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jennifer rose

Jun 19, 2005, 10:05 AM

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Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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It's Sunday morning, and my employee came over to sneak the sports section out of the paper. It's his usual routine, which is just fine with me since he lets the dog out. He also comes over early to seek sanctuary in the smallest, most frequently used room in the house, but that's not for discussion. He waits around, and he waits around. No newspaper. I go out for a walk, return, do bunch of Sunday morning stuff, and there's still no paper. I call the newspaper to ask why there's no newspaper slid under my gate today.

"It's Father's Day. No paper. We're not working today. Tomorrow you'll get Siete Dias," the voice at LaVoz de Michoacan tells me. Siete Dias is the glossy supplement included in the Sunday edition of La Voz de Michoacan and other Mexican dailies. How will I go a day without Toca Mal, without Facetas, without the paginas rojas?

Duh, silly me. I should've known. No paper on Labor Day, no paper on major holidays. Never mind that the rest of the world goes by, that everything else, including Home Depot is open (and no doubt having a big Father's day sale), there will be no newspaper on a holiday. Banks closed, no mail delivery, I can deal with. But a daily newspaper's supposed to be seven days a week, 365 days a year, rain, sleet or shine. When will I ever learn? It will do me no good to walk up to the abarrote and look for Provincia. There will be none, because today's a holiday.

What aspects of life in Mexico have you never learned?


(This post was edited by jennifer rose on Jun 19, 2005, 10:08 AM)



Rolly


Jun 19, 2005, 10:43 AM

Post #2 of 41 (6943 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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There is a particularly difficult intersection in my town that I have to deal with frequently. There are traffic lights there, they have been there for years, but they have never been turned on. I don't think I will ever understand that.

Rolly Pirate


Bear

Jun 19, 2005, 1:41 PM

Post #3 of 41 (6912 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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Weekly tianguis that block the street and jam traffic for kilometers in every direction. "We liked this mess so much last week, lets do it again this week!"


gpk

Jun 19, 2005, 6:04 PM

Post #4 of 41 (6852 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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I bought Provincia--I find it has more useful information anyway. The older, more established papers always seem to do things like this--El Sol here in Irapuato has its own "holiday" schedule, also.


mrchuck


Jun 19, 2005, 7:10 PM

Post #5 of 41 (6824 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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Well, I will NEVER get used to the eating lunch at 3 pm or later, and dinner at 9pm or later.
I'm sorry, I have tried for years, and I cannot adapt to this custom.
I go to sleep early, as I am an "early" riser.
Must of been my Texas upbringing.

Saludos,,,,mc


Carron

Jun 19, 2005, 9:31 PM

Post #6 of 41 (6794 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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We don't have any newspaper delivery in our town. If you want a paper, you have to drive to a corner where someone sells them. Way out of our way. So I don't learn much about the local news. I would pay extra for home delivery!

We also have trouble keeping up with the ever changing laws about what hours we can buy beer or liquor in our town. Seems to change from week to week, day to day according to holidays. I understand that "illegal" drugs are available at any hour on any day. Doesn't help us at all.


Georgia


Jun 20, 2005, 7:40 AM

Post #7 of 41 (6739 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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I have a hard time dealing with the Mexican rumor mill which is a remarkably exaggerated and mystical version of the truth: e.g. "that's the woman who murdered her husband" Translation: he ordered her to go out and buy him a bottle of booze every day and he drank it and eventually died of liver failure. "They are alcoholics, very bad, drunk all the time" Translation: they were once observed slightly tipsy. "He murdered his wife" Translation: she had a heart attack, fell down, hit her head on the concrete. "The late rainy season is caused by .....(fill in the blanks... but something people might disapprove of: divorced people, gays, wealthy people) Translation: if something bad happens in nature, people's moral shortcomings caused it. "The duende pushed the child into the well." Translation: a child fell in an uncovered well by accident; some malicious spirit caused it, not human negligence.

