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Old 03-14-2009, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Puerto Rico
177 posts, read 883,416 times
Reputation: 105

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I ask to keep this post clean, and somewhat on the light side and keep it fun.

There are three most inconsiderate things that I have thus far been a personal witness too:

1) in a parking lot of a food shopping center. I am ready to back out of my parking space, when I notice a car stopped behind me with a woman unloading her entire shopping cart of groceries (her husband was the driver). There were sporadic parking spots available all around for them to do this. When I started to reverse the man got angry at me while pointing to his wife (I presuem that was the relationship). When she was done, she left the shopping cart in the middle of the way. Cars queed while this event unfolded.

2) A car full of youth baseball team members stopped and unloaded on the Exit Ramp! Less than 10 feet away was a bank parking lot and a fast food parking lot, where each has more than ample room and would provide a safer option. Traffic backed up while this even unfolded.

3) In Wallmart. In the 20 or less items register. Two woman in front of me with few items in a shopping cart. They finally purchase the items and proceed to walk away with the shopping cart left right in front of me and in the register isle! The cashier asked if they want their shopping cart. One lady turned and in a very nonchalant manner signaled that they don't have any more use for the cart. I think that even the cashier was slighlty buffeled by this response, and asked them to move it out of the way of other customers. I think that one of the woman did the very minimal job of that. My jaw dropped while this event unfolded.

I think that thus far these are the winners, and I found these most amusing. Other small inconsiderate behaviors are mostly irritating and not don't deserve a mention. Daily life in PR provides a constant supply of such events, but they are like dream. You know that these occur but sometimes you just don't care to recollect them.

Feel free to post your experiences, but please keep it light.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:31 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 60,690,516 times
Reputation: 26569
Quote:
Originally Posted by InNeedOfAnswers View Post
I ask to keep this post clean, and somewhat on the light side and keep it fun.

There are three most inconsiderate things that I have thus far been a personal witness too:

1) in a parking lot of a food shopping center. I am ready to back out of my parking space, when I notice a car stopped behind me with a woman unloading her entire shopping cart of groceries (her husband was the driver). There were sporadic parking spots available all around for them to do this. When I started to reverse the man got angry at me while pointing to his wife (I presuem that was the relationship). When she was done, she left the shopping cart in the middle of the way. Cars queed while this event unfolded.

2) A car full of youth baseball team members stopped and unloaded on the Exit Ramp! Less than 10 feet away was a bank parking lot and a fast food parking lot, where each has more than ample room and would provide a safer option. Traffic backed up while this even unfolded.

3) In Wallmart. In the 20 or less items register. Two woman in front of me with few items in a shopping cart. They finally purchase the items and proceed to walk away with the shopping cart left right in front of me and in the register isle! The cashier asked if they want their shopping cart. One lady turned and in a very nonchalant manner signaled that they don't have any more use for the cart. I think that even the cashier was slighlty buffeled by this response, and asked them to move it out of the way of other customers. I think that one of the woman did the very minimal job of that. My jaw dropped while this event unfolded.

I think that thus far these are the winners, and I found these most amusing. Other small inconsiderate behaviors are mostly irritating and not don't deserve a mention. Daily life in PR provides a constant supply of such events, but they are like dream. You know that these occur but sometimes you just don't care to recollect them.

Feel free to post your experiences, but please keep it light.
Welcome to island life!

Your experiences and general angst are legion whether you're relocating to PR or to Guam or to the USVI. As much as newbies have the perception that because they're relocating to an island which falls under the US flag, local mores prevail, and island time is island time.

As a newbie you see things which upset you, but best to keep your mouth shut and not criticize. Learn to go with the flow. You will be a newcomer for a long time.

Whenever you get into a new community you have to prove yourself. When I moved into a rural Connecticut community many years ago it took a couple of years before the community accepted me and took me into their fold. Likewise when I moved to the USVI 25 years ago, it was several years before I was "accepted."

You're learning that the transition from mainland to island living isn't easy and it's actually interesting to see your current post because I recall from some of your previous threads/posts that you thought this move would be a bit of a cinch given all the research you'd done?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, I'm tired and it's been a long night! Cheers and good luck!
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee, Wisc.
1,342 posts, read 3,522,012 times
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Nope... not just in PR. Same stuff happens in mainland US cities that have large numbers of Puerto Ricans.
Hey, I'm just keeping it "light" and "fun."
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Puerto Rico
177 posts, read 883,416 times
Reputation: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
Welcome to island life!

Your experiences and general angst are legion whether you're relocating to PR or to Guam or to the USVI. As much as newbies have the perception that because they're relocating to an island which falls under the US flag, local mores prevail, and island time is island time.

As a newbie you see things which upset you, but best to keep your mouth shut and not criticize. Learn to go with the flow. You will be a newcomer for a long time.

Whenever you get into a new community you have to prove yourself. When I moved into a rural Connecticut community many years ago it took a couple of years before the community accepted me and took me into their fold. Likewise when I moved to the USVI 25 years ago, it was several years before I was "accepted."

