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jennifer rose

Mar 12, 2008, 2:19 PM

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Your Wish List

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If only a few of your wishes, no matter what the cost or the politics involved, could be granted, what would you like to see in Mexico?

Here's mine:

Fry's
Saks 5th Ave.
Saks Off 5th
Neiman Marcus
Neiman's Last Call
Nordstrom Rack
Barnes & Noble
Borders
47th St. Photo
Sephora
Hanig's (the greatest shoe store in Chicago, I might add)
Zabar's



Ed and Fran

Mar 12, 2008, 2:25 PM

Post #2 of 44 (4663 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Your Wish List

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Driver's Ed.


Bloviator

Mar 12, 2008, 2:33 PM

Post #3 of 44 (4659 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Your Wish List

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No more plastic bottles for beer and coke.

A logical system for dealing with the bureaucracy.

Someone to speak Spanish with daily for a fairly long period of time.

Humane treatment of animals, particularly dogs and horses.

A shorter dry season and a longer rainy season.

Laws and customs that don't change depending on the whim of individuals, the time of day, and who is applying them and to whom they are applied.

Someone to buy my house so I could rent and not have to be responsible for home ownership.

Ed & Fran - I love your wish.


Gringal

Mar 12, 2008, 4:03 PM

Post #4 of 44 (4637 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Your Wish List

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I want Trader Joe's. I have a limited use for high end stores like Neiman-Marcus at this point. lol.

A branch of the Warren Hardy Spanish classes here in Ajijic. They work.

Everything sold in biodegradable containers to end the plastic trashing.

I'd go on, but don't want to sound downright greedy.


robrt8

Mar 12, 2008, 4:11 PM

Post #5 of 44 (4630 views)

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Re: [Bloviator] Your Wish List

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Fresh Fish
A mordida/dent/topes-proof car
Super Iron Stomach
Cuban cigars really from Cuba
Prettier housekeeper


bournemouth

Mar 12, 2008, 4:13 PM

Post #6 of 44 (4628 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Your Wish List

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I'll second the wish for a Trader Joe's. I do believe that they could do really well in the big cities - D.F., Monterrey, Guad - maybe even Morelia.

When one finally opened in Tucson, several years ago, the local paper interviewed shoppers, one of whom said "I've changed my place of worship from Costco to Trader Joes".


Bethie

Mar 12, 2008, 4:17 PM

Post #7 of 44 (4625 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Your Wish List

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Well, I am not there yet but...
What i would like to see in Mexico...hmmm.
Myself in the kitchen cooking dinner as my future family arrives home. My daughter (aged 13) excited because she had a great day at school. My son (aged 15) arriving home simply over joyed because he scored a goal during soccer. And my husband coming home with a smile on his face just happy to be home with his family. What joy the simple things bring. 9 months to go gang and counting!

Bethie :)


Georgia


Mar 12, 2008, 5:10 PM

Post #8 of 44 (4613 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Your Wish List

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I ditto Fran and Ed's wish list: driver's ed
Bookstores that sell books in Spanish other than nonfiction, self help or religious books (Lake Chapala region)
Shoulders on the roads
Macy's clearance racks
Bed, Bath and Beyond
Functional traffic lights (where I live, if the traffic light has no light, that means its green ..... or red)


morgaine7


Mar 12, 2008, 6:24 PM

Post #9 of 44 (4598 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Your Wish List

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The first thing that came to mind, probably because Jennifer mentioned politics, was freedom as a resident of Mexico from paying taxes to the US government. Product-wise, I guess it would be chewy, crusty, tasty, whole-grain European bread.

Kate


JohnnyBoy

Mar 13, 2008, 8:41 AM

Post #10 of 44 (4541 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Your Wish List

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I would wish for:

Good cable TV service that follows a schedule.
An end to all the flyers and other basura that people leave on my door and car.
All the bare dirt and empty lots to be covered with grass and trees...anything besides bare dirt and dust that ends up my nose and all over my car and in my house.
Sidewalks that are walkable and free of obstructions like people's garage doors, parked cars, etc.
More respect for others' peace and quiet. No music or malfunctioning car alarms after 10pm.
Streets I can drive on without rattling the fillings loose in my teeth.
Highways with shoulders.
Mandatory drivers education.
Enforcement of the traffic and disturbing the peace laws.


