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Expat Life

The arrogant expat: ‘Let me tell you how we do things back in the USA’

By Carlos Calderón

A couple of years ago, a recently arrived expat who I had only met a few days earlier asked me if I could arrange a meeting for him with then-President Rafael Correa. He knew that I had been a consultant to the government on an archaeological project and that I had joint Ecuadorian – U.S. citizenship and was bilingual.chl guest

Besides setting up the meeting, he wanted me to be the translator because he didn’t know Spanish.

It told him that I was sorry, but I couldn’t help. My project had only lasted six months and I didn’t know Correa.

Curious, I asked why it was he wanted to talk to the president.

‘Let me tell you how we do things back home.’

Well, he said, he wanted to talk to him about the Cuenca bus system. It was being run all wrong. The buses were not properly maintained and needed to use propane gas or battery power instead of diesel fuel, the drivers were not well trained in either driving skills or customer service, and the routes and schedules were not logically planned.

“I need to talk to him about how we ran the system back in Massachusetts,” he said.

Actually, I agreed with him on most of his points. Because I’ve spent most of my life in New York and New Jersey, I have seen what I believe are fairly well managed mass transit systems. On the other hand, I pointed out that Cuenca’s system seemed to work pretty well for the locals and that bus fares were 10% of what I paid in Brooklyn, which provides limited resources for a major overhaul. I also pointed out that when I arrived in New York in the 1970s, bus pollution was worse than it is today in Cuenca.

When I asked him what Correa could do about the problems, it turned out he thought the federal government ran Cuenca’s buses. I told him that the local government ran the system and that the feds in Quito had nothing to do with it. Talking to him more, I discovered that he had no idea how local governments in Ecuador were organized and didn’t know the difference between a parish, a canton and a province.

What the experience illustrated was a cross-cultural phenomenon I’ve observed frequently in Cuenca’s large expat community. I’m amazed at how quickly newcomers size up things in Cuenca and determine, in no uncertain terms, all the things that need to be “fixed.”

It’s a major topic at gringo gatherings, large and small. Something needs to be done about the . . . graffiti, potholes, late-night concerts and fireworks, barking dogs, car alarms, traffic, gringo prices, construction practices, punctuality — you name it! No matter the irritant, there’s an expat with the answer even though he can’t explain it in Spanish.

On the rare occasion when I have time to waste and tune in to the gringo Internet forums, I find them overflowing with the righteous indignation of those who know how things should work in Ecuador but, for some reason, don’t.

I notice that the expat “fixers” are overwhelmingly men from the U.S., most of them arrogant, angry and egotistical. They are the in-your-face loud-mouths that I make a point to ignore, both in Cuenca and back in the States.

It seems ironic that people whose dream retirement has finally arrived are unable to put aside the impulse to run other peoples’ lives, and to simply relax. At the point that they finally find themselves living in the promised land, they can’t wait to remake it according to their own expectations.

I found a comment on this website from a Cuencano who, I think, hit the nail on the head. He said, “Foreigners think they know everything and have all the answers to our problems. I wonder why they didn’t fix things in the country they came from.”

____________

Carlos Calderón was born in Cuenca but spent most of his life in the U.S. He recently retired as an anthropology professor and returned to Ecuador to live.

This article is reposted from 2015.

70 thoughts on “The arrogant expat: ‘Let me tell you how we do things back in the USA’

  1. Good article. Frankly, my guess is most of the a-holes were unhappy at home, why do you think they left.. If its just money, first mistake. Personally, I really like Cuenca for what it is, and is not. Every place needs a little fixing and fine tuning, where I live in the states is no exception, nor is Cuenca. But I really appreciated the differences in what Cuenca, and Ecuador bring to the table and I never ever complain.

  2. Now that I have made Cuenca my home for 17 months, I cringe at some of the nonsense that came out of my mouth in the early goings. When I made the conscious decision to accept and flow with the culture, life became so much more enjoyable in this wonderland.

  3. Now that I have made Cuenca my home for 17 months, I cringe at some of the nonsense that came out of my mouth in the early goings. When I made the conscious decision to accept and flow with the culture, life became so much more enjoyable in this wonderland.

