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alex .

Jul 21, 2003, 1:47 PM

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in what way do Mexicans "change" al otro lado?

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People, my wife's family that is, say that she has changed since crossing over. Apparently this is a common complaint. She says that distant relatives, who never even knew her growing up, are accusing her of having changed. She has no idea what they are talking about, but that supposedly she is adopting my ways. I don't get it either. Materialism maybe?
Alex



Ed and Fran

Jul 21, 2003, 3:37 PM

Post #2 of 6 (903 views)

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Re: [alex .] in what way do Mexicans "change" al otro lado?

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I think anyone who spends a lot of time on the other side of the border (whether that's a gringo living in Mexico, or a Mexican living up here) unconsciously starts to change. And the change happens so slowly that the person is usually unable to see the change in themselves. Someone in the family who sees them after a long absence will immediately notice the change.

Just to give you an example from our house. Fran, brought up in the system, used to be rather fatalistic about accepting the red tape involved in any government tramite in Mexico. Now, after seeing how (relatively) smoothly things can go up here, she gets a lot more upset at having to go through the process and deal with the bureaucracy in Mexico. I used to be the one to get upset, now I'm older and more patient, and I've learned to let Fran deal with the paperwork!

I think both sides, assuming open minds, wind up adopting some new attitudes from the other side. Hopefully we select the good ones.

Saludos

E&F


raferguson


Jul 21, 2003, 8:10 PM

Post #3 of 6 (882 views)

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Re: [alex .] in what way do Mexicans "change" al otro lado?

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One time I took a trip to Mexico with a friend of mine who had never been to Mexico. He had seen me mostly in a work environment. He claimed that I was a different person in Mexico, more relaxed, more chatty, etc.

An example not from Mexico. I grew up in the South of the USA, but lost my southern accent in college. It comes back immediately when I talk to southerners.

One style issue relates to being polite. Mexicans are very formally polite, shake hands a lot, take some time getting to the point. Americans tend to be more direct and informal. Despite speaking the language, I have to remind myself a lot to be more polite in Mexico (or France for that matter) than I am in the USA.

Most people do change to match their environment. Some of the changes occur very quickly, like the accent example. Some are more gradual. One study said that Mexicans in Mexico, or new to the USA, have lower rates of aloholism and mental illness, but after a dozen years or so, adjust and match the higher rates in the USA. (In other words, over a dozen years, emigrants gradually change from the lower Mexican rates to the higher USA rates).


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


jennifer rose

Jul 21, 2003, 8:38 PM

Post #4 of 6 (876 views)

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In what ways do gringos change when they move to Mexico?

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I’ve noticed that I’ve changed since moving to Mexico. When my late mother moved to Mexico, I noticed the same changes in her behavior and outlook, too. More accepting, more tolerant (except when it comes to liberal Democrats, of course!), and somewhat more formal. Shaking hands and abrazos. The requisite preliminary inquiry about the family. Wearing makeup when leaving the house. Putting on good clothing even to go to Costco. Socializing more and with a broader and different spheres of friends. Going out on Friday evening with a group of women for dinner or coffee.

Not getting upset when the neighbor wanted to cover my antique Coromandel screen with a polyester lace curtain when the Virgen came to visit the house. Telling children on the street to pick up their trash. Accepting invitations to baby and bridal showers, even though I really don’t like doing so.

Even though I took great pains back in the Old Country to cook authentic Mexican food, I no longer attempt it here, because others do it so much better and I’m not going to compete with the pros. At my house, guests are more likely to get something grilled or coq au vin. Realizing that a comida with a finite number of guests is an impossibility, because someone’s always bringing a friend.

Giving alms to the old crippled man outside of the church and sometimes buying him a torta.

Saying “Buenos Dias,” “Adios,” or something to acknowledge people on the street.


franzenz


Jul 22, 2003, 6:13 AM

Post #5 of 6 (854 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] in what way do Mexicans "change" al otro lado?

