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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to know how Expats in Mex socialize with the people of Mexico. Like what are the opportunities for meeting people ; what are the situations and places where you have started friendships, What are your expreiences with friendships ( those you want to tell about) and so forth. Faz
 

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I would like to know how Expats in Mex socialize with the people of Mexico. Like what are the opportunities for meeting people ; what are the situations and places where you have started friendships, What are your expreiences with friendships ( those you want to tell about) and so forth. Faz
I met both of my two closest Mexican friends from intercambios, language exchanges to practice Spanish (me) and English (them). One of the intercambios was arranged by a language school. The other one resulted from my putting flyers up on poles around the neighborhood. Years later both are still close friends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I met both of my two closest Mexican friends from intercambios, language exchanges to practice Spanish (me) and English (them). One of the intercambios was arranged by a language school. The other one resulted from my putting flyers up on poles around the neighborhood. Years later both are still close friends.
Tundra thanks for the reply. Are intercambios common ? do many social groups have them? I see you started your own; is that the main way to get one started? Faz
 

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Tundra thanks for the reply. Are intercambios common ? do many social groups have them? I see you started your own; is that the main way to get one started? Faz
I don't really know how common they are. A school in Quéretaro arranged them; maybe others do as well. There are a lot of Mexicans who would like to practice English so it is a good deal for both. The art is in finding someone that you mesh with. One of the people who responded to my ad didn't work out, but the other one is still a good friend and, four years later, we still get together regularly, half in English and half in Spanish.
 

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All of the language schools I have ever been at have intercambios. I think it's pretty standard.

As far as how I met my Mexican friends, for me it has been through my work as a musician. I now have friends all over Mexico from traveling around the country and giving concerts. They have invited me to perform with their groups and I have meet still more people through that.

I met my wife-to-be while in Guanajuato on a concert tour as well. (I mean, don't all all male musicians get into it to meet girls?... Worked well for me this time!) She was just visiting Guanajuato at that time and now we both live here.

From the get go I have related well with Mexicans. By the time I came here for the first time 10 years ago, I already spoke passable Spanish which opened many doors and tends to make a good first impression, although it is not necessary as I have seen several expats who speak minimal Spanish be embraced by the Mexicans just because they sense their personality non-verbally.

The Mexican's feisty, "hot" Latin personality resonates with me probably because I'm of a cooler temperament due to my Scottish/English roots and it is so opposite for me... sort of my missing other half.

I try as hard as I can to adapt to their culture and I think they sense my effort but they also don't fail to poke good-natured fun at my failings, like my propensity to say a straight-forward "No" when a Mexican would beat around the bush. I think they like it when I do it because they know I don't mean offense and it is so unusual for them that it cracks them up.

Many people here treat me with a lot of cool reserve at first because I am obviously a ****** but if I start to converse with them and treat them as a fellow human being, they change quickly.

All in all, Mexicans are AOK in my book and if you keep that attitude, they will respond to you in kind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't really know how common they are. A school in Quéretaro arranged them; maybe others do as well. There are a lot of Mexicans who would like to practice English so it is a good deal for both. The art is in finding someone that you mesh with. One of the people who responded to my ad didn't work out, but the other one is still a good friend and, four years later, we still get together regularly, half in English and half in Spanish.
Thanks Tundra, I am thinking cofee shops, libraries and book stores might work out like they do here. Are there such places in Mex? I mean like here. What do people do for entertainment? Where do the hand out [except bars] ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All of the language schools I have ever been at have intercambios. I think it's pretty standard.

As far as how I met my Mexican friends, for me it has been through my work as a musician. I now have friends all over Mexico from traveling around the country and giving concerts. They have invited me to perform with their groups and I have meet still more people through that.

I met my wife-to-be while in Guanajuato on a concert tour as well. (I mean, don't all all male musicians get into it to meet girls?... Worked well for me this time!) She was just visiting Guanajuato at that time and now we both live here.

