Friday, March 16, 2007

Another Reason to Hate Telmex

As promised earlier, here's why we can't tell you exactly how many Rodrigo Sanchezes there are in the Queretaro phonebook. (Sorry to make everyone wait so many hours for this vital information.)

Mexicans, in addition to having a last name, also have a last last name, which is their mother's maiden name. They don't really use it, but it's there. For example the president, known as Felipe Calderon, is actually named Felipe Calderon Hinojosa. But in the Mexico City phone book, he wouldn't be listed under Calderon, Felipe, but under Calderon, Hinojosa, Felipe.

So if you've got seven pages of Sanchezes, you can't just run your finger down to the Sanchez, R's and find your boy Rodrigo. No, you need to know Rodrigo's mother's maiden name - the name he hardly ever uses in public. How many of your friends' mothers' maiden names do you know? Hell, if you offered me $20 for my wife's mother's maiden name, I'd still have to look it up on her citizenship application. It's a pretty safe bet that if you know a guy's mother's maiden name, you already know his phone number as well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think, as a mexican, that having the two lastnames is very useful, actually I know the two lastnames of 70% of my friends, and it makes it easy to find someone in the phone book, because in the anglo way, there are probably 1000 Sarah Connor, but there must be 1 or maybe 2 Sarah Connor Velmont so instead of Terminator killing 4 inocent Sarah Connor, those poor women will be alive.

Also it is a way of recognition of the two families that you came from. The two families are important, to having the two family names is good.

The thing is that you, being of an anglo culture, don't get it and hate it. But it is great to see your point of view.