24.5.12

Mexico – A Country of Procrastinators?

Living in Mexico

Every language has at least some words in it that are practically impossible to translate. They have a meaning very specific to the culture from which they originate,  and since no two cultures are alike you have to laboriously explain a word like that. The best thing, however, would be not to use it at all.

‘Procrastination ‘ is a word like that, I still have to find an equivalent for it in either German or Spanish.

And that already answers the question posed in the title of this entry: No, Mexicans are not procrastinators, the concept as such doesn’t exist here.

Now, does that mean that every meeting down here begins on schedule, every appointment is honored at the time agreed?

Far from it.

But that’s not because things are being put off to a later time for a reason specific to them. It’s simply because at the time of the appointment something suddenly comes up that is more important.

Anglo-Saxons like to prioritize, plan, and then execute. Things down here are more circumstancial, happen at the spur of the moment.

And that’s not good nor bad, it’s simply the way it is. You have to be ready for surprises if you want to live or at least spend considerable time down here.

The biggest mistake you could make is to take it personal if a Mexican friend doesn’t show up for that drink he said he was going to have with you at seven o’clock in your neighborhood bar. Or if he shows up at eight and you’re already half drunk…….
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2 comments:

  1. As mexican, I never look it in the way you post here. Is interesting to read. Maybe the word you are searching for is "Postergar", I know is not the same and I'm not a translator either.

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  2. Thanks for your comment, Ragnar. There is indeed a difference between 'postergar', which might be simply done (or not done, in this case) for a technical reason, and 'procrastinate', which usually has an emotional connotation, something you don't do now because it involves some level of (emotional) pain. You'll do it in the end, since by then 'not doing' it implies more pain than doing it LOL. Think of studying for an exam.....

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