November 11, 2013
Pat Sherwood puts the lie to suspicions about all the evil people in other countries.
While making our way from Big Sky, Mont., to Nogales, Ariz., Ian Wittenber and I stopped for fuel at a gas station in Jackson Hole, Wyo. An old dude and his weather-beaten female companion eyeballed us from another pump.
“Where are you two heading?” the gentleman asked.
“We are riding to Chile, but our immediate goal is to get into Mexico,” I said.
His response to my answer was not shocking. I hear it often, and it’s always disappointing: “Mexico? Are you kidding? Have you ever been there before? Those Mexicans are going to see your California plates, and all they are going to do is rob you and take advantage of you. It’s terrible down there. Those people are such a big problem.”
I smiled and informed him that I had indeed been there before. I mustered up some strength and refrained from calling him an idiot and telling him to fuck off.
We have stories like this from everywhere we’ve been. And yet we have had mostly positive experiences everywhere we’ve gone. The word “positive” does not do justice to the overwhelming kindness, generosity, warmth and hospitality of the Latinos we have met.
The lesson? Don’t listen to the negative trash the news displays on your TV every day. Visit these countries. You will fall in love with the people, the culture, the food, the cities, the traditions—everything.