Thursday, February 19, 2009

Canuck's Mail Bag

"Letters, I get letters, I get lots and lots of letters..." (Does David Letterman still get letters or has he changed his little ditty to "emails"?)

Every morning I open my email inbox and find it filled with little treasures. I receive such a variety of emails from readers that I thought I would share with you the most common kinds of questions and requests that I deal with everyday.

"Yo! Wuz up Canuck?
Wow, I like totally dig yer blog, Im jelous that you get to live in the most rockingest party town EVAH! So me and my friends was talkin bout comin down to the 'Cun to kick it for a few months or even a year, live on the beach, party HARD all night and work in a bar during the day, can you like hook us up with some jobz and a place to live?"

Um, no. Usually I am a little more polite than that, I'll direct them to some forums on how to live in Mexico and explain to them that there is a little thing called "immigration" that would prevent them from landing their "kick ass dream job" and that there would be no way in heck that they could afford a beach house, nor would their six day a week, 10/12 hour a day job (that they are not going to get) allow them to pursue their goals of drinking all the tequila in Mexico. I may want to smack them upside the head, but instead I send friendly replies that rarely use the word "dumbass".

"Dear Canuck,
I read with great interest your blog, we have so much in common, I met my Mexican soul mate too! I went to Cancun for a week last summer and I met an amazing man/woman and we fell in love. He/she worked at the resort/restaurant/bar and I have never been treated so well, I know they are the one for me! We've been emailing and calling and I have been sending some money to help with their sick mother/dying father/five children, but recently he/she hasn't been answering my calls. Do you happen to know Juan/Maria who works at that place with the big yellow sign in Spanish? Can you find them for me and let them know that I love them and I hope they are ok? Can you try to call them and tell them that I am desperate to hear from them? I really want to come down and live with them, can you tell me where to find job listings in English, I'd love to work in a hotel/restaurant/bar and be able to see my dearest all the time."

Sigh. This is what I call the "vacation relation email" and it's a sad one as I usually have to break someone's heart in my response. It's difficult to tell someone that their "true love" is paid to treat them well as a guest and that they've probably got several tourists sending money with their sad stories about sick family members. Most likely the person they fell for is married and just trying to support their family. The reason they stop calling is they've got a bigger fish on the line with deeper pockets. And no, I am not going to the bar with the yellow sign to track Juan down for you, that would make me a "private investigator" and I am sure they make a whole lot more money than I do. (Hmmm, not a bad idea actually.......)

Those are the two most frustrating types of emails to get, I really do hate to break the bubble of fantasy that people have in their head. In addition to these, I receive numerous reasonable requests for information such as restaurant or hotel or tour recommendations, people asking if Cancun is safe, what they should do with their kids, is the water safe to drink, can they get Budweiser beer, is there a Domino's, how much do English teachers make, where can they find a plastic surgeon, where can they find hookers and drugs, the endless questions about whether it's going to rain on their vacation, is electricity the same here, will there be a hurricane this year and how to recover their money from a bad time share deal. No question goes unanswered, though I am far more likely to send a well thought out and researched answer to those who ask politely and seem to have done a little investigating on their own already.

I enjoy getting mail (I suppose this post sounds like a complaint, but it is not) and I like "meeting" new readers and helping people out. My biggest beef is that roughly 50% of people who receive an answer from me never even say "thank you", I just never hear from them again. This is not my job, I don't make any money from doing this, it's a hobby and because I am a nice person, I do go out of my way to provide answers, at the very least I expect a simple "gracias". So, big thanks to those of you who have said "Thanks!". I'll continue to happily open the mail bag and answer your questions, here's hoping that people pick up a little bit of "netiquette" over time and at least acknowledge that I am a real person who simply expects a bit of courtesy in return for my time.

Ok, off to check the mail, I've got one that looks promising, "kind sir, your assistance is required as my family cannot access the ten million dollars in our account....."


Unknown said...

Husband and I were talking about this very thing yesterday. I said how sometimes people ask me questions and then never reply with either a thank you or anything. He said that maybe people think of it more like writing into Miss Manners or Dear Abby, they don't think of us as people exactly.
Interesting. Speaking of emails did you get my email?

Tom said...

OH MY FRICKIN GOSH!!! Which is so polite of me!
Do you believe some people?
Of course we do put ourselves out there - don't we, so can't really get made, but a good chuckle must be had.

Too funny!

K.W. Michigan said...

You are a very considerate person! You will be rewarded someday. BUT .. I thank you a million times for the beach pics!!

Gaelyn said...

You are a very patient woman.
Love your blog.

Anonymous said...

This is not news to anyone that knows both of us, but you are so much nicer than I!

I just don't get why people would take the time to email you with very basic questions that are discussed ad nauseum on message boards.

I would love to know how many of the people who start their "vacation relation" actually then continue on to have a normal relationship. Two percent? Five?

