It's nice when we allow ourselves to operate a little out of our comfort zone. When we travel it is sometimes necessary to be flexible when we encounter challenges to the way we are used to thinking and behaving. Being a good observer helps too, especially reading other people's body language and inflection in their voices. It is hard sometimes to not feel a tiny bit vulnerable.I have discovered humor can often diffuse an uncomfortable situation or unfamiliarity with local customs.
We are forced to be outgoing in order to communicate and negotiate what it is we need. This is hard for me because I tend to be quiet and reserved so my husband is often the spokesperson while my Spanish is somewhat better. I will feed him certain phrases if we are in a certain situation. My vocabulary is survival Spanish; "Donde esta el bano?" I definitely have to work on the verbs and grammar. Anyway he will just forge ahead with gestures until some of it might be understood. This is when humor comes in very handy. You can't start to worry too much about whether they like Americans, just be polite and hope for the best. You do however need to have a certain level of awareness so you do not intentionally offend someone or their customs.
So here I am sitting in this nice little internet "office" which fortunately, is airconditioned. Am I that addicted to blogging that I have to find a place to post something? I do not take myself too seriously,but being too far out of touch is a bit out of my comfort zone. I think it is time to head out to the beach, slather on the sun tan lotion,read my book, and not do too much of anything else.