Dateline: A Surveillance Satellite Above Mexico

¡Trigger Warning! This is probably my most offensive post yet. Crude language and adult content follow. Reader discretion is advised.

A while back, my good friend Tino from Monterrey sent me a link to some comical maps of how Mexicans see each other. We both got a good laugh out of them, and then I didn’t give it any more thought. The maps and humor were in Spanish and not really accessible to English-only speakers. But recently, I started thinking about it again. So I’ve decided to risk copyright infringement in service of my dedicated readers, and attempt a translation. Note that some of the humor was very difficult to translate, so forgive me if it falls flat. Some concepts, as you know, just don’t translate well, and humor is probably close to the top of that list. And of course you need to know something about Mexico and its culture to get the joke, too. So I’m venturing boldly forth into territory where angels dare to tread. Be kind to me in the comments section.

The original post shows four maps of Mexico, showing the country from the point of view of Chilangos, Tapatíos (people from Guadalajara), Regios (folks from Monterrey), and then many states’ stereotypical view of Chilangos. (Warning: the last map is the most offensive, as it appears Chilangos aren’t well-loved in Mexico. Haha).

So we’ll start with Mexico according to Chilangos. Remember, Chilangos are the New Yorkers of Mexico, with all that implies: big-city arrogance; money; and a well-developed sense of superiority to their compatriots in “la provincia.” Not surprisingly, they also consider Mexico City the only civilized place in the country and don’t seem to hide that attitude when traveling. Here’s a stereotypical view of how they see Mexico.

Mexico as seen by Chilangos

A little explanation is in order. The San Marcos fair, or the Feria de San Marcos is an anual rodeo and fair which takes place in the city of Aguascalientes and includes cock fighting, concerts, livestock exhibitions, parties, art exhibits, and many more events. This fair is to the city of Aguascalientes what the Cervantino is to Guanajuato: a big, noisy event that draws millions of tourists from around the country. And apparently it’s all that Chilangos know of Aguascalientes. I’ve never gone to the Feria, (though I have been to Aguascalientes) but it’s on my to-do list. It takes place at the end of April, so maybe this will be my year, though I doubt it.

As for PAN supporters, PAN is the center-right, heavily Catholic party of Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón, neither of whom were popular in very-liberal CDMX. So Chilangos tend to look down on “PANistas.” And PANistas aren’t the only ones. People from Puebla have their own, special epithet. Pipope (pee-pope-ay) stands for pinche poblano pendejo, which roughly translates to “damn stupid Pueblan.” I’m not sure how folks from Puebla got that epithet from the Defeños, (and they don’t seem to deserve it, in my experience) but my old CDMX landlord, Rafael, was the first one to use it around me one day when the topic of Puebla came up in conversation. As for Durango, well, I guess Chilangos don’t think often or at all about Durango. “Pasito Duranguense” was a pop music hit. So I guess that’s all Chilangos know of Durango. Oh, and “Satelite gate-crashers” refers to Satelite (sat-ell-ee-tay), a suburb of CDMX that’s in the State of Mexico. Chilangos tend to view people from EdoMex sort of like Manhattanites view “bridge and tunnel people:” a sort of inferior species that keeps coming into the city.

Moving on to our third map, it shows how Mexico is seen by the residents of Monterrey, called “Regios” in Spanish. Regios consider themselves to be the richest, hardest-working Mexicans and don’t like being considered provincial, but that’s exactly how Chilangos see them. Sort of like how New Yorkers view people from Dallas. It wouldn’t matter if Dallas produced the next Mozart, or has amazing museums, or anything else. New Yorkers will look down on it, and it’s the same for Chilangos looking at Monterrey.

Mexico as Seen by Regios

Fortunately, this map was easier to translate than some of the others. Unfortunately, it came out VERY busy. But if you click on it, you’ll see it full sized and then perhaps you can make it out.

The next map shows Mexico as seen by Guadalajarans, known in Mexico as “Tapatíos.” This one is fairly self-explanatory. Tapatíos love their city and think it’s the best, with the most compelling cultural history. And as the home of mariachis, tequila, and many other things, who’s going to blame them? “Our Lake” has to be Chapala, writ much larger than in real life.

Mexico as Seen by Guadalajarans

Ratón Crispín

Finally, we see how the rest of Mexico views Chilangos. Warning: it’s not very nice. Kind of like how many Americans view New Yorkers: noisy, snobby, and rude. Looking through the Spanish version, I was most perplexed by “Te Odio con Odio Jarocho” spelled across Veracruz. Literally it means, “I hate you with a Veracruzan hate.” And that’s a perfect example of understanding every word in a phrase and still remaining clueless. So I went hunting on the internet. It turns out that Luis de Alba, a famous comedian from Veracruz and active in the 80’s, created a rat character (Ratón Crispín) who, when he got angry, would declare “Te odio con odio Jarocho,” and then swish his tail angrily. And thus was born a Mexican phrase, and one that doesn’t really translate at that. You can find a full explanation of “Te odio con odio Jarocho” in Spanish here.

The rest of the map is fairly self-explanatory.

How other Mexicans see Chilangos

So there’s a little insight into territorial rivalry in different parts of Mexico. Just like in the USA, folks in Mexico have some very warped and oftentimes negative stereotypes about other parts of the country. And no wave of political correctness has yet washed it away.

¡Viva México!

Saludos and thanks for stopping by!