Islagringo said...

OMG! LMAO! Great job of summarizing what we all go through. Just yesterday somebody asked me how they could rent one week of wireless internet in their hotel room! Like you, I'm always polite, always answer but scratch my head til it bleeds at some of the questions! I had one guy send me an email, insult and tear apart my blog, and then ask me a ton of questions about the island! Yeah, like I was going to answer that! Thanks for the big laugh today!

Married to a Mexican said...

That is so funny, but sad. I also get s lot of emails. Mine are usually Mexicans telling me to throw away my birth certificate because I am now "Officially Mexican" I just laugh! Cesar says I was born in the wrong country.

Izza C said...

Netiquette! I never knew it was a word, but I think it is quite important.

And personally, I must say, I would never be brave enough to just pack up and move somewhere unfamiliar.

That's all for now,

Holly said...

pardon me but holy crap. lol... I guess my initial email to you must have been a nice change! :)

Calypso said...

It is a thankless job sometimes - but hey - somebodies got to do it. And every now and then someone comes along with great praise and thanks -

Great job - thanks ;-)

Alex said...

Gotta love people! :S

CancunCanuck said...

Theresa- Your "Miss Manners" comment made me giggle, perhaps that is how people view us. Thanks!

Debi- Yep, we've got to laugh or we'll make ourselves crazy! Thanks!

K.W.- I'll be rewarded in the afterlife, lol! You always say "thank you", and therefore, more beach pics, haha. Thanks!

Gaelyn- If I've got no other redeeming qualities, I do know that I have patience. It's a virtue so they say! Thanks!

Melissa- Yeah, you're such a bitch. (HAHA, everyone, please, we're friends, I can joke with her!) I think some people are afraid of the venom that can come out of forums, questions are mocked, etc, etc, it's safer to contact a single person directly rather than risk being attacked in public. I get it, it's ok, though I do often refer them back to the forums (with "search" instructions"). "Normal relationship"? What's that? Thanks! :)

Gringo- I figured I wasn't the only one, glad I could make you laugh! Thanks!

Married to a Mexican- "Officially Mexican", love it. I consider myself "casi Mexicana", "almost Mexican", but I lack your skills in the kitchen so won't pass the "seƱora" test. Thanks!

Andrea Lee- I'm not sure if it was bravery or blind stupidity, haha, this was not a planned move, it just kind of happened. No guts in that! "Netiquette" is a great word, use it at your will. Thanks!

Holly- Yes indeed, your email was a delightful change. And "holy crap" indeed, I say that a lot these days. Thanks!

Calypso- Yes, the people that do offer thanks and praise make it all worthwhile. That and my plan to educate the world for free. ;-) Thanks!

Ale- LOL, oh yes, I love them all, good, bad and ugly. Thanks!

Thank you all and thanks to those of you who thought it would be funny to send me email instead of leaving a comment. You know who you are and you made me laugh. :)

(Is there enough gratitude in this comment?) :P

Frankly Ronda said...

I think I am glad I do not have my email address available!

Hilarious post!

Sara said...

"The big yellow sign in Spanish"... OH! That big yellow sign! Why of course. I know that place. Only place around here with a sign like that in SPANISH. Okay, I'm being a little sarcastic because know a lot of stuff down there is in English for tourist, but if someone actually says that it's sort of sad.

Babs said...

Ok, I hate to admit I'm just finding your blog! And you have me in your blogroll. DUH! Thanks to Theresa for the list of who is and isn't going to the "do". Sadly, I won't be there........
Love your blog........

CancunCanuck said...

American Mommy- You're probably wise not to have your mail posted, I am sure you would have your fair share of silly questions too. Glad I could make you laugh!

Sara- Yeah, that place, the one with the 6 toed cross eyed cat! It really is sad, eye-rolling sad sometimes.

Babs- Bienvenida, so glad you found me! I think I may have commented on your blog once a while ago, I am a regular reader (and obviously less than regular commenter, sorry!) Welcome aboard!

Anonymous said...

*sigh* If I could only count how many of these emails I respond to every week. I'm thinking of adding a "move to Mexico" page to my blog like La Gringa did. Is that mean? It is just so time consuming!!

CancunCanuck said...

Michelle- "Sigh" is right, it is time consuming! I think you would be wise to build a page with FAQ's about moving here, save yourself the energy of writing the email every time. Or, write the email and save it and just cut and paste for each new mail. You're a good woman for taking the time that you do. I'm sure you get a lot more financial questions than I do, being as I am a financial dork, so it's not always going to be a simple reply from you either. Hope life is grand in Playa!

Laura said...

I get the same emails and I don't even live there!
Most of the time I get nice responses back for answering and most people are very nice. I enjoy them...most of the time!

Please let us know what happens with that family that can't access their 10 million :)

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