You're learning that the transition from mainland to island living isn't easy and it's actually interesting to see your current post because I recall from some of your previous threads/posts that you thought this move would be a bit of a cinch given all the research you'd done?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, I'm tired and it's been a long night! Cheers and good luck!
Actually, my pre-move research helped very much. I was able to get all of my legal things in order rapidly. The social aspect of life is something that one cannot get ready for. As I have noted previously, I lived in few other places and thankfully ignorance is not a property native only to PR.

In my job and in my private life I am generally sheltered from the outside world and I am happy to keep it that way any where I go.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Puerto Rico
177 posts, read 883,416 times
Reputation: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkool View Post
Nope... not just in PR. Same stuff happens in mainland US cities that have large numbers of Puerto Ricans.
Hey, I'm just keeping it "light" and "fun."
I apologize for the following generalization, and I usually say away from making these. However, it seems that Walmart does not cater to the sophisticated class, so the last event could have happened in any Walmart store anywhere in USA.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:11 AM
 
1,995 posts, read 3,034,388 times
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One of the other "customs" I have noted in PR regarding shopping carts is that of leaving empty carts behind cars parked in the parking lot. I have noticed people doing this many times when it would have taken just as little effort to put it in between cars so that it would not block anyone.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:17 AM
 
1,772 posts, read 4,075,616 times
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Yes your observations are correct. The closest term I can use to describe the general sentiment of outsiders looking into island day-to-day life out in the streets is what most people in the CONUS have come to understand as 'riff raffy'. That's PR in a nutshell, riff raffy. Common terminology used in the island (to those who actually care to acknowledge their condition...) varies but the term "jíbaro", "jáiba" and "paisano", while properly refering to the late 19th century/early 20th rural class of the island iconized by the sunburned "jíbaro", with his white shirt, strawhat ["páva"] and machete, is currently used to refer to the general lack of public courtesy, traffic behaviors, tone of voice and slang use of spanish while in public, general anti-intellectualism (which CONUS is guilty of as well, no less) and overall rudeness that's exhibited in the island.

Remember, PR is a poor island by Conus standards. Most people are not educated beyond a nominal high school education and those who do have advanced degrees have to adopt the cultural idiosyncrasies of 'riff raff' to survive the day to day. This is to say, it would be futile to exhibit behavior different than the majority, as it would make you a target. Perfect example is traffic. Try and obey traffic laws down there as it pertains to not blocking intersections and see what happens. I'm a native and I almost got lynched on the spot, as a non-native I wouldn't advise it. My fiance was outright shocked when she saw people chasing ambulances to avoid traffic, or even better, watching how people would NOT yield to any emergency vehicles to begin with. Another PR gem is the passing traffic by using the SIDEWALK, two wheels on the road and two wheels on it. Let's see what else, oh yeah "piñas", (spanish for pineapple), which refers to the 5 (at a minimum) vehicles that will pass thru an only turn lane after the red light had already turned red. The gem is in watching the violator cars honking and berating the legal incoming traffic, for having the "nerve" of actually going about their way on their green light. Road rage is a given in riff raff PR. Lines, PR folk consider them optional...been to San Juan international airport lately? Perfect example. Public parks is another one. Sweet Jesus I'm gonna quit while I'm ahead.....

The observation from a previous poster that it's not just an island fever effect is well taken. Orlando, FL has been accused multiple times for having similar ailments attributed to a dramatic increase in first generation Puerto Ricans rubber-band emigrating to-from Orlando and back to the island. Anybody mildly acquainted with the orlando, FL forum in this board can attest to the prevalence of these accusations.

It is what it is. Ever been to the MIA airport AA terminal? You'll see similar dynamics a the Haiti flight gate. It's a caribbean thing. Now comparing PR to the poorest colony in the western hemisphere would be rather hyperbolic on my part, so I'll just say PR is a great place to visit, but a rather crappy place to live, among the reasons is this acceptance and prevalence of a riff raff culture.
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Puerto Rico
177 posts, read 883,416 times
Reputation: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandhillian View Post
One of the other "customs" I have noted in PR regarding shopping carts is that of leaving empty carts behind cars parked in the parking lot. I have noticed people doing this many times when it would have taken just as little effort to put it in between cars so that it would not block anyone.
That happens in supermarkets all around the globe. I have seen few solutions in Europe where the shopping cart is equipped with a coin operated lock. The carts are locked and you need a quarter to unlock it. When you take the cart back then you can get your quarter back. I think that this solution would work in PR very well.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:33 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 60,690,516 times
Reputation: 26569
Quote:
Originally Posted by InNeedOfAnswers View Post
That happens in supermarkets all around the globe. I have seen few solutions in Europe where the shopping cart is equipped with a coin operated lock. The carts are locked and you need a quarter to unlock it. When you take the cart back then you can get your quarter back. I think that this solution would work in PR very well.
KMart tried it on St Thomas and it went down like a zinc cupcake. The quarters would get jammed, the mechanisms rusted out fast in the tropical climate and the project lasted all of a year before being scratched.

Just in general, if you have an idea of how things could be "made better" in the Caribbean then you can bet that it's already been tried - and more often than not more than once or twice! Cheers!
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Puerto Rico
177 posts, read 883,416 times
Reputation: 105
The rust rate here is phenomenal!
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