One of my last posts brought a flurry of comments that I thought I’d respond to in a post instead….
Learning Spanish – Both of us have been doing pretty well, but nowhere near as well as we would like. We manage transactions ok if we have thought it through before hand so we have the expected words handy to the tongue, but sometimes we embarass ourselves or have a brain freeze and feel stupid. People are very helpful and forgiving, though. We signed up for cable, bought furniture from our neighbor, are getting kitchen cabinets made, and go to the tiendas and lavanderia all of which have challenged us a lot. A real challenge though, is the phone. Deliveries must be arranged and appointments confirmed, and even those simple things sometimes leave us saying “Well, I THINK the bed will be delivered this afternoon, but I’m not positive!” We know who we want to take classes from, but right now we are having the courtyard redone and the kitchen cabinets made and we just can’t see how we can be away during the middle of the day.
Saying No to Coffee – This is a funny one that really points out the cultural differences between the US and Mexico. It is really considered rude to say no, a kind of rejection of hospitality that is hard to understand. I try to think ahead to what might be coming, and start off with something like “we are so sorry we can only stay just a minute because…” or ‘we just came from somewhere and we ate so much…” so that when they offer you something you just jump in with your ready-made excuse. What doesn’t work is to say, “no thank you, it is too warm today for coffee” because then they will make you some other involved (but cold) beverage that you also didn’t want. For me the issue is never the coffee. It usually has something to do with my lack of Spanish and that if I am reaching the end of my rope linguistically I just can’t handle the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee.
Referring to HOME – I wonder how long we will be here before we automatically refer to here as home? It is one of those things that just comes out – especially since so much family is still up north.
Health Care – We are getting set up with doctors and dentists and feel really good about the quality of health care here in Mazatlan. We’ve read about and talked to a number of people who have had excellent experiences with hospitalizations and feel we’ll be ok. We’re going to buy catastrophic insurance and just handle the small stuff on our own.