Two more weeks and an honest assessment

 Latest update from the architects is they're about two weeks out from finishing the estimate. I know that's not much fresh news to go on, but we're holding out hope we can afford to build when the estimate comes back.

It's getting cold here now, it's definitely fall. The coronavirus is starting to surge in our area and that's not a great sign. So far we've kept it away, but multiple co-workers have gotten it and it feels like it's closing in. Some people are certain we'll all get it, it's only a matter of when. I'd like to think that certainty isn't so certain. I'm not as worried for myself as I am for my dad. It's been pretty stressful times for everyone.

But I don't want to be all doom and gloom. Or maybe this is still doom and gloom.

A person on YouTube released a video that I won't link to here. For one thing, I'm not convinced he's not a troll and giving attention to trolls does nobody any good. Second, if he's not a troll he seems like the type of person who will never have his mind changed about anything, so it's not worth the interaction.

The point of his video was that bloggers and YouTubers were massive liars about Mérida. Now, almost everything he says about the city is true. What I take issue with is what he says about the people. Let me break some of it down.

First off he complains about the heat. Well, he's right, it can be hot and humid and unbearable, especially in the summer. Where he's wrong is acting like nobody brings that up.

Pretty much everyone I have ever watched or read brings up the heat. Watch 5 minutes of a Jose Arteaga video where he walks around the city and witness the amount sweat pouring off of him.

Whenever I talk to friends about Mérida, I don't sugarcoat the heat. I don't think anybody is hiding the reality of the weather and if he, or anybody else, doesn't understand this basic fact about the climate, well then you didn't do any research.

Another thing he brings up is getting charged more for services because he's a foreigner. He makes it clear that he still pays less than in the U.S. for the services he is using, but he's still paying more than locals. This makes him feel he's being taken advantage of because locals assume he has more moneyas a foreigner.

To that I will say this, he is right, he is being taken advantage of.

However, in this case especially, his whole point of coming to Mexico was to take advantage of a service and get it cheaper than he could in the states. So, he thinks it's okay for him to take advantage of a city's, and a country's, poverty so he can save some cash, but when they want to take advantage of him and his relative wealth compared to them, so they can try to make a little extra cash, well then they're terrible people!

Come on, man. You can't exploit them and then be mad if they try to exploit you a little, too. He still got the service cheaper than in the states. The locals made a little extra money. Why isn't that fair?

Next he says people aren't friendly to him. That they don't welcome him into their circles. He mainly aims this at expats, I think. He wasn't super clear on this.

I don't know if he expected to walk into a place where a group of expats were sitting and have them jump up and shout "oh! another one of us! Please sit down here and join us!"

My god, that would be unsettling if that happened to me. I think I'd turn around and walk out.

I don't really know any expats in the area, though I have talked to a few at different events and everyone has seemed nice. But unless I make the effort to join and meet them, I'm not sure why they'd make the effort to meet me?

He also claims the locals aren't welcoming and let me break this down into a few points.

Again, I'm not sure if he thinks he's going to walk into a place and have locals shout "Thank god! An American! Thank you for gracing us with your presence! We are not worthy!"

I think I would run away from that scenario, just like the expat scenario.

He says that not many locals speak English. This is very true. Again, I don't hide this fact and I don't think I've seen other bloggers/vloggers hide this fact. Some people speak English very well, but many more do not speak it at all. So, learn some Spanish or get out your phone and be prepared for some language barrier situations.

So many of his problems with Mérida seem to stem from his belief that it is a tourist city. So, they should speak English, be glad to see him everywhere he goes and be extra friendly to foreigners.

Maybe I'm wrong in my assessment but it's never struck me that Mérida is hugely touristy. Sure, there is some tourism, though I would surmise most of the tourists to the state of Yucatan come from other parts of Mexico itself. Sure, there are some expats, too. However, I wouldn't say that the city lives and dies by tourism.

He says he has tipped at restaurants and the servers don't seem appreciative of his gratuity.

I'm going to break this down a bit, but first let me get on my soapbox.

I am not a fan of tipping. I tip, and I think I tip extremely generously, however I'd prefer if people were all paid a proper wage and tipping wasn't required. Even if that means charging the customers more for their services. I think it's unfair for people to live or die based solely on the generosity of others. Now, there are probably some servers out there who would disagree with me because they make way more in tips than they would in wages, but I think they are the minority.

Okay, done with the mini-rant, let me get off that soapbox.

Now, the purpose of you leaving a tip is to say thank you for their service. You are thanking them by giving them a tip.

If you're leaving tips so that people profusely thank you for your generosity, you're doing it wrong.

He also never states what he's leaving for a tip, so it's hard to tell if he's generously tipping or not.

Either way, don't expect to be thanked for your tip. Does it feel good to be thanked if you leave a big tip? Sure, and I have had servers thank me for leaving a tip. But most of the time I leave before they ever pick it up anyways. I'm not sitting there, anxiously awaiting them to pick up the tip, look at it and fall to the floor weeping over how I've changed their lives with my incredible generosity.

So, his big takeaway from Mérida is that it's too hot (true) which nobody ever talks about (false) and most people don't speak English and are not worshiping him properly as a tourist (sure.)

The people of Mérida have always been nice and wonderful to me. Now, they absolutely don't go out of their way and treat me special or different than a regular person and, to me, that's a very good thing. When I interact with them they are usually extraordinarily friendly and helpful.

Now, have I been to the mall where there's a teenager working and is annoyed that I even walked into their store so they have to stop texting with their friend? Or similar scenarios? Sure. Teens are teens and people are people. We all have good and bad days.

Again, I don't know if this guy was a troll or genuinely thought he was going to have a different experience in Mérida. It is not a city for everyone. I don't think such a city exists.

I certainly hope the next time he travels, he finds what he's looking for. Maybe a Cancun resort would suit him better. Best of luck!

Well, hopefully in two weeks I'll have some good news that we're moving forward with the build. Or that I'm wrapping up this blog because we can't afford to move forward. Either way, it's been a heck of a ride so far.

Stay safe and be good to each other!