  4. I have no idea how many expats here could be this mind-numbingly ignorant, but what Carlos reports does not in any way comport with my own experience. Perhaps it comes down to who your friends are, or maybe the expat in this story played football in college and got hit one too many times in the head.

    My friends are the exact opposite. Not only did they not come to Ecuador to tell anybody how to fix things, they left the U.S. because they realized that it is broken and corrupt beyond repair and they are hoping that this demonic, cultural infection doesn’t work its way down here . . . for as former assistant U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Paul Craig Roberts, so aptly articulates, “All that is left now in Washington is pure evil.” The problems there are fatal, systemic, and they’re not going away.

    There is no nation on earth that does not have its problems, and I suppose that if you’re a natural complainer, you’ll always going to find something about which you can endlessly kvetch. But frankly, I feel grateful to be here and if life wasn’t better overall in Ecuador, I wouldn’t have moved. I’ve talked to a lot of people in the U.S. who are sick of living in a Nazi-esque police state and only WISH they had the wherewithal to move to Ecuador. My countrymen here should just be thankful, sit down, and shut up. This report is embarrassing.

    People who are unfortunate enough to encounter these aristocentric nincompoops should improve the quality of their associates. We have better things to worry about anyway. In 2013 I gave an interview for one of the leading outlets in the alternative media, and I was shocked to hear off-the-record that my host believed that Fukushima was an extinction level event and that “homo sapiens” had perhaps 30 years or so left on the planet. (See: http://www.altcancer.net/ashwin/ashw0715.htm). Those people from the U.S. who want to complain about everything should just go home. It’s where they belong.

    1. I have to say, this is an attitude I have encountered right here on this site Mr. Caton. Following my response to one blogger who wrote complaining about “all the things that need fixing here”, and that he would bring his “American values” to improve Ecuador, I commented that perhaps he should ask the local people if they wanted his interference. I was berated by another blogger for suggesting that it’s perhaps none of our business, with his statement that he had chosen to come and live here, therefor this was HIS country and he would interfere where ever he believed Ecuador needed it. I also got labelled “some Brit racist”. How you are racists for believing people who are native to a country should be left to decided for themselves who they want it run is beyond me.
      I quit commenting, until now. I’m afraid such types ARE out there, and sadly in greater numbers than one might think, or want.
      Since I live alone with only a few Ecuadorean friends, I manage for the most part to avoid them, but it worries me that they may be contributing to xenophobia among some Ecuadorians – a growing dislike of having “expats”, or English speaking foreigners, coming here to live.

      1. Isabella, I sympathize with your experience, and it underscores how spotting shills and disinfo agents is more important than ever. As I made clear in a recent essay ( http://www.altcancer.net/ashwin/ashw0615.htm ), major governments and corporations have entire PM (Perception Management) departments online whose job it is to mold public opinion and obscure the facts. It’s deplorable.

        1. Have you read the Western media’s version version of current events in Ecuador? Someone sure has an agenda!

      2. Isabella, I sympathize with your experience, and it underscores how spotting shills and disinfo agents is more important than ever. As I made clear in a recent essay ( http://www.altcancer.net/ashwin/ashw0615.htm ), major governments and corporations have entire PM (Perception Management) departments online whose job it is to mold public opinion and obscure the facts. It’s deplorable.

      3. Isabella, what you have written here is a complete distortion of the facts. I’m not in the habit of calling a person a liar that just tells a single untruth because that just means that they lied, not that they are liars. However, you have told sufficient fibs here that i think it is fair to say you are approaching liar status, I’m sure that some of the readers of this thread also read the thread that I refer to and you reference, and if requested, I’ll find it and provide links to it.

        Just to refresh the memories of some readers, Isabella is the woman that claimed that many gringos run away from taxis they have taken without paying and there is a community here in Cuenca that is an all gringo enclave that has signs out that say “NO ECUADORIANS ALLOWED”. When pressed about the location of this community, Isabella cried and did the usual thing that people being called for a lie do. She disappeared.

        Want to revisit that, Isabella? I’m ready if you are.

        Charlie

    2. “…they realized that it (U.S.) is broken…hoping…infection doesn’t work its way down…”

      TBTF banks and the US war and intelligence machine are in full tilt trying to bring down every Republic on Earth and trying (Russia, China aren’t taking the bait) to get a world wide war going behind which this scum can hide. The Dollar is HIGHER now only because of unwinding $1.5Quadrillion securities and derivative trades. Soon, the Dollar will no longer be accepted in international trade and will DEVALUE. This (up then down) “whipsaw” will kill Ecuador and other nations aligned with the Dollar. If Americans have any good advice to Ecuador it is switch to money that is valued the same today AND tomorrow.