From the get go I have related well with Mexicans. By the time I came here for the first time 10 years ago, I already spoke passable Spanish which opened many doors and tends to make a good first impression, although it is not necessary as I have seen several expats who speak minimal Spanish be embraced by the Mexicans just because they sense their personality non-verbally.

The Mexican's feisty, "hot" Latin personality resonates with me probably because I'm of a cooler temperament due to my Scottish/English roots and it is so opposite for me... sort of my missing other half.

I try as hard as I can to adapt to their culture and I think they sense my effort but they also don't fail to poke good-natured fun at my failings, like my propensity to say a straight-forward "No" when a Mexican would beat around the bush. I think they like it when I do it because they know I don't mean offense and it is so unusual for them that it cracks them up.

Many people here treat me with a lot of cool reserve at first because I am obviously a ****** but if I start to converse with them and treat them as a fellow human being, they change quickly.

All in all, Mexicans are AOK in my book and if you keep that attitude, they will respond to you in kind.

C110 thanks for the thoughtful reply. I have only accuaintences with Mex people here in Alabama [business ] but the things you said about their temperment rang true with me. Because your interaction through entertainment is not as open to teachers i hope to hear from some of then too. I will however take my guitar.
I guess there student centers at some of the teaching venues; do teachers hang out there too? Anyone? faz
 

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I've mostly met neighbors ... and I guess depending on where you live, many will have much less than you have. For the most part that means you will never resolve the "us and them" gap to become good friends. Of course there are exceptions but not necessarily due to education or time spent in the US. Like everywhere, some people are more easy going and less envious than others.

Older people and kids are the easiest to feel comfortable with

What if you moved to a new city in the US (or where ever you are from) without job connections. The first people you meet are usually the least desirable and you work from there. It's the same everywhere. The big gaps will be language and culture. No way are you gonna be able to sit on the corner and be "one of the boys" bull****ting about daily life. Whatever anyone says you will be a "Stranger in a Strange land" for quite awhile
 

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When I lived in Mexico, I was single and lived with Mexican families and worked in churches, so I had the opportunity to integrate immediately into daily life. Voila! - Built-in friendships that have lasted over twenty years.

Next time I live in Mexico, I'll be with my own family, but I suspect that living, working and participating in daily community life will enable friendships to form as would happen anywhere else.

Mexicans have a great sense of humor and are a lot of fun to hang out with.
 

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Came over here because Faz suggested it on the other thread that got hijacked by high-jinx, you know the Moving to MEX one. Thanks for this, I suppose we can have a bit more non-PC fun every now and again.

In all, I think Faz will do quite well if he can find a way to get to Mexico. He seems to have a gift of getting people to converse, so good on you - hope you make it.

I feel that one of those classes will be the way to learn to get along. Look, we are moving to a place that has been derided as "******-land", and as we discussed on the Forum last year, you can be happy to live there and be in the periphery, never learning the language or respecting (not a pejorative) and participating in the customs, or you can immerse yourself in them no matter where you settle. We prefer to go the immersion route even if it will take some time to learn all of the reasons and customs behind them. Actually, that is a great way - find someone at an event who smiles at you and ask them to tell you about what is going on, you may just make a friend.

There is also not doubt that children and old people are the best for this. We found that when we lived in Israel and traveled to Japan. It was the old people who were friendly and wanted to share their stories, and the kids to whom you are somewhat of a "mystical" character.

So, how do you make friends? By being honest, humble, respectful and kind. You make friends by trying to speak the language, even if you screw it up, when you're standing in a queue at the market, or even opening a door. People will respond, as we have to Faz, to sincerity and kindness. That is a first step.

