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jennifer rose

Jun 19, 2006, 8:53 AM

Post #26 of 50 (3759 views)

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Gated communities

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Don't knock gated communities in Mexico until you've familiarized yourself
with them. For starters, they're built for the most part by Mexicans and for Mexicans. Gated
communities in this country aren't the siblings of Del Webb's Sun City or
that subdivision somewhere between San Francisco and Sacramento built with
the Thomas Kincaid theme. What exists in the Lake Chapala area or San Miguel de Allende is not representative of the rest of Mexico.

Gated communities come in all flavors in this country -- from relatively
inexpensive Infonavit microhouses to much more than most of us could hope to afford. And those
fraccionamientos are just as likely to be set out in the countryside as
inside the loop. If you want a place where you can stroll around the
neighborhood at midnight, leave your car unlocked, wake up to an
astonishing absence of graffiti, and have a reasonable expectation that
there won't be trash thrown on the street, a gated community is a good bet.
Don't write them off as Stepford's children.


(This post was edited by jennifer rose on Jun 19, 2006, 8:55 AM)


thriftqueen

Jun 19, 2006, 9:40 AM

Post #27 of 50 (3741 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Excluded From Expatriates

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 The most wonderful part of our living in Alamos is it's a small town with a intimate feeling. It's that desire to be known and cared about in a personal way. As you say, when we go to Centro we always see Mx folks that we know and love. That handshake and the beso on the cheek gives one such a feeling of belonging.

We love living in a barrio and having more Mx friends that gringo ones - when we first came to Alamos we went to the regular TGIF parties and met most of the norteos. However one can only listen to where you came from, what important things you've accomplished and the impressive past summer trip you just had. My feeling is most of us are now seniors and time has made life a great equalizer of all of us, regardless how great our past was or how much money we have. In the US many of these folks we would never come in contact with nor chose to be friends with them if we did. We can't always pick our friends in a expat community. As a friend of mine once said when she was perturbed with someone, "it's awful when you have to be nice to someone you don't even like". We do have expat friends that we consider good friends however we very rarely socialize with them as our lives are here in our neighborhood.

Jennifer, I think we bring our conception (be it right or wrong) of a gated community from our views of "gated" in the US, where most of those gated communities are wealthy enclaves. It's hard to change viewpoints unless one has truly experienced Mexico and realize there are many different types "gated" communities.

Dick, your friends in Joco have truly experienced the truth of living in MX. We found there is a kinship and a willingness on the part of the Mexican to help us above and beyond what should be expected. One doesn't find that in the US. An example; our son in law gave us a nice used gas lawn mower which we brought down to Alamos. The first time John wanted to use it, it would not start. John is familiar with mechanical things but just couldn't get it to run. We took it to Navojoa to a shop we had seen that had a sign that they worked on gas engines. The fellow said he didn't know about lawn mowers but he got in his truck and told us to follow him. He drove us to another shop but the guy wasn't there, he learned the fellow he was looking for was at his home. The fellow then insisted we continue to follow him and he led us to this guy's home. At this time he had spent 45 minutes helping us. John offered him pesos for his trouble but he refused to take them, just asked that we refer business to him when possible. One would not have found that level of caring in the US. It's those times that we need to remember when we get upset with the different culture and our lack of understanding it.

The bottom line is there is so many wonderful positives about living in Mexico to offset the negatives. But I do miss Albuquerque even if it is a large city. Adios, Ginger


Bloviator

Jun 19, 2006, 12:40 PM

Post #28 of 50 (3710 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Gated communities

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I wasn't knocking gated communities. I mentioned that we live in one and most of our nearby neighbors are Mexican - about 1/2 of the total are.

Furthermore, my wife makes a nice living offering margaritas and bloody maries on Sunday mornings to our nearest neighbors the residents of Hacienda del Lago (Mexico's Betty Ford Clinic). That is a joke in bad taste, but a joke nevertheless. I know that drug addiction and alcoholism are diseases.

