I’ve been silent here for quite awhile for a variety of reasons, all of which I’ll eventually try to get into.
We’re still trying to settle in and running into bumps in the road here and there which are frustrating me and which I need to get over. The most recent involves trying to get the Internet service turned on for our new apartment, which we move into on Monday.
Part of the process of acclimating to Mexico involves two major transitions for me — not getting frustrated at occasionally not being able to communicate in every situation and accepting that this is a different culture not always able to handle things that should be relatively simple like signing up for Internet service.
I went in person to the Telmex office on Monday to sign up for service because they have English-speaking personnel there. So far, so good. My average Spanish and their above-average English got me registered and in the system and setup for a technician to come out in “five to seven days”. Since I didn’t really need the Internet up and running until this Wednesday (March 3rd), that’s perfect.
I even got an email later that day that included a form where I could signup for an installation appointment — even better! I selected Tuesday March 2 between noon and 4 p.m. because I knew between myself and Tanya one of us could be there to make sure the installers had access.
Cut to Thursday and I get a phone call from an installer who doesn’t speak English who wants to be able to have access to the apartment to install the Internet. I attempted to tell him I signed up for an appointment online to get it installed on March 2 — “yo tengo una cita I made en linea para dos de marzo”. Kind of Spanglish jibberish but I was hoping he would understand and I don’t think he did.
I received several emails throughout the day from Telmex telling me a technician was being dispatched to the apartment and finally even one saying that the installation was completed. Is it possible the apartment manager just happened to be there and took mercy on me and let the tech in? Sure. I guess I’ll find out on Monday, but I need to be able to let it go and not worry about it and realize that I can’t do anything about it for now and I’ll deal with it on Monday and go from there.
Still, I let things nag at me and it’s frustrating to not know if I’ll be able to get the Internet setup in time now to go back to work by Thursday and the reason is I can’t speak Spanish and it feels like a personal failing.
(As an aside, here’s a hearty “fuck you” to all of the people who complain on Facebook about companies in the United States with Spanish-speaking support reps — i.e. press 2 for Spanish — because the “language in America is English.” I know who you are. I’ve seen your posts and your xenophobia is bullshit.)
I’m also getting frustrated at how small this temporary condo that we’re renting is and am bouncing off the walls wanting to get out of here. The decisions that went into renting this place are what they are at this point, but I’m letting that nag at me as well.
Finally, I’ve had “big moves” before several times and it’s pretty natural to start getting discouraged around the six-week mark. It happened when I went away to college, it happened after graduating from college at my first real job, it happened when I first moved to Las Vegas in 1999 and it happened again after moving back to Vegas in 2007. There’s just something about that time frame where some level of “homesickness” (for lack of a better word in some of those cases though it’s relevant now) kicks in.
You get through that wall after a few weeks, but it’s common (for me, at least) and something I probably should have anticipated, yet somehow didn’t.
Still, I received some unexpected help in the last 24 hours getting over my malaise thanks to three things:
1) I started watching the documentary “Immigration Nation” on Netflix, a look at the mess the government has made of our immigration system over the last two decades thanks to xenophobes on the right and pandering wimps on the left. It reminded me exactly why I wanted to get out of the United States, a depraved government uninterested in the lives of its citizens being steered by fundamentalist, nationalist bigots. Watching the way the ICE agents and everyday Americans cheered the inhuman policy of family separation got my anger going and left me feeling about 100 percent less homesick.
2) I woke up early this morning and took my daily walk before the city wakes up and was treated to silent streets and the gift of walking south along the Malecon and being able to turn to the right and watch the full moon setting over the Pacific Ocean or turn to the left and watch the sun rising over the Sierra Madre mountains just east of Puerto Vallarta. Perspective that if you’re going to run away from it all, best to do it someplace with some beautiful scenery.
3) The McRib is back in Mexico for a limited time! Sure, it’s probably just whatever was left in American warehouses after the December national McRib promotion, but I’m not picky. I’ll take my little tastes of home where I can get them.