I have a theory about foreign countries:

The more hard working the immigrant, the more messed up their country of origin is likely to be.

Having lived in New York City all my life, I have been exposed to a wide spectrum of immigrants. In my experience there are many a hard working people in this city, but the three groups I most commonly see working their asses off at all types of ungodly hours of the night are Indians (from India), Mexicans, and Africans. This means, based on my theory, that India, Mexico, and Africa are the most messed up places on earth. This doesn’t have to mean the entire country (or continent in the case of Africa). It just means that there are some really jacked up parts.

Let’s examine a little further shall we.

I will admit that I am speculating based on limited information. I have never been to any of those places (and I don’t have plans on going anytime soon). Everything that I know of these places comes from the news and movies (two less than trustworthy sources). I will admit that I have a firmly negative view of these places, because much of what I have been told about them is pretty bad.

Let’s start with India. What do I know? I know that India is a country that is rich wih culture and has some beautiful sights. I would love to see the Taj Mahal in person. I also know that the country is dramatically overpopulated and horribly polluted. People are poor, people are starving, and people are forced to live in inadequate conditions. Plus they have monkeys that can give you herpes. NO LIE!!!

Mexico is up next. I know they have delicious food, fun parties (pinatas are the shit!), and a few gated spring break hotspots. However, let’s examine a little further. Mexico is the place where bad gus go when they want to escape the feds. It also is a country where kidnapping is an industry (like in Man on Fire with Denzel Washington). Not to mention that Mexico also has swine flu and Montezuma’s revenge (the water gives you explosive diarrhea). I’ll pass.

Lastly we have Africa. There is just so much messed up stuff the media has put forth about Africa. I don’t even know where to start. Famine, drought, genocide, Madonna, pirates, AIDS, Hep A, Hep B, Hep C, Brangelina, killer mosquitoes, blood diamonds, corrupt governments, coups, Bono.

This brings me to this question. Be honest.

With all the negativity that surrounds the continent, would you be scared to go to Africa? 

I’ll leave you with something to hopefully lighten up the mood… 

In case you can’t view it, here goes the link –



  1. I almost went to Africa about 2 years ago for a mission trip.  I would have to go by boat since I lost hearing in one ear from a plane flight.  In fact, I was going to to go Africa by one of those frieght boats.I would love to go and visit Africa.

  2. Nobody goes to Africa and expect an ethereal lion’s head to appear through the clouds. However, you do go there to see things that you can’t believe, and that’s a humbling experieince. Hell yeah I’d be scared to go there, but one day I will have the good fortune of being there and live in 100% health to tell about it.

  3. No I wouldn’t be…I’d be nervous of being out of the country for the first time. It is new and it all a new culture and that would be something that’d make me nervous..but whatever other stuff there I would deal.

  4. Depending on where, when, how, no I would not be scared of going to Africa, and no I don’t think it’s any more messed up than here. Just in a different way. My (Dutch) family has been in business in Africa for some 80 years, and has been part of a rich cultural and business interaction, and I’ve ended up with many African friends, also here. My adoptive son from Angola, was known in NYC as “Monsieur le Président des Immigrants” to the Senegalese on Broadway. There are neighborhoods in NY where I wouldn’t go, and there are places in Africa where I would not go. 

  5. No, I would not be any more scared there then I am when I go down by the riverfront…. I would love to visit Africa if I ever get the chance… The comedy sketch is adorable.

  6. I can’t seem to get a comment right on the first try today. Post/Read/Argh/Delete! (lol). There are places in Africa that I wouldn’t exactly jump at the opportunity to visit, but then, there are places in and around South Africa that I wouldn’t mind seeing. Also, I know a college professor who just semi-recently returned from a teaching job in Tanzania (sp?). The pictures he brought back were really neat. I wouldn’t mind exploring parts of that country with a trustworthy local. Granted, he is orginally from Cameroon, so he has no problems adapting to the culture and environment like I would.

  7. I wouldn’t be scared to go. My aunt lives in Ghana, and apart from trouble with supplies and some miscommunication with the locals at times, there are no problems.That said, I don’t necessarily agree with you on immigrants. Pakistan is right up there amongst the most troubled countries but at least some of the immigrants (in Canada, the US, UK, Europe) aren’t all that hard working. But that too is a generalisation.