I was commenting on (never knocking - everyone to their own lifestyle) those who live in their gated communities and almost never leave, who have almost no contact with the community. They are the ones who seem to want a Del Webb experience without Del who is in the great beyond anyway.

Unfortunately, it is likely that if current conditions continue, gated communities are going to be more and more necessary. They have proliferated NoB in recent years as more and more become fearful of everything - hopefully a little more fearful than necessary. A friend makes a very nice living building gated communities in Brazil. Evidently almost everyone there with money lives in one.

We used to live at the rear gate of one of the most exclusive gated communities in San Clemente, CA., one with a really efficient guard at the front gate. We watched car after car piggyback through the back gate. It made us feel all warm, fuzzy and safe.


sandykayak


Jun 19, 2006, 12:57 PM

Post #29 of 50 (3704 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Excluded From Expatriates

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Good thread. I think Georgia's "There's no right or wrong place to choose, you have to choose what's right for you." comment is right on.

I was born in England but raised in Venezuela (English father/Ecuadorean mother). On my first "checking Mexico out with a view to retiring" trip, I spent a few days with some Mexican friends in their gated community in Queretaro...and knew it wasn't for me.

A brief visit to SMA did not tug at the heart strings either, but when I got to Ajijic I thought, "I'm home." In my case, the whole area feels like a combination of the Caracas, the village of El Hatillo, and the Shell oil camp (Cardon) we lived in before moving to the capital, of the 1950s.

I think Bubba's comment on another thread that the Chapala area is a very good starting point...get your feet wet in the lake and then see if you are ready for more local immersion.

For many people, moving to the Chapala Lakeside area IS a big deal...it's scary and exciting, yet doable without giving up too many comforts. And what is wrong with wanting to have your comforts?

As for me, I have always liked to have the best of both worlds: In Miami I get the Hispanic experience and in the Chapala region I will get the gringo socialization. They do not have to be mutually exclusive. Que viva el multiculturalismo!!
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque


Gringal

Jun 19, 2006, 3:57 PM

Post #30 of 50 (3676 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Excluded From Expatriates

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...on the notion of being critical of those who move to gringo enclaves, gated or not:

Can anyone here imagine a Mexican couple (or solo) deliberately choosing to move to the U.S. to retire, away from family and friends? And on the unlikely chance they would do that, can you picture them making a point of moving where there aren't "too many" Mexicans so that they would have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the U.S. culture and the English language?
ROFL


(This post was edited by Gringal on Jun 19, 2006, 4:39 PM)


Bubba

Jun 19, 2006, 4:40 PM

Post #31 of 50 (3660 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Excluded From Expatriates

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Well, Gringal, what is your point (besides totally amusing yourself to the point that you are ROFL at your own incredible wit)?

Are you saying that "Mexicans" would never leave family and friends to move to a foreign country and then deliberately isolate themselves from their own kind in order to assimilate in their adopted country´s language and culture? People who move from their own milieu and deliberately place themselves at risk by trying to comprehend and assimilate into an unfamilar environment can be either adventurous or malcontents but, I believe that all cultures harbor at least some of these types of characters. Do you mean that, in your judgment, all "Mexicans" lack the spirit of adventure necessary to embark upon such an odyssey?

You ask if anyone here can imagine Mexicans deliberately doing this. Well, I can. I guess the emporer and I are standing here in our jockey shorts together.


Gringal

Jun 19, 2006, 5:18 PM

Post #32 of 50 (3649 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Excluded From Expatriates

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"People who move from their own milieu and deliberately place themselves at risk by trying to comprehend and assimilate into an unfamilar environment can be either adventurous or malcontents but, I believe that all cultures harbor at least some of these types of characters. "
----------------------------------------------------------------

Somewhere, there must be Mexicans who voluntarily move to the U.S. when they don't have to for economic reasons - who avoid other Mexicans and immerse themselves in the U.S. culture - because they want to. I credit most Mexicans with being too level-headed to do such a thing. There are always exceptions: as you say: "adventurers and malcontents".

