Daily Archives: September 18, 2011

Thinking of a move to Panama? Read This First

There is a feature for WordPress bloggers called “Tag Surfer.” It hones in on what other bloggers have written that you have expressed an interest in. Today I found a post by an unknown (there’s no”About” section attached to the blog so I don’t know who wrote it. It’s called:

http://livingtheamericandreamineurope.wordpress.com/

And the title of the post was: “So, You Want To Move To Europe? Part Two I have to admit I didn’t see Part One.

Anyway, the unknown author presented an article from Cracked.com and the post:

http://www.cracked.com/article_19363_6-reasons-your-plans-to-move-abroad-might-not-work-out.html

Now, Cracked.com is a humor site, but there’s a lot of truth in this post. Here are the six reasons given and I’ll add my own notes but you need to read the article for yourself if you’ve ever thought about moving to Panama or any other country that’s not your own…

#6. The People There Probably Don’t Want You

Personally I haven’t met anyone here in Panama like that, but I know they exist. My lawyer told me once that she has friends who don’t like gringos. Hey, I understand. I don’t like most of them either.That isn’t to say I don’t have some gringo friends here, but for the most part I avoid gringos. I went to the Tuesday Market in Boquete once and I shudder to think of ever having to go back again. I bought what I came to get and left as soon as possible. But then again, I do that with shopping in general. That may have something to do with sex. (No, not THAT kind of sex. Sex as in which one you were born into.) Most women go love to go “shopping.” That doesn’t mean they’re going to buy anything when they go, but that’s the term most women use. Men, on the other hand when they have something they want or need to get, they go to the store, find the item or items, pay for them and leave.

#5. Their Governments Don’t Want You, Either

Panama is a little bit different. They are actually trying to make it easy for people, retired people that is, to move to this small country where they will voluntarily spend their retirement income.

#4. Other Countries Treat Illegal Immigrants Worse Than America

Who knows about Panama? I do know, that despite having a Pensionado Visa, and am “legal,” I am perpetually a guest in this country and can be told to leave at any time for any reason or no reason at all. I hope I never have to find out how their extradition process works.

#3. What You Hate About America, You Find Everywhere

Now this is spot on. Don’t think moving somewhere else is going to change a lot of things. I never went to McDoo Doo’s in the States and I’m NOT going to go to one here. But I hate having to go all the way to Panama City for some tasty, spicy fried chicken. LOVE that chicken from Popeyes. Pio Pio just doesn’t cut it and KFC which is here in David, gets the same treatment as Mc Doo Doo’s. Didn’t eat it there won’t here, either. Same thing goes for Domino’s, Pizza Hut and TGIF,, all of which have a presence here in David.

#2. Adapting Will Be Harder Than You Can Imagine

I think this is something most new expats never really expect. Good old CULTURE SHOCK. It’s GOING to happen to you. There’s no way you can avoid it. You’re not in Kansas anymore. Again, personally, I haven’t been hit with culture shock here even though I’ve been “in country” for a year and a half. And I think I know why. About six months into my three year stay in France culture shock punched me in the gut. I wanted to leave. But I had a job that I said I’d do and I stuck it out. Things got better. Then, about six months after I got back to the States I experienced culture shock again. I wanted to go back to France so bad you can’t believe how much. But I didn’t have the money to do so, so I stuck it out and things got better, sort of. Now, I think having gone through two bouts of culture shock before I’ve simply learned to take things as they come. Things aren’t going they way you want them to? Well, TOUGH TITTY! That’s the way things are…DEAL WITH IT!

#1. You Will Likely Just Hang Out With Other Americans

This is definitely true for WAY TOO MANY GRINGOS who move here and settle around Boquete and Volcan. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that but it’s just not how I want to live here. Yes, as I said, I do have gringo friends here but, by and large, I avoid most gringos as if they had some kind of infectious disease. But that’s just me. Your mileage may differ.
Advertisements

Comments Off on Thinking of a move to Panama? Read This First

Filed under Culture Shock, Living Abroad, panama, Retirement, Retirement Abroad