Letters to the Editor
The articles, notes and commentaries that appear monthly in the pages of El Ojo about the experiences of foreigners living in what some of them call Lakeside, overall tend to be well-meant, positively-minded or at least duly respectful. One of their best examples are the articles Ms. Victoria Schmidt has written in her columns.
However, it is frequent to also find others that not only criticize but also make a mockery of deficiencies and/or insufficiencies local services or infrastructure can have in Ajijic or Jalisco at large. Significantly, all of these contributions seem to be written by U.S. citizens.
The two articles by Tim [sic] Nussbaum that appeared in the August issue of El Ojo are a case in point that seems to have come to epitomize that kind of contributions. His comments are not only in large part unfounded but, what is worse, also scornful and openly offensive; witness expressions like “…the crap I had to go through to get a damn Mexican driver’s license” and “…the goal of local bus drivers is to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the Number of Passengers Stuffed into a Bus Aisle Narrower than a Guitar String Wearing a Corset”.
Articles and expressions like these deeply disrespect and affront all Mexicans, in particular those who, as my wife and I, live in Ajijic and get to read El Ojo. We lived for several years in the United States (shorter periods in Canada, China and Korea as well), but we never used a Mexican magazine or newspaper to complain about the negative sides of our experience there and less to offend the people of that country whose official language, by the way, we did speak.
The point is that it is dishonest and patently incongruous of U.S. citizens like Mr. Nussbaum to come to live in Mexico, enjoy the pluses and goodies it offers, but at the same time be always complaining about and mocking its deficiencies and shortcomings. What they should do in this case is simply to go back home or elsewhere, nobody is forcing them to live here. But, should they choose to stay, the least they ought to do is to show a due respect for this country and its people, take it in bundle including those shortcomings, and also show some appreciation for what they are enjoying here, beginning with the warmth and hospitality of what many of them contemptuously refer to as “locals”.
Juan J. Palacios, Ph.D.