Immigrations Sucks

Discussion in 'Living in Cancun' started by gene37412, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    "This is Mexico" is a phrase that often gets bandied about both by expats and locals alike and is usually used as an excuse for poor service somewhere or other.

    Poor service is poor service and whether you're dealing with a messed up restaurant order or inconsistencies in formal matters such as immigration it is still poor service whichever way you look at it. I dont see anything wrong with having a moan about it and wanting, maybe even helping to promote change for a more consistent efficient streamlined system.

    On the matter of immigration then it really is only immigrants like us who experience of this first hand. Truth be said, 99.9% of Mexicans dont have any experience of how immigrants are treated, lets not forget also that almost everyone over the age of 30 in Cancun is a migrant here even if not an immigrant.

    My wife (Mexican too) and with experience of being an immigrant in the UK is just as critical of the way things are done here as many of us are.

    On a perhaps more controversial note, I can only wish immigrants to the UK contributed the same positive affect on the economy of their adopted country as the majority of legal immigrants to Cancun do and I expect those from the US and maybe even Germany :wink: feel the same.
     
  2. CharlesinCancun

    CharlesinCancun Regular Registered Member

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    well said Steve
     
  3. gbchayctca

    gbchayctca Guest

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    I hesistate to add my thoughts at the risk of jumping into a confrontation!

    But I'm going to put on my anthropologist's hat and share anyway!

    I do have to disagree with you, Steve, when you say "poor service is poor service anywhere." When people say that, they presuppose that someone has the same world view as you, and anyone who deals with people from different cultures knows that what is acceptable in one culture is horrible in another. I'm not talking about really drastic things, but rather the every day issues that get foreigners all chafed in Mexico (ie service, concepts of time, interpersonal relationships).

    So let's say that there is a Mexican and an American who are going to a job interview...both guys' moms start talking to them as they are heading out. The American will cut off his mom and say he has to run, and she'll understand because they share the worldview that time is absolute. The Mexican will let his mom finish what she has to say at the risk of arriving late both because time is fluid and because familial relationships are more important than time commitments and it would be a serious faux paus to cut off mommy.

    Both are acting in accordance with their worldviews, and neither is wrong. However, I see that many expats in Cancun expect that the Mexican will act in accordance with their worldview that the clock must be heeded at all costs, and they also expect the Mexican mom to understand that her child has a commitment elsewhere and that she should be cuit off.

    So when people make comments like "poor service is poor service anywhere" or "Mexicans don't respect time" or "he got the job because of nepotism, not because of his skills" they are expecting that those from other cultures act in accordance with their own worldview.

    Frustration! Conflict on message boards! Comments like "if you don't like it here leave!

    Part of the joy of living within another culture is finding that balance between understanding the dominant view that makes those within the culture act as they do, coming to terms with that, but still retaining one's sense of self and parts of what makes one who she is.

    There is a balance between "going native" and being the colonizer who rants and raves at how things should be.
     
  4. Jamie

    Jamie Mayor of Temptation Registered Member

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    Yeah. The only place you don't have to worry about that is in the US. :D

    Biting comment aside, I agree totally with your post. Finding the balance is part of the experience of living overseas. Learning how to play the game to get what you want accomplished while operating in the local environment is what really makes it fun. Having grown up overseas myself I can comprehend the difference.

    Just sometimes there are those that demand one thing from others while delivering a totally different product. In those cases ranting is totally allowed. :D One of those cases might be the Mexican Government's expectations on how its citizens should be received in other countries and how they treat immigrants to their country. Even though I am not currently immigrating to Mexico, the difference kind of pisses me off sometimes (in case you could tell already). :D

    Jamie
     
  5. RiverGirl

    RiverGirl Guest

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    Growing up in the US I was hit over the head with the idea that immigrants were what was great about the US. Diversity of cultures and ideas and skill sets get mixed up to make something stronger and better than what was before.

    And then I went to a college where open debate on any subject was welcome and expected, debate was seen as a way to put forth all ideas and pick them apart until some new and better understanding could be reached.

    My belief is that open debate does nothing but open minds and help people gain perspective they might not arrive at on their own.

    Mexico has more restrictive immigration policies than either Canada or the US. This is debatable in certain specific cases, but for the average immigrant to any of those three countries Mexico has the most restrictive policies of the three. Mexico also has the lowest standard of living of the three and the weakest economy. Perhaps there is a connection? I don't know.

    I believe that because of Mexico's restrictive immigration policies the country is missing out on all the great things that its immigrants could do for it.

    And we've all seen that Mexico's enforcement of it's immigration laws and policies is inconsistent at best. I don't see how being inconsistent can be good for anyone, not for the decision makers or for the immigrants.
     
  6. RiverGirl

    RiverGirl Guest

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    Why not?
     
  7. gene37412

    gene37412 Guest

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    My whole point in a nutshell. Not trying to say anything bad about Mexico, its people, or its cultures. I don't really care what the rules are....I will comply with them....just be consistent.

    Its like trying to play a ball game and the rules change ever quarter without notice. In the second quarter you get a flag for something that was perfectly legal in the first quarter.
     
  8. T.J.

    T.J. I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    THIS COULD STAND FIXING

    OK Kids. It is time for my two cents worth.