Rolly


Mar 13, 2008, 8:52 AM

Post #11 of 44 (4533 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Your Wish List

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I wish my city would enforce the handicap parking rules.

I can no longer visit our very nice central plaza because the handicapped parking spaces are always take by scoff-laws. There are 6 handicapped spaces within my walking range, but I can never find an empty one after 8:00AM.

Rolly Pirate


muycontento

Mar 13, 2008, 4:53 PM

Post #12 of 44 (4476 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Your Wish List

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More stores, hmmmmmmmm..Harrods? Nah I would still buy my underwear at Mega. Only one thing - sushi. The sushi of Honolulu or Tokyo. The real deal.


Jerry@Ajijic

Mar 13, 2008, 7:08 PM

Post #13 of 44 (4450 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Your Wish List

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Rolly, when I was a city councilman and vice mayor one of the "best" things I think I did was to propose and get passed a $100.00 USD fine ordinance for parking in a handicapped zone.I also bullied the police police into enforcing it. I am not handicapped (well maybe mentally) but I really hated to see able bodied people grabbing those places.


travisdyer

Mar 13, 2008, 9:22 PM

Post #14 of 44 (4430 views)

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Re: [JohnBleazard] Your Wish List

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John,

It sounds as if your wish list could be filled back in the good ole USA, or in a gated confine in one of Mexico's wealthiest neighborhoods. Well, except for the cable tv part. After all, why do people move to another country, and lock themselves into gated communities with like-minded ex-pats. It's almost as if they want to escape from where they have CHOSEN to make their new homes.

Do you really like Mexico? Everything you described is part of why I like Mexico. The rustic country, coming into it's own (prosperity). I must admit that there are times that some of those things can be annoying, but I like the challenge of learning to deal with my new surroundings.

So as not to plagiarize James Michener, here is my view on the subject. Living in a different country, surrounded by a new culture, engulfed in a foreign language and unfamiliar cuisine, one must open one's eyes, heart, and mind, or else, be damned by the path that one has chosen.


islena


Mar 14, 2008, 5:24 AM

Post #15 of 44 (4402 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Your Wish List

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  1. more humane animal control - stop the poisonings
  2. better wages for workers
  3. longer grace periods for late payments on electric and phone bills (because sometimes they simply have blown away after they were 'delivered' to the front hedge or the delivery person was having a busy month and just never got around to your neighborhood in time)
  4. evening garbage pickup to stop the animals from tearing open the bags overnight and strewing the trash all over the streets
  5. neighbors who care enough to pick up after #4 above instead of just walking around it
  6. enforcement of speed limits
  7. residential zoning means no mechanics (with greasy parts), recyclers (with piles of material to be recycled), carpenters (with noisy equipment), etc moving in next door
  8. soap and toilet paper as a basic supply in public bathrooms and hospital rooms (IMSS hospitals)
  9. IKEA!



garrycouch

Mar 14, 2008, 11:18 AM

Post #16 of 44 (4342 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Your Wish List

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I opt for FEWER U.S. contaminations to Mexico, not MORE. It's their country which we chose to adopt, not impose "gringo-ism's" on.
The ideas of Ed & Fran, Bloviator, JohnBleazard, and Islena have definite merit, in my periodically humble opinion!


JohnnyBoy

Mar 14, 2008, 11:59 AM

Post #17 of 44 (4339 views)

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Re: [travisdyer] Your Wish List

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Travis,

I am not sure why you singled out my ďWish ListĒ saying that virtually all the items there, that I would like to see change or improve, are the things you like about Mexico and that that leads you to conclude that I must not be happy here and ought to consider going back to the USA or finding some Gringolandia Gated Community to live in. I certainly am not going to criticize you for that. That is your business.

Why didnít you suggest to Rolly that his wish for enforcement of the handicapped parking laws brings into question his commitment to life in Mexico and explain to him just how much cuter and quainter Mexico is when able bodied drivers occupy all the handicapped stalls at the park he loves to visit. You might suggest to him, like you did to me, some places he might consider moving if he has a problem with this quaint arrangement at his city park.

Why didnít you point out to Georgia and several others how much less cute and quaint Mexico would become if there were safety shoulders on the sides of the highways.

