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Old 06-29-2007, 04:52 AM
Location: United States of America
90 posts, read 352,013 times
Reputation: 138


I left South Florida over a year ago. A month ago I decided it was time to go visit my friends and family. I decided to take my new girlfriend who was born and raised in Arkansas but has travelled alot. My roomate who like me is Cuban and from Miami also came along. I bought three round trip tickets from my new home in Arkansas and on June 13th we were on our way. I had heard from some of my freinds that even in the last year, alot had changed. I still didnt want my entire trip to be consumed with the same irritations and aggravations I lived with down there for 36 years. So I planned on ignoring anything negative and just enjoying myself. I wanted to see it from my girlfriends point of view as a first timer who had never been there.

Well, I can tell you that I was disappointed about 10 minutes after arriving. In our local airport the staff was friendly. They were also nice when we made a stop in Charlotte. But the moment we arrived in Miami you could sense a difference in the air. People didnt say hello, thank you or excuse me. There was an arrogance around us. My girlfreind looks very American but speaks Spanish as do I. But the moment we walked up to people they treated us in a cold and non-caring way until we spoke to them in Spanish. For the first time I was seeing how non-spanish speaking people were treated in Miami.

After driving around visiting some friends and getting food I already felt like I had left the United States. Until you leave for a while and return you dont realize how much Miami is like a 3rd world country! People stared at us and even tried to speak in spanish negatively about us thinking that we wouldnt understand them! Then the weather was hideous! It rained every day we were there. Then when it stopped raining it was super hot and sticky. I didnt want to barely touch my girl when we were outside cause we were all sticky.

The next day we had a huge get together with all my old friends at the Ale House in Doral. Everything was fine except for the guy that wants to act tough in front of his girlfriend and tells us we cant use the pool table next to us because he was still using it until someone beats him for it. Even though nobody had used it in 30 minutes!! So after arguing with this arrogant guy we ended up using the table and he sat at his booth staring at us. The rest of the night was great except for all the little punks that bump into you and dont say excuse me, sorry or anything. They just look at you like you should be kneeling before them.

Many people on this forum love to argue that Broward has locations that you can live in that arent like Miami. I agree with that since I chose to live there before I left for good. But when I went to Broward on this trip I noticed something. It isnt that far behind Miami. Yes, the people are a little nicer but I did see some things I hadnt seen in Broward before I left. Some rude people like the family that is sitting next to us at a restaurant and their daughter is screaming some nonsense about how she wants ice cream. When she gets a little louder my girlfriend who is trying to hear what I am saying looks at her. This little girl who couldnt be more than 8 years old, tells her mother "That white woman just looked at me, I was about to say what are you looking at?" Of course her father and mother dont tell her to lower her voice, calm down or even better, shut up! No, they encourage her! So to avoid a scene we ignored them.

Driving in Miami is unbelievable!! I can not imagine that all these people are driving legally in this country!! After being away for a while I couldnt believe how bad the driving is down there. WOW! People have absolutely no consideration or manners. These people just basically threw there cars at us since we are used to driving like normal people. And the traffic is horrible. 836, palmetto, I95 or any of the highways are a nightmare.

Upon visiting Dolphin Mall with a group of friends I see a vendor selling underwear I might be interested in. I go up to the kiosk somewhere around old Navy and pulled on the material to see what it felt like. This obnoxious woman comes out from around the other side and tells me with an accent "if your not going to buy, dont touch!!" I was amazed!! I said "You need to look for a better job" since she is obviously not happy doing what she does. I was interested in the merchandise but lost interest because of the service. This was common on our trip. In most places people working there either dont look at you, dont hear you or dont care.

Best of all was our time in South Beach. We went to Miami Ink, walked in the water a little and everything was fine. But then here comes a guy wearing leopard underwear as shorts, a tank top and a batman mask! Asking us for money or something. Then two minutes later some guy is trying to sell me his wrap CD and wont take no for an answer. He followed me for about half a block begging me to buy it before he gave up.

Now, I am used to all this since I lived here most of my life and know how people there are. But like I said before, I was looking at all of this thru my girls eyes this time. I can tell you, she loved my friends, family and visiting Miami. But she said she would never live there and would never have known how bad it it if she hadnt seen it with her own eyes.

