"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".
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....."
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