Just a little ranting and raving…

February 7, 2010

I’ve said before that Paul and I are happy with our choice of Mazatlán.  But, like anywhere, it isn’t perfect.  I try to focus on the positive here at Countdown to Mexico, but I think once in a while I can give myself permission to rant.

In order to be in the loop with regard to expat goings-on around town such as fund raisers, community events, garage sales, death notices, and things for sale you need to keep an eye on the forums. I have found information on good doctors, veterinarians, restaurants, etc. – but that information comes at a cost to me!

Reading the forums does gives a glimpse into the way others perceive the world.  And I have pretty much decided that a lot of people that participate the most on these forums are defensive, argumentative, close-minded, angry, childish, and rude. Most of the reasonable people don’t even participate for fear of being jumped on.

Here’s a recent sampling from MazInfo and What’s up Maz:

Someone asked what are the taxi rates from the airport and whether there was a cash machine in the airport. Easy to answer, right?  NO!  The responses were all over the place, including outdated information from someone’s visit six months ago that then degenerated into a ridiculous message thread about cash machine charges that was totally pointless.  How anyone could glean anything helpful out of that mess would be beyond me.

Someone asked whether anyone had a rental for a specific period. A few people replied, but one of them owns a B & B so the discussion degraded into whether this is considered “advertising” (which is not allowed) or not.

People participate on the board that have businesses in town.  There has been ongoing chatter and many many messages flying around forever about what constitutes advertising and whether they can even have their business signature at the bottom of the message.  Sheesh!

Oh, and don’t even think about sharing information about someone performing music or giving Spanish lessons or something without a huge brouhaha about whether they have the proper work permits.

Even a simple newbie question about what TV service is best is answered with possibly one or two reasonable answers and a sheaf of angry missives by people who think they’ve been done wrong or that their system is best.

People are blissfully ignorant and cheap, too.  They don’t seem to understand how uninformed it makes them seem if they ask where the Art Museum is or complain when one of the stores rounds up the centavos at the cash register.  Sometimes I just want to scream,  just Google it, damn it!

People will bitch about anything.  How many pelicans are in Mazatlán.  If horseradish is available here.  What is the meaning of the word “monsoon.”  Whatever.

People also can’t spell.  I have had it up to here (I am gesturing at my neck) with people  misspelling malecón, tinaco, Plazuela Machado, Puerto Viejo, and others.  Place names especially are just that, names.  Look it up if you don’t know, people!  It is like a New Yorker writing Cintril Park instead of Central Park… you should just know place names in your community.

People seem to forget it’s a forum for Mazatlán people or people interested in Mazatlán.  Frequently when people post about a storm or quantity of rain or level of humidity, people chime in from all over the US and Canada about how hot or cold or stormy or humid it is where they are and how they can’t wait for some length of time for their next trip to Mazatlán.  Yawn.

So I feel a little better now, getting that off my chest.  I still will hang around to find out about the occasional lemon sighting at Wal-Mart or restaurant closure information, at least for the time being.  Who knows what will happen in the future?


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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. I thought I was losng my mind with all the forums. Each day, I look forward to reading the various Mazatlan forums. I am glad I am not the only peron who has found the recent bickering rather juvenile. There has to be a reasonableness with the process. I like to know who is a good doctor, dentist, place to stay etc. Someday I may need the information.
      I still look forward to reading the forums, but it has definitely changed my options of people I would like to meet if/when I move to/or visit Mazatlan. Take care and stay safe.

    1. I started blogging because I got tired of our local forums. I still read and answer stuff but not as much. I don’t bother correcting people on this but I hate it when people write botanos instead of botanas and there is an RE site that advertises property in Puebla but it says that puebla means a small town,and all this time I thought that was a pueblo or una area poblada but not a puebla. Why can’t people get it that nouns have gender and if you change the gender sometimes you change the meaning. I have a spell check in Spanish is that so hard?

      1. Chris, Thanks for commenting, I know I’m not the only one that gets nuts about this stuff but it’s nice to hear your supportive voice!

        Theresa, You’re preaching to the choir! I am really cranky about people who play fast and loose with language. Especially when they are writing it, it is easy enough to take a few minutes and review or spell check it!

    1. I just joined the MazInfo forum this week and I was surprised, too, at the anger of some of the posts. I had hoped it would go away. Sorry to hear that’s not the case. I really wonder if those people who get so angry on the forum talk to their friends like that in person?

