Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Visiting Another Country

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.

2 comments:

underOvr said...

gaf85,

Welcome back to wherever you're from; the virtual world makes everyone's proximity to me appear closer than they actually are. I trust you and husband had an enjoyable vacation.

I admit, I take a laptop wherever I go. It's easy to take for granted something so essential to my well being; yes, I'm talking WiFi. I visited an Internet cafe in Quepos (Costa Rica) and they offer dial-up! It didn't register until an employee responded "no comprende", that I recalled using dial-up once upon a time.

But I love CR, so I just man up and tough it out. The coolest place I've been is Munich where I didn't encounter anyone (except Americans) who spoke English, but I found that German citizens would go out of their way to offer assistance when I often had that "lost" look on my face.

underOvr

gaf85 said...

U, We are lucky that the little community where we stay in Playa Tambor,S. Nicoya Penninsula,Puntarenas has an internet access. I,ve been trying to "unplug" a little bit but it is hard.It is interesting to observe the "Europeans" and how some are friendly and others not so much. I guess that can be true anywhere. The Costa Ricans aka "Tico´s" are very warm and friendly people.

















e