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surebought

Apr 26, 2011, 9:07 AM

Post #1 of 48 (10626 views)

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Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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     Or is it much more fun to watch them get jacked by all the same locals. The Japanese Community in Ensenada has been around since before World War Two. They actually publish privately a bulletin on: What Gas Stations to go to. What lawyers to use, Architects, stores, doctors, etc. The idea was that if one member has unsuccessful business dealings, then there should be no need for everyone to suffer the same consequences. In the beginning, because they were FOREIGNERS, they did this for survival because they fell pray to all kinds of shenanigans. Now they just want to look out for each other.
With us Americans its just one big comedy. Even when they ask you, they rarely take your advice. A great example was when I had the store, a newcomer American asks, "Can you recommend a Dermatologist? My back needs to be looked at." Sure we know a really good one, and I go to the trouble of looking up the phone number and giving it to him." Two weeks later he comes back and complains that his back is killing him and its all infected. I ask, "Did you go to the person that I recommended?" No, "Someone in my church recommended their cousin." "Was he a Dermatologist?" "No" he answered. So they're going to complain to you even if they don't take your advise. In Stores many newcomers mistake 200 peso bills for 20 peso bills after changing money. I know this from personal experience. I, myself, would always tell the person. Nobody ever said thanks for telling them. They want to make their own mistakes. I guess that's the only way they can learn.
One problem that I personally have from all this is that the Americans are considered such easy prey, that I too am sometimes lumped in with all these hapless expatriates. The opening price is always about twice the price the locals pay. So I have to be more on my guard and try much harder to get anything accomplished because I too am a victim of the same stigma. If you don't think any of this is true, then humor me and do a little experiment. For one month, carefully count your change after making every purchase in Mexico just to see how many times its correct. Don't leave your brain at the border.



YucaLandia


Apr 26, 2011, 5:02 PM

Post #2 of 48 (10533 views)

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Re: [surebought] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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Hey surebought,
Nice lede with the Japanese community angle. We used to have a website called Merida Insider here in Merida, run by Mexicobob, that heavily featured Q's by newbies and a variety of characters proffering sometimes spicy advice - since we each have our own individual perspectives on what works and why. The pool of experts and the quality of their advice, experience, and expertise was better than anything I've seen since. I know that a blend of advice, insights, and information from the MI gang (plus help from my Yuca-familia), made my first 6 months go much better. Why let a few less-than-satisfying past experiences spoil future chances for people to exchange insights?
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


mexipat

Apr 26, 2011, 5:12 PM

Post #3 of 48 (10515 views)

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Re: [surebought] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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I think it's a mistake to lump all newcomers together. There are some areas of Mexico where I'm pretty knowledgeable and I'm glad to share it. Other places I need help and am glad to get it.


chinagringo


Apr 26, 2011, 7:05 PM

Post #4 of 48 (10489 views)

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Re: [surebought] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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From personal experience on various forums:
1) Difficulty in discerning who does know what they are talking about versus those that claim to be "experts".
2) Understanding the inconsistencies of Mexico - ie a rule for one part of MX doesn't necessarily apply down the road or in a different city or State
3) Understanding that any advice given is "date stamped" and will probably not be valid at some undetermined point down the road.
4) And the BIGGIE in today's Mexico safety environment - understanding that many prefer to remain clueless and then post that they traveled some route and saw nothing and therefore, it must be safe! To me, it is worse than when someone gives a recommendation about a good doctor and they choose to ignore proven advice. In this case, the cavalier attitudes exhibited by some can get someone killed.
5) Understanding that some long time residents of MX are stuck in an experience and technology "time warp" and may be providing dated info that is no longer valid.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Anonimo

Apr 27, 2011, 3:41 AM

Post #5 of 48 (10416 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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I'm always pleased to give advice gained from our own experience, but I'm amazed at the number of newcomers who can't seem to locate much of anything without advice. This is much more pointed in a small city such as Pátzcuaro rather than a larger city, say, Oaxaca.

Our local board has, over the years, gotten requests for where the fax office is, as well as firewood, picture framing, etc. The list could go on.

It's one thing to look for recommendations for services, doctors, etc; quite another to ask about things that someone could find on their own by getting out in the streets and walking around. It would be only a slight exaggeration to imagine someone wanting to know where they could buy a TelCel Amigo card.

