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Surviving Mexico! - Cracking the Code

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( I am posting this for a friend. Contact information is at the bottom.)




Surviving Mexico! - Cracking the Code



Have you ever wondered why Mexicans are the way they are? What does "mañana" mean? And if it isn't tomorrow, when is it? How long do you have to wait? Is there any way to speed up a visa? A license? Is giving a "mordida" a good idea, or not? Is there some kind of secret code? What are the customs, traditions, festivals, etc.?



In the workshop Surviving Mexico! you will learn how to better understand, survive - and enjoy! - Mexican culture and people in a dynamic and fun way.



The Surviving Mexico! workshop is designed for foreigners who live in or are visiting Mexico and want to become closer to the people and culture. Here you will learn some of the truths, and myths, that surround you. Through Lego Serious Play - an innovative communication tool that encourages creative exploration and insight - we will examine the idiosyncrasies of Mexico from the perspective of a foreigner. We will answer your questions and help you gain a clear understanding of the motivations of Mexican behavior.



And we'll have fun doing it!



FACILITATOR


Luis A. Aguirre is a certified LEGO Serious Play facilitator and will be offering the workshop. He is a project consultant with experience in business, social and urban issues, and has master's degrees in communication and culture.



PLACE



Instituo Olé México. (Revolución #6 Ajijic. olemexico@hotmail.com, 7662068)


Saturday, March 29, 2014


10:00 am - 1:00 pm


$200 pesos


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Donuts will get you everywhere!

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Mañana: The Mexicans we know use it about 5 different ways. It's all in the inflection, stress, and context. We have to distinguish between Sometime in the next few days vs Morning vs Tomorrow morning vs A firm intent for tomorrow vs A strong commitment for tomorrow.

My Mexican sister-in-law is an architect & builder. If she says the aluminero is coming to install a window mañana in our new apartment building, then we need to have chain off the gate tomorrow, because both she and they will be there tomorrow.

If a Mexican says mañana in a casual way about a casual thing, it literally means not today - in a few days.

Gotta listen.

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How to Survive in Mexico? You survive a car crash, you survive being lost at sea, you survive many things, living in a country should not be something to survive.

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Sorry to say, these are the obvious cliches (the mañanas and others). I hope he will talk about the not so obvious differences, that 95 % of the people don't even realize and cause many problems (sometimes serious), communicating with workers, vendors, authorities, friends, use of the language, body language ....

200 pesos is a lot of money.... he should drop the price, because this can really help a lot of people, avoiding all kinds of problems.

And, Bigd, you are very wrong there... it often is about surviving (things can get bad, if in some situations you are not able to see things from another perspective than the one you have been raised in).

Not sure what to think about throwing it all in a game.

Rony

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I find that a few simple rules works best:

1. You are a guest here, act like it.

2. This is not the US, Canada or any other country. If you don't like it, leave and go home. Don't try to change it or bitch about it.

3. Be nice. Tip well. Learn peoples names. Be patient, everything eventually gets done.

4. Make some MX friends.

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mañana will probably happen ..la semana proxima is another story and probably will never happen. Of course as another poster said it all depends on the person saying it.

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I find that a few simple rules works best:

1. You are a guest here, act like it.

2. This is not the US, Canada or any other country. If you don't like it, leave and go home. Don't try to change it or bitch about it.

3. Be nice. Tip well. Learn peoples names. Be patient, everything eventually gets done.

4. Make some MX friends.

...that is the secret!

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Guest bennie2

i am not a guest, i am a customer. have paid property taxes, visa taxes, frac dues etc. a good customer, that's the extent of it. it's not that difficult to confirm the manana's. i confirm the day of the week, will ask if it's the next week. you need to say it spanish. sometimes the worker will answer wensday or thursday. then for a time, i tell them in spanish "it does not have to be exact". we make a time frame. it's clear that after a certain hour i will going out. instead of focusing on manana's, there are other ways to make arrangements.

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i am not a guest, i am a customer. have paid property taxes, visa taxes, frac dues etc. a good customer, that's the extent of it.

...ah! that is why, some foreigners act as if Mexicans are just to serve the foreigners.....now I get it!....I was wondering why some foreigners are so prepotent....and don´t say "por favor" or "gracias"....