And... once these judgments are made, they stick forever.


trailrunner

Jun 20, 2005, 7:42 AM

Post #8 of 41 (6740 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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What I cannot understand is how a livestock owner can free his/her valuable animals to graze untethered along the carretera. I completely understand the desire to feed their horses, cows, or burros for free, but for about 17 cents of rope they can insure that they will still have those animals at the end of the day or in the morning. Not to mention that they would also ensure the safety of the traffic and not be liable for their animals causing accidents.

A few months ago I was driving on a busy and dangerous part of the carretera and approaching a hill. In the distance at the top of the hill I watched a burro cross the road. Upon reaching the burro, and at the last minute, I noticed that he WAS tethered and that the rope lay flat and slack across the carretera as he grazed along the shoulder. Had he shied at my car, or taken a couple of more steps forward for a succlent blade of grass his rope would have elevated a foot or two across the road and we would have struck the rope at about 40 MPH probably causing him to swing around and slam into the car. A scenario I would NEVER have imagined or been prepared for.


1ajijic


Jun 20, 2005, 7:54 AM

Post #9 of 41 (6730 views)

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Re: [trailrunner] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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I thought that a driver who hits a farm animal on the road is responsible for reimbursing the farmer / owner for the value of the animal.
http://www.newbeginningsmexico.com


trailrunner

Jun 20, 2005, 9:07 AM

Post #10 of 41 (6713 views)

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Re: [1ajijic] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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That's true in the US, but I've been told that it is not so here. The owner of the animal is responsible as it is his "property" that caused the accident. Only what I've been told several times, perhaps others have more information.

What really bothers me is the needless carnage of animals along the road, some of which do not die immediately and are left to linger in the sun for some time until they do. I'm also told that vets are unable to put them down as they are someones "private property" but that some of them will actually inject them if the dying animal is out of sight. Pitiful situation for the animals. Also is why the owners will not come forward to put the animal down or save it as then they would be responsible for the it damage caused.

I know a man who is the chauffeur for a prominent Mexican man who is a friend of mine. This chauffeur and his young son were traveling back to Guadalajara from the lake and as he came over the rise on the highway, in the dark, and descended the cloverleaf he was confronted head to head with a golloping herd of 16 horses. He had no opportunity to evade them and 3 were killed. No injuries in the car but the car was demolished.


lbc

Jun 20, 2005, 10:03 AM

Post #11 of 41 (6682 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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Two things still bother me. In my third year, I have not at all grown accustomed to the constant barking and often very inhumane conditions of the roof dogs.
I also have a hard time with some of the music that makes the outdoors a salon de fiestas and totally disregards ALL the people who are forced to listen to this…I thought privacy is such a valued commodity with all those walls, etc., but when it comes to respecting the privacy of others like in the travel of sound, it is a real paradox.
This reminds me of what somebody said on another thread about the concept of time…usually very loose but not so when it comes to separate the buenas tardes from the dias, which is precise like clockwork. Maybe I am saying that I don't like those double-standards. quiene sabe?


Gringal

Jun 20, 2005, 10:14 AM

Post #12 of 41 (6675 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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Here's mine: We bought a house out in the colonias with a dirt road out front, a solid iron gate and no mailbox. All mail is slipped under the door into a courtyard and in the rainy season it's not a pretty picture. In addition, no street sign, many houses unmarked and another one about three blocks away with the same number as ours. So, we signed up with a local Mailbox etc., type service and receive all mail there. Well, almost all. The electric company and the phone company will NOT deliver bills to that address. Only to the actual house. No matter what. We explained our situation and the fact we were not receiving the bills at all sometimes, but no, no way, nada would they change. Aaaargh! Our gringa neighbor doesn't get it either. Ah well.


Anonimo

Jun 20, 2005, 12:39 PM

Post #13 of 41 (6632 views)

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Re: [mrchuck] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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We are prepared for that aspect of life in Mexico. We already have dinner at 3 or 4 PM, but we go to bed early, most usually,by 8 PM. I couldn't stay awake until 9 PM for supper, except on special occasions.



