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Paul Theroux’s Mexican “Adventure”

I enjoy listening to your weekly programs, Steve, as they are so educational and entertaining. However, today’s program turned me off...literally. For the first time, I chose to listen to something else because the guest - regardless of his travel credentials - demonstrated in the opening minutes his irresponsible, reckless behavior by acknowledging his Mexican road trip was in a vehicle with Massachusetts license plates. He then compounded his disregard for the predictable outcome by confirming the expected happened - being stopped by Mexican police and asked for a mordito. Duh! Any well informed listener would know this was bound to happen...and that is on the low end of the spectrum of possibilities. He could have been kidnapped and held for ransom, dragging into the mess US Embassy personnel - all, of course, at US taxpayers’ expense. I have lost all patience with numbskulls who put themselves into absurd, predictable situations which causes our government to waste energy and resources extricating them.

I’ve lived and traveled over much of Europe, South & Central America, Oceania, and Southeast Asia...but, not with reckless abandon. My work put me in dangerous situations. On one assignment, I even had an uparmored vehicle. I’d like to believe, however, that I never did something as dumb as Mr. Theroux did in Mexico.

I look forward to next Sunday’s program.

Happy New Year!

Posted by
2387 posts

I have loved every one of Paul Theroux's books. I'm sorry I missed the podcast. We all make errors of judgement when traveling, and if I recall in what I've read, he acknowledged the error.

Posted by
848 posts

BTW, our host's name is Rick, and this message board isn't a direct line to him.

Posted by
6677 posts

I heard it and was dismayed by the beginning as well and understand why you changed stations. However, I decided to give it a chance so listened to the whole thing. It developed into an informative, interesting, compassionate, and sincere presentation. By the way, at the end he says he was stopped by police four times and had to pay the bribes, hundreds of dollars, but used it as an example of what Mexican people have to deal with daily. They also talked about the border and national origins of who's coming over. If you get by the bravado at the beginning, the rest was excellent.