Ex Pat Frustrations

Travel Forums General Talk Ex Pat Frustrations

1. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Ex Pats are persons from one country who relocate, live, retire or work in another country with another culture, other customs and often a language spoken other than their native one, I am an Ex Pat, not a "traveller" although I have travelled extensively many years, now I have settled down..this post may help long term travellers and volunteers who wish to stay in one country or region for an extended time and some may have the idea that once integrated, more or less, into local society there won't be any challenges nor "frustrations" to overcome...often when visitors or travelers arrive ex pats go to great lengths to keep these "feelings" to ourselves as some travellers unfamiliar with the culture or "customs" of some locals see this as an affront to the host country, the advantages of ex pat living outweigh the disadvantages, however.
I myself also avoid with a passion certain travellers who express a dislike or mistrust of "ex pats", every entitled to their opinion even and especially the "tourists" for remember no matter where one travels or resides, one is either paying their own way, working/volunteering or if retired living on a pension/savings. Nobody rides teh earth for free, carbon foot or no carbon footprint!

"10 Frustrations of Living in Panama
April 8, 2008

Hi All,

Written by halloranc at Panama Travels dot com

Copied from panamaorbust dot com Yahoo user group

It's the little things in Panama that can drive you crazy
Hate is too strong a word and one I reserve only in association with
things I truly despise, like movies with Ed Norton and mayonnaise.
Heck, I'll even sometimes say I hate Bon Jovi, but I don't really mean
it. So while I don't "hate" anything about being an expat living in
Panama, there sure are some things here that get my goat.
Here's my Top 10:

1. Cel Phones Everywhere – Hey Jorge, I realize you must be an
important surgeon, but could you turn off your cel phone in the
friggin' movie theatre? Would it kill you to maybe turn it off during
interviews and meetings too!?
2. Constant Tardiness – Show up on time, dammit! Oh, and if you're
late…at least PRETEND like you're sorry.
3. Cel Phone Courtesy – If you answer your cel phone while in mid
conversation with me again, I'll stab you with my pencil.
4. Lazy Spanish Pronunciation – Do you really think I can
understand your Spanish if you pronounce half the consonants in the
5. Proximity Issues – I don't mean to be rude, but when waiting in
line, is it really necessary to get within a half an inch of me?
6. Noise Pollution – Why on earth would you blast music in a pub
at 5pm?
7. Terrible Service – If you're my waitress and expect a tip,
don't sneer at me please.
8. Blabbermouth Syndrome – Please talk less and use your "inside
voice" more.
9. Freezing A/C Temp – Is there really any good reason for having
the temperature in a restaurant at zero degrees Kelvin when it's 95
and humid outside? What is this, an aircraft testing facility?
10. Give a Hoot! Don't Pollute! – The modern countries of Europe
and the Western world sometimes forget that we too were litterbugs not
so long ago. It's easy to find trash thrown in public places and
polluted rivers in Panama, or to spy an educated person throwing trash
from their car window.

Nowhere is perfect, and Panama certainly can make no claims at being
Xanadu. However, I am reminded of the immortal words of Bruce
Spingsteen, who said, "You ain't a beauty but hey, you're alright."
Although ugly on some days, Panama IS pretty darn good looking
overall. It has plenty of positive things going for it besides
physical beauty that far compensate for all these third world quirks.
And I must confess that I secretly enjoy more than a few of these
quirks. So for now Panama…you're alright for this gringo."

2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5671 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Panama or Panama city?;)

So, does your post apply in a certain way to San Salvador or El Salvador in general as well?
Just curious how your personal top 10 would look

3. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Oh Wow! A "Travel Guru!" Yep..applies more or less to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica as welll..not my "Bloq" from the Ex Pat Network..most of us contribute to society in the countries where we live, sport different lifestyles and opinions, some live 'high on the hog' (especially the NGO/ONG and development set), some 'flip' real estate and make money offa "wannabes", others spend valuable time and resources helping others, such as helping locals help themselves from small loans to open a small enterprise to assisting entire villages in building new viviendas (small homes), many ex pats run sucessful small businesses, especially in travel and tourism throughout Latin America, employing thousands of locals who otherwise would not have work, the natives in general like and respect us (friendship and respect must be earned) We're the "Good, The Bad and The Ugly" and we are not just "Americans" (estadounidenses) but Canadians, Europeans, South Americans, East Asians...myself I am retired, time on my hands, so here's one of the projects I assist....
"renacimiento" "rebirth" of a village…
Cinquera is a small town located some 11 miles/18 km. north of Suchitoto, nestled in a small verdant valley and now offering an impressive and diverse guided tour in the Rain Forest and Wildlife Refuge offering to the visitor an incredible array of ecosystems within the tropical mountainous forest with altitudes ranging between 250 meters to 750 meters above sea level

  • 5,000 meters (5km.) of Mountain Trails
  • Eight way stations enroute noting both historical and environmental sites of interest.
  • Forest Rangers and uniformed Guides to escort the visitor in safety.
  • Camping Area
  • Overlooks offering breathtaking views

As well as eco tourism Cinquera boasts historical and cultural sites, the village was destroyed during the worst years of the civil conflict in El Salvador in the early 1980s and those residents who survived either hid out in the nearby caves (which are viewed on tour) of fled the country. After the peace accords of 1992 former residents began trickling back to Cinquera and in effect this small town was "reborn". Aside from the Rain Forest tour, there exist in Cinquera historical and cultural sites such as the Church, a building which stood alone and empty of worshipers throughout the conflict.

