This article is from the March 2003 The Mexico File newsletter.
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Dear David,

I have been wanting for a long time to respond to your “Mas o Menos” published in November, 2002, which struck a chord.I, too, first saw plastic grocery bags in Mexico! I was told then that it was because Mexico doesn't produce paper, so paper bags were too expensive.Something else I first saw in Mexico was a superstore, like our SuperTarget or Wal-Mart with a grocery. It was a “Maxi” on Avenida de las Americas in Guadalajara in 1966 - 67. It had groceries and also many other kinds of merchandise – like SuperTarget. Now Mexican supermarkets are commonly like that – I am thinking of AURERRA and Gigante in Guadalajara.Also it was in Mexico that I first saw everybody and his uncle using cell phones.

There may be other trends manifest in Mexico that are coming to the USA. I wonder what – wealth and political power reserved only for the elite, for example? Secondary school taught by television? (In rural western Kansas they are looking for ideas to reduce costs of so many small far-flung school districts. I read recently that Mexico is using closed-circuit TV broadcasts from Mexico City to teach secondary school in remote areas.) Mexico may be “our future” in a lot of ways.And I agree with you about Mexican buses. I traveled to D.C. by Greyhound in November and some competition would be nice. Actually, the trip was more picturesque than distressing. I should have been taking copious notes.Keep up the good work with the Mexico File!

Karen Kressin