I can only speculate on the reasons for this reluctance to find goods and services on their own.

Que les busquen bien;
Anonimo


Brian

Apr 27, 2011, 5:33 AM

Post #6 of 48 (10398 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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I can only speculate on the reasons for this reluctance to find goods and services on their own.

Que les busquen bien;
Anonimo


I think that people who ask seemingly mundane questions on message boards are probably lonely. Living in a foreign country and, in most cases, not being fluent in Spanish, is a difficult adjustment. I think that they are reaching out to others in a similar situation for a form of companionship. Personally, I always dislike it when some newbie asks a question and is curtly told to "look it up in the archives".


chinagringo


Apr 27, 2011, 6:19 AM

Post #7 of 48 (10393 views)

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Re: [Brian] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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"I always dislike it when some newbie asks a question and is curtly told to "look it up in the archives"."

Back when I first started on this forum (when it was a pay to play site) and other forums, it was expected that one would do a for information prior to asking a new question. They would often receive a response to do a search in the archives. Through the years, this type of response has gone down dramatically. While the search function on this forum works extremely well, there are numerous forums where that function is a joke and virtually useless.

I think that when you see people asking seemingly "inane" questions, it speaks to the instant gratification attitude that society has developed. Additionally, since society has developed an "it's all about me" attitude, naturally their question is unique and never been asked before. Again, not so much on this forum, but how often have you seen someone make a post about a question or topic that already has one or maybe even a couple of like topics started on the very same page? Another prime example is when a poster disregards the section where a topic belongs and places said topic in the section that is the "center of their universe". I often wonder if my geography knowledge is sorely lacking since I fail to understand that the Lake Chapala area is the "center of Mexico" when I see certain posts in that section.

Are people so afraid of making a mistake or is it merely a matter that they are lazy? Not for me to say but it is my opinion that we best learn from personal experience and more often than not, that knowledge is retained in the memory bank rather than passing through like the wind!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Reefhound


Apr 27, 2011, 8:09 AM

Post #8 of 48 (10349 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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I think people should be expected to put in a little effort themselves so there's nothing wrong with asking someone to try searching. Of course, there are ways to do it rudely or nicely. It would be nice to suggest some search terms.

Some topics have been covered so much though that a forum search yields too many results. Search skills vary widely and some will be able to drill through that and some will be overwhelmed. Knowing how to play with various search terms makes a world of difference. Too specific and you get no results. Too general and you get many irrelevant results.

Most of us here are familiar with forums and how they work, some of us have been using forums for decades. But for someone brand new to forums it is not so obvious as to how they work, what capabilities exist, and perhaps more importantly what is proper "netiquette".

You can often tell who is just not forum savvy and who is just lazy by how they react to being told to go search...


surebought

Apr 27, 2011, 8:20 AM

Post #9 of 48 (10347 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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Once upon a time I was in Mulege and I ran into a retired accountant. He was very excited because he was building a residence. I asked him where it was. It was on ejido land that insiders knew was in litigation in Mexico City and you never know what they're going to do in D.F. I knew this and I wondered if money changed hands yet on the purchase of the property. I knew he was walking into a problem. But, I held my tong when he explained that he had always done things by the book in the US. "He was always standing by the phone - always doing what he was told."(from Pink Floyd) Now he wanted to take a a risk and really do something frivolous. Later Mulege became a battle ground for land title problems. Maybe its more like Captain Kirk in Star Trek, just don't take a stand with any of this; the theory of non-intervention. Maybe it really benefits the disadvantaged at the expense of people that can afford it and more importantly can justify failure in a hundred different ways.


Gringal

Apr 27, 2011, 8:22 AM

Post #10 of 48 (10346 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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When we first contemplated moving to Mexico in the early 2000's, we paid to join Mexconnect. If was an invaluable resource and we always went to the search function first rather than waste members' time with obvious questions. Seems like the grownup thing to do, to this day.

Some people are just plain lazy.......and some crave attention.
Some haven't a clue how to search.
In all cases, I think we should be polite to newbies, since moving to a foreign country is a daunting proposition at best. We can gently nudge them toward finding answers for themselves. Rolly has done so much work in this regard that I most often direct them to his website for basic "moving to Mexico" information.