I know now that I made the best choice in my life to move from that area. I might not live in a "metropolis" and I might not have all the fun things that come from living in a city. But I have 3 major cities within driving distance. I dont deal with the traffic, the over crowded streets and most of all the people. Miami could have been a major city in this country and a nice place to visit or live in. But its major low point is the people that live there. From the corrupt polititians that keep it from prospering to the lady at the cafeteria that ignored me when I was trying to order a cuban cofee. Or the guy at the rental car agency that tried to charge me $14 for gas that I had already put into the car and then wouldnt even stand still long enough to talk to me. These arrogant and ignorant people are the main reason Miami will never be the major city it thinks it is. There is no culture since there is no education. And there is no history since everything is being torn down to build more condos for rich people that want to live in a 800 sq ft apartments for 300k. When I got back it took me a few days to get out of what I called "Miami Mode". Where I was constantly looking over my shoulder, driving like I was always in a rush and very aggitated.

I have tried in the past to warn people thinking about moving there. But then you have all the people in denial that want to argue and say that we are making it worse than it is or that we are bitter people.

I say to those thinking about moving. PLEASE GO AND VISIT FOR AT LEAST A WEEK!! Imagine living there and dealing with all the rudeness and congestion on a daily basis when you are trying to just live your life and not on vacation.

I for one have closed the book on Miami. All my friends and family know that I refuse to go there again and they must travel here to see me. I say good riddance to it and to the Miami forum. I will continue to write but only in the Arkansas forum to help people there who are considering a move here.

To those who are in denial (including my sister), take it from someone who left and came back. Miami is not like anywhere else. When you live there you dont realize how bad it is because your used to it. Your living in a box and your in a comfort zone. Once you get out of that box you wonder how you ever lived like that for so long.

But like I said to my sister, if you dont want to admit it then keep living in denial and misery. Miami is what it is. You can keep it.

Last edited by sergio; 06-29-2007 at 04:54 AM.. Reason: spelling

Old 06-29-2007, 08:13 AM
Location: Miami, FL
929 posts, read 1,148,135 times
Reputation: 66
a batman mask huh?
thats a little strange
although i did see this in a random boca parkinglot when we went to lunch one time

Flickr Photo Download: IMG_2470 (http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=434118733&context=set-72157600014554716&size=o - broken link)

Flickr Photo Download: IMG_2469 (http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=434118543&context=set-72157600014554716&size=o - broken link)

Flickr Photo Download: IMG_2468 (http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=434118293&context=set-72157600014554716&size=o - broken link)
Old 06-29-2007, 08:43 AM
Location: Miami
109 posts, read 358,358 times
Reputation: 38
I totally understand where you are coming from Sergio. Sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience coming as a visitor to Miami, but it is something that can be expected today. This paradise city is being killed every day, for this reason, I am also moving out of here. I am JUST disappointed of what this city has turned into...too expensive to live, high taxes, TOO much cheap labor, therefore; low salaries, not so good schools, Spanish speaking only city, lot's of discrimination, rude people, bad drivers, and I can go on and on......I do not want to be here when this city collapses...It will no longer be part of the US, and it is sad to see how all the Americans are running away leaving such a beautiful city that is being consumed and managed by just the “wrong people.” I had always thought that maybe coming back as a visitor I could enjoy this city more than living here, but you have just proven the contrary…So Sad!
Old 06-29-2007, 08:55 AM
Location: Miami, FL
929 posts, read 1,148,135 times
Reputation: 66
maybe batman can save us!
Old 06-29-2007, 09:02 AM
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 26,658,813 times
Reputation: 5038
Even years ago this was the case. A good friend of mine, Rob came from Iowa in 1992 for work after hurricane Andrew. He started out with an exciting view of Miami but by the time he left in October 1993 he was so glad to get out it was amazing. That was my first experience with someone who hated Miami and one of so many to come. He's one of those "nice" farm guys with blond hair, blue eyes and friendly who got a hard lesson in Miami attitude. Between customers who try not to pay to workers who do as little as possible, to women who only care about money, he learned that Miami was not the place to be. The result? He moved back to Iowa and eventually started his own company , got married, had kids who are growing up with a quality of life they would never have had in Miami. I always thought it was funny that such a good looking guy had so much trouble finding a girlfriend in Miami. No bit loss, as he did get the family he wanted. The alternative would have been to remain single as I have.

Remember that was in 1993, Miami has only gotten worse. The city is so bad that no matter when you live there, any time in the past was the "good old days". So many industries have left Miami, on the news last night they mentioned how the marine industries have all but left for places like North Carolina. Every waterfront property is a candatate for a condo, so why bother with a business.

