April 18, 2019
Moving to Mexico: USAdios.com
Chapter 37: People are jerks, but it is so easy to delete them.
Note: I will not be reading or responding to Facebook or Twitter comments. I will only respond directly to my website subscribers from now on.
You know who you are.
Please, don’t read my blog anymore.
I am beginning to regret building this site and creating this blog. I did it to share our unique experience, have some fun and document our journey. Unfortunately, sharing it on the Internet gives it to the world and a some of you out there are real jerks. You know who you are.
My last article’s readership numbers doubled. I had my best day ever. Apparently, you like to read about my hitches with Mexican cops. (The previous high-achiever was another article about cops in Mexico. I am seeing a pattern.) You would think that having more readers would make me smile a bit, but it didn’t because I also received about ten times more jerk-off comments than normal.
Honestly, most readers sent similar stories, lamented the situation as unsolvable due to low officer pay. Some offered some solutions. You know…kind of what people are supposed to do when they join a Facebook group like, “Gee, I love Mexico, don’t you?”
Some people had to be reminded that less than 0.0001 people living in the USA died in auto accidents in 2016, but we sure talk a lot about auto safety, seat belts, drunk driving, auto insurance, etc….don’t we? *Sorry, my calculator does not have that many digits so my math may be off, but the NHTSA reported 37,461 (or about 102 per day) died in auto accidents in 2016.
That said, just because something does not occur often does not negate the experience of the person telling the story because your story is different. Still not convinced? OK, then go ask a transgender person if their story should be ignored because their situation is so rare, and your experience differs. I don’t think you will try that in today’s culture, will you? I hope not. You could lose your job.
Most readers are very kind and send constructive commentary. Many ask great questions and I always write back. But there is always that lower rung in our society. The place where the angry people who feel that they get stepped on every day reside. As the rest of us ascend, climb and work our way up, they feel better when they take a swipe at someone who is posting more than a selfie of their aging mug online. They are triggered when we are posting something more personal than a photo of what they had for breakfast. They take jabs at us for posting something more creative and useful than their love of socialism and their hate for Trump (or vice versa) in their latest political rant.
Those angry, bitter people will still get stepped on and we will still ascend. They have given up on themselves and survive on a diet of social media dopamine, bitterness and jerk-offery. They produce nothing. They extract what they need, like ticks or leeches, from the blood of the living.
We are those who have chosen to do something different, to change our situation (and our very lives) by taking a risk and moving away from what is comfortable and easy, to try something different. We are those who dare to expat our way out of the complaint box that has become social media, major news networks and a lot of society as a whole. We are leaving you behind. We are bold and we are not afraid. We will be leaving you behind in your Twitter and Facebook groups to gripe and rot.
I guess I’m pointing my fingers at you all, but you have to decide which group you are in. Are you an adventurous soul, yearning to live differently? Or are you just a crab, clawing at the other crabs in the bucket who attempt to climb out?
For now, I will share our journey with you. I created this site for me, my family and a few fellow expat-dreamers. I just may close this site off from the general public soon. They don’t deserve it and I’m tired of their comments. Soon, I may close the site to just my vetted subscribers, those cut from a similar cloth, the wanderers and dreamers like me.
I’m off to where the water is clear, the sand is warm, and the people are friendly. Beer is cheap and tacos are cheaper, so I’ll be a happy man. You will see me on the beach with a grin. I will miss none of this and very few of you. You can keep commenting, griping and taking shots at me, but I won’t hear you anymore. I will be too far away and you…you will have been blocked with just a few keystrokes. Thanks, Facebook, Twitter and Google. You ruined the way people communicate, but you made it easy for us shut out the haters.
In many ways, I despise social media like Twitter and Facebook. Giving everyone on the planet a platform to spout their garbage and comment on your garbage was a huge mistake. It’s too late now. That ship has sailed. There is no going back to the days of texting, voicemail and the ancient phone call. God forbid we actually take the time to sit down, collect our thoughts and put them down in writing that expands beyond a tweet or a post. That would require effort, thought, responsibility and gasp…editing. Gone are the days when we were not only credited with our words but held responsible as well. I can’t shut it all down. I can simply pull the plug, or I can filter out the crabs by making my site subscriber-only. I think that will happen very soon.
