It seems to be a time worn tradition to spray paint messages on the wall in Mérida. If you’re selling used tires, don’t want the city to cut your grass, or you simply want to proclaim the name of the family that owns your house, it’s not unusual to scrawl your message on you wall. At least it’s your own wall.
But in the last 10 years, graffiti — an amateurish take on what has been going on NOB for years — has taken off. (There are some talented muralists, however.) I don’t know what I would think if I arrived at my Mérida home after an extended absence to find my front wall had been tagged. But it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Our beautiful guest house has been tagged several times. I’ve seen it on corners near lovely properties we’ve considered. When I bring it up to the real estate agent, I get blank looks. (They tend to deflect negative observations, don’t they.)
I’m not sure how brazen these kids are. Do they write on houses that are obviously active, or just ones that appear abandoned. Our guest house is on a quiet dark corner, but this house to the left has obviously been remodeled with a base of white trim that’s just too inviting for el gato. It was on a busy street, too.
I don’t know if this is a case of idol hands or some level of gang activity. But it’s degrading and discouraging to see, and a reminder that living here isn’t all magic. I’m getting weary of all the propaganda about Mérida as Shangri-la. Yes, the people here do generally seem peaceful, polite and pleasantly reserved, but in a city of a million people, how much can we generalize?
It’s like a Realtor selling you property in New York with the assurance that the locals seems tough and crusty, but they have hearts of gold. Really? All of them? Assigning traits to an entire demographic is simplistic and believing it is intellectually lazy.