Although Isla Mujeres at times (well, most of the time) seems like a wild party island, it is still very much a part of Mexico. The people here practice the same religion, have the same beliefs and standards as most of the rest of Mexico. Although it can be frustrating for foreigners here at times, the people are normally very mellow, very polite and would never intentionally be rude to anybody.
That can not be said of the tourists who come here. I think it is time for a refresher on manners.
WEAR SOME CLOTHES! On the beach it is fine to walk around in your bikini, thong, speedo or even topless. This is NOT approriate street wear. For God's sake, cover yourself up! Please stop walking down the main shopping street wearing nothing but the aforementioned attire. And really. Do you need to go into the grocery store wearing nothing but your bikini? I don't care how much you paid for those new boobs. You don't need to show them off to everybody in town. And guys, it is not ok to go into the grocery store not wearing a shirt. Who wants your armpit hair all over the bananas?
WEAR SOME SHOES! Look around. Do you see the local people going everywhere, or anywhere, barefoot? There is a reason for that. The streets are dirty and full of germs. Bad germs. Plus it is unsightly and unhygenic to grocery shop barefoot. And please, don't play in the mud puddles after a rain. I've mentioned before what this water contains: dog and cat feces and pee, human pee, human vomit, phlegm and just plain bad stuff. Do you really want to contract some tropical disease while on vacation? Or any disease for that matter.
WEAR A CONDOM! I can't believe how many people of both sexes I overhear bragging about last night's conquest. Then they even go so far as to say they couldn't find a condom so just did it anyway. Can you say STD or even AIDS? Not to mention unwanted pregnancy. Do you really want to risk your life for that night of vacation sex?
USE YOUR INSIDE VOICE! All nationalities are guilty of this one, but mostly it is the Americans (from USA) who are guilty. Why do you have to talk so loudly? Even shout for pity's sake. If you are in a bar or restaurant, your table companions should be able to hear you just fine. You don't have to shout out every word. Very annoying and disrespectful of the people around you.
SHOW SOME RESPECT! The Mexican people were not born to serve you and only you. Your waiter works very hard in a very respected profession here. There is no reason to call him boy, shout at him or snap your fingers at him. A little respect and courtesy goes a long way.
LEAVE A TIP! I don't care how expensive or inexpensive you think your meal or drinks were, leave an appropriate tip! Leave any tip for that matter. Don't stiff the poor guy who has been responding to your drunken requests all night. And I don't care what nationality you are. Just because it may not be customary to tip in your homeland, does not make it ok here. Do some research before you travel. Find out what the local custom on tipping is. For most people, 15% of the bill is correct. However, any Mexican would be happy with 10%. Just leave something behind in appreciation for the service you just got. And don't be surprised tomorrow night if your service is a little slow if you stiff the waiter.
OBSERVE! If you are in the grocery store and want to purchase onsite made bread or pastries, use the tongs and tray. Don't just grab barehanded something off the shelf and walk around with it. Take it to the bakery counter, get it wrapped and the price written on the bag. You will find checking out much, much easier. And whatever you do, do not consume product on the premises. Or worse yet, don't eat that muffin and think nobody is going to notice you trying to cheat the store out of 80 cents.
BE NICE. Not every person you encounter here is going to understand English. Especially if you shout at them, wave your hands wildly about or talk fast in complicated sentences. Slow down. Use easy words and simple sentences. You will find the people to be very helpful if you do. Use appropriate hand signals or draw what you want on a piece of paper. And please, when somebody doesn't understand you, don't call them names and don't give them the rolled eyes look. They will understand that.
So, come to the island, have a good time but remember. YOU ARE THE GUEST HERE so act like it please.