By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
DEAR MEXICAN: During George W. Bush's administration, there was a lot of talk for and against comprehensive immigration reform (amnesty to some). One remark that I recall was stated by a Mexican that went something like, "Go back to Europe!" Aren't Mexicans of European descent also—hello—colonized by Spain? I thought to myself, "Why don't you go back to Europe? Unless you are puro indio, your roots are from Europe also." Immigration reform aside, what are your thoughts on going back to Europe?
DEAR GABACHA: Eh, we say that just to show how stupid gabachos yelling, "Go back to Mexico!" sounds. The only Mexicans who truly believe gabachos should head back to Europe are indigenazi types who claim they're the pure-blooded 15th linear descendant of Cuauhtémoc . . . while sporting facial hair straight from Extremadura.
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DEAR MEXICAN: Do Indians mangle Spanish as bad as they do English when you call a tech-support line? What I like about Mexicans is they are honest with you if they don't understand what you just said. They ask you to say it again. And if you don't understand a Mexican who is nobly attempting to learn that universal second language that is English, they try to say it again, this time more correctly. And Mexicans are grateful when you have helped them to understand English a little bit better so they can communicate with you, without demanding you learn Spanish in return. Even in Mexico, Mexicans don't mind if you don't understand Spanish; they always take care that everybody can communicate with one another even if it means they speak English in Mexico to a tourist whose Spanish vocabulary is limited to the Taco Bell menu. This is unlike Indian tech support workers, who seem to want to punish you for not understanding them as they attempt to read English sentences from a piece of paper—they have no interest in trying to understand. If they don't get it right on the first try, then I have found that you should immediately hang up and call back, hoping this time for somebody who can understand English. I have paid cancellation fees and returned electronics items because of tech support that seems only interested in a sort of passive-aggressive jihad.
So back to my question: How does a Mexican deal with Indian tech support? Do you have some wisdom on how to navigate non-native speakers without having a stroke, Oh He Who Always Knows to Press Eight for Spanish?
An American Consumer
DEAR GABACHO: We press "2."
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DEAR MEXICAN: What do you think about just opening the U.S.-Mexico border (as well as all the borders in the world)? I think a lot of people who come to the U.S. illegally would much rather work in the U.S. for a few months, and then go back to their home in Mexico and live off of the earnings for a while. You are a smart guy. I'm just curious what you think!
Bordering on a Bonus
DEAR GABACHO: The Mexican has always been for open borders, if only because that has been the American mantra since the days of Daniel Boone. I'd say more, but my column's word count gets slashed every five years or so due to the death of print—yay, Internet! In other news . . . [cut cut cut]