A fairly famous television theme song makes reference to how life feels when things aren’t going your way for a week, a day, a month, or even a year.
The song calls to mind life’s everyday obstacles like a bad transmission, a leaky shower head, or dealing with a bad satellite connection. It’s a reminder that life always has its problems.
How often do prepats dream of a life without complication?
When they live abroad, life will be all tacos and margaritas, they imagine.
Let me be the first to tell them, from the other side of that dream, some problems don’t go away just because you move abroad.
You still have to deal with mechanics, plumbers, and customer service hotlines.
Car Repair Experiences in Mexico: There and Back Again
I recently had a friend with some car trouble. It was a bad transmission in Mexico.
The car was fairly new, and it turned out to be a routine factory problem. Nevertheless, the repair had to be made on the other side of town in what seemed to be the area’s only reliable garage.
The repair was expensive and required a lot of follow-ups.
After the car finally came back, the owner was elated to have a working vehicle… until two days later when it broke down (with the same problem)!
My friend hauled the car back to the mechanic and got it fixed up—no additional fees on the mechanic’s part.
Everything was cordial, but it goes to show that life’s little problems don’t go away when you live abroad.
Plumbers in Mexico—Be Prepared for Two Visits
Recently, I had a leaky shower head fixed.
It was all gravy until the handle flew off the wall, sending me slipping and sliding all the way to the shutoff valve in my driveway (in nothing but my towel and flip-flops)!
Again, it was a job that had to be done twice to get it right… not very convenient, I may add.
Utilities and Customer Service in Mexico
Customer service in a foreign country is funny; it’s extremely cultural. In Mexico, this is true as well.
My home has a satellite dish, and one day, the receiver stopped working! I called to get a new box. The new box worked for a week and then also crashed. I decided to go without television for a while as a result. I’m better off spending my time chatting with my pals on TCI, anyway.
Living in a Foreign Country is About Overcoming Obstacles
It isn’t always easy to accept that customer service, legal liabilities, and dependability are cultural norms that vary from country to country.
With a little perspective and a lot of patience, it is possible to get that expat to-do list done at the end of the day. Try and try again.
Any tips or tricks for finding reliable services where you live? I’d love to hear them.
by: Dale Hanstad