      The Ruble and Yuan don’t have that problem, are productive economies without any net debt. And, Russia, China, et al, will help your country with no strings attached. See the difference compared to the U.S., UK, EU, Japan? The new financial systems of 150+ nations aligned around the, BRICS, AIIP, EaEU, SCO system will reveal a gold/silver backed Yuan legal tender currency standard, every nation with gold/silver/infrastructure production backing accepted. (An establishment by two ex-Commie nations of a world financial system, completely in line with the US Constitution. How Ironic is that?) Bretton-Woods (based first on gold, then based on the (oil) dollar) is breathing its last.

      An Ecuador, free from U.S. banking currency tyranny, centered around production of value can have no problem with its currency fixed in BRICS nations trading values against gold/silver/infrastructure production. This is the original (i.e., Franklin, Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy, i.e., “…roads, land, homes, ports, etc., support currency as certainly as gold or silver”-Franklin) American System. If value (gold/silver/infrastructure investment) were put under Ecuadorian currency, but also, the central bank, Ecuador’s TBTF banks nationalized (and several key bankers involved in U.S. banking fraud, jailed), you wouldn’t have currency problems in your future.

      Bring gold back to Ecuador from GoldmanSachs. Soon. This is what Germany, Holland, China, others and, of course, now Texas, is doing.

      1. Don’t you get tired, jd, of trying to show off how much you know about international economics? Perhaps you can tell us the meaning of TBTF, BRICS, AIIP, EaEU, SCO and all the other abbreviations that you use so we can better try to understand your mostly irrelevant diatribes. Is the above the subject of your graduate school thesis? Suggest that you find another place for your lectures. You are in the wrong forum.

        1. If one doesn’t recognize any of these terms by now, they are not worth explaining.

          For those who do understand the lingo, I believe a return to a precious metal currency standard would be analogous to abandoning the internet and returning to carrier pigeons. The problem is not one of currencies. Currency issues and wars are a function (dysfunction?) of a system that is collapsing. That certainly didn’t start yesterday, and, failing a deep world panic (knock on wood) , it will not finish tomorrow.

      2. JD — I agree.
        We can only hope that Quito sees the obvious and is preparing for the inevitable.

    3. “…they realized that it (U.S.) is broken…hoping…infection doesn’t work its way down…”

      TBTF banks and the US war and intelligence machine are in full tilt trying to bring down every Republic on Earth and trying (Russia, China aren’t taking the bait) to get a world wide war going behind which this scum can hide. The Dollar is HIGHER now only because of unwinding $1.5Quadrillion securities and derivative trades. Soon, the Dollar will no longer be accepted in international trade and will DEVALUE. This (up then down) “whipsaw” will kill Ecuador and other nations aligned with the Dollar. If Americans have any good advice to Ecuador it is switch to money that is valued the same today AND tomorrow.

      The Ruble and Yuan don’t have that problem, are productive economies without any net debt. And, Russia, China, et al, will help your country with no strings attached. See the difference compared to the U.S., UK, EU, Japan? The new financial systems of 150+ nations aligned around the, BRICS, AIIP, EaEU, SCO system will reveal a gold/silver backed Yuan legal tender currency standard, every nation with gold/silver/infrastructure production backing accepted. (An establishment by two ex-Commie nations of a world financial system, completely in line with the US Constitution. How Ironic is that?) Bretton-Woods (based first on gold, then based on the (oil) dollar) is breathing its last.

      An Ecuador, free from U.S. banking currency tyranny, centered around production of value can have no problem with its currency fixed in BRICS nations trading values against gold/silver/infrastructure production. This is the original (i.e., Franklin, Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy, i.e., “…roads, land, homes, ports, etc., support currency as certainly as gold or silver”-Franklin) American System. If value (gold/silver/infrastructure investment) were put under Ecuadorian currency, but also, the central bank, Ecuador’s TBTF banks nationalized (and several key bankers involved in U.S. banking fraud, jailed), you wouldn’t have currency problems in your future.