Several posters expressed wishes for driverís ed for all drivers on Mexican streets and highways. Perhaps you can tell us how actually learning how to drive and then using that knowledge to drive properly, making the streets and highways safer, how that is going to diminish the cuteness and quaintness of Mexico that so beguiles you.

Perhaps not on this thread but elsewhere on MexConnect, on countless other threads, people have expressed their dismay about the littering problem. Many of us have to come to accept this reality and we know it would hardly even look like Mexico anymore if suddenly all the basura were magically swept away and kept away. I donít think anyone here on MexConnect finds it cute and quaint that armies of Junior High School aged boys come through our neighborhoods, two, three, four times a week, sometimes that many times a day, stuffing flyers the size of Sunday morning newspaper inserts from WalMart, Soriana, and Papa Johnís Pizza into the iron fences we have built around our houses to protect us from all the other cuteness and quaintness, that almost immediately fly off the gate or door and spread themselves through the yards and streets of the neighborhood. How does all that totally unnecessary litter make your Mexican experience so warm and fuzzy and give you the right to question mine?

It is so beautiful right now here in Sonora. Temperatures in the upper 80ís and lower 90ís every day. The locals are still shivering in their jackets and sweaters, but I am out there, walking the neighborhoods. I go to the central market and sit with the other old geezers for a cup of coffee and hope that one of them will talk to me so I can practice my Spanish and learn something from some men my age living here in this new home of mine. I walk all over, sit in the park, just letting it all hang out there, hoping and praying for a nice new experience every day, a new friend or acquaintance. What part of that sounds to you like I am not committed to living in Mexico, that I would be happier locked away in a gate community with a bunch of snobby gringos who would never speak to me again once they figured out my annual income is only five figures and the first figure is less than five. Or that I share my life with Mexican man?

My partner and I walk for an hour or so every late afternoon, early evening. Actually he is the one who wishes that our dusty vacant lots here would grow over with lush green vegetation like so many vacant lots we have seen in Sinaloa, Jalisco, and Campeche. Of course the climate there makes that possible. And the climate here makes that impossible. But as we read the frequent articles in the local newspapers about the increase in childhood asthma that is directly attributed to all the orangish-colored dust and powder that constantly and incessantly blows through the city, we wish for more green if for no other reason than for the sake of little kids who canít play outside as much as they might like to. I guess you donít live in Hermosillo, but if you did, I suppose you would find this layer of orange powder hanging over the city playing a large part in what you would find so cute and quaint about Mexico and you would continue to begrudge me my little wish that it could somehow go away.

My partner complains about his compatriots who throw open their iron garage doors across and blocking the sidewalks, back their vehicles out onto the street, and then speed off, too lazy to get out and close the gates. The very gate they built to keep the cute, quaint thieves, murderers, and rapists out of their houses, they leave it wide open. My partner thinks these people are rude, unconscious, disrespectful. I just had the audacity to wish they would close their garage gates so that we donít have to step into the cute and quaint traffic in the street in order to pass by. And donít even get me started on what he has to say about his fellow Mexicans who decide to build their garage right out to the edge of the street, straddling the sidewalk, as if they owned it and it were their property. Or about the people who donít pull all the way into a parking space and park their vehicles over the sidewalk, once again forcing us into the street in order to pass. We wish these things were not so, and we feel ever so sorry that were it not so, it would diminish the cuteness and quaintness of Mexico for you.

We go a few times a year, especially at the end of January, to the beautiful, truly cute and quaint, colonial city of Alamos in the south end of Sonora. The good people in the government in Mexico City have passed laws to protect and preserve these colonial cities. Among these are laws against playing loud, loud music in or near the historic buildings because the vibrations are known to compromise the buildings, literally shaking them apart. Also, there are real laws about not urinating on the walls and foundations of these old colonial structures, for that too has a very immediate and detrimental, negative effect on those old buildings. And yet, there, 500 meters away, in the historic city hall, sits the mayor and governor listing to classical music, while just a short distance away thousands of drunken teenagers and other people old enough to know better, are blasting away at the buildings with their loud, loud music, right in the heart and center of Colonial Alamos, all the while pissing on the walls, boys and girls, I have seen it with my own eyes, and the mayor and governor do not have a set between them to get the police to enforce the laws.