    1. Hahahaha. Wait! MazInfo can no way be worse than Chpaala.com!!!
      It is amazing,isn’t it, I don’t get it either.
      It’s fair to say tho, that the really rank ones are only a small percentage, at least at C.com. Problem is they are the most vocal! The ones that really get me are the ‘experts’ that have once been to Lake Chapala about 2 and a half years ago and actually LIVE somewhere else. Now, how in the world would someone like that feel qualified to bitch about the price of cheddar at Super Lake?
      Thanks for the laugh.

    1. Nancy – Sandie and I have been talking about the same things. Some of the posts and answers are just so petty and childish. I guess I had this vision that folks who live here had a more open and appreciative view of things that go on in Maz.; but I guess not It seems people have brought their small, narrow minedness (hope that’s a real word) with them. We still love the city and the new friends we have met but the forums have been for the most part a huge disappointment.


    1. Hi Nancy . . . did it help? do you feel better? I hope so! The forums have become so frustrating, but I just keep going back! I can’t stay away! They have sort of become some form of masochistic entertainment! I seldom post any more . . . but did send along a link this morning, only to have it taken over and re-posted with a different subject line and now authored by someone that many people don’t bother to read because he is usually so antagonistic . . . resulting in the link not being noticed or read! Frustrating!!!!

    1. glad you got it off your chest, however, your comparison is not a very accurate one. there is no excuse for a new yorker to misspell central park. however, someone misspelling a word in a foreign language, even if they are living where that language is spoken, does not mean that they are ignorant or too lazy to look it up. perhaps they are just not good at spelling. surely you must also notice spelling errors in english. spanish is my first language and i see mistakes made all the time-it’s not that big a deal.

      fyi fundraiser is one word-not 2 like you spelled it. sorry-i couldn’t resist that. although i admit that even i sometimes wonder if a word is a compound or 2 separate words.

      have a great week!

    1. I don’t think it will make you feel any better but the San Miguel is just as bad. I only glance at the summary and don’t read anything unless there is a subject that interests me. And most of the time that subject becomes trapped in uncivil behavior.

    1. Ah oh, I am guilty of misspelling. In both languages. Some things are important to me and somethings are not. Spelling is not. I learned the hard way about forums way back in the 90’s. I was ASKED by the Webmaster/Forum Administrator to provide information on a board that was new for the Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa and Troncones area. Because Keith and I owned property in Troncones and travelled there many times a year I thought I had a good “Gringo” grasp on the subject. It can be all the bad things you mentioned and at times I felt personally attacked. I gave it up after a few years. I still visit the site and see that things are getting worse rather than better. Forgive me if I misspell a word or chime in about our weather.

    1. The internet often brings out the worst in people, an unfortunate phenomenon. When I first moved over the border, I participated quite a bit in the forum on Mexconnect and then Yahoo forums for the area where I live. But no more, and I do not miss them.

      I´ve never understood the hunt for yellow lemons. I think these things Mexicans call lemons work just great. Look like limes to me.

    1. They all seem to be the same. Some people just like to hear themselves talk so to speak. I read and sometimes post on an Isla Mujeres message board. I answer questions if I know the answer. I avoid the argumentative threads especially when someone s arguing just to argue.

    1. I haven’t met you and Paul, yet, but I’m planning to take y’all to dinner when I do get down there in appreciation for all the information in your blog. In fact, if you ever summarize it on paper as a “Moving to Mazatlan” guide, put an address and a price for it in a posting and I’ll put a check in the mail the same day. I’m pretty certain you’re not in this for the money, but I understand how you feel when people frequently pester you for “free” research…I’ve given away more political campaign strategy/tactics and/or baseball coaching/league building than you can shake a stick at. See you soon, hopefully.

      1. Christy, I sure hope they don’t talk like that to each other! Good luck on the forum!

        Mexican Trailrunner, It’s no consolation that they all tend to be bad… and sometimes I can get a laugh out of them, but after a while I just want to scream!

        Sandie & Mike, I kept wanting to write this as a message to the forums but then I knew I would get blasted in return! I’m glad you guys steer clear of the ugly stuff there, too.

        Trish, I saw that and thought it was a rotten thing for him to do… but what can you do? Aaaaugh! I do feel a bit better after ranting here though, you know!

        teresa, I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree about place names. Why would a New Yorker misspelling Central Park be any different that someone in Maz misspelling Plazuela Machado or a Paris resident misspelling the Seine. They are names. Just like teresa.