So, how do you get along with people in Mexico? The same way you get along with people anywhere you go - except you may have to learn the language first, but that too is a way to get along. Remember in the immortal words of "The Muppets Take Manhattan" - "Peoples is peoples"
 

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I've mostly met neighbors ... and I guess depending on where you live, many will have much less than you have. For the most part that means you will never resolve the "us and them" gap to become good friends. Of course there are exceptions but not necessarily due to education or time spent in the US. Like everywhere, some people are more easy going and less envious than others. ...
As you say, it depends on where and how you live. I live in a Mexican neighborhood. Most of my neighbors have more possessions than I do. Mainly because I choose to live without a car, TV, stereo and a lot of the junk that used to clutter my life (a little editorializing there I guess). I don't get any sense that a difference in resources creates barriers. Language definitely is a barrier. I speak Spanish but not nearly as well as I would like. And then most people I meet have little free time and tend to spend it with family rather than neighbors or others.
 

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Most mexicans generally spend more time with family, more than "norteamericanos" that is, I cannot speak for other countries.

Making friends in Mexico is easy, if you speak Spanish.
 

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Sometimes, expats arrive in Mexico with the expectation of being welcomed with open arms and becoming a part of the community. That is extremely rare. As has been stated, Mexicans are very polite, warm, friendly and non-judgemental. However, their own family, relatives, extended relationships with old family friends and business associates will always trump having a close relationship with a foreigner. That said, you will often be invited to large celebratory events but seldom to close family gatherings; no matter what your level of fluency. So, enjoy the weddings, quinceañeras, funerals and birthday parties, but getting much closer is unusual. Remember also, that the local plaza is 'everybody's front porch' and a lot of evening socializing happens there after 8PM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Came over here because Faz suggested it on the other thread that got hijacked by high-jinx, you know the Moving to MEX one. Thanks for this, I suppose we can have a bit more non-PC fun every now and again.

In all, I think Faz will do quite well if he can find a way to get to Mexico. He seems to have a gift of getting people to converse, so good on you - hope you make it.

I feel that one of those classes will be the way to learn to get along. Look, we are moving to a place that has been derided as "******-land", and as we discussed on the Forum last year, you can be happy to live there and be in the periphery, never learning the language or respecting (not a pejorative) and participating in the customs, or you can immerse yourself in them no matter where you settle. We prefer to go the immersion route even if it will take some time to learn all of the reasons and customs behind them. Actually, that is a great way - find someone at an event who smiles at you and ask them to tell you about what is going on, you may just make a friend.

There is also not doubt that children and old people are the best for this. We found that when we lived in Israel and traveled to Japan. It was the old people who were friendly and wanted to share their stories, and the kids to whom you are somewhat of a "mystical" character.

So, how do you make friends? By being honest, humble, respectful and kind. You make friends by trying to speak the language, even if you screw it up, when you're standing in a queue at the market, or even opening a door. People will respond, as we have to Faz, to sincerity and kindness. That is a first step.

So, how do you get along with people in Mexico? The same way you get along with people anywhere you go - except you may have to learn the language first, but that too is a way to get along. Remember in the immortal words of "The Muppets Take Manhattan" - "Peoples is peoples"
Fh that's great info; it somes it up about real well and pretty much covers it all. Thanks Faz
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've mostly met neighbors ... and I guess depending on where you live, many will have much less than you have. For the most part that means you will never resolve the "us and them" gap to become good friends. Of course there are exceptions but not necessarily due to education or time spent in the US. Like everywhere, some people are more easy going and less envious than others.

Older people and kids are the easiest to feel comfortable with

What if you moved to a new city in the US (or where ever you are from) without job connections. The first people you meet are usually the least desirable and you work from there. It's the same everywhere. The big gaps will be language and culture. No way are you gonna be able to sit on the corner and be "one of the boys" bull****ting about daily life. Whatever anyone says you will be a "Stranger in a Strange land" for quite awhile
Thanks Sparks. The haves and.... is something to be reminded of. I have run into that a few times. I have been a have and a have not in others eyes although I see everybody as people I have felt envy and disdain from both sides and I have never really done too well in those situations. There does not seem to be a way to change someone's mind set easily or often. If there is no equality there can not be true friendship. Its no fun to be looked down nor any fun being envied. I have a little joke I pull on people that invite me to join there church. I say that as an unchangable bachelor I would be pushed to marry by the women and envied for being single by the men. I works every time lol. Faz

