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"Grumpy and Jaded"


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#1 Carey

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 06:30 AM

I was looking for some shopping info for Playa and was checking the Playa forums when I came across a thread complaining about how ex-pats who have lived in the area a long time all seem to be grumpy and jaded.

Are you grumpy and jaded? As for me, I started to get that way after about year five of living here. So this description rang true for me in addition to making me laugh. For our Spanish as a first language members, la palabara 'jaded' means seen it all/done it all/nothing surprises -- especially if it's bad news.

Any comments?
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#2 Tomas

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 11:52 AM

I'm looking forward to having that problem! We have a house in Cozumel now but won't be living there for long amounts of time for a while:( I think the getting grumpy thing can happen no matter where you are. Maybe if you don't take the time every day to think about why you wanted to live there in the first place you forget? Or maybe its being in a place long enough to watch it change significantly from when you first got there? I've experienced the latter in a couple different places I've lived and got a little grumpy about that! Or maybe its because they live over in Play and not on the island? Take a survey, are the more grumpy people over there?
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#3 Carey

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 12:15 PM

I think some irritations build over time. At first you think it's cute and quaint how, for example, it takes forever to get some papers stamped and processed. Or they haven't had fresh milk at the Mega for 7 weeks.

Then after a few years and things still haven't changed, you start to get grumpy and pessimistic. I still haven't gotten over me and my dog being held up two hours at the airport last trip back because my vet papers didn't explicitly state that he was taking heart worm tablets and had frontline applied. This all of a sudden when it had never been enforced before.

The extreme heat indexes of May through October particularly if experienced without stateside breaks to cooler climes can turn you into a real harridan as well. I am right now in the process of checking and updating all my hurricane supplies and protectors. This requires me to go out and about parts of my house and grounds and the city where there is no air conditioning. I become exhausted after about 20 minutes in this heat and have to get out of it. So the going is slow.

It really is a whole different kettle of fish living here as your primary residence as opposed to coming down for a couple of months per year. This is not to say that I don't still like living here for the most part. But I no longer see the place through rose-colored glasses as I did when I only spent three or four months per year on the island.
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#4 3m

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 07:17 PM

This is not to say that I don't still like living here for the most part. But I no longer see the place through rose-colored glasses as I did when I only spent three or four months per year on the island.


Maybe if that is what you like, then you need to return to that lifestyle. Life is too short to be unhappy 75% of the time.
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#5 Carey

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 07:36 PM

Pardon me but where did the 75% figure come from. I don't see that I wrote anything like that.
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#6 CZMDM

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 09:36 PM

Maybe that's why we sometimes sound grumpy and jaded. Half the time somebody that lives here write something about the way we feel about the island, somebody else twists it into something that is completely off the wall and makes it sound like we are disparaging the island.

If you are having a hard time decoding Carey's statement, all she was saying is it's a lot different coming here a couple months a year on vacation than it is living and working here year round.
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#7 Charles

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 11:38 PM

Cozumel keeps changing and your comfort zone keeps retreating. You see problems with obvious solutions that only worsen over time. A classic Cozumel statement is "it is the same movie I have seen too many times before, different faces, same script and always the same ending". There are still many wonderful people, but their numbers diminish. It seems grumpy when you see a new crop of people repeating the same mistakes of the past and you tire of being a broken record repeating yourself. What hurts the most are the kind, generous souls, rich in culture and you see them increase their struggles, working harder and harder trying to keep the heads above water. The numerous family businesses that have been in steady declines as multi-national corporations dominate the retail sector.

I prefer the old daze when you might go to the market and ask if they had cheese. Not your favorite type or brand, but something that could pass as being the substance. And the thrill when you found something special, totally unexpected. We used to go to Cancun once ever three or four months to shop for Mexican products not available on the island. There was a strong sense of community, you felt bonds with your neighbors, with the pueblo at large. You could share both your joys and sorrows, you felt a sense of camaraderie, a feeling of all being participants in the same boat.

I watched the changes brought about through NAFTA and the neo-liberalism policies of the government. As the author Carlos Fuentes wrote in an essay. the problem with Mexico is the culture is bombarded with television and movies from the north and subtitled and dubbed by persons with no understanding of either language. Like religious missionaries of cultural imperialism, the religion of consumerism converted the population to worship at the same altar of spend today what you hope to make next week. It warped sense of values and distorted priorities. Mexico traveled the same path away from the traditional strong family values and close knit family structure that took place to the north in the 1950s and 60s, Mexican culture accelerated the change started in the 1980s through the 1990s. Not just that two incomes were not enough to support a household, generations scattered seeking economic opportunities and a close by extended family became more rare.