Yes, I think a little banda music in the wee hours is cute and quaint. I do. No sarcasm. I like to listen to it. I have nothing important to do tomorrow. I will sleep in. But the willful, wonton damage being done to Colonial Alamos and to some old buildings elsewhere here in Sonora is something I thought I might at least wish something could be done about. Little did I know how the cuteness and quaintness of that destructive behavior might affect you and your Mexican experience.

I have been in Mexico almost a year. During that time I was away in Europe for almost two months, so weíll call it ten months that I have been here. I am in a long-term, committed relationship with a Mexican. I moved here so we could be together here. When I got here I knew about as much Spanish as most gringos do: tacos, cerveza, Cinco de Mayo. That was it. Other than my partner, I knew no one.

I am 63 years old and a native speaker of American English. I don't think it is easy for me to learn Spanish at my age or to make a lot of new friends. It all requires a lot of time, energy, and commitment. Most of us in retirement want to relax, take it easy. We are happy with the familiar. Our long established friends and family. Starting all over completely from scratch, socially and in a new language is a pretty demanding task.

I guess I probably know 40-50 people here now. 100% of them are Mexicans. 0% of them speak English. There is one gringa in my Spanish class. We speak only Spanish during class, but after class I have been known to exchange a few pleasantries with her in English. I suppose that brings further into question my commitment to living in Mexico in your mind. Another student is French-Canadian, married to a German, and their permanent home is in Munich. I speak German with her, when we are not in class. And the other student is a girl from Shanghai. We have to speak only Spanish. For the last two months my partner and I have switched from English to Spanish. I have bought hundreds of dollars worth of Spanish languages books and materials, and I use them, daily. I am enrolled in classes that I attend religiously.

I speak only Spanish with all my friends and acquaintances here. Many of them tell me I am the only gringo they know who knows how to conjugate Spanish on the fly and use them in my speech, in the correct tense, correct mood, correct voice. I can even use the present subjunctive. How many of you who question my commitment to being in Mexico even know what the subjunctive is yet alone use it in your daily speech?

I live in a rental house in a middle class Mexican neighborhood. I know and speak to all my neighbors, and they all know me and speak to me when they see me. I know my partnerís elderly, illiterate parents, whom I love like my own, and who seem to love me. And I speak only Spanish with them. They donít know any English. As is the case with all my partnerís siblings, their spouses, and their children. I accept them and they accept me, and we all speak Spanish.

Does this sound like I am not committed to living in Mexico or that I donít enjoy it here?

I am buying a little middle class Mexican house in a new residential neighborhood. Many of the houses are still empty but I have already met two families across the street. There are zero English speaking people in my life and my world, other than my partner, and we speak Spanish.

I speak Spanish with the insurance agent, with the real estate agent, with my doctor, with the oil change guys, the pharmacists, with the yard and lawn guy, with the mailman, with the fruit and vegetable seller who passes through the neighborhood a couple of times per week. Now if you want cute quaint, that fruit and vegetable rig is cute and quaint, and I love it. I look forward to it coming, with its loud blaring recording of the wares for sale. That is cute. That is quaint.

How many of you can say this? There are some, but I donít think any of those people are questioning my commitment to being here.

There is a dentist down the street from me. She drives a mid-90ís full-size Ford Crown Victoria. The security alarm is obviously on the fritz. Every morning when she arrives and parks on the street outside her office, gets out, and attempts to lock the door, the alarm starts. She has to fiddle with it quite a while to turn it off. Then when she gets in the car at midday, it goes off again, then the same scenario when she comes back from lunch, and again when she leaves for the evening. Apparently she has had some emergencies to attend to in the office on a few evenings, because we hear the sirens, whistles, beeping, the whole array of noise from the alarm when she comes into the office in the evening, and again when she leave.