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... If there is no equality there can not be true friendship. ...
Maybe I don't understand what you mean by "true friendship". I have people I consider close friends, both in Mexico and in the US, who are very different from me. I am a 60++ male, long out of school, with grown children. My closest friend in Mexico is a 20 something male who lives with his parents and is working on finishing college. My second closest friend in Mexico is a 30+ female engineer living on her own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sometimes, expats arrive in Mexico with the expectation of being welcomed with open arms and becoming a part of the community. That is extremely rare. As has been stated, Mexicans are very polite, warm, friendly and non-judgemental. However, their own family, relatives, extended relationships with old family friends and business associates will always trump having a close relationship with a foreigner. That said, you will often be invited to large celebratory events but seldom to close family gatherings; no matter what your level of fluency. So, enjoy the weddings, quinceañeras, funerals and birthday parties, but getting much closer is unusual. Remember also, that the local plaza is 'everybody's front porch' and a lot of evening socializing happens there after 8PM.
RV that puts it succinctly and it makes a lot of sense. I have heard some really good comments with good points of view but this one kind'a shows where the depth of friendships is. I think the same thing is true everywhere that a population does not include a lot of mobility likeit does in the US . The US may be one of few countrys where one could live in an appartment complex where no one is native to the local area and has no family or old school chums nor old neighbors.
The US seems unique in the nuclear family concept instead of the extended family deal. faz

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Maybe I don't understand what you mean by "true friendship". I have people I consider close friends, both in Mexico and in the US, who are very different from me. I am a 60++ male, long out of school, with grown children. My closest friend in Mexico is a 20 something male who lives with his parents and is working on finishing college. My second closest friend in Mexico is a 30+ female engineer living on her own.
Tundra I meant that unless both people put aside their have/have not mind set there will always be that underlying inequality that would make trust tenuous in a a situation that involved taking sides. Faz
 

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Maybe I don't understand what you mean by "true friendship". I have people I consider close friends, both in Mexico and in the US, who are very different from me. I am a 60++ male, long out of school, with grown children. My closest friend in Mexico is a 20 something male who lives with his parents and is working on finishing college. My second closest friend in Mexico is a 30+ female engineer living on her own.
It is said that within your lifetime if you make only a few true friends, you are a lucky person. Most of the people we call true friends stay with you, maybe you grew up with them, still live in the same neighborhood and their friends are your friends, and that is great if you have it. But most of us don't live where we were born, and especially not the people on the Forum here, so we leave behind friends wherever/whenever we go. In my life I have had really close friends, the kind you share everything with, and yet, as our circumstances changed and we grew, those links were broken. There was no malice, it was just "over" and we went on to new friends. Most of the friends I can remember were in college, my best man, and a couple of the ushers at my wedding - long ago. Swore we'd be friends forever - "call me any time" - but that soon fades.

Remember a definition of a friend is someone you can call at 2:00 am because you need something, or just want to talk, and they will not say they are tired, sleeping or too busy. Friends make an investment in you and you in them, that is a big thing. Friends are the first ones you turn to, after your family, to help you, celebrate with you and depend on your support.

Now therein lies the difference, I have many acquaintances, business associates and colleagues and neighbors but none which I'd call friends - again not because of anything other than either I or they just do not wish to get that close. But yet, we go out to parties, have dinner, greet each other, but would I call them "friends", no.

It is great when a trust develops that can lead an acquaintance into a friend, but that takes time. At this stage in my life, what I am looking for when I move is to find people I like to be with, have fun with and hopefully share with. Do I expect them to become, by my definition, friends? I would hope some will and if one or two do, that would be great. That level of acceptance is not easy even in your native language. Adding the need to learn a new language on top of that makes it even more difficult. But it is a goal.

One last comment: chronology - with all my experience I can say that it is irrelevant. Some of my best friends/acquaintances were varied in age from me, some younger, some older. It is not a function of age, it is a function of interest.
 
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