        Billie, Oh well, most of the people where we live seem nice, right?

        Chrissy, I think the way the attacks escalate and become personal is one of the things that is the hardest to take on these forums!

        Felipe, I think I will probably quit reading them – I have already quit watching What’s up Maz and am about to ditch Maz Info. My problem is I am trying to keep a community calendar on Countdown to Mexico so I have to keep an eye out for postings about events. And yeah, I bought some lemons once and the ice cubes are still in the freezer. Seems everything I think I really miss I can do just fine without!

        Jackie, I think if I could avoid the argumentative threads I would be better off. But by the time I open the message and look, I’ve seen it and whoops, there they go again!

      1. Les, I sure look forward to meeting you, too! Paul keeps saying I should write a book but then I tell him that I already have! Ha Ha. Do you have plans to come down soon?

    1. Nancy, I’m working for the U.S. Census as a recruiter/examiner right now so it will likely be late spring/early summer before I can come…want to spend a week or so, looking for a place to rent at less-than-snowbird-high-season rates. My plan is to fly down first, cut a deal, fly back to Texas and then drive down with the basics and what ever else you and others can’t find in Mazatlan.

    1. As somebody else said, you’re preaching to the choir. Any more, I blow away half of all postings without even considering them.

      Pattie and I have noticed that things seemed to change almost two years ago with the new crop of people coming in. Quite a few of them post nonsense just for the sake of posing, or try to start an argument. Some of them have already left, and a few are preparing to return back north.


    1. Did I say that? I meant “posting” rather than “posing.” On the other hand, maybe there’s a bit of truth in it anyway. Ha!


    1. Oh Dios, do I wish you would just put that on the forum as a “guest” but what good would it do? Another starting gate at the races and it never ends. I am a nut about grammar and spelling…(I am known to throw in a mean typo once in a while, though) I think I am like Trish; can’t help the masochistic side of myself by reading it daily and it is cheap entertainment…and I DO mean “cheap” many times. RAVE ON!!!

    1. Our forum here in San Carlos got so malevolent it got split into two: one for political discussions, one for everything else. But people still get brutally flamed regularly for innocent questions and remarks, to the point that many won’t post on it or read it anymore. Too bad, they’re missing a good source of news. Me, I blithely post any inquiry I come up with, usually recommendations for rug cleaners, things like that. So far I haven’t received any angry responses. As for spelling…Dios mio! It’s not just Spanish words, these folks don’t know the difference between their, they’re and there, and that’s just for starters! I blame the US public school system. A large percentage of SC residents are upscale gringos, i.e. must have college degrees or more, and they still can’t express themselves in writing. Nor have they a clue that they’re mangling the language. Nor how to use Spellcheck. There, that’s my rant du jour.

      1. Les in Texas, Sounds like you have a good plan, I hope to see you soon!

        Larry, We have noticed a few people heading back North, Mexico isn’t for everyone, I guess! I have to try to be more detached from the idiocy on the boards if I am going to keep reading them…

        Zoe, The thing is the people who are the worst offenders wouldn’t see themselves in what I have written anyway! (So no point in posting it over there)

        1st Mate, I envy you your blithe-ness. I get all irritated and cranky after reading some of the stuff people write! I have never correlated education with ability to spell, I think good spellers usually read more. When you see the words in print a lot you spell them the way you’ve seen them. I wonder if that is true?

    1. Wow!!!!!!! For a minute there I thought you were writing about Merida! In my opinion, it’s just as bad here, if not worse!

      I accept that people arent perfect, including “yo”, but come on folks, adjust and adapt, or go back to wherever it is you came from. And for some, that would have to be a different planet!

    1. People take these forums way to seriously. It’s just chatter. We should accept them as such and give them the credit they are due.

    1. Nancy — I think you are correct that frequent readers tend to spell better. There are studies that correlate with your theory. Reading only lets me down on pronunciation. I have been caught out on words I see in print, but do not hear very often. Somehow, the word gets stored in the “let’s-mispronounce-this-in-front-of-the-new-boss” file.

      As for misspellings, toss in sloppy typing — and that would be me. Somehow I miss spelling errors when I proofread. And it seems to get worse the older I get.

      I re-read those two paragraphs three times.

    1. Jennifer, that was hilarious, thanks for sharing it! I could buy some and post them here and there around town, right?

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