Tourist Etiquette in Guayabitos

By Darlene Jones

WE’VE ALL ENCOUNTERED THEM, the tourists who don’t speak the language and keep repeating themselves at ever increasing volume when the waiter or clerk doesn’t understand. We’ve seen these tourists try speaking slower, enunciating every word and then turn to their companions and complain about the stupidity of the waiter before they yell, “Checko!”

Then there are the ones who don’t try to communicate verbally. Instead they pick up their empty coffee mug, rap the bus boy on the arm with it and hold it up for a fill. Yep that’s the way to make yourself look good.

Tourists are obnoxious in other surprising ways. We arrive at our place in Mexico and begin setting up for the winter which entails many repairs (tropical climates are harsh in their own way), and setting up the satellite, etc. In the process we discover that our Internet isn’t working properly.

Our caretaker/manager tells us that last year a guy staying next door told her that the owners of the house were friends of ours and that we said he could hook into our wi-fi, which he did because our caretaker took him at his word. When my husband saw the man, he set him straight and asked, “Would you do that in Canada?” to which, he answered no. So what is it about being away from home that gives some people permission to cross lines?

Ostensibly, we travel for new experiences, so what’s with the tourists who arrive at their destination and complain bitterly. “The Internet connection is sporadic.” “The Internet connection is slow.” “The …” Lady, did you ever think you’re lucky to have the Internet connection in a country that has much bigger concerns for its citizens. If you want everything to be as it is at home, stay home.

But, wait, there’s worse to come.

While we were in the fruiteria in Guayabitos. An old male tourist came in asking for snow peas. He waved a scrap of paper that had something written on it at the young lady behind the counter. Not surprisingly, she looked puzzled as I could see the words made no sense in Spanish or English.

When that didn’t work, he made crude gestures of peeing to try to get his message across. What would make him think that the words peas (chícharos) and pee (pis) would be the same in Spanish? And what would make him think his gestures would be acceptable here anymore than at home?

I was furious that he would be so crude with the two young girls working in the store and let him know exactly what I thought of his behavior. I didn’t want to let him get away with it and I wanted the girls to know that I, for one, would defend them.

This particular episode got me to thinking of the times I had witnessed bad behaviour and hadn’t spoken up. I won’t make that mistake again.

Editor’s Note:

Hard to find a photo that relates to Darlene’s article. I don’t have a picture of snow peas or a guy peeing but at least these are pretty.


Unfortunate “crossing the line” is all too common. My particular pet peeve is tourists who wander around the main street of La Peñita without a shirt. Beach attire is appropriate for the beach, not for stores.


user image Priest

That is wonderful that they are now making so many foods that are gluten free! My cousin has issues with gluten, and it's good to know there are more options out there! Stay cool!Living So Abundantly: New meme this coming Thursday, July 7, 2011, Give Back Thmoydas–crue join the fun!

user image Diane Young

I live in the Bar Harbor area of Maine and the tourists act the same way there–demanding and complaining. The Japanese are the most polite visitors. Mexico and Maine need a better class of tourists!

user image Lilianne Fuller

Today I saw a man in a speedo walking up the street in front of our hotel, looked pretty rude to me. I agree beach attire is for the beach. On t,he subject of Internet , if it is that important to you, buy an Internet stick or a SIM card . Works great. Darlene you wrote a great article which made some excellent points. Well done

user image Barbara Kam


That was a judgemental posting.

I have been on the forum here repeatedly asking about internet. I fail to see why that makes me a bad tourist. And no, I don’t consider myself lucky to have internet in the face of Mexico’s bigger problems. That you would relate the 2 is bizarre. The same argument can be used agains for your complaint about shirtlessness and rudeness- Mexico has bigger problems. (Not that I abide by shirtlessness nor rudeness- I am just pointing out that it is irrelevant to related it other problems.).

I was told I would have internet. I expect functioning internet based on that. I used to have it when I started coming here 11 years ago but, as more people come to RDG/LP/LA and use devices and take bandwith, I have less access. And, what a wonderful suggestion for me to leave – I *will* shorten my next year from 3 months to 1 month or ago elsewhere because I need internet to do my job. Because, yes, internet matters that much for me.

You, judging tourists, are obnoxious in your own way

user image Angie S.

Not to mention those (redacted) who do not treat the locals with respect. They demand, demand, demand and do not respect the language or the culture. I have heard them complain that there are too many Mexicans at the beach on the weekend. Whose country do they think they are in???? Please people, show some respect for your hosts, after all, we are guests in their country.

user image France Desrochers

I find this text so true. We are talking about (redacted) trying to change our Canada and we do it in Mexico. Were is, in Rome do as Roman do……we are here for the Weather and simple living. If you cannot go without luxury, STAY HOME OR GO TO AN ALL INCLUSIVE HOTEL. So gross, men walking at the market or downtown with no shirt on, they do not do it in Canada, so why here.

user image Bill

So very well said, don’t forget those at the market that try to get goods at half price or less, these people also have a familys to support.

user image Karen Decker

Bravo Darlene!!!! Finally someone has put in writing what many of us think. Beach attire is for the beach., not the Thursday Market nor anyplace else off the beach. That also includes shirtless men. Read about the Country you are visting, respect their culture and dress appropriately.

user image Bob

Great article. Thank you for writing. The one other thing you neglected to mention about the shirtless tourists walking around La Peñita is that they are usually wearing only a swimsuit and that they are carrying an open bottle or can of beer. It is no more legal here than it is at home.

user image Sandra

My pet peeve is the ‘no shirt’ elderly fellow with a beer in his hand wandering along the main avenida in La Penita.

user image Penny

Thank you for writing this letter….you are 100% accurate as to how crude, obnoxious and rude tourists visiting this area can be. I always try and point out to these rude people the error of their ways, but it usually goes on deaf ears. It is also usually these type of people that don’t believe they should stand at the end of a lineup…they just push their way to the front!!!!

user image Judy

… and almost without exception those without a shirt show off an ugly protruding beer belly for everyone to see. It is considered very bad manners in Mexico, as it would be in Canada to do the same thing! A couple of years ago there were four such men playing golf without their shirts on at the El Monteon golf course!!! I felt embarrassed to be from the same country!

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