Playing nice…

A few weeks ago, I tumbled down a long rabbit hole… I read an unpleasant barb on one of facebook’s forums. It seemed to me that the text was unpleasant, unhelpful and unnecessary. I try not to let venting upset me, but on this occasion, I made a comment.

“When I first came to Yucatan… 45 years ago… it took 16 months for me to meet another native English speaker… There was no internet, much less forums. But almost all of the people I met offered me helpful and sensible advice. I find it uncharitable that “long-time” international residents (some have been here just a couple of years and call themselves that…) do not offer help to new arrivals. Some tell me that “we” have enough foreigners here now, and “we” should not encourage more to come. Stellar attitude… but careful how you use your pronouns… And hey, it IS Christmas time… COVID-19 has not entirely spoiled that… so let’s get our heads on straight and “just play nice”.

I don’t believe that being nasty is cool. When asked for information, I do my best to help. In fact I have been asked so many questions, and several years ago, I wrote a book that addresses many of them. In fact I am currently writing an updated version…

There is so much to learn and experience in Yucatan, so why waste time sparring on the forums? Those who say they’ve come to Yucatan for a new life experience, need to get out and have one…

With the pandemic, mny attractions are closed and I often hear the lament… There’s nothing to do… I am reminded of when my kids were little and needed to be entertained. It is frustrating but still there are many places open. Just yesterday my husband and I were feeling locked-in. So we got in the car and drove to Uxmal. We wanted to go to Kabah too but found out it was closed. Fine, we drove to the Pickled Onion Restaurant to wish our friend Valerie, a Happy New Year. We ended up having lunch and touring the garden. Then we drove home again. We felt refreshed and pleasantly tired after our excursion.

COVID-induced crabbiness is not always easy to control, but give it a shot. I promise you’ll feel better if you … just play nice

Published by Changes in our Lives

I am originally from Canada but have lived in Mexico since 1976. My husband is from Merida, Yucatan and we raised our family here. We both worked for many years at Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), the tourism, language and multimedia college we founded for local and international students. Now retired, we enjoy spending time with family and friends, My other interests include spending time with freinds, reading, painting, cooking and travel.

14 thoughts on “Playing nice…

    1. No problem Shirley, I met Jorge when I came to Merida as a tour conductor. I worked for an airline and was escorting a group of travel agents and media people on a two week trip to Cuba and Mexico. Over that winter, I had 6 more groups and so Jorge and I saw each other for 3 days, every two weeks. At the end of my travels back and forth from Mexico to Cuba, we knew that we wanted to get married. So, I went back to Vancouver… said goodbye to my family and friends. I vacated my appartment, sold my car and returned to Merida within a month. It was a romantic time… which I believe is the best way for a marriage to start. If you want, you can read more of our story in my book, Magic Made in Mexico. At the foot of this blog there is a link to Amazon where the book can be purchased. Thank you for commenting.

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  1. My personal opinion is that newcomers who are interested in things about Merida and Mexico could benefit greatly by reading your book, Magic Made iin Mexico. There is so much good information. It is true that this past year has been a challenge for everyone and will continue but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn and do something to make things better. If someone has chosen to live here then they would enjoy it more if they learned about it. Learn the language, learn about the customs and holidays. In other words the same things you knew about your own country.
    Although I have lived in Mexico 20 years there is still much to learn and enjoy. It is true that it is not for everyone but while here take Joanna’s advice and play nice, it can’t hurt.

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  2. Very true. Unfortunately, the ignorance happens everywhere. We belong to a lawn bowling club in the town on Vancouver Island where three of us were born. At present out of 100+ members, I am the only one born in the Valley, everyone else being ‘From Away”. Most are very friendly, but we have a few who feel entitled to be experts and say whatever they want. We did have another member born there, a championship bowler in Canada and the US but most other members thought him ‘unsuitable’ and treated him as being socially beneath them. So he acted accordingly, and they . voted him out of the club. We bowled a lot together in tournaments, and I never received the behaviour others objected to. He knew how to behave himself but made a point of reacting to the way he was treated. His grandparents returned to the Valley and settled on the family farm after WWII. His grandfather had been a base commander in the RAF and his grandmother a very rich, well-connected English woman who had never even dressed herself before coming to Vancouver Island and adapting to local circumstances. Had the in-comers known his background, they would have treated him much differently. Some of the same people have yelled at me for using too much coffee and putting out a thermos of hot water for those . who want it weaker, for insisting that everyone follow the same rules for the league I organized for 7 years, etc, etc. Mexican people are very forgiving. I find them helpful, cheerful, and friendly whatever the circumstances. I know I am a guest in their land and try hard to be a good guest.

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    1. Oh Auntie Alice … I am reminded of that person you told off in the Mega grocery store back in 2011. That was the first time I experienced the (now commonplace) bad behaviour… “You are a very rude man,” you told him… There seem to be more people than ever who deserve to hear that message!

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  3. I have noticed the same snarkiness on our local Facebooks pages here on The Other Coast — on almost every issue. People have become accustomed to being nasty about the virus and politics that they use the same tone for everything else in life.

    The ill-mannered commenters are the same people who my mother would admonish with a “just because a thought flashes across your mind is no reason to spew it out of your mouth.” When people ask questions, I try to remember what it was like when I first came to Mexico. Things I now take for granted were often confusing to a hard-wired American mind. The kindest thing that most people can do (if they do not have an answer to the question) is to ignore the keyboard and just scroll by.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For a confessed Pollyanna like me, the changes in attitude are distressing. We have so much to be grateful for, I can’t understand why some people thrive on negativity and nastiness. As if we don’t have enough to deal with? Anyway Steve, thanks for your comment… Happy New Year.

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    1. Hi Loretta… I did not realise that I’d neglected to answer your comment. I tell you… the days just wander by… Missing you as always and hoping , as always, that we can see each other this year! My love Ich…

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  4. Thank you for helping the newcomers. I am so grateful to my Mexican neighbors. They have welcomed me with open arms. And the non-Mexicans have, too! The very first time I arrived here, two wonderful expat ladies stopped their dog walk and immediately took me to a place I was looking for, several miles away, that I NEVER would have found. I will never forget them for that! Thanks for reminding us about the Pickled Onion! (Haven’t been yet, but always plan to, will this year.)

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    1. I think often we receive the courtesies we ourselves would extend. I have strangers and I have been helped often by them. I think when we are open about what we need, the right person is “sent” to us. Once I was in Ticul, looking for a high school wher I was supposed to speak to the students… I was hopelessly lost until a sweet kid on a motorcycle led me to the place. Like you, I NEVER would have found it in time without his help.

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