Social media is like a fake Rolex, a temporary tattoo or a slip-on grill. It allows people to pretend they are someone they are not.
Social media is a mask. It allows strangers to lob insults at each other that they would NEVER say on the street. It is as rare as a tax cut in California that a stranger steps to me and talks trash. It just doesn’t happen.
Social media is a sharp knife in a child’s hand. It’s a Rottweiler with a rocket-launcher.
This method of communication is can be costly. People lose friends, jobs and even their lives simply because they used social media.
Take a look at this site that illustrates some of the ways people die, kill and are killed from using social media:
I used to enjoy this blog. Today, not so much. I hope this feeling passes. Perhaps limiting who gets to read it will do the trick. I’m looking into this now.
Free thought and ideas follow.
You have been warned.
On our most recent trip to Mexico, a Canadian woman in one of the many pools at Bahia Principe said to me:
“President Trump made your country racist and divided.”
Uggghhh. Can you imagine how fun it was to be confronted by a Canadian while in a pool, on vacation and about politics I cannot control? The time and place rules were again violated. My beer began to go flat and warm as the clouds began to block the sun.
I had to think for a moment, try not get triggered. (I hate that word).
“I may be wrong. This is just my opinion, but I don’t believe that President Trump is that powerful. You give him too much credit.” I said. “I think he may have exposed the racism and division that already existed. I don’t think Trump created those things. He just let them out.”
I can’t really blame Twitter and Facebook for online jerk-offs, trolls and weirdo’s who would NEVER spew any of the poison they type in privacy to the world in person. Most of them are scared little mushrooms, sitting alone in their mom’s basement smoking weed and playing Fortnight. The used to suffer in silence. Now, we all get to suffer (just a little) with them as they expose their hate and darkness online.
Unfortunately, there is some of that scared little mushroom in all of us and we tend to pop off most loudly online. That stuff that used to be confined. Twitter and Facebook did not create this. They just let it out.
Sometimes, I truly wish life was as simple as it is on Facebook.
- Friend me! CLICK!
- Like me! CLICK!
- Happy Face Emoji! CLICK!
And then, when someone pisses you off, it’s a little like preschool.
- Snooze This Person for 30 Days…they get a time out!
- Block this person…hide and seek and they just disappear!
- Report this person…they go to Facebook jail!
Imagine if you could do that in real life!
- Family member who always brings up politics at dinner:
- Random, rude person in restaurant talking loudly on their cell phone:
- Someone double parks and blocks your car in:
If it were only that easy.
A reader referenced my site on another expat site, which was a nice feeling. At first, I smiled at his complimentary tone. He liked my writing style and found my site useful. And then I read where he warned that my site might be “a little too political for some.”
“Political?” I have definitely mentioned that California and the SF Bay Area have become politically divided and that is one of the many reasons I want to leave. I think I mentioned somewhere that I was somewhat conservative, but not in the way that would make me vote against a woman’s right to choose an abortion. I think I admitted that I was raised Christian but that I am not the kind who will try to convert you. I also told a story about how I have had my mind changed by my uber-libby best friend on important issues because I listened to him, a practice that may sound foreign to many these days. It requires checking your attitude and preconceived beliefs so you may truly hear an opposing viewpoint, evaluating your position and then changing your mind based on new ideas. This may sound ridiculous to you, but it is possible. I have done it.
So now, if you even mention politics or your opinion at all, you are labeled “a little too political for some.” “Too political” even if you state that you are tolerant of opposing viewpoints? “Too political” even if you state that you are tolerant of other religions. What a world we live in these days where some subjects are so hot that we cannot even state that we have an opinion even if we are open to others.
