Wednesday, September 23, 2009 the Tropics!

Yes, you knew I was going there.....all the talk about civility cannot be completed without mentioning how things work in more gentile surroundings. Let's be clear, there are rude people everywhere. There is no escaping that. Big cities and developed countries do not have an exclusive on that. The difference a whole there are nicer people in other places.

Starting with living in a place where we know each other, we see each other frequently, the chances of running into someone you know in almost every place you visit during the day makes for a more relaxed way of life. You are in your best behavior, you tend to smile at yourself and start small talk with your friends and acquaintances, you feel more like yourself...

Back home in Curaçao, there is an amazing little custom that other places can copy. Any given Monday, when people greet you in person, on the phone, even on emails, first things they say: Bon Dia, Bon Siman! Yes, good morning and good week...that's it. Well, it's a bit hard to get upset after that, wouldn't you say?

Laughter, that is another thing. People in other places tend to have a laugh ready for everything. It could be that living in nicer surroundings make you nicer? Maybe that is simplifying the problem too much.....or maybe not. There are very nice people in cold northern countries and very rude people in balmy, sunny ones. In Curaçao, there is a sense of fun everywhere you go...ask me why??!! The days are sunny, the breeze cools the nights and the beaches take your breath away. So is it the attitude, the beauty of the place or the way life is lived in the Tropics.....

You remember that catchy tune of years ago: Don't worry, be happy!!!! I go to Panama frequently to see my mother. I still cannot get over the fact that people are so nice. From bank tellers, to supermarket cashiers, to taxi drivers to waiters....everyone goes out of their way to help. Oh, and everyone is cheerful! The climate is not the reason there: it can be horribly hot and humid and rain can pour for days at the time. So back to attitude.....right?

Who knows? It is, thought, a fact that has made me believe that these two places are much nicer than the one I find myself in at the moment. Social some places that is a way of life. In others it's an effort.......graceful living is unknown. It is time to take a second look at the Tropics!!!

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