Re: Relocation

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Escrito por ZihuaRob desde ( el día miércoles, 10 de marzo, 2004 a las 10:00:30 horas :

En respuesta a: Relocation escrito por michael arehart desde ( el día viernes, 05 de marzo, 2004 a las 12:30:37 horas :

Just a few suggestions from my own experience and observations (and I've been paying attention!).

1. Learn the language well enough to be able to converse. Otherwise even the simple things can become exercises in frustration if not outright nightmares. You should not expect locals to speak or understand English, though they are always glad to help you learn new words and expressions.

2. Study Mexico's history, culture and contemporary events. Obviously there are no written requisites, but if you do not know the events that shape this country you cannot begin to understand it or its people and you will have very little of interest to converse about. Mexicans are not very interested in "the way we do things back in the U.S."

3. Watch Mexican news in Spanish, and try to read Mexican newspapers regularly. You really should know what's going on in the country where you live. Again, not doing so leaves you very little to talk about with Mexicans. It also will help prepare you for certain daily dangers that we are accustomed to living with that you simply may not be aware of. Mexico is second only to Columbia in kidnappings, for instance.

4. Watch Mexican movies from their "epoca dorada" (40's and 50's) and learn who people are such as Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, María "La Doña" Félix, "El Indio" Fernandez, Pedro Armendarez, Dolores Del Río, "Cantinflas", "Tin-Tan", "Resortes" and others who made powerful movies that reflect events and personalities important to understanding contemporary Mexican culture and its psyche.

5. This may be the most difficult, but examine carefully your reasons for wanting to move here. This is not Utopia. Quite the contrary. Mexico is currently undergoing a period of enormous political, economic and social upheavals. If escape from the rat race is what you seek, I fear that you may simply find yourself in a rat race of a different kind, albeit under a very hot and unforgiving tropical sun and a long way from familiar surroundings.

6. Try living here for 2 or 3 months before moving here permanently, especially during the hot and rainy summer months. It can be a real eye opener.

7. Remember to leave the U.S.A. back home. If you come here expecting to live by U.S. standards, you cut yourself off from real life here and will always be an outsider, though there are plenty of other ex-pats who live gringo lives and hang out with gringos and speak mostly English all day. That's not really living here, now is it? Those types of people are mostly ignored by locals and enjoy very little respect. They are also usually complaining about something or other: "That's not the way we do things back home". Guess what? We don't care how you did things back home.

8. Above all, learn to be patient, respectful, and polite. Learn the Mexican courtesies. For example, a respectful local will NEVER walk between two people conversing in the street without first asking permission: "con permiso", and awaiting the proper reply: "propio". They will usually walk AROUND those people. Something that I've noticed our northern neighbors are just about completely ignorant of, and thus it makes them appear rude and ill mannered.

To what degree you take this advice to heart is of course up to you, but perhaps the most important advice of all is to avoid if possible doing anything that you do not do with love in your heart. ;~)

¡Mucha suerte y bienvenido!

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