Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Living in Mexico - Gringolandia Survival Tips

How to make gringo enemies and lose gringo friends is a subject one really must tackle with all due diligence when contemplating a move to Mexico. Whether you are expatriating to Mexico as a retiree, student, worker, or just to hang out for while, you really need these tips. If you follow these suggestions, you are guaranteed never to have any friends in the American Expat Community. So, here you go. Be warned. Take Heed.

To assure that fellow gringos will hate you and perhaps even plot your death, ask these questions:

1.) Question: If you moved here because you love the Mexican culture and want to learn all you can about Mexicans, doesn't it make sense for you to live in the culture you profess to love and adore?

2.) Question: How can you possibly learn all about the Mexican culture when you live in an "Gringo Expat Community" and not in the culture in which the Mexicans live, i.e. A Mexican neighborhood?

3.) Question: If you claim to be a part of a Mexican city, have all Mexican friends, and know all there is to know about them, why do you need a "Gringo Expat Community"?

4.) Question: Would not the phrase "Gringo Expat Community" be an oxymoron if you claim you've acculturated and are fully accepted into the Mexican Community?

5.) Question: How is it even possible to claim cultural fluency when not only do you not know Spanish, but in some cases you claim you have no intention to ever learn Spanish?

6.) Question: If language is the portal to culture, then where does your claim to cultural fluency stand in light of your monolingualism?

7.) Question: If you have to depend on Mexicans who are bilingual to interface with real Mexico, then how do you know anything at all about Mexico when you are getting it second hand?

8.) Question: If you are not bilingual and can't talk with ALL Mexicans in Spanish, then how can you ever really know the culture?

9.) Question: Apart from having a high degree of spoken fluency in Spanish, how can you claim to be accepted into a Mexican city?

10.) Question: Having to depend upon Mexican bilinguals, are you not limiting yourself to a small and narrow class of Mexicans who happen to be bilingual?

11.) Question: How will you know if your bilingual friends are merely telling you what you want to hear or tainting the truth with their biases?

12.) If you haven't the linguistic ability to sit in some Mexican's kitchen and talk about your life experiences, listen to the Mexican's life experiences, and discuss pretty much anything under the sun, just what do you think that communicates to the Mexican community of which you claim to be a part when you've lived in their community for maybe even decades?

Move to Mexico and start asking these questions of the local "Gringolandians" and you'll be sure to have an exciting and engaging time trying to figure out who is sending you threatening emails, calling you all manner of vile names to your face on the street, and wishing you would move to Iraq where you too could have your head removed from your shoulders.


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