My barb was pointed at those who look down their noses at U.S. retirees who chose to enjoy the comfort of being among those who share their language and culture. As though trooping off to a gringo-scarce environment separates someone in a positive way from the lesser masses in their gated enclaves. It's just a choice. Not a step up.

After all your Lakeside bashing, I will have to give you credit for putting your body where your mouth is. It will be interesting to hear how you feel about your new environment in a year or so.

Enjoy the Imperial company.


Bubba

Jun 19, 2006, 5:54 PM

Post #33 of 50 (3635 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Excluded From Expatriates

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You and I agree, Gringal, that there is this tendency on the part of some to infer personal status upon themselves because they separate themselves from the gringo community in general. Now that I understand your point, I think it well made. I couldn´t agree more that these personal choices should neither diminish nor enhance the status of the person doing the choosing in the eyes of others. People who judge others by their places or origin or residence have the substance of blowfish. They are not to be regarded as serious. The only exception to this rule is in judging someone negatively who voluntarily lives in the state of Texas. That is a definite sign of a character flaw.


arbon

Jun 20, 2006, 6:18 AM

Post #34 of 50 (3533 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Excluded From Expatriates

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"Can anyone here imagine a Mexican couple (or solo) deliberately choosing to move to the U.S. to retire, away from family and friends? And on the unlikely chance they would do that, can you picture them making a point of moving where there aren't "too many" Mexicans so that they would have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the U.S. culture and the English language?
ROFL
Gringal "

I can't even imagine that.

Looks to me like Bubba missed the RETIRE word and implication.

And according to the National Geographic it has never happened.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



davesteffes


Jun 20, 2006, 11:48 AM

Post #35 of 50 (3476 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Excluded From Expatriates

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"Add to that the level of superstition and belief in a lot of magical behavior on the part of the universe will be very high."

Sounds like your talking about Sante Fe, New Mexico. Really it is those people I would just as soon avoid. As a physicist I can listen quietly to discussion of auras, and chakras, but I wouldn't like a steady diet of it. On the other hand there are places in Mexico like Jalapa, and Veracruz City, that are large busy places with Universities and Museums and culture, that are not considered expatriate comunities.


Bubba

Jun 20, 2006, 12:59 PM

Post #36 of 50 (3456 views)

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Re: [arbon] Excluded From Expatriates

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Well, Gosh, Arbon:

If no less than National Geographic reports emphatically that there is no instance in the history of this world where a Mexican couple or single person has chosen to retire in the United States away from family and friends then they must know what they are talking about. It is well known that they are never wrong about anything.

Well, perhaps their 19th Century assertion that the snow cap on Mount Kenya was, in fact, a limestone formation because it was inconceivable that there could be snow accumulation on the equator.

Do you suppose the individual currently assigned to monitor this important fact regarding Mexicans (and make sure no non-conformist Mexican tries to break the streak) is on the fast track to the corporate suite? Perhaps this individual would do better maintaining instant coffee machines at 7/11 stores.


Rolly


Jun 20, 2006, 1:16 PM

Post #37 of 50 (3447 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Excluded From Expatriates

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I know this is way off topic, but I just can't resist.

Some years ago the National Geographic Society hired me to design an in-house TV studio for them. It turned out quite nice. A year or so later I called the lady who had been in charge of the project to ask if I could use her as a reference for a similar project I was chasing. To my astonishment, she said no. She said they had never used the studio, and she felt I was at fault for not telling them they didn't need it and should not build it.

Does anybody ever take responsibility for their decisions these days?

Rolly Pirate


Marlene


Jun 20, 2006, 5:47 PM

Post #38 of 50 (3373 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Excluded From Expatriates

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Quote
Does anybody ever take responsibility for their decisions these days?

Not as far as I can tell Rolly! That was a cute story, btw.


sfmacaws


Jun 20, 2006, 6:02 PM

Post #39 of 50 (3365 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Excluded From Expatriates

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Bubba, you're picking at straws. Are you saying that it is a common thing for a mexican to retire and move somewhere away from family, in another country where they don't speak the language? Cuz, if that's what you think is common you need to look around.

