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When in Belize, Do as Belizians Do!

Posted By: specv

When in Belize, Do as Belizians Do! - 01/24/04 07:18 PM

It's just a part of Belize that makes us bond to the place. Now that I've returned back to the rat race here in Texas, I want the chance to discuss this and see if anyone else has noticed this. Negitive people just go to the next post, your the types who keep your head down.

Those who have been there hopefully can recall whenever they crossed the path of a local that there was normally eye contact, a head nod, and maybe a greeting. In my first trip to AC and the mainland for three weeks my kids and I opened up and would always expect the greeting and return it in kind. Now that were back home we notice how few people will even do the first part which is some eye contact.

I think it's a part of where you have lived. In Portland, OR the greeting was geniune and here in Texas most people are in cars so that shield keeps a distance. When in big east coast citys I find myself keeping a distance for safety reasons. Atlanta and the south is a little better. Not being well traveled I don't have the best base to sample from. If you just stayed at a resort and ventured only to the bars, I'd question weather you were able to see the people of Belize.

The only people I met in Belize and Guatemala who made no eye contact were the non-natives, tourboat tourists were the worst. Even the ex-pats, I past several, and rarely had eye contact.

Now for my questions.
Did you notice the difference while in Belize? Have I described it correctly?
Is it just us "rat race folks" protecting ourselves?
Where else have you seen the openness?
Posted By: Big Frank

Re: When in Belize, Do as Belizians Do! - 01/24/04 08:52 PM

I'll agree. While we may be projecting or wishful thinking, You are at least partially correct. Does it have to do that Ambergris is an island and there is nowhere to go--the sit in one spot theory and the entire world will pass you by. One thing I've picked up in my travels is a greeting; IMAHO to engage a local like 'I need to...' without first saying hello is rude and I don't get as good 'service' or a satisfying interaction. For example, even asking for a table at a busy restuarant in U.S. I almost always say, 'Howyadoin'and I seem to get better responces. To me it's a Slowfood that is better for me on all levels. BTW just because others in U.S. avoid that doesn't mean we cannot say 'Hello in There.' Did you ever see the Dave Matthews video 'Everyday'? Where the goofy guy goes around hugging random people until he reaches critical mass and every one starts hugging each other. That could be you! Start a trend. Privete New Jersey joke. I did a little personal experiment in NJ for the holidays and often said 'Merry Christmas' 'or Happy Holidays.' the official Jerzee response is, 'You too.'
Posted By: allrightguy

Re: When in Belize, Do as Belizians Do! - 01/24/04 11:22 PM

Howdy specv: Upon my first trip to AC, the genuine friendly and open way of the San Pedranos was for me the greatest difference to me between AC and any place else I have visited or lived.
Each time I go back home to my mid-sized town in Maryland, I find the lack of eye contact and friendly greetings from strangers to be the most obvious reminder that I have left the magical world of San Pedro. It is a shame, but true.
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