Saturday, October 04, 2008

Stealing posts #04 - Friends and 'friends'

A series in which I bring you great posts by my blogbuddies, because they're all smarter than me.
If the original is in English, then I post in Spanish and link to the original. If they write in Spanish, then... well, you get the idea, right? :-) 
Una serie en la que les traigo grandes posts de mis blogbuddies, porque todos ellos son más inteligentes que yo.
Si el original está en inglés, entonces lo traduzco al español y para la versión inglesa sólo pongo un link al original. Si está escrito en español, entonces... bueno, se entiende la idea, verdad? :-)
CanadaThe post thief is back! Today I'm going to 'steal' a great post by Ale, author of "El 22 en Canada", who blogs from Calgary, Alberta (btw, 22 means 'crazy' in Argentina). He has managed to put everything I feel and think about this issue in just three paragraphs. With my extraordinary power of synthesis, it would have taken me three days...
The issue is one I have dealt with since I got here: to what extent do I help those who come to Canada after me, and what do I do when they disappear leaving no traces (or a thank you note)? We have always offered a hand to whoever needed help, and in most cases, we have found grateful people. But in some others... you can't help but feeling a little dejected or used; I would say even betrayed. But I'm not going to spend any more time trying to explain my feelings about this, when Ale has done it so well!

Ale Betoño: Of friends and 'friends'

This post might not end looking too friendly, but... I have been trying to get this out of my chest for a long while.

At the time when I was about to come to Canada along with my wife, you couldn't find too much information on the Internet like now. There were plenty of forums, with people saying they wanted to leave; many questions, but few answers, but the 'blog' concept wasn't as popular as it is nowadays. Today, a weblog is not only a way for the authors to express themselves, but also the possibility for many to connect with other people and obtain relevant information first hand.

I will tell you a little story before I continue with this idea:

I check my e-mail in the morning and I find two messages, one from 'Pepito' from Mexico DF and the other one from 'Paquito' from Buenos Aires (names and locations are absolutely incidental and are just used for the purpose of this story). Both Pepito and Paquito are either in the process of emigrate to Canada or about to start. Each one of them introduces himself kindly and asks a few questions: how much does it cost to live there, how are the schools like, and then they ask about working, and about health, and if the girls are pretty or not, if we know of any job posts, etc etc. Time passes, and we keep writing each other, they asking and I replying. Eventually, they both decide to settle in Calgary.

Here is where the stories part ways:

a) Pepito arrives in Calgary, we invite him and his family to come over our place, we go with him and help him do all the paperwork that a newcomer needs to go through; we introduce him to realtors, our friends, etc etc. Time passes by, Pepito is adapting to his new life, we talk on the phone quite often or sometimes we see each other. Who knows, maybe one day we will become really good friends.

b) Paquito arrives in Calgary, and it's the same thing; we invite him and his family over our place, we help him with the paperwork, we introduce them to realtors, friends, etc. The days pass by, and Paquito slowly adapts to his new life. We never hear from him again.

I will try to explain myself: I think Pepito is a decent guy, a new neighbour we can count on, even if we don't get to become friends; you can't tell how much affinity you have with somebody until you get to know them well, and that's alright. But Pepito ended being a good guy. Paquito, on the other hand, used us. He got the information he needed from us, he sat at our table, he 'allowed' us to help him a lot, and then -as we say around here- he gave us the finger.

In my five years in Canada, unfortunately, I have met one Pepito for every 10 Paquitos.

Don't get me wrong, I love giving a hand to whomever needs it, like they did to me when I arrived, and like they still do it today. But I want to tell the Paquitos of this little Latin-Canadian world, that this is not my job; I don't charge for it, I just do it out of good will. And even though you might think this is silly, when you live away from your family and your childhood friends, meeting people who shares our culture is touching, and it makes us happy. That's why it bothers us so much to be used and discarded by those to whom we opened our doors; we end feeling disappointed.

I hope my message is understood, everybody is welcome to write me as always; ask whatever you want, and whenever you want.

ArgentinaVolvió el ladrón de posts! Hoy me voy a 'robar' un gran post que escribió Ale, autor de "El 22 en Canada", que bloguea desde Calgary, Alberta (incidentalmente, 22 significa 'loco' en el lunfardo argentino). Ale se las ha arreglado para poner todo lo que yo siento y pienso acerca de este problema en sólo tres párrafos. Con mi extraordinario poder de síntesis, a mí me hubiese llevado tres días...
El asunto que trata este post es algo con lo que he lidiado desde que llegué aquí: hasta qué punto uno puede ayudar a aquellos que llegan a Canadá después que nosotros, y qué hago cuando esa gente se establece y desaparece sin dejar rastros (o un gracias)? Siempre hemos ofrecido una mano a quien necesitó ayuda, y en la mayoría de los casos nos hemos topado con gente agradecida. Pero en otros... uno no puede evitar sentirse decepcionado o usado; hasta diría traicionado. Pero no voy a perder más tiempo en explicar mis sentimientos sobre este tema, cuando Ale lo ha hecho tan bien!
Pueden ver el post original de Ale aquí.
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  1. Uyyy de eso tengo un rollo, no con la parte migratoria, porque no he tenido oportunidad, pero en otras áreas de la vida pasa exactamente igual. Teniamos una pagina web donde volábamos en Flight Simulator, uno de lo más entregado, dedicas horas y horas, persona tras persona, les enseñabas sin que fuera tu obligación, y sólo unos pocos son agradecidos y los demás te usan y te desechan. Lamentablemente pasa en todos los aspectos de la vida, es triste...

  2. Jaja estuvo buena la idea de stealing post y el muñequito me rei mucho, si es verdad esta bueno eso de la traduccion, ya dominas perfectamente el ingles por lo que veo,Saludos,Fran

  3. Es muy bueno este post que hizo Ale y cuanta verdad, cierto?Nosotros también pasamos por situaciones parecidas y se siente feo.Saludos


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