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Sorry, but it´s a bit tough for me to take a "LEGO Play Facilitator" seriously.

BTW, if you haven´t cracked the code before you moved here, maybe you should rethink hasty decisions.

(and EXCELLENT points, Mx Flwr)

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...ah! that is why, some foreigners act as if Mexicans are just to serve the foreigners.....now I get it!....I was wondering why some foreigners are so prepotent....and don´t say "por favor" or "gracias"....

A friend of mine bought a cabin in the mountains of NC. After about 5 years, he heard about a corn shucking and decided to go. He put on some work clothes and spent all morning shucking corn. Then the women brought out lunch and everyone ate. Then the men brought out a jug of moonshine and passed it around.

He told me that after that, people would stop by and invite him to join in local stuff, hunting, fishing, weddings etc.

He said "I'd lived there 5 years and never knew that all that went on. I was missing half of what was happening."

I think the same happens here with a lot of Gringos. There is a whole culture that you can miss.

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Guest bennie2

mx_flw. if i am @ a hotel i am a paying guest. there's no free lunch. i am not a guest of the house painter or the maid, they are working for me in my home. no one is anyone's "guest" in general. in any event (to stay on topic), it does make sence to clarify the manana's by using other words. keep it simple. whether you are speaking in english or spanish, the less words the less confusion.

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I was wondering why some foreigners are so prepotent....and don´t say "por favor" or "gracias"....

...well, besides prepotency, also, there is lack of education, that is why some foreigners don`t show courtesy at all.... :) :)

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mx_flw. if i am @ a hotel i am a paying guest. there's no free lunch. i am not a guest of the house painter or the maid, they are working for me in my home. no one is anyone's "guest" in general. in any event (to stay on topic), it does make sence to clarify the manana's by using other words. keep it simple. whether you are speaking in english or spanish, the less words the less confusion.

I didn't understand that.

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It's interesting to try to figure out the reasons for the different ways of doing things. I finally figured out that the reason most Mexicans who are making some kind of delivery don't seem at all concerned about showing up when they say they will (a friend was waiting for a furniture delivery that was supposed to arrive at 10 AM, he waited all day, they finally arrived at midnight the next night, didn't bother to call, just one example). In almost all Mexican households there is always someone home- the families are big and grandma or grandpa can usually be found sitting on their chair outside the door. Therefore it doesn't matter what time you show up to deliver something. They haven't yet twigged to the fact that many foreigners live alone or with one other person and will be sitting home, having rearranged their schedules, postponing other plans, waiting for them.

That said, I agree with the poster who said we are not guests here. If Mexicans want to do business with foreigners, which most do, there needs to be some compromise as far as being responsible, just as we compromise some of our NOB expectations in order to live here.

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Guest bennie2

mudgirl, yes- the guest thing is absurd, unless you are in a hotel. people have fantacies that they are on a vacation, go figure. in guad there are many professional mexicans who would never be up @ midnight for a furniture delivery. (let alone even answer the door @ that hr). you're speaking of working class families where there are many people in the house. i had furniture made in guad. they said 10 days, called around that day, set a time. they dropped off the dresser when they said they would. they were 2 young partners who had stores & a factory. originally the sales person didnt speak english. she called her boss, they came to store, i ordered the piece, gave dep on credit card. professonial, easy, i wouldnt have it any other way. for water delievery, i usually call when i know i will be home. sometimes they show up again the following week if they pass the house. if its convenient i let him in, or just say not necessary, or occupied (in spanish). im not his guest either. there are ways of getting things done. even for buying fish.... i call the fishstore to find out what is fresh that day.

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Guest bennie2

could it be the blind leading the blind? i would be very curious to know what that lecture was about.

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Lets get to a more basic issue. Some yahoo has a "course" for the foreign community yet can't be bothered to register and post...

What a strange comment. I posted it because I helped with the translation for the poster/advertising, and thought I'd help get the word out since it seemed it would be something people here might be interested in. The person holding the workshop lives in Guadalajara, I believe, and I doubt he even knows this forum exists.

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Guest bennie2

rufus, you got that right! if the lego person lives in guad, he may not understand the dynamic between small town mex workers & elderly retired expats. since he is a professional person & mexican he is respected. what is "lego"? an organization?

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