Culture Clash

3 Apr

As a US citizen, I find that living in a foreign country (Mexico) is educational, stimulating and often times humorous. At first I thought it was a Bacalar thing, but having visited other towns in Mexico, I know that’s not the case. This week it happened again to my surprise.

Also add the ability to wait.

I remember the first time I went into Parisina, a fabric store in Chetumal. Figuring out how to make a purchase was complicated, confusing and time consuming. I later discovered that the process is the same in the local hardware store and in the art supply store I found in Oaxaca.

This week I stopped to purchase fabric to make a blanket for a dear friend who is expecting baby number five. To my surprise, the store had no cotton fabric. With rows and rows full of bolts of fabric, there was NO 100% cotton. Scratching my head, I wandered the aisles until I found the perfect alternative.

They have a pug!

I took the bolt of fabric I wanted to purchase to a male worker. He took out a hand held device and produced a ticket that I was to take to a cashier. I waited in line to pay the bill. I returned to original guy with the stamped receipt and he then measured and cut my fabric.

This is the same process at a hardware store. An employee pulls your requested item from the back of the store. You receive a ticket which you take to a cashier. The stamped receipt allows you to pick up your purchase. The entire process requires you to wait in three lines, first to be waited on, second to pay and third to retrieve your purchase. As a USer I think I don’t like to wait.

I’m not sure if this process is the norm anywhere else in the world. I love Mexico but it sure does make me scratch my head sometimes.


11 Responses to “Culture Clash”

  1. Candace Lynn Womer April 3, 2022 at 12:28 pm #

    I had the same experience in Russia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 April 3, 2022 at 12:29 pm #

      Wow. I think it gives more people jobs and we are too damn impatient.


  2. zumamusher2015 April 4, 2022 at 6:23 am #

    I love this! I live in the Republic of Panama. Your blog was one of the first I read when my wife and I started to look abroad. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 April 4, 2022 at 8:27 am #

      I’m flattered. We went through the Canal in 2019. How’s it going?


      • Melinda Miles-Lindberg April 4, 2022 at 12:00 pm #

        It certainly has good and bad. I have my own newsletter at the best thing is the Pacific Ocean. We live on a beach break near Costa Rica.

        Liked by 1 person

      • afish25 April 7, 2022 at 9:38 am #

        I signed up for it. I remember we’ve talked in the past. It’s been awhile. Glad life is still good for you both.


  3. RudeinNewYork April 7, 2022 at 9:34 am #

    Well now all. Have we forgotten “Little House on the Prairie”? its only in the US and some of Europe that retail in done on the “Trust” basis. Customers are treated as potential thieves elsewhere. Even Hong Kong, 1963 had armed guards at the entrance of Department Stores and nearly everything behind glass cases.

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 April 7, 2022 at 10:46 am #

      Seems like we’re going back to that in the smash and grab era.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Emilie April 10, 2022 at 8:50 am #

    Yes, a real process to buy fabric in Mexico. But the bonus in the hardware store is I can also buy eggs. Truly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 April 10, 2022 at 10:09 am #

      😂 😂 I love it! Eggs in the hardware store. Isn’t life more fun in Mexico!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Emilie April 10, 2022 at 12:21 pm #

        Sure is! I’m thankful I just live a few blocks from Mexico and can slide over all the time to immerse myself in the culture.

        Liked by 1 person

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