Are Canadians really more polite than others?
26.12.2014 - 27.12.2014 80 °F
I clear my nostrils as well as possible in the mornings using shower water and then finishing with a good supply of kleenex.
Everybody picks their nose....but avoid it in public. My Canadian experience of this is that, if caught, there is a slight embarrassment, stopping the action and maybe reaching for a kleenex to complete the job. Not so here in Mexico.
Children pick their noses. Bored shopkeepers dig in. Sales people pick their noses. Oh and yes, even those in restaurants, we have caught doing this. And when you catch their eye? Nothing! pick away! No stopping. No adjustment. This is simply not a manner I am comfortable with.
But then, here in Mexico, there are alot of different behaviours that I am not familiar with.
When walking along the sidewalk and coming to a clump of trees that must be navigated through, Mexican men see no reason to stop and let me pass before thinking of moving into their own push through the path. Yes, I've only noticed men act like this.
When I was working out in the local gym, I observed several people take turns on a piece of equipment and I moved in once the piece was clear. Then a young man who had used it prior came up to me and demanded that he had not finished his turn with it - expecting me to vacate in between my sets.
Some of this behaviour comes close to threatening. While my daughter was in town, I pointed out to her that some of the 'silver' shops had signs in them suspending them from silver sales. Down the street, I noticed that the signs were posted in some shops but covered with "30% off sale" signs. My daughter being an astute consumer, responded to the shop keepers invitation to walk up to the sign, peek behind and give him a BIG frown. OOOOPs, that triggered a drastic flip in attitude and she was run off the property with a "That's none of your business!!!!".
I understand that we are in a tourist zone and the street hawkers are out there to make a living off of our giving them money. We smile and wave them off with a "Yo aqui vivo / I live here". But some of the comments that I have heard come from the rejected suitors are definitely sexist and downright rude.
This isn't true of everyone and many people are still very polite and helpful and accommodating. But Playa del Carmen has changed from the village of fishermen who lived modest but liveable lives back in the 1990's when we first came here. Something has happened to the people and their attitude. Actually - those villagers have been overrun by people who aren't from here. The city has grown from a town to almost 200,000 residents with an annual growth of 7% each year in the last decade alone. This doesn't count the millions of turisimos who visit the Mexican Riviera each year.
In looking for answers, we came across a young film maker. He was very cautious about making statements about the local noise by-laws and the apparent lack of enforcement. He was more willing to discuss changes in the city and the land developers methods. We came to understand that he is part of a growing population of educated environmentally minded people who are concerned with the unbridled growth. His YouTube Channel expresses some very strong attitudes towards the tourism industry on the Mexican Riviera.
We fell in love with Playa Del Carmen because of the excellent weather and lovely atmosphere. It was paradise! But paradise doesn't last long when human greed gets involved. Are the people becoming rude? or are we an infestation that has made them defensive?
I doubt there is a clear answer.