Saludos,
Anonimo


julian3345

Jun 20, 2005, 2:17 PM

Post #14 of 41 (6596 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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I learned from unfortunate experience that the CFE and Telmex bills are delivered by their own delivery people and not necessarily the same ones who delivered the previous bill. I had excellent luck for a year...always found my bills under my front door or somewhere near the porch until last month when neither my neighbor nor I received our CFE bills. Since the billing period is 70 days (why?)...it's due on a different date from one bill to the next...I really wasn't aware that I hadn't gotten it. I had even asked the Correos cartero if he had seen my CFE bill and of course...he couldn't tell me anything. At that time I didn't know that he doesn't deliver the utility bills. To cut to the chase...my neighbor and I both had our power cut off and eventually had to pay 80 pesos re-connection fee. When we tried to find out who the errant bill delivery person was...we got a lot of kerfluffle in return from the CFE office....the best part of the story was that my neighbor simply called an electrician friend as soon as we discovered the cutoff of power. He quickly got us back on the grid before anything had time to melt. Joan


garrycouch

Jun 20, 2005, 2:23 PM

Post #15 of 41 (6592 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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All of the above seems commonplace all over Mexico. One of my favorite "How Comes" is:
All over towns you can see nice homes (as well as others) which appear ready to add
another floor since the reinforcement rods stick up into the air. My Mexican neighbor with
a nice house works for the government and also has rods sticking above his large two-story
house... explanation is that they can claim that the house is unfinished and therefore pay
much less property tax... for the past fourteen years!


Bubba

Jun 20, 2005, 2:39 PM

Post #16 of 41 (6588 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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In today's Spanish class we were concentrating on adjectives and I was struck by something in the text that reminded me of a recent thread on the Ajijic/Lake Chapala Forum regarding a local nightclub/restaurant (Sr. Azul) that failed for lack of patronage. A "loyal" (meaning "regular") customer had written an informal critique he labeled a "post mortem" attempting to anayze what might have gone wrong with this venture.

What reminded me of this was the Spanish textbook's definition of the term "regular". Depending on whether one uses ser or estar, the meaning of the word "regular" can have different connotations as in:

"Es un cliente regular". (He's a steady customer." or
"Ese cliente esta regular" (Suggesting the customer is a lousy tipper or otherwise not profoundly missed when absent nor particularly contributory to the good of the business when present. Likely a cheapskate or what the Mexicans call "tacano".)

I suggest that when it comes to the poster, "Ese cliente estuvo regular."

This "regular" customer had taken umbrage at the fact that, when he had requested a glass of water the management had told him that they only served bottled water and he would be charged for same. This deeply offended the poster who went so far as to later e-mail a complaint to the nightclub's owner decrying the staff's refusal to supply him with free water. At a later date, he became even more offended when management instituted a $30 Peso cover charge to attend live music sessions. The poster also indicated that the food was not very good but that would not prevent a patron from eating elsewhere and enjoying drinks and music at the nightclub so the inference in the post was that, somehow, the club was mismanaged by the owner's attempts to recoup his costs by refusing him free water and charging a small cover to provide live music.

I brought this story to my Spanish teacher's attention as she is a Guadalajaran and has lived in Mexico all of her life. I prefaced my remarks by telling her that restaurant patrons in the United States took free water at the table for granted in most restaurants and, thus, might assume that that was a custom in other parts of the world as well. Since I married a French woman and lived in France, I knew that in that country, if one wanted water at the table, one bought bottled water from the establishment. Period.

She agreed that the same is true in Mexico and that any Mexican restaurant patron would automatically assume that water at the table was to be purchased by the bottle. She also felt that a customer's insistence on free water was rude and contemptuous of the underlying costs incurred by the establishment in delivering that water along with live music, rented premises and wait staff to the customer.

She then proceeded to tell me about her attendance at a bar in Downtown Chapala last week which is normally frequented only by middle and lower middle class men but had allowed women in because there was a Guadalajara Chivas (soccer) game on the television for a couple of hours and all were welcome. However, posted at the door in no uncertain terms was a notice that during the game, the establishment had an $80 Peso per person minimum. Otherwise, many clients would simply take up valuable space nursing one beer for two hours.