A lot has changed in Mexico in the last twenty years, some positive, but far more have had negative impact. Changes have taken place all over Mexico, but particularly exaggerated in Cozumel, where it seems transformed into a culture of Gringolandia. Would the last Mexican leaving, please turn off the light switch by the exit.

Grumpy and jaded or is it that you feel like remaining in your comfort zone. Walls and barriers seem to grow both literal and figuratively. How many people interact with their neighbors? How many people live in areas of mixed neighborhoods, where the range of people on your block went full circle? Rich and poor, Mexican, Mayan, North American too and all felt comfortable together and couldn't pass without speaking and sharing, greetings, experience and most of all participating in a celebration of life. Now you have areas like Gringo Gulch, developments marketed that were exclusive and gave feelings toward many of being excluded, certainly not open and welcoming. How many people live that don't even know the names of their neighbors, how many homes are on blocks where you might never see your neighbors and have occasion to interact. The old nightly power failures, well maybe only four or five nights a week, when the power went out, the candles were burning and the people were outside together. Whoever we were, wherever we came from, we were all in the same boat and we could all feel that sense of community.

Most all of that is gone and it takes more and more effort to even remember the old times, much less experience them. That could make it seem like people were grumpy and jaded, but hey the kids are happy playing the video games, there's only so many times you can go to church and half the year, it is so damn hot, I think I'll just take a cool shower, lie down in front of the fan and take a nap. Jaded, or just psychological and emotional defensiveness?
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#8 TheOptimist

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 08:51 AM

No one can put it into words like you Charles.
As a regular visitor to Cozumel for the past 13 years we have noticed the changes and differences in attitudes as well. Not all the development has been a positive in my opinion. Mega has many great conveniences but it takes away from the uniqueness of the local culture. If I want Wal MArt, I'll go to Miami. Part of the fun is meeting new locals both natives and expats who have always been friendly to us Visitors. See you in November
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#9 Coz2wonder

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 09:51 AM

Mega brings us simi-fresh foods. You have no idea what it is like to shop here. Every "fresh" veggie is GONE on the first, and 15th of each month.!

Which part takes away from YOUR uniqueness of the culture experience?

Come visit...we love it.

For those of us who live the day to day life here, our lives, and yours are very different.

I am not criticizing you...it is simply a case of once you live here, it's not a vacation.
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#10 Carey

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 10:50 AM

I live in a very economically mixed neighborhood. I know my neighbors and like them. All are long-time Cozumeleños only two of whom speak any English. We are the only foreigners for blocks and blocks on all sides of us. I do not feel grumpy and jaded towards these good folks nor to any other Cozumeleños I see and meet on my bike and walking trips around Centro where I live. The 'salt of the earth' folks here are what I love most about this island. I love their friendliness and sweet-open smiles. I love the way they spend so much time outside so there are children everywhere, old people, parents, teens. It's great for people watching and interacting--if you go to the trouble to learn some Spanish.

I tire of the Slick Willy Chilango timeshare and other sales people in the extreme. They're not from here. They came in to make money. They'll leave when it dries up. I'm sure most are very nice folks in private. But on the job the majority are boring pests.

I tire of the bureaucracy at times and the mammoth amount of red tape and papers required to get anything done.

Then there's the complicated issue of the growing foreign community here. When I first arrived, I noticed a kind of standoffishness from most of the old-timer ex pats. They were definitely 'grumpy and jaded' most of them. And that was 10 years ago.

I gave that some thought over the next couple of years, as to why they would be like this. Wouldn't they be really happy to meet more people 'of their own kind' who speak their language fluently and sympathize with them re the inability to find Triscuits at the local markets? Wouldn't they want to help us settle into the community?

Years later, somewhat of an old-timer now myself, I think I understand the reasons for this attitude which, I believe, are at the root of the complaint on the Playa board that old-timers are grumpy and jaded?

This is a small town -- especially for the foreign community. So you need to be a little circumspect in whom you befriend.

Some foreigners who come here, for example, are very needy. Personally, I'm generally happy to extend advice and a helping hand to new people--especially over the internet where I can spout off when I feel like it--and ignore questions when I don't. But some people just aren't the Nurse Nancy types. They will step back and watch newcomers to see if they can stand on their own two feet first before giving them any respect or attention. They fear, I believe, being sucked dry emotionally.

In addition to extreme neediness, old-timers are watching new comers for a few other characteristics that sometimes surface. One is foreigners who have an embarrassing disregard for the local culture. Their I-Deserve-To-Have-It-My-Way attitude is resented by the local Mexicans and, by extension, it reflects badly on the entire ex-pat community. One example is the US citizen woman who owns a home here, who went to a breakfast social at a shrimp taco place and made a loud, ugly scene when she found out they didn't have eggs and toast on the menu for her.