For the record, I know several mexicans who have done exactly the above. One thing they all have in common is that they are gay men and they want to be as far from their family, and the pressures and restrictions of the family, as they can get. Just because I know several who have done this doesn't mean I think it is common, I think it is because they are gay.

As for the magical thinking, you are right above that it is similar to the cosmic consciousness of Santa Fe and to the literal bible interpretation of snake dancers in Florida and to the mindless belief in the Koran in other parts of the world. Basically, the poor and the illiterate believe intensly in some really strange stuff and while it can be interesting it is not something I find amusing to deal with while going about my daily life. I don't have a lot in common with people who see the VG in a tortilla much as I don't have a lot in common with the bible thumpers of the south. Everyone's mileage will vary but to move to an area where most people have that kind of beliefs is not something I would look forward to. I travel full time and I love seeing and meeting people in all areas but - and it's a big BUT - I don't want to be limited for friends and social outlets by living in an area like that fulltime. To me, it would be little different than moving to Jonesboro Louisiana or Rangely Colorado or Heber City Utah.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




1ajijic


Jun 21, 2006, 6:20 AM

Post #40 of 50 (3299 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Excluded From Expatriates

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We know several Mexican (wife) / foreigner (husband) couples who have chosen to retire un the US. These couples have typically lived and had businesses and children in the US. The husbands wanted Ajijic, but, their Mexican wives wanted the US. Look at Freda Kohl's painting of the Mexican woman and it will give you a clue of why.
http://www.newbeginningsmexico.com

(This post was edited by 1ajijic on Jun 21, 2006, 6:21 AM)


johanson


Jun 21, 2006, 9:28 AM

Post #41 of 50 (3263 views)

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Re: [1ajijic] Excluded From Expatriates

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Which painting do you mean? I happen to have a copy of the Nov 2002 Smithsonian in front of me. Their feature story was "The many faces of Frida Kahlo" I am looking at a 1932 self portrait showing her on the borderline of Mexico and the US which she painted while in Detroit that makes me want to come to Mexico.

What is my point? I am not sure. I guess it is that Frida has/had many faces and the first painting you look at may have the opposite message of the second.


Oscar2

Jun 21, 2006, 10:36 AM

Post #42 of 50 (3248 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Excluded From Expatriates

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You have a talented mind and your concerns and perhaps apprehension of others considerations, personally I feel we are best served by Georgia’s take: “There is no right or wrong, it’s just a matter of choice.”

This, in of itself, encompasses most and subscribing to this take, breeds a sense of freedom of movement in the direction your particular state of awareness or mind based thoughts take you.

Personally, I try from afar witnessing my thoughts first and try to see beyond and around them as to what brought them on and perhaps through this an elevated awareness tells more of why my thoughts need to move in those directions.

As Georgia mentioned, “knowing oneself” helps in decision-making. I’d like to add that “knowing oneself” can also be at different levels. There is who you “think” you are and then there is the “you” brought about by a silent mind and a more subtle state of awareness.

I guess you can say a state of awareness that at best possible, is not fettered by the constant loud mind chatter which sometimes questionably guides many of us, most of our lives. Awareness at times allows one to witness thought, rather than reacting to it, as we usually do. Others and I have found that sometimes touching awareness is much more satisfying than the menacings of the overactive mind.

Living in Mexico is indeed a mixed bag. Again prefacing Georgia’s call: “One size doesn’t fit all!”

Someone’s sign off includes: Don’t believe everything you think ………. Amen

(This post was edited by Oscar2 on Jun 21, 2006, 12:13 PM)


Gringal

Jun 21, 2006, 10:42 AM

Post #43 of 50 (3244 views)

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Re: [1ajijic] Excluded From Expatriates

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"Look at Freda Kohl's painting of the Mexican woman and it will give you a clue of why. "

I don't think so. If we are all referring to Frida Kahlo, she was not a typical Mexican woman. Without getting into her history, I'd say she was way "liberated" for her time. And then some. If she's looking unhappy in her self-portraits, it's probably because of her physical pain.