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E&F:

I couldn't agree more! We let 'Ruth' take care of it.

Brent




In Reply To
I think anyone who spends a lot of time on the other side of the border (whether that's a gringo living in Mexico, or a Mexican living up here) unconsciously starts to change. And the change happens so slowly that the person is usually unable to see the change in themselves. Someone in the family who sees them after a long absence will immediately notice the change.

Just to give you an example from our house. Fran, brought up in the system, used to be rather fatalistic about accepting the red tape involved in any government tramite in Mexico. Now, after seeing how (relatively) smoothly things can go up here, she gets a lot more upset at having to go through the process and deal with the bureaucracy in Mexico. I used to be the one to get upset, now I'm older and more patient, and I've learned to let Fran deal with the paperwork!

I think both sides, assuming open minds, wind up adopting some new attitudes from the other side. Hopefully we select the good ones.

Saludos

E&F



David Eidell

Jul 22, 2003, 9:32 AM

Post #6 of 6 (830 views)

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The First Ten Miles

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Upon my return...

Everything is sooooooooooo perfect. Concrete structures are flawlessly painted, with complete cyclone fencing and manicured lawns, cops in their new cars can find out more about you in two minutes.......

Road exits are perfectly marked. everything looks fresh out of some kind of weird magazine...

And it's all sterile and cold as hell.

It's sooooooooooooooooo quiet, with nobody verbally hawking cylinders of gas, sweet potatoes, or suuuuuuper oferrrrrrtas at the local supertienda.

There's no chance of a fiesta, or seeing trabajadores marching in huelga, no indigenas, padding by on thir way to market, no whooping, chirping car alarms, not a chance in the world of scoring a streetside tamale on your way home, and the closest thing to arts and crafts would be phenolic plastic moldings in some nickle and dime "Dollar Store" somewhere.

Woe to you if your front tire should roll upon the white line of a crosswalk! "That'll be one hundred sixty five dollars sir, cash, check or plastic", but not right then or there of course, you have to go way and the hell out of your way to pay this insult. Try to palm off five bucks to the cop and wham, you're in cuffs baby on your way to see the wizard.

Build a palapa over top your motorhome? Hijole Man! Do you know how many zoning codes that this would violate? You need a zoning variance, then this inspector will come out and then that inspector will come out and argue that it's all done wrong and what the hell, you can't park your motorhome inside the city limits anyway. Your 1938 travel (storage) trailer that hasn't seen the carratera since Roosevelt was in office needs a thirty dollar a year license tag or the ownership certificate is void, and that thing has to go to the fifty dollar a month RV storage yard as well. WE DON'T WANT BLIGHT!

Someone's hammering on your door. It's an attorney sent by your next door neighbor that you haven't laid eyes on in ten years (the one that drives a French sedan). It seems that "your" plumb tree that hangs over the fence had dropped a fruit that the neighbor's guest slipped on and broken their ankle. She happens to be an ice ballarena for the Moscow Follies, and the attorney only wants ten million smackers to make his client "one with the earth again".

The village priest has been dallying with the choir boys, and the sports channel has a special on an entire basketball team that has snuffed one of their own. On another channel Lee Ermey, shouts to make you "Stand up and fly right".

Idi Amin in is Saudi Arabia, while their neighbors are in Uganda looking for uranium to blow the Statue of Liberty all the way back to Paris France.

The government office of budget and management swears up and down that out eight percent a year inflation is actually closer to (dreaded) deflation. Try to follow the ups and down of the Dow Jones Industrials and you'll get nauseated or the bends.

The World's largest military force, with all of it's computers, and depleted uranium are playing hide-and-go-seek with mad men fully up to the task, and our reporters are "imbedded" something like what a bug does to a paint job at sixty miles an hour.

But have our neighbors "change" living inside all of this normalcy? A few months ago I heard a gringa child ask her mother "What color is it here?" My answer though I didn't voice it at the time is: "Happy! A mixture of cool blue contentment, excited red, and sunny yellow"

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