One will do better in any foreign country by observing and adhering to local customs.


rjkveton


Jun 20, 2005, 3:08 PM

Post #17 of 41 (6571 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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This is for the benefit of Bubba and others who may be "accent" challenged, as I once was, on their US keyboards.

http://allchars.zwolnet.com/

The correct spelling of the word for stingy is tacaño.


Carron

Jun 20, 2005, 3:33 PM

Post #18 of 41 (6548 views)

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Re: [rjkveton] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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You are so right about the Spanish keyboard. I live in Cd. Acuna and there should be a tilde over the n. But we have two computers. The one connected to Prodigy Infinitum is basically in Hubby's territory and he demands an English keyboard. Thus I have to use it when I am on line, with Mex Connect for example.

I also have a computer set-up of my own for writing, not connected to the Internet. I use a Spanish keyboard on it, no matter what language I am using. But no one on line knows just how good my Spanish is since I can't reproduce it on the English keyboard.


Rolly


Jun 20, 2005, 4:28 PM

Post #19 of 41 (6508 views)

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Re: [rjkveton] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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I also use the Allchars program. It works so nicely. Here is the link in clickable form:

http://allchars.zwolnet.com

Rolly Pirate


wendy devlin

Jun 20, 2005, 4:49 PM

Post #20 of 41 (6498 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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Having spent some time watching soccer games on TV in bars where women were scarce...anything brought to the table(excepting a few spicy peanuts in a bowl and requistory bottle of hot-sauce) needed ordering.

The price of cerveza y aqua being near equal, usually opted for the beer.

Just the tacaño in me, shining through:)

May look up your language teacher when I get down, again, Bubba. Always fancied watching a Chivas game in Guadalajara.

So far have only watched CHiva's bush league stuff in Cihuatlán!


(This post was edited by wendy devlin on Jun 20, 2005, 4:49 PM)


wendy devlin

Jun 20, 2005, 5:44 PM

Post #21 of 41 (6479 views)

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Re: [garrycouch] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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Over on another thread, long-time Mexican dweller Ed with Mexican wife Fran, says that the re-bar sticking up is an "urban legend", similar to the one that says that they often don't paint houses down here because they don't tax unpainted houses.

He adds, based on his experience (just one data point) they definitely tax houses with rebar sticking up. The reason to have the rebar exposed is to allow you to structurally bond any new story to the house below it (as opposed to just building on top and having it sit in place by force of gravity).

So what gives people who live in Mexico, urban myth or no?

Or maybe it's a moot point, given low property taxes anyway.

Only ask, because of years living in a certain rural community in Canada, where some folks never finished their homes on the 'out-side' but decorated and furnished them to beat the band on the 'inside'.

And said that they would have to pay more taxes if they fixed the place up too much on the outside.

Never seemed to manage to convince any of them, that their property taxes were based on other factors.


Bubba

Jun 20, 2005, 6:10 PM

Post #22 of 41 (6465 views)

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Re: [rjkveton] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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RJ:

You have inspired me to search for my Spanish keyboard so I need not skip the accents in future postings. I figured that anyone understanding the meaning of the word tacano would understand my plight and get my drift.


Elaine


Jun 20, 2005, 7:40 PM

Post #23 of 41 (6437 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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Why not put up a mail box of some sort? Or do one of those slit things in your door/gate that will deliver the mail into a rain proof box?

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When one door closes, another opens. Some people are so busy looking at the door that has closed, they don't see the door that has opened. Keep looking for those open doors.
***********************************************************


Gringal

Jun 20, 2005, 8:04 PM

Post #24 of 41 (6426 views)

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Re: [Elaine] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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Ah, well, wet mail is at least there. Non-existant delivery is harder. The latter is the real problem.


Elaine


Jun 20, 2005, 8:08 PM

Post #25 of 41 (6421 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Some Things I'll Never Learn (about living in Mexico)

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From all I've heard about Mexico, I'd try to catch the guy who delivers the bills and give him a small "tip" for his "wonderful" service. You would probably have him hand carrying it to your door each time from then on out????? Always try the honey before the vinegar.

***********************************************************
When one door closes, another opens. Some people are so busy looking at the door that has closed, they don't see the door that has opened. Keep looking for those open doors.
***********************************************************
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