Oscar contributed some interesting thoughts about self-reflection which should probably be taken to heart by anyone contemplating any major life change. One should not be fooled by the "monkey mind" that chatters constantly, repeating ideas that come from others, the media, and our own tendency towards magical thinking.
Films have fooled a lot of people into living their lives as though they were in a movie. Fine, if it works for them. I personally believe that we should batter away at what we think we think, in search of as much authenticity as possible. That is as easy as catching a slippery fish in our bare hands.


(This post was edited by Gringal on Jun 21, 2006, 10:54 AM)


Marta R

Jun 21, 2006, 1:44 PM

Post #44 of 50 (3206 views)

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Re: [1ajijic] Excluded From Expatriates

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Most of the Mexican men I know here in California, look forward to returning to Mexico to live. Most of the Mexican women I know here in California want very much to stay in the States where, they say, they have more personal freedom and greater opportunities.

When I was a kid, my Gringo dad always wanted to move back to D.F., and my Mexican mother refused. She won, but I can't help but wonder what life would have been like if she'd lost that argument.

Marta


Oscar2

Jun 22, 2006, 8:16 AM

Post #45 of 50 (3121 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Excluded From Expatriates

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Films have fooled a lot of people into living their lives as though they were in a movie. Fine, if it works for them. I personally believe that we should batter away at what we think we think, in search of as much authenticity as possible. That is as easy as catching a slippery fish in our bare hands.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hola Gringal et al,

The last time I was in Ajijic we stood in a quaint picturesque B&B called The Swan Inn. It was beautifully decorated and lent for a pleasant and peaceful atmosphere. What appealed to me the most was those blasted phones from NoB were no longer ringing and my days and nights were our very own.

It was there that I assisted someone we met to subdue excessive mind chatter. To this day we are friends and they correspond with us telling of how their outlook and further explorations have changed their lives considerably.

It’s really no biggy, in fact simpler than you can imagine and can be fun. It’s kind of entertaining and something which brings about a level of awareness perhaps not experienced before.

I explained to them that what I initially started doing was finding a quit peaceful location void of distractions. Next I would close my eyes and try to focus on a silent space within, void of thought, all thought (mind chatter). While doing this, I’d sort of mentally form two mouse holes on the left and right of this peaceful place void of all thought.

One of these little mouse holes represented the “illusionary” past and the other the future. Try and maintain this empty space void of “all” thought for as long as you can. Now you are the owner of a very special space not controlled or influenced by thought.

While witnessing and maintaining this space, illusions which take the form of thought of past/future will stick their little heads out of these holes and walla they come out in all their glory and do their dance for you.

Witness the nature of these thoughts related to your past or future. Whatever you do, don’t resist them. Just watch them and witness, don’t judge nor try and influence them with more thought. Remain silent and just witness. If more thoughts surface, just continue watching.

What you may witness is your thoughts will dance and dance, flailing there arms in the air in a desperate effort to suck you into their influence and latch onto your needed undivided attention.

Just keep watching, don’t get involved and once the thought/s lose their energy, they sort of just fade away. NOW you have slightly experienced the first step in the kind of “conscious awareness” needed toward silencing mind chatter. Eventually an improved sense of self will evolve and further down the line more peace awaits.

Eventually mind witnessing sort of becomes fun. A fringe benefit is eventually you won’t have to take yourself so seriously. When you start finding your thoughts more amusing rather than taking them so seriously, a sense of more aliveness enters. Some times it may even put more skip in your step.

Concerns about having to batter away at thinking about thinking, in essence is the opposite. You offer “no resistance” to thought. Battering away at thought with thought is giving credence to thought which in of itself is illusionary and nonexistent. You are now a witness to thought which wants to occupy your own private space which is now filled with a pristine silence and peace.

That is as easy as catching a slippery fish in our bare hands.
The slippery fish is thought and the bare hand is awareness. Awareness now oversees thought and most often sees little merit or use for it if it is producing elements or energy of past/future wrapped in negativity.

