to any of it.

 Adventurous, perhaps with a death wish,

 I didn't look.


 I wasn't careful.


In "dangerous" Mexico,

 I was robbed.

 Stupid, stupid me!


Yes, Mexico…

 stole from me…

 A smile.

 At first.

 And then,

 it got bolder

 and took…

 A laugh.

 and bolder still, it ran off with…

 my poor self-image.

 Which turned into a larger felony: It took …


 to fill me with compliments!

 Telling me


 how wonderful it is…

 to be a woman

 of experience.

 Who smiles.

 Who laughs.



Time after time. Again and again.


 finally, I believed it.

 As I was smiling and laughing, and actually trusting myself,

 It had the nerve to go and pick-pocket my lingering self-doubts,

 my well-nurtured insecurities including

 my belief that "real beauty" was limited to youth…


While I was still reeling in shock,

 from having been robbed,

 and pick-pocketed

 Mexico took

 the opportunity to kill my previous ideas of what constituted


 replacing it with a generosity


 is frightening

 to even try to emulate,

 yet so, so fortunate to know.

 See how really dangerous Mexico is?

 And it got even worse!


I hadn't recovered from such brutal behavior, when

 it committed another truly horrible,

 almost unspeakable


 It gave me hope and optimism.


 About who I was.

 About who I could be.

 About who we could be together.

 Amongst wrapping me in love and force-feeding me laughter and

 compliments and

 smothering me in generosity

 and unfathomably fabulous hospitality,

 I was rendered helpless.



 Stupid, stupid, stupid me.


I did not cry for help


 run away.

 Mexico took complete advantage of my situation and committed the

 biggest atrocity of all. Once again, it stole …

 my heart –

 and my soul.

 Now I'm so scared -

 deeply, utterly terrified -

 that I cannot return the favor.

 Never happier,

 I steal away…

 to wish

 this kind of "danger" on everyone.


 By JC Sullivan



(Ed. Note: The writer is a poet and writer and also a member of the Travelers Century Club for people who have been to more than 100 countries.)

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