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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"They Are Just Stupid, Lazy Animals"

Panamanians have mostly learned about life in the United States from watching its films and television shows. Hollywood movies and situation comedies are a major staple on Panamian television – in fact, other than the local news programs, a few telenovelas (soap operas), and the occasional nature show, there’s precious little produced in Latin America.

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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1 comment:

  1. Panama Living and survival .. lots of " Lazy good for nothing thieves " Most Panamanians are good people, but theirs lots thieves, lairs and a few Real Bad people. ( Don't ask )

    The culture is very interesting once you understand some Spanish and befriend a few Panamanians ...

    When living in Panama you have to know their is also bad Gringo's as well .. many con artists and low end Americans hiding or looking to take your money too.

    Once you understand this Latin World and learn the basic ways of survival/rules ( you'll have to understand the dangers/ rules first )

    Do not Buy anything - Rent ! Do not tell people your life's story or share to much information .. Do not open a business or think your going to make a living here ( If your moving here to do that ( FORGET IT - You'll be Very Very Sorry & be worst off then when you started ) I have seen 50 try - 2 are still here ..many have lost tens of thousands ( Do not live way out in the country .. Do not try to help every Panamanian you meet ..( You'll be really sorry ... 9/10 times ... Do not let them get to far ahead on money/jobs/ upfront fees, because you'll be very sorry ... Get a Help line membership because you can not count on the Police here. You can not trust Lawyers here either ( Choose wisely ( Referral ) because there is no recourse ) >> there is, but ... Your not going to have the guts >> The Rich Panamanians own the law and the poor ones own the night.

    Good Luck ... Lots of people are happy here ... Its not a Paradise and who ever started that rumor is probably dead.