Disclaimer: In life, as in most things, there are no guaranties. Especially when it comes to the insanity of some thoughts which can literally drive you up the wall. Believe it or not, “conscious awareness” has always been there buried in the volumes of thinkers thought.

Which great philosopher once said: “I think therefore I am?”


Gringal

Jun 22, 2006, 3:04 PM

Post #46 of 50 (3078 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Excluded From Expatriates

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Oscar, I appreciate what you have been saying. But, in my opinion, these forums are not the appropriate venue for teaching mindfulness. Those who are interested in learning to meditate will seek instruction on their own and will easily find the desired information. Just as you and I and probably a number of other people on these forums did.

In trying to communicate clearly and succinctly, I believe that the words used should be meaningful to the reader. For instance, in discussing ways a woman could remove herself from an abusive relationship, I could fill many pages instructing her on how to reach a place where the letting go would happen naturally. Or I could suggest she "leave the bum before he beats you to death". I am inclined towards the latter. You and I have no disagreement. Let us not wander in the forest of semantics. There be dragons there.

Besides, this level of rumination is inviting the lock drop. The original topic, if I remember, was about whether or not expats should or should not live near other expats. Naturally, nothing any of us has to say is going to have any significant influence on what anyone else actually does. IMHO, that is as it should be. Some people are going to decide well and be content. Some will move back to the States. Some will move around Mexico until it feels right.


Oscar2

Jun 23, 2006, 11:03 AM

Post #47 of 50 (3002 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Excluded From Expatriates

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Hola Gringal,

In remaining consistent with the flavor and content thus far on this thread, I’m still in agreement with what was previously stated by others that in Mexico “one size doesn’t fit all.”

More important it should be realized that indeed, ones personal choice should not be judged as “right or wrong.” It’s a personal choice but for some ongoing unsavory reason there is always that someone who wants to be publicly “right.”

We are not blind to this unfortunate overriding personal need of a few. They very cleverly prop you up with a compliment, then discharge a left hook to knock you down, again and again to make themselves “right.”

In other words, if one has to consistently be right, it is at the expense of making someone else “wrong.” It doesn’t take long for this to become glaring clear not just here amongst ourselves and universally as well. Moreover, why? Could ones personal ego possibly play a very large part in this?

This tendency, this compulsion, can be viewed as less than desirable and its negative implications unnecessary. Voiced personal choice is healthy but when negative encroachment by some remains consistent as habit, this in of it self, gets old real fast.

Why, because its design and intention is to negatively polarize. Akin to the horrendous news media technique of latching onto one’s attention with a negative, controversial spin intended to garner greater public attention at the expense of anyone or anything. This is perhaps why some of us don’t enjoy watching the news but they know many still do, out of habit. Sheeesh!

Incidentally Gringal, I believe my previous post to you was also meant for others as well and it was not malicious in nature. If reread carefully its clear it was intended to help others in need, which I’m sure many welcome. I kind of felt it had a little more substance and was a bit more entertaining than discussing a portraits facial characteristics. Then again, it’s all a matter of intention and personal choice.

Hasta luego, Adios

(This post was edited by Oscar2 on Jun 23, 2006, 11:19 AM)


Bubba

Jun 23, 2006, 12:21 PM

Post #48 of 50 (2986 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Excluded From Expatriates

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Smiling Faces, Smiling Faces
Sometimes They Don´t Tell the Truth,
Smiling Faces, Smiling Faces
Tell Lies and I´ve Got the Proof
Beware, Beware of the Handshake That Hides the Snake.

With my thanks to Joan Osborne.


Oscar2

Jun 23, 2006, 12:32 PM

Post #49 of 50 (2983 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Excluded From Expatriates

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Amen!


jennifer rose

Jun 23, 2006, 12:50 PM

Post #50 of 50 (2978 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Excluded From Expatriates

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And whereupon the last word having been uttered, this thread shall come to a close. Should anyone want to say more, please start up a new thread.
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