      Bring gold back to Ecuador from GoldmanSachs. Soon. This is what Germany, Holland, China, others and, of course, now Texas, is doing.

  5. Don’t take it personal Mr. Calderón, the ugly american is alive and well all over the world. They are sad, pathetic and unhappy creatures wherever they are and are best ignored, difficult as that might be. Fortunately, they are the miserable minority.

    1. Back in the mid-sixties I was living in Spain. I had an opportunity to visit Tripoli, Libya. Not yet savvy enough to dress down, I was a typical American, including a long lens camera around my neck. I found myself being chased by a number of young men, hurling, I can only guess, curses at me. The US military was in the process of being thrown out of the country then. I have since learned that the smallest footprint that I can make in anyplace that I visit/live is the best one to make. Should a “native” ever ask me to participate in any type of effort “to improve” such and such conditions, I will dwell on it for a couple of months, and then respond “manana”.

  6. i’ve been living in cuenca for over 3 years, and I don’t associate with the gringos because of the things you mention in this essay. i believe that presently, cuenca just may be the safest city in the world to live in and I’m very happy living here. as my spanish language skills improve, my living experience improves exponentially. the loud mouthed gringos ( the ugly americans ) make life here worse for the gringos that want to enjoy living here, as the locals start lumping us all together as all ” gringos feo “

  7. not sure what US you lived in, but I still love the US, and Ecuador too.. I am so sick of US bashing it makes me sick. It is not broken and corrupt beyond repair, nor a nazi state as you imply,, and btw, EC has its issues too……We in the US live in a free country, we have freedom of choice, to stay, leave, how to live, all of course within the law. All countries have issues. . The US is a large and complex country, simple as that, if you moved to just escape the US I feel bad for you. To me at least, its better to move not so much to escape something rather try something new and different.

    1. VT_Bill- I agree with you. I too am tired of U.S. bashing. My grand fathers family lived under Nazi occupation in Europe. They have told me what is was like. They are truly insulted by comments like these comparing the U.S. to a Nazi state. They love America and feel it is a great nation. Not a perfect nation, but still a great nation.

  8. Thank you Carlos. Feedback is needed. I see what you see and it is painful. These people hurt all foreigners, especially here, where EVERYONE, regardless of the country or culture they come from, is called a “gringo”, (a designation that makes non-anglo Europeans or Asians feel wrongly unwelcome.)

    I have seen many foreign communities around the world. IMHO, the conduct you describe stems from one basic reason. It is a characteristic of those who feel that they are FORCED to be here or any other place they find themselves. You would laugh to discover what new immigrants WILL put up with if they move to a new home for the right reasons! For example, Ecuador is a miracle of modern efficiency compared to the ultimate in retirement living in Monte Carlo, where billionaires go to die.

    If it was pressure from a spouse, or a decision that life was too expensive where you came from or you are an “oldtimer” now disgruntled that “things have changed”, it will be expressed unpleasantly. They will tirade against any and everything about a place they don’t want to be. It has nothing to do with “male gringos” and everything to do with unhappy people. The type will always be around, but over time, their proportion keeps dropping until finally they become largely invisible or socially alienated. A foreign community, and bi-cultural people like yourself, can be an amazing asset to Ecuador. Please be patient.

    There are now many places on the planet, even close by, that are cheaper than Ecuador. That will hurry up the culling. Trust me, Cuenca is splendidly world class. More and more people will move here for the right reasons.

  9. Great article, and there are a lot of us gringos that get it. I have seen so many fine places around the world ruined by this type. Coming from the South, where public transpiration is a joke, we find buses in the Cotacachi area to be very good. We have ridden buses in the entire country.

  10. Good that this behavior is beginning to see daylight. It corresponds to all of the gringos that were marching in demonstrations and advocating that the president be overthrown. There are ways to participate in government here if we wish to support our new home country and it is not with arrogant belligerence.

    If we really want to help we:
    1. Learn Spanish.
    2. Make Ecuadorian friends and become part of the community.
    3. Work WITH Ecuadorians on the projects that are important to the “community.”

    It is a collateral effect of those that don’t “choose” Ecuador as a home but are here because they need to be “somewhere” they think is cheap.

