Friday, May 14, 2010

Guanajuato, Mex -- More Culture Lessons

We had to go to the dentist this morning. We use the Red Cross's dentist for the simple reason he is dirt cheap. He is good, fast, funny, and inexpensive. This is of course due to the fact he is working at the Red Cross and he has to charge the fees they set. That is Ok for us. We pay about $18.00 for a cleaning which is not bad at all.

Going to the Red Cross' dentist is a lesson is Mexican culture. If you want to test what I have been writing in this blog about Guanajuato being the Mega-Provincial Capital of Mexico, you should sit in the Red Cross waiting room and watching what goes on. To get a complete lesson in how provincially minded Guanajuatenses are, sit in the dentist chair and watch what goes on.

So, we arrive at 8:30AM to sign in. We know to stop at the window and sign in because there are huge signs in boldfaced font telling you that you must sign in to see the dentist and I suspect to see the doctors there too.

After signing in we walked into the waiting room noting that they had just clorox'ed the floor, smelled nice, and that they had installed brand new, super-comfortable, red bucket chairs. We plopped down and watched.

At about 915 AM the hordes began to walk in. Not one Mexican signed in before entering the waiting room. I know this from the massive, riot-like confusion that ensued. They all stood around the waiting room spinning in circles. Then they dispersed through the complex beating on and then opening doors regardless whether invited in or not. They would walk into a consultorio (doctor's office) with the doctor/dentist working on or with a patient. I mean you could have been getting your prostate checked and have some ding-a-ling walk in an have look.

This is how they do here.

Why they can't figure out they have to make an appointment at the sign-in window is beyond me. If we can, and we do, why can't they do it? I will tell you why (I've suddenly gotten a vision), it is because of provincialism or PROVINCIALANDIA!

Provincialism is the idea that because the he or she Guanajuatensen knows the doctor or doctors, then making an appointment is not at all applicable to them.

My wife saw this when she taught at the some of the English schools in Guanajuato. They would bring their kids in to learn English but expect to have their kid taught for free or at a severe discount. They would come up with some of the most stupidest, lamebrain excuses you can possibly imagine.

"My little Frida went to school with the mayor's son so I should not have to pay for English classes."

This Mexican inflated sense of entitlement is why, for example, they will push you away from a counter expecting to be waited on first. And, I mean grab your arm and strong arm you out of their way giving not a thought to the fact you are a sentient being and not a stack of cardboard.

Mexicans in this part of Provincialandia think standing in a line, waiting their turn, having to make an appointment, or, especially to have to wait while a Gringo is served before them, is a a mortal sin. They will make rude comments which we have heard on more than one occasion!

When it came my turn to see the dentist, the Provincialandians dove for the dentist's office door, when it opened, clawing at him as though he had just come out of a room with pearls of great price and asking who wanted one for free. When he told them that service is rendered per appointments you have sworn he had just announced they had to fly to the moon first before being seen. They could not take it in. They just looked like that all had a massive stroke or perhaps a brain hemorrhage.

Now, as I have said before, Mexicans think because they know your mother or father, brother or sister, or anyone who shares on iota of your genetic structure, that they are immune to having to submit to rules the rest of us vile creatures must.

While I was in the dentist's chair people clamored at his door. They walked right in demanding to be seen right now with me sitting in the chair and blood mixed with drool seeping down the side of my mouth like I had been competing in a Smack-Down match.

One gomer walked in, addressed the dentist by his first name, and demanded to be seen right after me. There was already a covey of confused Provincialandians sitting in the waiting room and my wife was the one after me. He promptly told the gomer that my wife was next and that he would have to wait until the appointment list was taken care of. The gomer said, and I quote,

"Oh, she's a Gringa and can wait until after me..."

He said this right in front of me. If you think that's bad read this one:

While my poor, scared-of-dentists wife sat in the chair for her cleaning another Provincialandian walks through the door like she owned the place.

(There is another aspect of Provincialandia where old people, and I mean old, toothless people, think that by virtue of their age they deserve free everything in life.)

Toothless Hag: I want you to see me right now.

Dentist: Lady, I am with a patient right now.

Toothless Hag: No you're not. I don't see anyone.

Dentist: You will have to wait your turn like everyone else.

Toothless Hag: But, you can see me at the same time as the vile, Gringa chick (I made up "vile, Gringa Chick" for special effect). You have two chairs. I see them. I see you have two chairs.

Dentist: But, I am with someone else.

Toothless Hag: But all I have are two teeth. It can't take very long.

This conversation went on until the Two-Toothless Hag went away to where only the Tooth Fairy must know.

So, there you go. Life in Provincialandia, a.k.a. Guanajuato!

No comments: