Today I stopped in to visit the owners of Organic Life, to see if the post I put in had brought them any visitors. There was a English speaking lady there telling the owner all the things that she liked at Riba Smith in Panama City that he should bring to David.
As I sometimes do, I gave her a card, with the foolish assumption that once and a while there may be something here worth reading. She graciously took it and asked where I lived. I said I lived in David. She replied, “Oh, I live in Boquete” and the tone came across as very condescending. Now maybe I heard her tone wrong, but I don’t think so. The inflection came across that, if I live in David, I can’t have much in my blog of interest to someone that lives in Boquete.
I pass out a fair amount of cards. The reason, I do that, is to get more comments. I believe that more comments bring more factual information about living in Panama to other readers. My opinion may not be the same as others and I am willing to consider their point of view.
I am sure that some people take the card and are a little annoyed and my giving it to them without them asking for it. I understand that. I was in PriceSmart one day and I passed two people talking in English. I offered the gentleman and the lady a card. The gentleman took it and said thanks. The lady rudely said she didn’t want it. I smiled and said it was not a commercial site and wasn’t selling anything (many people think I am going to try to sell them real estate or something). She looked me directly in the eye and said, “I am in a conversation. GOOD BYE”. I apologized for interruption and went on my way.
Now a Panamanian would have take the card, whether he wanted it or not, and said thank you. Rudeness, more often than not, comes from gringos. As I said, I know that some people can get annoyed by my giving them a card. If she thought I was being rude for offering her a card, then maybe she thought I received from her what I deserved.
If there is a point to this post, it is to simply say that everyone needs to have an out of body experience and see themselves as others see them. I include myself in that wisdom. Every time I pass out a card and have a negative experience, I ask myself if I should stop doing it. But after a week goes by, I start thinking that more good comes from people reading CC and putting in their comments, than if they missed the opportunity to tell me in view of the entire world that I am looking at things wrong.