Thursday, February 10, 2011

it's Mexico, after all

We in el norte have a completely different concept of time than do the Mexicans. A person might say to you , "I'll be there in the morning." The first thing you would ask is, "What time?" and they would say, "How about 10 AM?" Not so in Mexico. If someone tells you they'll be there en la mañana it means sometime between 8 and 2 in the afternoon. Or if they say en la tarde it means between 4 PM and 8 or 9 in the evening. Most will try to get there, but if they can't manage, it will be mañana and no big deal. Or if not, the day after that. This is something I have learned to live with and not fret about. Sometimes when something absolutely HAS to get done, such as our well pump, things go a little faster. Fernando and Mr. C went over to Tecoman to buy a new one this afternoon ~ Fernando did say he would be here at 4 o'clock and he in fact was here about 4:15. They bought a new pump and he'll be here tomorrow to install it, and just in the nick of time. Our lawn is watered by well water and it's looking mighty peakéd and is definitely in need of a drink. He said en la mañana so we'll look for him sometime before 2 PM. However, I must say that he's pretty hip to gringos' obsession with time so it will undoubtedly be temprano, about 9 AM.

But back to the issue of time. I have come to appreciate the Mexican concept of time. Not really a "What's the rush?" attitude. More of a "It will all get done. Just relax!" sort of thinking. Besides, there's no use in getting all wound up about it. The people you are dealing with, whether it's the furniture repair folks or the talera delivery man know that you will be where you are tomorrow and they can call you or come back and take care of things.

I like that. I like the idea that life will be pretty much the same tomorrow as it is today. This 24-hour delay thing is not designed to make us driven, clock-watching gringos nuts. But it does make us slow down and appreciate the pace of life here where we are. And if we don't see it that way, we don't belong here. The Mexican folks we know and live with here are not going to change their way of life to suit our frenetic lives. We have to slow down and appreciate theirs.

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