1. Yes, the crime rate in Merida and the Yucatan is very very low.  You can find statistics here that prove you are more likely to be shot on the way to the airport to come than while you are here.  Probably the worst thing that will happen to you is you´ll be scammed by a hammock hawker or suffer Montezuma´s revenge.  If you are not afraid to go to Disney World then you should not give a second thought to coming to the Yucatan.
  2. There are mosquitos down here in the tropics. Bring your natural citronella and lavender repellent and bring your deet just in case.
  3. Hurricanes happen from June until November.  Mostly they happen from August to September but if you are traveling in the hurricane season get some travel insurance.  The airlines will dump you like a hot potato and you will with that you had listened to me.  In fact just get some travel insurance anyway whenever.  I always do. I use World Nomads insurance.
  4. The worst thing that has ever happened to me in the Yucatan was being stung by a sting ray. So shuffle your feet when you walk out into the ocean.  And if you get stung by a sting ray put your foot in very very very hot water for a very very very long time.
  5. Who knew that sun block and lotion could not only ruin your clothes it could ruin my sheets and bed covers.  There are some that don´t have the satanic ingredient known as avobenzone. Most likely your expensive fashionable brand does have it so either take a shower before you sit on my bed or get some avobenzone free lotion please.  Just google avobenzone then google avobenzone free.
  6. And while we are on the subject. Please don´t take off your mascara and day of the dead makeup with my wash clothes and towels.  Don´t take the pool and bath towels out to the beach or cenotes either.  Ask for some older ones that I keep around for that very purpose.
  7. There´s no municipal sewer system in Merida. Use the bins for paper products and not the toilet.  Otherwise….it´s not a pretty thing that happens next.
  8. Please. Pretty please. Do not leave the air conditioners running when you are not in the house.  Electricity rates are on a sliding scale and quickly go from 100 dollars a month to 1000 if you leave the AC on.
  9. Citrus and other fruit acid stains polished cement and tile counters.  Please use cutting boards.  Please wipe the counters with water after cutting fruit.
  10. Don´t buy a sisal or hennequen hammock.  It´s a scam.  If you think you want one let me show you what they really look and feel like.  You don´t want one. The sisal hammocks they are selling you 99.9% of the time are cotton.  They are worth about 300 pesos not 3000.
  11. Don´t think you have the right of way as a pedestrian. EVER . Assume you are about to be run over by a bus or car or bike when you go to cross the road.  Drivers have no respect at all for walkers.  & no right on red unless you see a sign that has an arrow and says continua.
  12. There are some poisonous snakes and poisonous trees out there in the jungle.  If you are going to hike off the beaten path be aware of what they are and be careful. I have never tread on a snake here and I don´t want to.  I did have a guest who went location scouting and came back with burns all over her body. The black poisonwood tree was the culprit.
  13. Do not wear matching shorts and Hawaiian shirts with your partner.  Only ever do this if you are flying incognito into the Cancun airport.  Be sure and discard you clothing before you leave the airport. If you continue to wear these clothes you will be charged 5x the normal rate for everything you touch. You will be sucked into seemingly harmless tourist traps and soon all of Russia will have your credit cards and social security numbers.
  14. Rescue a stray dog or cat while you are here.  Don´t feed any stray cats in our houses unless you plan to take them home.  I will call the vet for you.
  15. Do not eat in restaurants where there is someone standing outside in a pretty floral dress. If people lined up to sell you a straw hat or blouse when you walk out the door run.  You will get Montezuma´s revenge and I will not share the best cure with you.  If the waiters have on sombreros you are in a Canadian restaurant.
  16. Do not buy flowers, hammocks, fans, chickens pecking on a paddle from peddlers disturbing your alfresco lunch. These products are made in China, these items are not made by women in a Maya fair trade co-ops.  They are made by little children in Asia.
  17. There is nothing chic about scented napkins.
  18. Tip 15 to 20% if the service is good.  If it´s bad tip 10%.  If it´s really bad just leave the pecking chicken paddle on the table.

I will be added to this list as time allows and the spirit moves me.

photo: napkin scented with cheap perfume at Crabster.  Smells like a gas station WC.