Another pet peeve old-timers share big time is their disdain for Know-It-All's newbies to the island. This trait seems to surface most in some people who own property here and spend a couple of months per year on the island. You won't find many of that type on this board because they are humble enough to ask for advice and admit their ignorance and desire to learn.

But all the old hands have experienced the boring spout-offers who make themselves 'experts' on island life but have little real in-depth experience with which to back up their information and opinions. They don't live here full-time, through the hot months, the hurricane months. And when they are here, they are living an extended version of the tourist's life style. The consensus among the old-timers is that these folks should shaddup and listen more, pay some dues before making themselves out to be authorities on island life.

Finally, and a last reason I can think of for older timer ex pats being called grumpy and jaded -- there are foreigners who come here because they are not welcome in their home country but, for whatever reason, find a more welcoming atmosphere in this neck of the woods. There are some pretty unsavory expats here, people I, personally, would never dream of associating with in the US. So why would I do so here? Some of these unsavory types are real con-artists like this "Tony Gentille" and his wife who are currently being accused of bilking a lot of people out of a lot of money on real estate deals. Others have benign, even jovial public personas for the tourists and some of the less savvy 'snow birds' they deal with. But they are down right sleazy in their private lives. You live here full time in this small town and you see that underside.

Comments anyone? And please read what I wrote carefully. I was NOT damning every new person who comes to the island. Nor am I inferring or implying that many "snow birds' don't have a lot of good advice and common sense to share. Indeed, I count some of them as friends, value their input and company and am sorry to see them leave. Also part-timers who post on this board about tourist activities, for example, teach ME a lot because they still actually get out and do a lot of the fun stuff that I take for granted (even though I shouldn't). So this group is a valuable source of up-to-date recreational info for which I, personally, am quite grateful.
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#11 CZMDM

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 11:27 AM

Carey you couldn't have said it much better. Thanks.

Optimist not to jump on you personally because you seem like a very nice person (and really this is not to jump on anybody), but your Mega statement is the kind of thinking that makes me really grumpy and I know that many people that don't live here share your view. The people that live here all want iPods, hi-def tv's, decent shoes, cheap clothes for kids and good, safe, wholesome food just like you do where you live. I really don't feel that we should do without all the things that everyone in the world wants just so the island seems quaint to people who may visit it once or twice a year. Before Mega and Chidraui these things were not available. Most people here were wishing for the Wal-Mart that never made it. To compound the matter when things are hard to obtain they are always much more expensive. We used to pay double the price for a TV as you would in the States and we would be getting the obsolete model.

The island has lost a lot of charm because it caters to tourists. The front is all DI and the one lookout point is a bar. The downtown area used to be buzzing from one end to the other with bars and live entertainment. Now after the cruise ships leave everything beside Guidos and Cinco Soles is closed and dark. The city won't even let us walk our own dogs on the beach because tourists gripped about them (and that is a crying shame on the part of the city). At least let us have access to the creature comforts that most folks in the USA and Canada desire.
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#12 TheOptimist

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 12:04 PM

I did not mean to offend anybody. I did not intend to say that Mega is a bad thing. I am sure if we lived on Cozumel we would surely appreciate it. Heck we shop there when we visit. I only meant to say that things are different than when we fist visited 13 yrs ago. We miss some of the ways it used to be. We did in fact look into moving there and thanks to all the good info on this board and after doing our due diligence we decided to just keep coming as visitors. We always try to spend as much money as possible in the small shops and restauranrts. We are well aware of the hard times for many of the locals and we try in our own little way to contribute. We support the local HUmane society and other charities as much as possible.
We respect all of you who do live there full time and we have made mnay new friends over the years. lAst year it was a pleasure to bring a few needed items as a mule ( my wife calls me a jack---) and we keep up on the local happenings.
Again - sorry if I offended. We will look forward to November.
Mike
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#13 nauticab

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 07:54 PM

i think all of us "old timers" (and i don't know at how many years we can call an old timer an old timer...to some, after 11 years of living here, i am still a newbie) miss some aspects of the good ol days.
i miss the downtown action.... charlies moving to punta langosta in their new fancy location with state of the art bar stuff completely killed the bar scene. i would guess that there are very few people, if any, who will tell you they like the new charlies better.
i miss seeing the crazy "do it yourself" cars and motos that were on the road. you can still see one here and there, and they always bring me a smile. i miss LESS traffic. i miss LESS taxis. i miss taking my dogs to the beach (yes mike, crying shame and very very stupid....anyone want to build a dog park?). i miss the smaller artisanias on melgar.
i do like mega. i like the fact that i can find munster cheese. but i will still get queso oaxaca from the guy who walks the entire island yelling "queeeeesssssoooooo, oaxaca"
those who were here for hurricanes that caused enough damage to lead to calling upon your neighbors for help, understand the importance of getting to know your fellow villagers. when i moved into my new house, my neighbor came to ME to tell me that if i need anything, they are here for me. that is nice. i embrace that. my old neighbors miss me as we were the only other full timers living in our block in corpus. my dogs would alert us of anything weird on the street. i leave and there were breakins.
now that i am training for ironman, i gives me great pride to know that the smaller hotels, the smaller restaurants, get a nice pre-high season jump, like the old days, of people who are here for at least a week, truly enjoying the island. and when i am riding my bike around the island, using the new road (which just because of the ease of the bike, i love, otherwise am against the new road), i get a huge grin on my face once i pass the reggea bar and see the wild side. i pray to god, that our wild side never changes.
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#14 guitarist