Truly, I do not find this a cute and quaint aspect of Mexican life. I think this woman is a lazy, selfish, disrespectful person. At a minimum she can call someone and have them come and disconnect the alarm. She could take it to a place that specializes in alarm systems, they are ubiquitous here, and get it fixed or replaced. But no. She continues to torture this neighborhood with it, going on now a year. No, no. This is not the cute and quaint Mexico I know. Nevertheless the worst thing I have done about it, as far as I have gone, as aggressive and hostile as I have become is to innocuously wish here on my little MexConnect Wish List, that she would have the decency not to disturb this neighborhood, day in, day out, and into the evenings on occasion, with her damn alarm. And my Mexican neighbors feel the same way. They lament, however, that if they call the police nothing will be done. This barrio does not rank, has no clout, is economically not influential enough to rate that kind of service from the police. The words of Mexicans. Not mine. How cute! How quaint!


sandykayak


Mar 14, 2008, 12:42 PM

Post #18 of 44 (4325 views)

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Re: [JohnBleazard] Your Wish List

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Enjoyed reading your "bio," John. Sounds like you are very enmeshed in la vida mexicana. Buena suerte.
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque


Gringal

Mar 14, 2008, 2:17 PM

Post #19 of 44 (4304 views)

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Re: [JohnBleazard] Your Wish List

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John, there are those who are only too easily in "critic" mode. What they get out of it, I don't know. Ignore them.

Sounds like you're doing all right, and of course there are topes in the path when you move to a new environment.

Since it's nearing St. Paddy's day, I'll offer an Irish curse to the inconsiderate, noise-creating neighbor: "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Her Nose".


NEOhio1


Mar 14, 2008, 2:40 PM

Post #20 of 44 (4298 views)

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Re: [JohnBleazard] Your Wish List

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John, This absolutely the best post. I am really glad for you and all that you have in your Mexico. Good for you and yours.


Oscar2

Mar 14, 2008, 4:17 PM

Post #21 of 44 (4280 views)

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Re: [JohnBleazard] Your Wish List

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John, youíre a riot. Cute and quaint, huh. For a guy who jumped in feet first and treading water, Iíd say youíre off to a good start. A little bitchy, but cute and quaint. Laugh Ah yes, Mexico, is a different animal, one you kind of have to hold in your sights as something akin to US of A during the early pioneer days.

The peculiar civilities weíre sort of accustomed to NoB, in some cases, are not even known or recognized in some areas of Mexico. Much, in part, because the heavy laden ďpaidĒ bureaucracy to influence and keep control either is none existent, (never was) or without the bucks to enforce the little, somewhat sterile existences some of us are brought up in. Perhaps this is why low property taxís down south invite this kind of stuff.

Culture shock is not unusual and acclimation is sometimes a force to recon with. For sure, at times, it can be inconvenient and more but based on your fun journalized rendition of your ongoing life, you seem to be bitchen but yet bobbing and weaving your way through it all. I enjoyed hearing about the tour de force energy in developing your language skills and hob knobbing with the locals. In time, you will get back what you put into it. Hang in there.

Amongst the dust clouds of and the 3rd world, noises and inconveniences, living amongst the Mexicans in time will wield your will and possible subtle acceptances of this indigenous environment that doesnít even have an inkling, concern or even a desire to be something only you in your head know about. Itís like weíre the strangers in a strange land Mexicans were born in calling it and only knowing it as down home.

I think Iíll complain to you about something or another to get your dandruff up enough so you can take us on another journalized fun ride on your Mexican mobileÖ.. Laugh

(This post was edited by Oscar2 on Mar 14, 2008, 7:12 PM)


Gringal

Mar 14, 2008, 10:17 PM

Post #22 of 44 (4229 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Your Wish List

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Oscar, you're a riot. Try Head and Shoulders for dandruff. Try Compassion for dander.


Oscar2

Mar 15, 2008, 12:09 AM

Post #23 of 44 (4220 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Your Wish List

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Gringal, sensitivity, compassion mixed with the matched humor John so aptly gave us was not only appreciated but worth a response in kind to let him know we care. Perhaps somewhat, somewhere your posts to me can do the sameÖÖ


bournemouth

Mar 15, 2008, 7:26 AM

Post #24 of 44 (4195 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Your Wish List

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Oscar - complaining to someone to get him fired up so that you may enjoy the resulting post is not compassion - it's unkindness. Please rethink your rationale.


Gringal

Mar 15, 2008, 9:03 AM

Post #25 of 44 (4174 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Your Wish List

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Oscar, either you are unaware of it or just don't care, but your response to John came across as demeaning to him. That is why some of us posted in his defense. End of my input here.
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