I’m watching that movie called “Free Solo”. At first, I thought the guy was a nut. Now, I’m beginning to understand his need to just be alone from the world for a while. I get that part, needing to do something so dangerous that it makes you focus on it 100%, blocking out the noise and clutter of the world for a few hours. I get it, but….he’s still a nut. Maybe the world made him that way. Maybe I’ll take up free-climbing…on X Box.
OK, that’s out of my system.
Recently, we spent ten days in Tulum. That’s why I did not post anything for a while. Well, that and the fact that we are up to our eyeballs in work getting this house ready for sale. I wanted to really just have fun and take it all in without focusing on processing the experience until we got home. As I sit at my desk now with hundreds of photos and videos to share, I really do not know where to begin, so I’ll just start here:
I loved being there in Mexico.
I truly loved it there. There were a couple of nights when it was a little tough to sleep. I don’t know why. Maybe it was because I realized this was probably our last vacation, our last trip there as tourists.
Wait, are we still “tourists?” We own a home there, so we’re more like “residents” except we don’t reside there. Well, we don’t reside there all of the time. Yet.
We met a nice couple from Seattle who own a place in Tao, a condominium group on Bahia Principe that operates autonomously within the Bahia Principe property, kind of like an Indian reservation in the USA. Except you can’t buy firecrackers in Tao, like we did once on a reservation in Nevada when I was younger.
I’M GOING TO DISCUSS THE NAMES WE USE FOR
DIFFERENT PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.
READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
I guess we should not keep calling them “Indians”. The explorers who thought they were in India when they hit the east coast of what would become the USA were lost. They’re not “Native Americans” because it was not “America” then. It was almost called “Columbia”.
The original people who lived in the USA. They’re the true “natives.” “Indigenous” works, but it’s not a pretty word. I like “native”. Native. I wonder if they would agree. “The Native People.” Sounds a lot cooler than “Native American” to me. And besides, there are over a billion “Indians” on another continent. Why complicate things by calling the original people in the USA “Indians”?
One last thought on that: have you noticed how people call the USA “The US” or “the States”? It’s really neither. It’s “The United States of America”, or “The USA”. Calling the USA “America” is not really fair because there are three nations in North America, several in Central America and lots in South America. We can’t own the term “America”, but many foreign people call us “Americans”. We embrace that term. I know I do. It’s a pretty word to me. To me, The United States is not a great name without adding “of America.”
If it were up to me, I would share the term “Americans” with everyone throughout the Americas. We have Australians, Africans, Europeans and Asians…why not “Americans”? How nice would it be to unify so many people who all share a connected land mass? We don’t have to homogenize our cultures. Our differences are what make us interesting. It’s just odd that we don’t use a continental designation for the continent in which we happen to live, yet we do so for all of the other continents.
Oops, there I went again. Was that too “political”? Guess what. It was not political at all. It’s just pondering. That’s what writer’s do.
The nice couple from Seattle said that they visited Tulum two or three times a year. Are they “residents” or just “homeowners”?
To qualify for true “expat” status (for tax purposes), you must stay out of the USA for 330 days in a calendar year, but you remain a “citizen” of the USA even if you obtain “residency” in Mexico. It’s complicated, but a simple path is to just, “Follow the money.” It’s really about governments controlling our income, charging fees and taxation.
For example, you can get residency in Mexico through investment. It was the same in the Bahamas, and there are many others like Malta, Cyprus, the Netherlands, etc. Even the UK will grant citizenship via investment, but it will cost over two million pounds.
Right now, I have no set plan on how we will settle our residency situation. We always respect the law, so we will probably apply for Mexican residency just before we leave California. We will also give up our California residency and become residents of Nevada for tax and tuition cost purposes. It’s all legal. It costs a little money and takes some effort, but we believe it will be much better financially for us. For now, this entire situation is still fluid, which can be a little unsettling for Type A folks like me.
Expat is not a nice word. Expatriate sounds like you are no longer patriotic. We need a new word for people like me who love being from the USA but no longer wish to live there.