Friday, May 02, 2008


Two bikers on Harleys recount a ride through Mexico and Central America. The bikers are middle-aged, married with kids, financially comfortable, on the School Board, etc., respected. The respect is important. These are law abiding citizens.
They complained at having to wait in line at frontiers, traipse with their documents from window to window, fill forms they couldn't read (they don't speak Spanish).
They were caught speeding a couple of times and overtaking across the double yellow line.
They paid the cops off.
Breaking the law didn't concern them: this was Latin America and they were citizens of a super power. Superiority goes with the territory. In our days of Empire, we Brits thought ourselves superior.
An island off the coast of mainland Europe doesn't carry the same weight.
Perhaps that explains my sympathy for Mexicans who queue patiently at US borders. And why I understand Latin American anger at what they perceive as United States arrogance.