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Old 12-08-2010, 01:31 PM
 
91 posts, read 310,811 times
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Well, quite interesting. In a nutshell, a gringo will be a gringo in the island (and a Mexican a Mexican, and if you have slanted eyes, even if Puerto Rican, you will be called "Chino" (Chinese)). Puerto Ricans are not quite used to diversity within the island.

That said, your best bet is Old San Juan, Condado and Ocean Park area in San Juan (expensive, but you can certainly find good deals); or you may check out the west, beachy towns of Aguadilla or Rincón (less expensive, could get expensive, respectively), where there would be colonies of "gringos" and the locals are surely more used to it.

It is not that you can't go anywhere else in the island, but my experiences with most small towns is that they are not very diverse, and you will always be "that gringo." And no, "whoever is whoever" does not happen in a small island. The number one TV show there is all about a gossiping disgusting doll putting people in the spotlight constantly. Everybody is afraid of that doll, trust me.

As for how to expect be treated, well I tell you this: sometimes you will be treated like royalty; other times you'll feel out of place. Get nicely dress and groomed and I'm sure you will find a nice job easier than many locals; go to the Bomba y Plena Festival at Barrio San Antón in Ponce and you will feel like the cockroach in the hen house. You may talk Spanish, but you must talk Puerto Rican (the lingo) to be accepted as one - it takes years.

Oh, and very important, Puerto Rico is VERY auto-centric. Even in those mountain sleepy towns, you'll find cars all over. People get into their cars even for a couple of blocks travel. Old San Juan and some areas of Condado would be your best pedestrian option.

Go for it!!
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Pereira, Colombia
1,222 posts, read 2,131,600 times
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I remember being really paranoid my first week in Puerto Rico, thinking people were judging me or being impolite because I was a gringo but from my experiences those people would have been even ruder to their fellow Puerto Ricans. I haven't met anyone yet who truly didn't like me because I was an "outsider", at least to my face. I have found San Juan for the most part to be just as cold and rude as any mainland city of its size, but most of the rest of the island is amazingly friendly. So don't worry about how you would be "received", in many ways because Puerto Rico is US soil many people don't view you as an outsider at all!
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,996 posts, read 37,272,019 times
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Sounds good! Actually I did spend 10 months in South America, and many years in Asia. So being the different one, is something I don't mind at all. Kinda like it actually.

But when I am on the US mainland - I haven't lived in the US in years. I can feel all the weird and strange tension based on race and ethnicity. I didn't feel that at all in Asia, Europe, South America.

When I first went back to the US, I lived in NYC. I hit a 'black club', people thought I was a sociologist studying black people. White guys aren't suppose to go there apparently. I also found the Puerto RIcans in NYC to be quite standoffish as well. But heard that Puerto Rican NYers and Puerto Ricans from the Islands are significantly different.

As long as the Islands are more like Latin America, and less like mainland America, I should be alright There were a few sketch areas of SOuth America though - Peru & Venezula - if anyone are familiar for comparison purposes. I always felt comfortable in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:58 PM
 
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From afar I have always seen Venezuelans similar to Puerto Ricans. The countries you did like (Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina), I think are quite different to the island. Take heed.

Puerto Rico is a strange mix; quite different to the mainland, but not to underestimante it's similarities.

I think it would be interesting for you to check it out and then share your impressions here. I am personally interested in hearing from people that don't carry strong preconceptions about a place. Hopefully your experience won't be like T.J. Mihelich's ("Puerto Rico: Land of Lost Dreams"), though I totally understand the guy.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,996 posts, read 37,272,019 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traveler00 View Post
From afar I have always seen Venezuelans similar to Puerto Ricans. The countries you did like (Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina), I think are quite different to the island. Take heed.

Puerto Rico is a strange mix; quite different to the mainland, but not to underestimante it's similarities.

I think it would be interesting for you to check it out and then share your impressions here. I am personally interested in hearing from people that don't carry strong preconceptions about a place. Hopefully your experience won't be like T.J. Mihelich's ("Puerto Rico: Land of Lost Dreams"), though I totally understand the guy.
I should probably clarify how Venezuela and Peru were places I didn't like. Basically when they see gringo, they see dollar signs. Gringos get robbed left and right in Venezuela and Peru, and people seem to be okay with that. Even the police are inherently corrupt. I met some great people in both places, but when just out and about, you gotta be vigilant alert at all times in all situations.

WHereas in Brazil, it has that element. But I spent six months in Brazil, and just loved the people. Crime is there, but people didn't see me a gringo $-sign...well, a little in Rio...but not to the extreme of Peru/Venezuela. I found BRazilians had blond people as well, and just integrated anyone into any social circle no matter what.

Mexican people are another I quite liked. If you are in MExico, and someone tries to sell you something, you can say 'no' and he'll respect you. If you do that in Venezuela, he'll threaten you. I have pretty much nothing but great things to say about every Mexican person I have ever met in Mexico or in the US for that matter.

Bolivia was an insular country. People really have no interest positive or negative. Fairly indifferent. Not uncommon for people to NOT sell me a pack of gum in a store at lunch because they were eating lunch at the moment. I don't mind this at all! I love it when people are indifferent, and leave me alone. It's when people see the gringo, and think how they can extract a little money off this guy, that's where I'm not feeling the vibe from the people at all.

Chile...just honest nice people. Good economy, and give you the shirt off their back in a mini-second before even considering robbing the one off of yours.

