Gringo Mistakes

Panama is Panama, not the US, and NOT Costa Rica … although, there are a few things that “Ticos,” the self-given name Costa Ricans affectionately call themselves, find offensive about gringo attitudes and behavior that are similar to what Panamanians feel.

I stumbled on this YouTube video purely by accident. This guy, Michael Allen, has a whole bunch of videos promoting Costa Rican tourism. I thought he made some great points, mostly because in the going on eleven years I’ve lived in Panama … I plead guilty to most of these.

So … take a look, maybe it will help you avoid a few of these mistakes … and let me know what you think!

Just released! Free! Fascinating reading! Great graphics!

Really!

Best Places in The World to Retire has just released a great new study, EXPATS: EXPECTATIONS AND REALITY, that should be required reading of anyone even thinking of living internationally. And it’s great reading for those of us already enjoying an expat lifestyle. Based on a survey of some 400 expats living in various countries and some 14,700 responses and comments in response to survey questions, the 117-page report is filled with graphics and makes easy a fascinating reading. Best of all, IT’S FREE! Of course you’ll get tantalizing emails about life abroad as you probably already do from Panama Relocation Tours, International Living, Viva Tropical and all the other usual suspects. My advice, rather than interrupt your work time on-line, create a new and separate “dreaming” email, and use it for all of these living abroad emails. So, when you want a mini-escape to dream and drool about the good life living in paradise, you can just go to that email account and while away a few hours dreaming. Or you can decide to stop dreaming and start planning!

Anyway it’s a good study and one that I know you will find interesting and helpful.

Tidbits …

  • 82% of people move overseas in order to achieve a simpler, less stressful life, almost the same percentage who move overseas in order to lower their cost of living

  • 36.7% of Americans believe they can achieve better healthcare by moving abroad… to Central America!

  • Over 71% of people who moved abroad achieved a simpler, less stressful life.

  • The single biggest complaint our respondents had about moving overseas: they miss the shopping (and men miss it almost as much as women).

  • Myth shattered: only 2% of women report that it is unsafe where they live abroad.

  • Every fear our respondents had about moving overseas turned out to be less of a problem than anticipated, except for this one. Worried that you can’t adjust to moving overseas or you can’t speak Spanish?

  • Less than 4% of expats say that they probably or absolutely would not move over-seas again.
  • So here are some samples of the great graphic presentations … AND HOW TO GET YOUR FREE COPY! And it really is FREE.

How the Gay Marriage Ruling Affects You

A friend of mine posted this piece by David Wong, A 30-Second Guide to How the Gay Marriage Ruling Affects You, on Facebook, and in he light of the anxiety it has created amongst some folks, I thought it was worth repeating.

In light of the recent ruling, we have updated the following guide, originally published in June 2013: In case you missed it, or just saw people screaming about it on Facebook, the U.S. Supreme Court just made the final decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide. Every time a ruling like this comes down, millions of people, most of whom are neither gay nor looking to get same-sex married, loudly ask how exactly it impacts their life … so for them we provided a handy guide:

If You Are a Homosexual and Are Already Married: If you had been lucky enough to live in a state that allowed gay marriage, the federal government already recognized your marriage as a thing, and you were eligible for tax, health, and pension benefits under federal law like any other married couple. Previously, if you had moved to another state that didn’t recognize gay marriage, that state didn’t have to recognize your marriage. Now, your marriage is recognized everywhere, the same as anyone else’s.

If You Are a Homosexual and Want to Get Married: Where before this came down to whether or not your state had legalized it, now you are free to do so regardless of which state you live in.

If You Are a Heterosexual and Do NOT Want to Enter into a Homosexual Marriage: You will not be required to marry a gay person. This is a common misunderstanding. This decision actually does not affect you in any way.

If You Are Currently in a Heterosexual Marriage: This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are a Heterosexual Who Is Not Currently Married: This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are a Heterosexual Who Hopes to Eventually Marry: This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are a Member of a Church That Performs Wedding Ceremonies but That Does Not Believe in Gay Marriage: This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are a Religious Official Who Performs Wedding Ceremonies but Who Thinks Gay Marriage Is Wrong: This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are an Individual Who Believes Gay Marriage or Homosexuality in General Is Wrong for Religious Reasons, and Wish to Continue Expressing Those Beliefs: This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are an Individual Who Believes Gay Marriage or Homosexuality in General Is Wrong for Non-Religious Reasons, and Wish to Continue Expressing Those Beliefs: This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are a Heterosexual Who Fears This Decision Adversely Affects Your Marriage or the Concept of Marriage in General: This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are a Heterosexual Who Fears This Decision Negatively Affects You in Some Way: This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are a Heterosexual Who Suffers Anger or Anxiety at the Thought of Gay Couples Getting Married as an Abstract Concept, and Believes the Only Cure Is to Legally Prevent Gay Marriage: This decision will cause you some degree of anger or anxiety. Otherwise, this decision does not affect you in any way.

Hope this helps!

Meanwhile, in Panama …

There is a long way to go … Many Panamanian gays are very closeted because of family pressures and traditional church pressures, and the fact that you can lose your job because of your sexual orientation. But, each year, the PRIDE Parade grows …

PANAMA MAYOR Jose Isabel Blandon, headed the city’s 11th Gay Pride parade of over 400 people on Saturday, June 27 calling for the understanding of sexual diversity. The theme was: Democracy is Diversity.”
Among the marchers who started at Via Argentina and progressed along Via Espana to El Carmen Church before completing a circle leading to the other end of Via Argentina were the country’s ombudsman, representatives of NGO’s and a strong contingent from the US Embassy, marking the announcement the day before of the Supreme Court decision ruling that gay marriages were allowed in all states.
Blandon, the first mayor to get involved in the annual event, said that Panama needs to begin to “build an inclusive society where no one is discriminated against for any reason.” human rights associations demanded the attention not only to gay rights, but also to all excluded groups.in Panama
The Panama Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender group (LGBT) looks for the local adoption of measures in their favor, like the recent decision of the US Supreme Court
Blandon made a call to society to be more inclusive and tolerant. He said that inclusion is not only a challenge that the government must assume, but the entire population. “We have to put the issue finally on the table and the discussion must be done.”
He added that the failure to discuss the issue will not make it go away, because “there are a lot of Panamanians whose human rights are being denied.
Ricardo Beteta, president of the Association of New Men and Women of Panama (AHMNP) and one of the organizers of the activity,
He acknowledged that “Panama has a great way to go, but we will continue working for the state to recognize sexual orientation and gender identity as a matter of law.”
He announced that in July the AHMNP intends to present a document to the National Assembly in which it will be asked to legislate legal equality for same-sex couples.[NEWSROOM PANAMA]

Ireland, with a strong Catholic church background, in May became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, although the implementation of that is being held up as those who voted against equality have tied things up in the courts, obviously without benefit of a “30 Second” guide.