You would be an angry person and a rude driver if you lived in a place where you have no future. No matter how hard you work honestly, you will never have the "American dream" in Miami. The liars and criminals make sure you have to be one of them to get anywhere.
Old 06-29-2007, 09:15 AM
Location: Miami, FL
929 posts, read 1,148,135 times
Reputation: 66
"matter how hard you work honestly, you will never have the "American dream" in Miami."

true. very true.

living here you also have at least one event a week that undermines your faith in humanity.
Old 06-29-2007, 09:24 AM
Location: Downtown Raleigh, NC
2,086 posts, read 7,623,215 times
Reputation: 1308
Wow, sergio, this is an excellent post, you get a rep point from me.

I am also a native that moved away a year ago, while my parents and a few friends are still there. I also visited for the first time in one year for a week's time at the end of May, and I had the EXACT same impression, experiences and feelings that you have written here in this post. You have articulated very well the things that have driven many good people out of the area. My parents are still there, but contemplating where to go to when they retire - my father is, unfortunately, hung up on the weather thing. But I think the lack of positive interactions with other people on a daily basis might be changing his mind a little. My mother is also a native, and she is ready to get out (has been for years).

It is so sad that our hometown has turned into what it is, and that we feel the need to extract ourselves and the people we care about from the area, never wanting to return "home". It will be sad not to be able to go back to the house I grew up in some day, but it is only a cinderblock oasis in the middle of something that is not really home anymore. My boyfriend said something to me one day that really seemed to ring true: the people that truly love living there love it only because they couldn't get away with being who they are anywhere else. No other place I know tolerates the lack of respect, customer service, disregard for others, shallowness, lack of intelligence, and blatant discrimination like this part of FL. Very sad considering it is a lovely place aesthetically. I too thought that it would be a good place to visit once I had moved away, but even that seems like it isn't worth it to me if my parents end up leaving as well.
Old 06-29-2007, 09:53 AM
2,987 posts, read 10,097,760 times
Reputation: 2817
Miami blue, that last paragraph that you wrote was a gem! You hit the nail on the head. And that is what underlies all of the problems here. The people, I don't know why, but are a special breed of trash, the worst of the US and Latin culture. And the total indifference to this from the "people who are not bitter", or who I like to call, isolated from reality is astonishing.

Industry and commerce has left Miami. It has reverted back into a tourist industry community. Right now construction is helping it, but there is no viable economy beneath the investors and tourists.

The people who love Miami are the rich. The rest are, like you said, the people who know they can't get away with their "ME" syndrome elsewhere.

To be compeltely honest Sergio, your experience after a year away is really what we all experience daily, it's just that there are many newcommers to Miami who are still in the honeymoon phase or who are wealthy and live in ivory towers.

Never underestimate stubborness, it allows people to put up with the insanity for years, untilt hey realize the emotional toll it takes on them.

I too realize that I have the Miami attitude when I visit elsewhere, and am speechless when someone smiles or holds adoor or says hello, it is totally unexpected. And then coming back to Miami, it is like, where is the quality of life? of the people? and there isn't any. It is jut great weather, beaches and shopping. Rich areas are very beautiful....but if you are not rich, this is a cesspool.

I am glad to see this thread, it is one of the best since I have started to read this forum.
Old 06-29-2007, 10:37 AM
Location: Miami, FL
929 posts, read 1,148,135 times
Reputation: 66
Miami-Dade has 26 F schools, Broward has nine.

More F's, fewer A's for S. Florida schools - 06/29/2007 - MiamiHerald.com (broken link)
Old 06-29-2007, 11:23 AM
23,529 posts, read 69,951,025 times
Reputation: 48931
Sergio, you got a rep point from me as well for that excellent and insightful post. We moved into North Miami in 1988, moved north to Broward in a couple of years, and just moved out of state when I realized we we beginning to pay premium taxes and insurance for a sub-premium existence, and that it would only get more expensive and more crowded, eventually to a point that we would no longer be able to afford to live.

Throughout the years I have continued to be in Miami on business, and with each passing year it becomes more discouraging. Back in 1997, when a supplier in Hialeah told me he was selling his profitable business and moving to Hilton Head, I thought he was crazy. He was less crazy and more ahead of his time than I thought. How sad.

I don't know what the future holds for Miami and the U.S., but I do know I want to be far far away from cities like Miami when change comes, especially if there is a major downturn in the economy, as happened after we got out of Vietnam, and seems likely after we leave Iraq.

The culture shock works both ways when going from Miami to the heartland. I went from removing my accounts from Bank of America, where the worker was so confused and overworked in closing my account that she midstream asked me why I was OPENING an account there... to a bank in the heartland where the head teller came over to greet and meet us as we opened our account, and asked ME if I trusted a person who had written a personal check that I was depositing, and then cleared the funds immediately when I said that I did.

The real america that we knew growing up still exists, but you won't find it anymore in Miami or any other major Florida city.
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