Argentina...ah, mixed. I didn't spend that much time there to form a great impression, but the little time I did, it wasn't negative at all.

Venezuela...I could write a book on all the craziness in people's eyes everytime they saw a gringo in that country. Peru, I couldn't write a book on it, but could certainly write a good chapter on it.

I don't think Puerto Rico could be anywhere near Venezuela or Peru....because has more to do with crime, what a gringo represents, etc.

I get the impression that that wouldn't exist in Puerto Rico, being that people are familiar with the US and the true reality of living there. On the other hand, I don't know, as never been to Puerto Rico before.

I guess my thinking was if Puerto RIcans are strongly influenced by mainland US, there might be other elements...maybe more social constructs of race and 'segregation' even....the more 'white people' are like this, or 'I don't like white people' or that other element. I didn't experience that in SOuth AMerica, but Puerto RIco is ambigious for me, as I can't place it anywhere.

Yeah, would be great to get first hand experience/impressions from there.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:26 AM
mym
 
598 posts, read 854,891 times
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i'm white so i tell 'em i'm ricky martin's cousin.

and blue eyes? ay que ojos lindos (get used to that phrase - its nice)

in areas with tourists you will be an american. no tourists you're probably a puerto rican, hincho but boricua none the less.

you treat a puerto rican with an ounce of respect you will get a pound back.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:51 PM
 
91 posts, read 310,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I should probably clarify how Venezuela and Peru were places I didn't like. Basically when they see gringo, they see dollar signs. Gringos get robbed left and right in Venezuela and Peru, and people seem to be okay with that. Even the police are inherently corrupt. I met some great people in both places, but when just out and about, you gotta be vigilant alert at all times in all situations.

WHereas in Brazil, it has that element. But I spent six months in Brazil, and just loved the people. Crime is there, but people didn't see me a gringo $-sign...well, a little in Rio...but not to the extreme of Peru/Venezuela. I found BRazilians had blond people as well, and just integrated anyone into any social circle no matter what.

Mexican people are another I quite liked. If you are in MExico, and someone tries to sell you something, you can say 'no' and he'll respect you. If you do that in Venezuela, he'll threaten you. I have pretty much nothing but great things to say about every Mexican person I have ever met in Mexico or in the US for that matter.

Bolivia was an insular country. People really have no interest positive or negative. Fairly indifferent. Not uncommon for people to NOT sell me a pack of gum in a store at lunch because they were eating lunch at the moment. I don't mind this at all! I love it when people are indifferent, and leave me alone. It's when people see the gringo, and think how they can extract a little money off this guy, that's where I'm not feeling the vibe from the people at all.

Chile...just honest nice people. Good economy, and give you the shirt off their back in a mini-second before even considering robbing the one off of yours.

Argentina...ah, mixed. I didn't spend that much time there to form a great impression, but the little time I did, it wasn't negative at all.

Venezuela...I could write a book on all the craziness in people's eyes everytime they saw a gringo in that country. Peru, I couldn't write a book on it, but could certainly write a good chapter on it.

I don't think Puerto Rico could be anywhere near Venezuela or Peru....because has more to do with crime, what a gringo represents, etc.

I get the impression that that wouldn't exist in Puerto Rico, being that people are familiar with the US and the true reality of living there. On the other hand, I don't know, as never been to Puerto Rico before.

I guess my thinking was if Puerto RIcans are strongly influenced by mainland US, there might be other elements...maybe more social constructs of race and 'segregation' even....the more 'white people' are like this, or 'I don't like white people' or that other element. I didn't experience that in SOuth AMerica, but Puerto RIco is ambigious for me, as I can't place it anywhere.

Yeah, would be great to get first hand experience/impressions from there.
In Puerto Rico you can find a little of 'all of the above.' I insist, Venezuelans remind me more of Puerto Ricans than all others. Nevertheless it probably lacks the inherent humbleness, low profile or "ay bendito" attitude that characterizes boricuas (unless you walk in the wrong place, like a "punto de droga" with a camera). You see, Venezuela is quite a rich country (with lots of poor people, though) and have a president that outspokenly has declared the U.S. as the evil to hate and destroy. Puerto Ricans have more of a love-hate relationship with the U.S.; can't love your boss, but can't hate him either, right? At all times, you'll be a "gringo;" nevertheless, do not behave arrogantly and you'll have friends.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:39 PM
 
686 posts, read 1,544,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traveler00 View Post
In Puerto Rico you can find a little of 'all of the above.' I insist, Venezuelans remind me more of Puerto Ricans than all others. Nevertheless it probably lacks the inherent humbleness, low profile or "ay bendito" attitude that characterizes boricuas (unless you walk in the wrong place, like a "punto de droga" with a camera). You see, Venezuela is quite a rich country (with lots of poor people, though) and have a president that outspokenly has declared the U.S. as the evil to hate and destroy. Puerto Ricans have more of a love-hate relationship with the U.S.; can't love your boss, but can't hate him either, right? At all times, you'll be a "gringo;" nevertheless, do not behave arrogantly and you'll have friends.

What is so similiar between Venezuelans and PR's?
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
4,476 posts, read 8,631,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adirondackguy123 View Post
What is so similiar between Venezuelans and PR's?
Nothing. Puerto Ricans are US Citizens, Puerto Ricans eat different food from Venezuelans etc.. Puerto Ricans have different accent too.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,808,441 times
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I doubt that it's true in Puerto Rico, but at least in some Latin American countries, "blue-blond gringo guys" are a hot commodity among las jovencitas...
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