Some questions are so complex that the old hands who do have the answers to them get big karma points for helpfulness.


ken_in_dfw

Apr 27, 2011, 9:06 AM

Post #11 of 48 (10334 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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In Reply To
Some questions are so complex that the old hands who do have the answers to them get big karma points for helpfulness.


AMEN!!! I am always grateful to the more experienced members of this online community when they take the time to share their hard-earned knowledge with others. Some of you all have the patience of Job...


jrpierce


Apr 27, 2011, 9:26 AM

Post #12 of 48 (10320 views)

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Re: [surebought] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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My wife and I got some terrific help from the boards when we first moved to Mexico (and still do from time to time), and I do my best to repay that by helping others. We also like to post information on resources we have found to be especially good (e.g. contractors, vendors, doctors, restaurants, etc.). That not only helps people needing the services, but also supports the workers who provide excellent service.

On the other hand, I do get frustrated by those who turn to the boards for every little thing without doing any of their own research first. I think those folks start to find they don't get much help from others on the boards. I also find myself irritated by people who are self appointed experts on everything and dispense advice that I know to be wrong or suspect. I try to limit my suggestions to things I KNOW to be true from personal experience, or to qualify it as second-hand when posting.

Jim


maddiesmom

Apr 27, 2011, 11:23 AM

Post #13 of 48 (10274 views)

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Re: [surebought] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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I am about to be a newcomer to the Chapala area and I realy appriciate all the advice and information on the message boards. I am sure when I get there I will need advice in person. So, please offer advice to newcomers, I know I am grateful.


playaboy

Apr 27, 2011, 11:42 AM

Post #14 of 48 (10264 views)

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Re: [surebought] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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Free advise is worth what you pay for it and is usually taken with a grain of salt by the person asking. Charge them money for that same advice and they will usually follow it. This is what consultant do all the time.

On a one to one basis, I won´t waste my time unless they will pay and the serious ones do pay.


sparks


Apr 27, 2011, 5:46 PM

Post #15 of 48 (10200 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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They changed from the old wide open wwwboard format about the beginning of 2003 and I'm not sure what luck they had at indexing that change of formats (search old message base). I tried the pay mode once and wasn't very happy with it, probably because not many people were participating.

I ran into MexConnect about '99 because there was nothing else. That might have been the first year for a message board here?

Sparks Mexico Blog - Sparks Costalegre


DavidMcL


Apr 27, 2011, 7:41 PM

Post #16 of 48 (10156 views)

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Re: [sparks] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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Very close.
Mexconnect went online in 1996 and the first version of the Forums went live in 1998. All from Ajijic!
Now it is from Guadalajara, Victoria BC and Vancouver BC

David
' in Victoria
David McL
WebJefe


Gringal

Apr 28, 2011, 7:20 AM

Post #17 of 48 (10096 views)

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Re: [playaboy] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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Just my opinion: that's cold.

It's no skin off my hide to play forward what others did for me when I was a newbie. I did take advice when it came from a source that sounded well seasoned in Mexico and intelligent in expression. I have paid for advice in the past on other matters that turned out to be downright counter-productive (investment advisers) and lost money as a result.


Reefhound


Apr 28, 2011, 8:33 AM

Post #18 of 48 (10064 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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I agree, the decent thing to do is pay it forward. From a self serving point of view, I'd be better off to just spend my time absorbing new information rather than sharing what I've learned with others. But if we all did this there's be little information out there in the first place. Whether it's forums like these or helpful pages like Rolly's, they all took someone's unpaid time.

Another thing I've found is that spending 10 or 15 minutes to tap out a detailed response to a question helps reinforce what I had already learned and often helps me to learn new things. For example, in a thread not long ago someone was crossing at Laredo and unfamiliar with the logistics. I spent some time giving detailed directions with google map views and street views. In the process of that I further enhanced my familiarity with not only the specific route I've taken but also surrounding streets. I noticed details in the street views that I had not noticed before. And plus it was just fun to relive past experiences.


Sunnyvmx


Apr 28, 2011, 8:35 AM

Post #19 of 48 (10061 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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I personally find that by learning and using the search function, I find answers to questions I didn't even know to ask. Therefore, encouraging someone to search the forum or see Rolly's website is most likely going to be of most benefit especially when their knowledge base is starting from zero. If someone is like me they can't get enough advice to feed the initial enthusiasm by asking a single question so pointing them in the direction of a great pool of knowledge will help to fill the void.

