– Traffic there is worse than anywhere in North America with the possible exception of Mexico City. What we see here as newsworthy major traffic jams are normal traffic there. Add to that the fact that when your car stops for whatever reason, you'll soon (especially if you're white) be accosted by the people who walk among stalled traffic selling anything they can scrounge up to sell. What hurts me is seeing little girls who should be in school, but instead are running unsupervised and unprotected among the cars, selling little flowers or even dishrags for a few pisos. It's very difficult for me to not buy what they are selling just to help her out. I know that by doing so, I'm only perpetuating the problem, enabling the parents to keep her out there...but I still can't be cold enough to always say "no."
– Don't drink the water! Instead, we have to buy all our drinking and cooking water from a local distributor. Fortunately, they deliver. The city's tap water is acceptable for bathing—but the water pressure is poor (and sometimes nonexistent. What most well-to-do people do is to purchase a small stainless-steel water tank and a pump to go with it in order to have reliable water pressure. Electricity is also a problem—brownouts happen quite often, particularly during the monsoon. I really do wonder if the birth rate goes up in the nine months after the time of the monsoon.
– Personally, the part I hate the worst are the bathrooms, or "comfort rooms" as they are called. In some places, the toilets are often not flushed (much less cleaned) for days at a time. "BYOTP"—bring your own toilet paper—applies...otherwise, there probably won't be any available. And toilet seat liners are completely unknown there—for that matter, there's usually no toilet seat, but only the toilet rim! So what do the people do? They normally squat without letting their bums touch the toilet seat. While this keeps their bottoms from touching the toilet seat, it also allows the bodily waste to—ahem—spray, spatter, and splash where it will. BUT if one knows where to go and where not to go, one can normally avoid such nightmarish experiences.