Now Cinquera awaits the visitor or volunteer alike....

"Association For The Reconstruction and Municipal Development of Cinquera"
Barrio El Centro (Facing the Municipal Park)
Cinquera, Cabañas, El Salvador, C.A.

Non Profit Organization funded partially by International NGOs


Frustrating at times..some locals often expect us to "do all the promotion" and we have to keep reminding them this a team effort and not "charity handout" of people's time and effort. In fact last week I told one of the coordinators who asked me when the web pages in English would be ready..and I replied "When you get off your a-- (rear end) and get me the technical support you promised"


Some of the newer ex pats WHINE too much, thats their problem, others go with the flow, yet to "hold in" resentments or to be a "doormat" that angry locals walk over is a NO NO in my world Mr. "Guru"

Some of the most ridiculous bs I have heard regarding the history and politics of El Salvador, Guatemala and other countries in the region has come from the mouths of young travelers and short term volunteers, some of whom were not even BORN when the armed conflict era commenced in 1979 in el Salvador (1960 in Guatemala) Why argue.."I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person" So the travelers have their trail as they say and we live our lives.."Life In The Tropics"
Freedom of Speech
Politically Incorrect to The Max, Dude!
love to stir it up and now I'll just read teh rebutalls coming in, too busy to answer. Bye. Have a Nice Day.

4. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

[panamaorbust] From a Blog about Honduras
Hondurans peeved over no-drive law

"Opposition has mounted in Honduras against a no-drive law which went
into effect on Monday. The regulation- which is similar to one used in
Bogota, Colombia- barred private car usage for one day each week. The
move has led to protests around the country and the mayor of the
Tegucigalpa even offered free legal services to pay for pico y placa

The controversy grew to such a point that the country's top court
intervened and sided with car enthusiasts:

Honduras' Supreme Court has temporarily suspended a law that keeps
cars off the road one day per week, while the justices study the
constitutionality of the measure….

The 9-6 vote by the justices on Wednesday puts the law on hold.

President Manuel Zelaya replied that the injunction was "against the
country's judicial security" and failed to take into account the
estimated $80 million in saved energy costs.

The tribunal's actions where similar to those taken last month by a
court in Chacao, Venezuela against their proposed no-drive law."

Those planing long term travel to Central America should as well check out the on line editions in both English and Spanish of the daily or weekly newspapers for in depth journalism, information you will never find in even the best of "Guidebooks"

English..'Guatemala Revue Magazine' with El Salvador, Belize and Honduras Sections, Monthly ...The Site is in pdf...mostly advertisements but rather good lead articles and archived by country...good overview for first time visitors.

'Tim's El Salvador Bloq'...best source of info on El Salvador, political, current events, travel and tourism, historic and cultural, Tim, from the Left of Center, posts daily, contributions welcome from all..Free Speech respected.

'El Faro'..daily on line periodical.. news from El Salvador..Left of Center..Spanish

'Honduras This Week' On line edition of the weekly newspaper in English..best hard journalism and opinion in Central America

'Tico Times' Costa rica's Weekly English Language Daily..very informative. On line edition. Nicaragua section.

'A.M. Costa Rica' Published in English on line edition only Monday to Friday

Google for each URL above

As far as other Newspapers out of Central and South America on line Google Keywords: Central America
Newspapers and News Media Guide

Join the growing "Hospitality" sites, where members abroad are generally locals and many are willing to host traveling members for a night or more in their home, this avoids a lot of hassles looking for "Hostals and Hotels" when arriving in cities or travel destinations. Two of the largest are Couch Surfing and Hospitality Club...Google. Great for those wishing to make local contacts in a country or region.

Wherever you travel in the world, most everywhere, are Ex Pats, Volunteers and others making the transition. I usually cannot form an opinion about someone until I have met and spoken with them, and what "country" they are native of, nor their opinion on social issues at home and abroad has no bearing on their character to me.

I am no "Guru" just another citizen of the world who considers every man his teacher. Punto.

Those coming to Central America in the future..do your "homework" or research..le esperamos....

5. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5671 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Thanks David
And forget about the travel guru part;) What's in a name

6. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

het parool! I belonged to a world wide organization, voluntary to join, founded in USA but many ex pats and travelers attend "meetings" usually in English when they are abroad, in recent years the "fellowship" part of this organization, face to face social networking, has often been supplanted by "gurus" (also called bleeding deacons)...charismatic know it alls...Doubt if Gandhi would have been liked to have been called a Guru.

7. Posted by adv3nture (Budding Member 49 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Ummm... the travel guru title has nothing to do with people thinking they are a know it all or an expert. It's just a title Travellerspoint.com uses to denote a member who has contributed a lot to the site (message board posts, blog posts, photos, etc.). It's a title automatically generated based on site participation. No need to take it seriously.