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 08:49 AM

as always Charles I read your reply and agreed with most of it I respect your honesty and forthright approach , but just a little tweek if you dont mind I live in Gringogulch and on my street we get on well with our M exican neighbours and we are always met with a good morning or hola amigo , and when the road floods we are the ones that wade out and clean off the drains when they bung up with leaves and garbage but our neighbour is often there too, early morning if we are still in bed to clean it off even though its outside our house.Maybe we are just lucky and most of the time its quiet and problem free.My husband took the neighbour into town when his car had died and sometimes they offer a lift to him when hes been to mega and they see him there .. Its like all life give and take ....
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#15 3m

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 11:02 PM

Pardon me but where did the 75% figure come from. I don't see that I wrote anything like that.


In a previous message, you said you visited for 3 or 4 months at a time and looked through rose coloured glasses. 12 minus 3-4 = about 75%.

I totally hear you. But one of my former employees had printed on her office wall a question "are you happy?". And it followed a few charts, one of which branched into "no" followed with "what are you doing to change this"?

Change is occurring everywhere and it will be impossible to stop it from occurring in Coz. Yes, the whole cruise scence as altered downtown immeasurably. Probably not for the best.

I am a BIG believer in that we make our own happiness.

So the better is question is "what are you doing to adapt with the change?" Maybe you need to make a big change. Just sayin'.
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#16 Carey

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 08:09 AM

Perhaps you were referring to someone else with the 75% figure and living here 3-4 months. I live here full-time and take vacations back in the states. I'm here, at this point, around 85% of the time. And I enjoy living here most of the time. But just because you like a place or a person or whatever doesn't mean you think it's perfect. Nothing is perfect that I can think of. Except my curly hair. Ja Ja.

But sometimes shorter term visitors do look at Cozumel through completely rose colored glasses and do believe, I sometimes think, that life here is perfect. Long termers like me still enjoy the life. But my point is that we know the place very very well and therefore we see the good AND the bad. And that's what makes us seem 'grumpy and jaded' sometimes to newbies.

Who wouldn't agree that if you're dreadfully unhappy you should try and effect a change in your life? But that's not what we're discussing here. That would be a whole new topic that might be called something like: "Sorry you Moved to Cozumel?" This thread is about how locals are perceived by newbies and vice versa.
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#17 Kandy

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 08:41 AM

Carey:

I think the 75% comment came from one of your early posts: "But I no longer see the place through rose-colored glasses as I did when I only spent three or four months per year on the island." You were referring to times past, not the present.
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#18 3m

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 04:18 PM

Carey:

I think the 75% comment came from one of your early posts: "But I no longer see the place through rose-colored glasses as I did when I only spent three or four months per year on the island." You were referring to times past, not the present.


Yes, exactly. If you are happy most of the time, then you are NOT grumpy and jaded.
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#19 Carey

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 04:41 PM

Yes, exactly. If you are happy most of the time, then you are NOT grumpy and jaded.


I, we, I think I can say including many locals in this number are grumpy and jaded on occasion some of which are listed earlier in this thread.
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#20 Kim loves Cozumel

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 09:30 AM

I, we, I think I can say including many locals in this number are grumpy and jaded on occasion some of which are listed earlier in this thread.


Getting grumpy & jaded happens all over LOL! I get that way in USA plus it happens fast sometimes in Mexico cuz if you are like fresh fruit you go bad fast in the heat (not saying any of us is a fruit!)

I think life is interesting everywhere...as for Mega...I did not like it, I got lost since it is almost as big as the island...plus when I lived on Cozumel I did not even shop at Chedraui anymore I went to my sweet little San Francisco de Asis...I knew right where everything was!

Someday I will be independently wealthy & comeback to stay, for now I will see Cozumel in 9 days & I can't wait!

Anyone know if there will be Lucha Libre for el Grito? I am bringing an American friend who must see lucha libre (big fan of Nacho Libre) :lol: Kim
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