  8. I would be. Mainly because of all the scary animals and insects. I am so used to living in England where the scariest animal we have is a fox that I get terrified at the thought of animals that could actually KILL you. I actually need to check up on the animals/insects in Italy so I know what to look out for….Other then that, I would love to be the sort of person that can just go to all these places and help everyone. And I would like to think that one day I will. But in reality, I know that I would be terrified. Not just because of the animals. I was terrified when I went to New York… walking through the streets at night, I was convinced someone was going to start a gun fight right next to me. I suppose I am sheltered in some ways living in England. There are no guns, no scary animals, very few natural disasters/extreme weather. So going anywhere is kind of scary for me because I am not used to it. But I would like to go to Africa one day.

  9. Yeah sorry but swine flu? I guess before the spread… But now? Don’t you live in the US? That’s no 2 in the world for cases of swine flu… I do get scared about certain things but I wouldn’t let it stop me from travelling. I love finding out for myself.

  10. In all honesty, yes. I’d be scared. I’d be scared about huge bugs, about being ripped off since I’d be so obviously tourist, about being kidnapped, about random large animals getting too close for comfort, about drinking the water, about being caught in the middle of a war that just starts on the street… Actually I think my biggest fear would be starting to care for the people I saw. Caring means responsibility and I’m scared of that.Hey, you said be honest.All the same, with all the things I’d be scared of, I’d love to go.~V

  11. OH and I wanted to tell you I laughed at the video. You’re good. 🙂 (Although, if you don’t mind me saying so, you seemed to stay in one spot… I find people who move around on a stage to look more at ease. But hey, that’s just me.)

  12. @vanedave – yeah, i could understand that, but you could always get that malaria vaccine, at least i think they have a vaccine for malaria, i could be mistaken. I had a few friends who went over there for a missions trip and it changed their entire outlook on life, I think we as Americans, take so much for granted in our everyday lives.

  13. I hear Africa is like every other continent- there are places that you can visit with no fear and places that are ALL mucked up. So I’d be selective, yeah. There are places in Europe in which I wouldn’t dare to put myself, too.

  14. your examples are a country, another country, and then a CONTINENT?  c’mon, Dave.  Africa is not a country.  there are PARTS of Africa i’d visit, and other parts i’d be afraid to see even on the news.

  15. I’ve been around the world and there are two places I will never visit: Anywhere in Africa and China. Neither place sounds at all inviting, even though historically I’d be in heaven! 

  16. I’ve been trying for a long time to go  to Africa.   There’s several places within Africa I  want to go.  I’ve had friends  in Uganda, South Africa, Cameroon, Morocco, and  Kenya.  I’d like to go to all of those places.  Not scared at all.  Love to travel.  And I’ve been to Mexico 4 times (not resort areas… they were all volunteer work trips) and I never got sick, kidnapped, or anything bad.  Promise.

  17. No. i’d be more  cautious than i am going to the corner store or Chicago. But   i’d go. Many of my freinds come from Africa and return yearly to visit family.

  18. Twisted as this is, I really want to go somewhere really bad in Africa because it has so many issues. I want to meet people there. Maybe find a way to do something. I should volunteer with some international agency. And hopefully not catch malaria. XD

  19. Africa is a wonderful place. In the beginning of this year I traveled to this place with friends and enjoyed a lot. There I found Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania a wonderful place. There I also sis adventure like, climbing, cycling, trekking, hiking, etc. There I went on a luxury trip. It’s so fascinating place. You can adore the picturesque views over here:

  20. I am from South Africa – the country with the highest crime rate yet the most beautiful land.  Incidentally malaria is not in every country.  Most of South Africa is malaria free.  The most danger in Africa is being taken for a ride by the locals and being stupid about safety. 

  21. I’d like to go to Egypt, but my issue with places like Africa and Mexico is that they’re hot!  I’m horrible in hot weather. That wouldn’t be much of a vacation for me.True story: my cousin just recently returned from Africa where she was part of a film crew. She and two other ladies were taken by a “tour guide” out into the desert and left there at night. Thankfully someone found them and that person helped them back to their hotel.

  22. Nah, I actually plan to go one day. I always wanted to go to Kenya, no clue why. My bf’s family is from Liberia though and we’re supposed to go to a wedding there in a couple of years. I’m kind of scared though because my bf just came back from there. I don’t want to leave my comfort zone and bathe in a bucket, eat every part of an animal, or be in hot weather.

  23. Absolutely!  Maybe not the interior, or whatever they’re calling the middle countries these days . . . and would probably be advised against Somalia since they’re STILL in civil war, I think, right?  But the other parts, yep, absolutely.

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