4 February, 2020

The renewal process for my residency isn’t quite complete, but everything is now done except them handing me the physical card. They said to come back in 10 days – we’ll see! I’ll post an update when the card is in my hot little hands!

Odds and ends is the subject for today. First, Soriana (the old Mega) on Rafael Buelna is on my happy dance list. Not only do they still have a tasty cheddar cheese that has the flavor of cheddar cheese, but I found dill pickles last trip! Woooooo! The pickles were in the international foods aisle, in the middle – second display from the side closest to the deli section. They just say Kosher. Fairly small jars, but crisp and authentic! Cheese is in a black wrapper – both the first brand they had and this one. Both were excellent, although a little expensive. I really wish Tillamook would open a plant down here!

Second, I’m going to speak to Facebook hate for a moment. I will preface by saying that I’ve certainly been caught up in flame wars before – but these days I sit back for a day before I respond to posts that provoke me. The other day someone who is new to Mazatlán joined one of the facebook groups and asked where he could find a laundromat. There were several responses, including mine, that basically said not too many laundromats, but lots of lavandarias – and here are some good ones. His, and another poster’s response was to call everyone a fool and belittle us because we were evidently too stupid to know what a laundromat was. If he wanted to have someone do his laundry he would have asked for that. I skipped my one day waiting period for him, and told him that we understood perfectly well, but laundry still needs to be done so we were trying to help. And then I withdrew the offer to show him around town that I’d made via messenger the night before. I dropped the nasty, negative people from my circle of friends over 10 years ago and I’m not looking for replacements now. Then he responded by calling me vile.

This is far from an isolated instance on Facebook. Anonymity seems to give people the idea that they don’t have to comport themselves in a civil manner. The vast majority of Facebook posts seem to either be just plain silly (which is fine with me), or negative in varying degrees. Very few posts that are uplifting and leave you with a good feeling. And I’ve been looking for them – actively. But still, my Facebook newsfeed is all about current world politics – nothing good there; animal rescues – so sad that there are street animals in the first place, and even worse that people treat them badly; Or another person from my high school class had died; Or that a friend is being hospitalized for a handful of fairly serious problems; or ….. it just goes on and on being bad. And sweet baby jicama save you if you leave a comment on a post saying you don’t like something! People will come out of the woodwork to attack you because you don’t see the divine light they’re bathing in! How dare you have a different opinion! There’s a VERY photoshopped picture of Liza Minelli on the cover of Variety – it’s so badly done she doesn’t even look like herself and it makes her look like she’s in her 20’s (well, not HER 20’s, but someone’s 20’s). I made a post saying I love Liza Minelli, but I thought the photo was terrible. Woodwork erupted. I wish I could get the termites to come out of my wardrobe that quickly! I wasn’t rude. I wasn’t condescending. I didn’t target specific people and burn them with my words. I simply made a statement concerning my opinion. When others believe they have the right to force those who don’t step in line with their thinking into silence then we all have a problem, and a big one indeed. So next time someone states an opinion that isn’t rooted in bigotry or hate, leave them be if you don’t agree. Their opinion is JUST as valid as yours is, and they have just as much right to voice it as you do yours.

This leads me into a similar issue that I find extremely common here in Mazatlán. This is one that’s going to get me into trouble just for bringing it up. Nationalism. It’s a problem.

Canadians don’t like Americans. Americans don’t like Canadians. Ok, so it’s not that we don’t like each other – it’s that there are cultural differences that annoy. Here are a few:

  • Canada has health care for all. Americans think any Canadian with money comes to the USA for medical treatment because their system doesn’t work.
  • Canadians are nice. Americans are rude. Honestly, I’ve met my fair share of rude Canadians and nice Americans. The difference, I think, is that when a Canadian is rude they keep smiling. That’s not a joke!
  • Canadians don’t tip well. Americans are cheap. Working in restaurants for 30+ years in a border state gives me a good foundation for my opinion, and I’m keeping this one to myself!
  • Canadians always say “Eh”. Americans always say “You know”. Yep – it’s true! Accept and move on!
  • Canadians think America is full of white supremacists. Americans think the whole of Quebec wants to secede and join France. America isn’t full of white supremacists, they’ve just got a big foot in our political door. I’m sure there are one or two Quebecois that are glad to be Canadian!

Sometimes stereotypes exist because they’re based in fact, but often they’re just based in fear and bigotry. So, while a Canadian may occasionally annoy me I will endeavor to realize that many Americans do as well. If someone with whom I’d like to become friends is annoying me, then I’ll sit down with them and we can discuss – regardless of their country of origin.

And in closing, I’ll just leave a missive by the poster who said I was vile. I’ve blacked out names because my intent isn’t to warn you away from him (I considered it), but to show that we all make mistakes sometimes and say things that would embarrass us in the light of day. I wish that there was a significant delay between the time one hits enter and the time their words are posted, but there’s not; so let me suggest that you type whatever you want in response to something that’s upsetting, then walk away. Come back in a while and re-read your post. If it’s thoughtful and doesn’t attack someone whose opinion is different, press enter. Otherwise hit delete.

Don’t let this be you.
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