I thank all the posters for the information and the time spent answering questions specific to their personal experience or even opinion, but I'm also thankful to have been told where to go to research for myself. Even postings that are years old may or may not have relevance today, but it all enhances and encourages someone to search out and think for themselves. The idea to move to Mexico requires much thoughtful decision making and a person that requires handholding and direction may not have the independence necessary to make the move successful.


robt65

Apr 28, 2011, 9:22 AM

Post #20 of 48 (10044 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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I think I am ther person who elicited that advice from Reefhound. While I appreciated very much the information provided, It is still the persons prerogative to take yet another route if for whatever reason he / she chooses to do so. I know that Reefhound would never take such an attitude, but some posters feel they have gone to the trouble of providing such detail and then when it is not used or taken they get very upset. We have to remember that giving even good sound information and advice, does not equate the requester MUST take that information or advice for some reason that we might not be cognizant about. I know that I certainly learned lot about that crossing at Laredo.

Thanks again Reefhound

robt65


Gringal

Apr 28, 2011, 12:32 PM

Post #21 of 48 (10006 views)

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Re: [robt65] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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Well, folks...........about giving advice in general: Anyone who has ever raised a teenager know how much of our well meaning advice they take. (LOL) Sometimes they surprise us. The amazing thing is that sometimes, years later, they admit they wish they'd listened. All we can do when we offer advice is send it off on the airwaves with no expectations. We certainly shouldn't feel hurt when it isn't taken.

Most "good deeds" are like that. Don't expect appreciation. Be glad if it happens.


playaboy

Apr 28, 2011, 12:44 PM

Post #22 of 48 (9999 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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You are right, it is a little cold. When I am face to face with someone and see that they are just wasting time why should I waste mine. Charge a fee and they are very attentive on what I say.

I have found that most people only hear what they want to hear. Very few people actually listen. An example, I have tried to help people with internet access here on my coast. I usually advise them that the best service is to go to TelCel and get Banda Ancha. I explain to them how it works and the costs. They go to the service center sign up, and get their stick. These people don't speak any Spanish. They tell me everything that they told the TelCel rep (who doesn't speak English) and what the rep told them. It just amazes me that they think they communicated their thoughts and what they understand the rep had told them. They don't send the correct message to Telcel to activate and their monthly service becomes a day service. Then they get mad at me when it doesn't go the way they thought it would. I am done with that. Now if they pay me (500 pesos) to help them get set-up, it goes very smoothly and they appreciate my time. Why give the money to Slim when I can use it.

If a person is earnest in seeking advice I will help but if they want to show me that they know more than me I turn and walk away. I am sure some of you have run into the same kind of people I am talking about. I am not going to compete in "who knows more", in person or on a forum.

On the other hand, participating on a forum like this is to add to the discussion. Face to face is an entirely different matter.

BTW, as far as Rolly and his website is concerned, he is a SAINT. I wanted to learn and his site was one of the first places I turned to 8 years ago when I moved to Mexico and I still refer to it.


Gringal

Apr 28, 2011, 1:34 PM

Post #23 of 48 (9984 views)

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Re: [playaboy] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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I think "Saint Rollybrook" has a nice ring to it.

In any event, he has so many good karma points stored by now that sainthood would be redundant.

And hay......Playaboy.........if you can make an honest buck selling good advice.......power to ya!


Rolly


Apr 28, 2011, 1:54 PM

Post #24 of 48 (9976 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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You guys make me blush.
Several people have suggested that I should make my website a pay-to-view. I have no interest in that.
You know the old saying "Virtue is its own reward." For me, making my website has been its own reward.
That others find it useful is nice. But the only audience that really motivates me is me. I want to build something that pleases me. I don't know if that is overblown ego or just crazy. Probably, both.

Rolly Pirate


Gringal

Apr 28, 2011, 2:14 PM

Post #25 of 48 (9968 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Should we offer advise to the New Comers?

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No, Rolly, I think you are doing what all creative individuals in every discipline do: The reward lies in the act of creation itself.
Live long and prosper, amigo.
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