Mexican Living Survival Tip 7 Other Gringos

Mexican Living Survival Tip 7 Other Gringos

You would not think that mentioning Other Gringos in​ an​ Expat Survival Guide would be necessary but after I am through you will write to​ thank me. it​ is​ necessary and​ we struggle with this on a​ daily basis.

This Survival Tip will more or​ less apply depending on what region of​ Mexico you might want to​ live. if​ you end up in​ an​ area like San Miguel de Allende or​ Puerto Vallarta, then you can skip this Survival Tip if​ you want. if​ you really have as​ your heart’s desire to​ settle in​ the​ city of​ Guanajuato, or​ any other Colonial Town in​ Central Mexico, then you need to​ read this Survival Tip.

It is​ my observation that there are two categories into which expatriate or​ tourist Gringos fall.

One is​ the​ Gringo who is​ used to​ getting his way all his life. He regards all those outside his socioeconomic class as​ people meant by God to​ serve him. He must have those who share his worldview of​ how life itself should work in​ his presence at​ all times. He parties with those within his class and​ would not think of​ stepping outside his circle. He will not tolerate anything outside his mindset of​ how something should be done.

Either learning Spanish would seem absolutely ridiculous or​ he would think himself fluent because he knows a​ repertoire of​ exactly 4 Spanish words. This Gringo, however, would call it​ speaking “Mexican” instead of​ Spanish.

The other Gringo is​ the​ one who expatriates to​ (or tours) Mexico with the​ idea that this is​ someone else’s country and​ by God, he will show the​ respect these people deserve. He doesn’t regard America as​ the​ perfect culture that all countries of​ the​ earth should emulate.

He isn’t shocked that few Mexicans speak English. He makes every effort, sometimes a​ Herculean one, to​ try and​ learn some S-P-A-N-I-S-H. He actually understands it​ is​ not called “speaking some of​ dat der Mexican…” He loves and​ respect the​ language. He understands that Spanish, and​ not English, is​ the​ language spoken in​ this country and​ that Mexicans are very happy with their choice of​ Spanish.

He does not seek to​ act out his pathologies in​ public and​ probably has very few to​ begin with. He is​ in​ this country to​ learn a​ new language, to​ absorb this culture, assimilate into it, and​ to​ become a​ part of​ the​ community.

He also totally understands that to​ do this he not only could not, but would not, live in​ an​ “American Sector” if​ there was one. He rejoices ecstatically that there are none in​ the​ city he loves—Guanajuato. He eschews Gringo Gulches and​ Gringo Landias and​ would never live in​ an​ area that had such a​ thing.

This Gringo lives to​ fit into the​ Mexican landscape and​ would never think of​ making typical American demands on the​ people he now calls his own.

“Where’s the​ damned taco!”

“You call this a​ taco?”

”I wanted change and​ not pesos.”

These thoughts would never fill his head. Never!
I write a​ lot each tourist season about tourists. I write about Americans who come to​ Mexico and​ demand that this be nothing but an​ American-style foreign country where all the​ locals speak some funny lingo they think is​ called “Messican”.

I am not exaggerating. They really do this.

The Gringos who act like the​ stereotypical Americans, you know, the​ stereotype that the​ rest of​ the​ world holds of​ us, also fall into two categories.

One is​ the​ Gringo who has moved to​ a​ Gringo Gulch (Puerto Vallarta) or​ San Miguel de Allende (Gringo Landia). These people have effectively, like an​ invading army of​ barbarians, gone into these cities, bought every piece of​ real estate in​ sight, and​ now call it​ their own. They think the​ city is​ theirs. They believe they run it. They regard the​ “messicans” as​ those meant to​ serve them—those who invaded and​ conquered.

And, they would be absolutely right.

I was having this conversation with a​ professional Mexican here in​ Guanajuato. He is​ a​ professor at​ one of​ the​ city universities. He told me that there are two problems with San Miguel de Allende. One is​ that the​ young people went to​ American and​ learned thuggery there and​ then returned to​ implement American-style gangs in​ San Miguel de Allende. the​ second problem, far worse than the​ first, is​ that:

“The Americans own San Miguel de Allende, they know they do, and​ Mexico is​ doing nothing about it.”

And, my professional university Mexican friend would be absolutely right.

I always tell Americans to​ whom I tell this story, most of​ whom vehemently doubt me, to​ come here and​ see for​ themselves. One lady did this. She stayed for​ a​ couple of​ days then reported back that I didn’t know what I was talking about.

She could not speak the​ language, so how would she know if​ she could not talk to​ the​ locals about this issue!

Americans! Aren’t they a​ riot?

Americans have bought much more than all the​ choice real estate in​ San Miguel de Allende. They have bought the​ Mexican people too.

I make a​ habit of​ stopping Gringos on the​ streets where I live for​ one reason. I want to​ garner more writing material. I am rarely disappointed.

The observant touring Gringos, when asked if​ they have been to​ San Miguel de Allende, will usually say something like,

“I have. What’s wrong with that town?”

“I tried speaking Spanish there but the​ locals all responded in​ English.”

“It seems so sad over there.”

The unobservant touring Gringos always say that they loved it. I am never surprised at​ that.

The second type of​ Gringo that would fall into this group are those Americans, and​ some Canadians, who come here for​ vacation expecting the​ following:

· Everyone in​ the​ tourist industry to​ speak English. if​ they don’t, then he or​ she is​ getting ripped off.
· The food here should be designed to​ suit his or​ her American tastes.
· The architecture should suit his or​ her American tastes.
· Life at​ the​ quantum level should suit his or​ her American tastes here because he or​ she is​ an​ American.

They also expect to​ be able to​ act like they were raised by bears in​ a​ cave when anything isn’t according to​ their American tastes.

The way this works out is​ that you will see the​ same public displays of​ rage on the​ streets of​ Mexico that you would expect to​ see these Americans display in​ America!

If they do not get their way then you can expect to​ hear about it.

We’ve seen adult Americans scream like banshees when the​ food they are served doesn’t taste like the​ Tex-Mex crap in​ some chain restaurant in​ America. They will curse like sailors when they cannot get a​ waiter that is​ bilingual. They will turn red and​ run off screaming because they cannot get their way.

Stupidly, I am always caught unaware each tourist season. I should really make the​ effort to​ mark something on the​ calendar that “American Gringo fit pitching is​ here” on the​ appropriate month of​ the​ year.

But, there I am, sitting with my beloved in​ the​ Jardin when suddenly we hear the​ hydrogen bomb of​ American indignation going on behind us. Predictably, it​ will be an​ American Gringo tourist or​ one of​ the​ expats from San Miguel or​ Vallarta in​ our city acting like heathens!
Here is​ what is​ so humiliating. the​ locals who have seen my mug for​ years (most know that I live in​ Guanajuato) will look at​ the​ fit-pitching cry babies Gringos then immediately look at​ me as​ though I am somehow guilty by association.

They have these looks on their faces like I owe them some sort of​ explanation for​ the​ asinine behavior of​ my fellow countrymen. I usually shrug my shoulders and​ then sink as​ low as​ I can in​ the​ bench, pulling up the​ collar of​ my shirt to​ cover my visage.

I guess the​ question is, which type of​ Gringo do you want to​ be? if​ you want to​ be able to​ act like wolves raised you, then move to​ San Miguel de Allende or​ Puerto Vallarta.

If you want to​ learn the​ language and​ absorb the​ culture, then find somewhere where the​ heathen Gringos are not!

Go there!

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