    I love Mexico, Mexicans and the whole deal. I am working on my second Mexican girlfriend. Not at this exact moment mind you, but you get the drift.

    I try to do things as simple as picking up trash that my (Mexican) neighbors have no hesitation about tossing in the yard. This could stand fixing.
    I got yelled at by my (Mexican) girlfriend yesterday for paying a cop $50 pesos not to have to deal with some BS traffic issue most likely caused by my Florida plates. He did not even ask to see my Mexican car registration. It was all about the extortion which is common and expected by ex-pats and we simply deal with it as the path of least resistance. But my point in this paragraph as this lovely lady got angry because I contributed to the corruption of the local police force. This could stand fixing since the main reason no one wants to accept a ticket (and avoid the corruption) is that it takes half a day to go pay the damn thing. This could stand fixing. Next time I will get this guy's name and then demand a ticket which I will go down and pay.

    Every single time I see a handicapped person asking for money I give them money. I can afford it and they need it. I buy gum that I don't want or need from the guy on Yaxchilan with no legs, but at least he is out working and not begging. These are not homeless people. These are people who cannot work for one reason or another and there are no apparent social services to help them. This could stand fixing.

    My Mexican friend who is quite pregnant needs two units of blood donated before they will deliver her baby at IMMS. She has been unable to get family to donate it. So my good friend went at 7 am, which is when you have to be there to get your ticket to determine the order in which you give your blood. If you get there at 7:15 you have to come back tomorrow and try to get a number again. Anyway, at 9:30 she still had not given up her blood and was finally told that her veins were too small and they could not accept her. Another friend of the pregnant lady finally had to leave at 10 am to go to work. The pregnant friend drug her pregnant self to the hospital to be there with her very generous friends who were there to help her, all for nothing because the system seems broken. Today she is at her church begging for donors who have the time to show up and take their chance at wasting half a day to give the blood. This could stand fixing.

    For the lovely Mexican citizens like John Doe's lady friend who suggest that Gene just go back to Tennessee if he does not like it. I appreciate and respect this opinion but there seems to be millions of Mexicans who are so unhappy with the status quo that they are willing to do anything to get to a neighboring country, the good old U S of A, with its own problems, for the freedom and opportunity that have given others like me the opportunity to come to Mexico to spend our money some of which must certainly go to support the system that even its own citizens feel is totally lacking and wrought with corruption. This could stand fixing.

    For those of us who live, love and work here, as well as for those who have been bred and born here, there must be some duty for ALL of us to want things better than they are, whether you have ten cents or ten million. I know nothing about anthropology or what gbchayctca is talking about but it seems to me that if someone is selling a product or a service, they damn well better be able to provide the products and services at some sort of reasonable price and with a reasonable degree of service if they want and expect their targetted customers to show up and return. This could stand fixing.

    There was a fallen tree across a parking spot of one of my neighbors that had been partly cut away, but never removed, after Wilma. Two years later I paid some guys to make it go away, even though it was "not my problem" which seems to be the mantra according to the anthropology viewpoint of the world. So I am out there picking up rocks, debris, etc. that remained after the tree itself was gone. To my surprise, two of my Mayan neighbors drove up, and this was on a Friday when they always go home to Merida, saw the tree gone and saw this stupido gringo picking up s--- that was for their benefit, and helped me get the rest of it gone. We thanked each other and that was it. So much for anthropology. This does not seem to be broken so does not need fixing.

    Rivergirl is right. This is today and not some ancient history lesson. If something needs fixing in Mexico, we should all do our part, whether we are Mexican citizens or not. As my friend Steve once said when he was peeing in the ocean, "every little bit helps."

    And Bundy and I will damn well go to IMMS next week and donate our hard earned blood for this gal if she continues to be unable to find family and friends to do it. And although I have spoken to her often on the phone, I have never even met her. She is still my friend and I am happy to help.

    Paul Harvey - Good Day.
     
  9. Jamie

    Jamie Mayor of Temptation Registered Member

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    Amen.....

    Jamie
     
  10. gbchayctca

    gbchayctca Guest

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    You seemed to have totally missed my point, TJ, and have used "anthropology" as a shorthand for "She doesn't know what she's talking about."

    Things need fixing all over the place in Mexico (as in the U.S.) but it's a matter of dialogue, negotiation, and give and take. What I object to is people from outside proclaiming what needs changing. Not that I always disagree, but if you see a problem, and the paisanos don't, is it really your place to change it?

    I have often been made uncomfortable by what I've seen and experienced in the family that I married into. But try to change the viewpoint or actions of my Mayan extended family and the reaction would be "Who the frig do you think you are? We're doing just fine, thank you."

    Change is a necessary part of life and culture, but many seem to want to do it on their terms and on their schedule. Ain't gonna happen.

    Not sure you say that you don't understand what I'm talking about...everything that I wrote has been well documented and nothing that hasn't been said before.

    And saying that Mexicans (and Mayans) have a profoundly different way of looking at the world isn't such a crazy thing to say. It's true, but what I'm surprised by is the lack of interest of expats in actually trying to understand how they look at and understand their world before going in like gangbusters and trying to change how things are done.
     
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