Crooks, cash, cars

NEVER A DULL moment here. I offer examples:

Three armed nitwits decided to rob a bus heading north from Mexico City to the burg of Pachuca.  They boarded as passengers but soon revealed their evil intentions.

One of the geniuses fired a bullet upward to scare the passengers. The bullet bounced off the roof and killed one of the other bandidos. In the ensuing confusion, passengers grabbed a surviving genius and beat him to death.

Passengers held the third genius for police.

I love this sort of yarn. You can read details right here.

But, really, I can’t stop laughing.

* * * *

Moving away from crime, let’s look at banking.

Up until last year a bit over half of Mexican adults had no bank account. But in the last year that percentage has risen a nice 12 percent. Credit card use is up too, a mixed blessing.

I find this encouraging — that we are less inclined to keep our cash under the mattress.

You can read details right here.

I have accounts at two Mexican banks, and both include credit cards. I no longer have a U.S. bank account nor U.S. credit cards. Obama’s boys screwed that up for me.

* * * *

One of Mexico’s most popular cars will go out of existence around 2019. The Nissan Tsuru.

Mexico is finally getting serious about safety standards. Also feeling the axe will be the Chevrolet Aveo and Matiz, the Nissan Tiida and the Volkswagen Gol.

But it’s the Tsuru that will be most missed. It is everywhere, especially in taxi fleets. Before we bought my wife’s Nissan March two years ago, we considered a Tsuru but decided against it specifically for the safety factors.

You can read more about the changes right here.

The never-changing Tsuru bears a remarkable resemblance to the Toyota Corolla I owned in Houston. Why is that?

7 thoughts on “Crooks, cash, cars

  1. The Tsuru has been a mainstay of the masses in Mexico, as was the WV Beetle. Safety is a good thing, but so is survival of the fittest. Buy a car with equipment to keep you from harm from those who are bad drivers, drive as if everyone else on the road is trying to kill you, driving a car is the most dangerous thing most people will ever do. Driving is your primary function when you are operating a car, you need to work at it, not just let it happen to you. My job as a driving instructor is finished.


    1. Kris: Everything you say is so. As unsafe as a Tsuru might be, it’s still far safer than a VW Bug. I miss new Bugs, but I doubt I’ll miss the Tsuru. It’s a bland car with no character.

      My first car after moving to Mexico was a Chevy Pop, which was a clone of the Geo Metro. It was very popular here, hardly changing over the years. It had virtually no safety features at all and when I bought it new in 2000, it was only 500 dollars more than the price of a new Beetle. That was surprising because it was a far better and more comfortable car than the Beetle. Acres of leg and headroom. I bought the Chevy because I wanted transportation, but I was not convinced at the time that I was going to remain in Mexico, and I didn’t want to spend much on something I might leave behind. Four years later, wanting air-conditioning, I bought a Chevrolet Meriva, which is not sold in the United States. Great car, but no airbags, no cruise control, no automatic transmission. It was a sweet car, however. In 2009, I bought the Honda CR-V, which has all the good stuff. We sold the Meriva on buying the Honda, but we kept the Chevy Pop until two years ago when we sold it to one of my wife’s cousins. I hated to see it go. It was like the Energizer Bunny. We still see it around town. It’s like bumping into an old friend.

      I think they quit making new Chevy Pops about two years ago. Rotten shame, but it wouldn’t have met the new safety standards either.


  2. Safety standards??!! Just more meddlesome government involvement in people’s lives. This all started with the mandatory wearing of seat belts. Then along came the child restraining seats. And continued with airbags. Makes the consumer pay more money for equipment that should be optional. If someone wants to own and operate a car without the personal safety devices that should be their right. And don’t get me started on liability insurance. I am a damn careful driver and don’t appreciate being penalized for it.


    1. Clete: I detect a tongue in a cheek here. Yes, I usually favor the government keep its nose out of people’s business whenever possible, and it’s usually possible. I do make some exceptions in the realm of public safety, but one has to balance the safety gained by the comfort and convenience lost. It’s tricky. For instance, I favor seat belt laws because it’s known to save lives, and hooking a seat belt is no big deal. I oppose mandatory helmet laws because even though you are safer wearing one, it’s godawful inconvenient, and on a hot summer day, it can even be hellish. Being a former biker, I know this from personal experience.

      There are lots of elements to the issue. One is also safer in a car with a crash helmet, but no one advocates that because of the inconvenience. Most people, especially legislators, do not hesitate, however, to make bikers uncomfortable. They may even take devilish pleasure in it.

      If government sees its business as keeping people safe, then cigarettes, skydiving, etc., many things should be made illegal. But they aren’t, a good thing.


  3. “If government sees its business as keeping people safe, then cigarettes, skydiving, etc., many things should be made illegal. But they aren’t, a good thing.”

    I agree to a degree. Those things, unlike transportation, are completely unnecessary activities that people choose to do. No one sky dives to work in the morning, (well, except smoke jumpers). But I am sure someone cannot just visit your local muni airport, rent a Cessna and a parachute and give themselves a thrill even though It would help to improve the gene pool.

    Cigarettes are now more stringently regulated, and in spite of the substantial opposition by the tobacco companies, they were forced to advise the people as to the health consequences using their product produces. And cigarette smoking is a public health problem that affects not only the smoker but society as a whole.

    I have on two different occasions yanked a smoke from the mouth of belligerent smokers who ignored my polite request to either go elsewhere or extinguish their cigarette. As far as I am concerned, my right to breathe clean air trumps their right to blow carcinogens in my face.


  4. So will the successor to the Tsuru be called the Patz?


    Kim G
    CDMX, México
    Where we think the higher standards will push some people back to bikes or buses.


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