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I am in a Snit

I am in my yearly snit. Now my wife would contend that I am in a snitty mood daily and sometimes more often than that. However, I am in my Yearly Snit-it's the Tourist Season.

The tourists flooding into Guanajuato is not news, I guess. We have them all year round. In the month of October, the month of the infamous-you can only find it here-Festival Internacional Cervantino, there is an influx of 50,000 plus tourist who stay for the entire three weeks this hardy-party lasts.

What I am talking about, is the time of the year, the summer, when AMERICAN tourists coming pouring into our adopted city throwing money around like it was pigeon feed, and expecting the locals to bow and scrape before their American presence, kissing their rings, and whatever else they would like the locals to kiss.

Now, if you think I am at all exaggerating this let me tell that once I had a conversation with a woman from America about his very issue. She wanted to know why she felt, "under the eye", or "looked down upon" in San Miguel de Allende (another little colonial town not to far from where I live but much more infected with American tourists). I told her exactly why. It wasn't received well. She acted as though I had just made several obscene gestures and cast doubt as to the true source of her paternal origins.

Her "coming-un-glued" response was this,

"Well, these people should be thankful that we are here throwing money into their faces".

Let me warn you that I am about to make a huge generalization here and I do so without the slightest hesitation. I have lived in this country long enough to make the anecdotal observation (not to mention the thousands of stories I have been collecting from third parties accounts) that Americans-tourists and some expatriates-generally haven't a clue how to act in someone else's culture.

What I am really thinking is that the vast majority of Americans act abroad the very same way they act at home-like jackasses. I am referring to the majority of the twenty million or so tourists who come to Mexico each year infected with the Ugly American Syndrome and in some cases terminally so.

I've recently begin wondering, from reader's email I get, if some of these 20 million are also infected with "TMPS" (The Minuteman Project Syndrome).

If you want to read about The Ugly American Syndrome here in Mexico go to or and write my name, Douglas Bower, into the search engines to find my books with plenty stories of how American Tourists act when they come to Mexico. Be sure to buy as many copies as you can afford and give them out as Christmas presents.

In the meantime, if you are cash strapped, go to this web site and read an account by friend, Dane, who made a blog entry on an example he ran into of The Ugly American Syndrome. He is currently studying in San Miguel de Allende, where The Ugly American Syndrome is so rampant, so prevalent, that there is not even the remotest possibility the behavioral disorder ever being extinguished.

Check out Dane's blog at: blog report from San Miguel is what got me in my current Snit. Do you think there is a Snit therapist out there somewhere?

Doug Bower is a freelance writer, Syndicated Columnist, and book author. His most recent writing credits include The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Houston Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Transitions Abroad. He is a columnist with and more than 21 additional online magazines. He is also a writer with with a readership of almost 6,000. He lives with his wife in Guanajuato, Mexico. His newest books, Mexican Living: Blogging it from a Third World Country can be seen: CLICK HERE:


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