Posted by ZihuaRob from 126.96.36.199 (dup-200-65-89-216.prodigy.net.mx) on martes, enero 14, 2003 at 10:53:39 :
In Reply to: NEWCOMERS posted by gayle from 188.8.131.52 (dm1-60.fx.aros.net) on lunes, enero 13, 2003 at 22:14:02 :
I may NEVER move this message into the archives! Excellent DOs and DON'Ts for newbies and novatos, Gayle. ¡Muchísimas gracias, sanka!
I'm sure this could be expanded upon (and such tips abound in the message archives), but let's not overload any circuits. Just the culture shock alone is hard enough to overcome for many folks.
I especially like the part about being polite. Sadly, it seems this is often forgotten by newcomers who indeed are all ambassadors for their countries. Increased tourism over the years also brings a different calibre of traveller to this region. The USA's image in Mexico needs all the help it can get these days (and vice versa).
A big part of being polite is attempting to speak in the native language instead of assuming everyone understands your foreign language. One small courtesy can gain you a ton of respect in an instant, because Mexicans judge you first by your heart, not by your education or wealth or pedigree or job/profession. Here is a good place to discover just what is in your heart, just in case you aren't sure.
"Con permiso" is said whenever you pass between two people conversing, though you should first try not to walk between people conversing.
"Lo siento" means "I'm sorry" in the context of lamenting. "Perdón" means "Sorry" in the context of "Pardon me".
Speaking louder will not make someone understand a foreign language any better. The keys are patience and practicing good listening skills and asking "¿Cómo se dice...?" a lot.
Above all remember you are invited guests. Although money talks, it can also say some very nasty things. Have a positive attitude and positive things will happen to you. Karma is alive and well in Zihuatanejo! ;~)