As a result, a lot of Panamanians believe, rightly or wrongly, that most United States citizens are incredibly wealthy, have one meaningless sexual affair after another, and shoot each other simply all the time. I also find it unpleasantly amusing to see how much swearing and cursing and sexually charged language there is in Hollywood’s offerings – I don’t think I have ever heard a local person utter even the mildest of epithets; only gringos.
This barrage of imagery, it seems to me, makes it hard for many folks here to accept that I’m not terribly different from them: they are so sure that people with my color eyes and skin are incredibly rich. I have to work hard to assure them that I have barely enough money to get by, that my life in the States was reasonably ordinary, and that I wish for no drama here, but just to live peacefully.
Sadly, a lot of expatriates living here do very little to dispel the image promoted on television. The financial assets held by many of these
people would be a pretty ordinary amount north of México. But here the U.S. dollar goes so much farther that these gringos think their money somehow justifies their turning into greedy monsters. They hire local people as workers, treating them like dirt, to put up gaudily ugly McMansions. They scream at these workers, usually in English because they can’t be bothered to learn Spanish, treating them like dirt, and spewing racist epithets like you wouldn't believe.
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As they come to me to be written, new chapters will be added to this blog, so stay tuned! But the blogs up to a certain point are now chapters are now in a book.
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