    1. Ecexplorer — I couldn’t agree more.
      I am and my gringo neighbors have all funded projects that tie us to the local community, and don’t think that the locals don’t appreciate it. We go out of our way to let our neighbors know that we feel integrally tied to THEIR community. This stands in contrast to places like the San Joaquin community in Vilcabamba, where gringos there have everything short of putting up signs that read : “Native Ecuadoreans — STAY OUT.”

      I find it interesting that some Americans who, back home, went on and on about the importance of cultural integration and had bumper stickers that read, “America — Love it or Leave it,” come here and behave just the opposite.

    2. Ecexplorer — I couldn’t agree more.
      I am and my gringo neighbors have all funded projects that tie us to the local community, and don’t think that the locals don’t appreciate it. We go out of our way to let our neighbors know that we feel integrally tied to THEIR community. This stands in contrast to places like the San Joaquin community in Vilcabamba, where gringos there have everything short of putting up signs that read : “Native Ecuadoreans — STAY OUT.”

      I find it interesting that some Americans who, back home, went on and on about the importance of cultural integration and had bumper stickers that read, “America — Love it or Leave it,” come here and behave just the opposite.

  11. Great article Sr. Calderón. I’m new to Cuenca, but in the couple of preliminary trips that I made before moving I’ve certainly seen the type you mention. Of course they exist all over the world and the phenomenon is not limited to people from the US. I just try to avoid them and seek out those who are more interested in understanding, enjoying, and becoming part of the culture.

  12. Excellent; I am from Massachusetts, moved to Guayaquil in 1988, so I feel qualified to comment on this one. I was the Director General of the “American” School of Guayaquil 20 years ago. I hired many teachers from the U.S. and other English speaking countries. Too many of them spent too much time constantly complaining about ‘how things are done’ and how they SHOULD be done, in their opinion. I kept a small ‘ticket’ on my desk and when I got too tired of their complaining, I gave it to them with 5 dollars and told them it was to pay for the taxi to the airport; “You don’t need, and can’t stand Ecuador and Ecuador sure doesn’t need you either.”
    I still wonder why so many ‘ugly Americans’ come to Ecuador, or any place that they are unfamiliar with, to sit around constantly complaining. They can do that in New Jersey just as well.

  13. I wonder what US people like Greg Canton came from. The US has problems like all places including Ecuador. I did not leave US for its problems, I came to Ecuador for its goodness. I make sure to avoid the Greg Cantons and the ugly Americans in this article. Fortunately that is easy to do as they seem to be a small minority.

    1. right on, I avoid people like that too, as I said, I like EC for what it is, and is not, very simple, in my case due to family and other issues, I am only a part timer in Cuenca, but I have spent mucho time there and know the deal both good and not so good and embrace both my home country and guest country

    2. right on, I avoid people like that too, as I said, I like EC for what it is, and is not, very simple, in my case due to family and other issues, I am only a part timer in Cuenca, but I have spent mucho time there and know the deal both good and not so good and embrace both my home country and guest country

    3. ( 1 ) It’s Caton, not Canton

      ( 2 ) Philosophically and in terms of my public position, funding policies, and linguistic skills, I am as far from an Ugly American as you can get. Even my wife has dual citizenship.

      ( 3 ) “We” are not a small minority. Most of us (though I’ve been an exception since my kidnapping) choose to be silent, since freedom of speech and expression of independent thought, globally, is in serious decline.

      ( 4 ) Avoidance : Please continue. Like VT, your display of cultural ignorance and propensity for U.S. government propaganda make you the kind of person that 90% of the members of America’s intellectual diaspora avoid, as well. You and VT may criticize the “compatriota” that Carlos Calderón is referencing, perhaps because you regard it as fashionable, but you exhibit the very same ill-bred, toothless, hillbilly illiteracy — completely shorn of situational awareness or unedited knowledge of current affairs, that gives rise to this bad behavior in the first place.

  14. Mike O’Keefe makes a great point. The early days of expat life can be so overwhelming that it’s common to lash out in frustration at what’s “wrong” with your new surroundings. Over time an enlightened person comes to recognize that “it is what it is” and learns to go with the flow of the culture. The chronically unhappy half-empty people are going to complain and find fault no matter where they are and what they do.

  15. Mike O’Keefe makes a great point. The early days of expat life can be so overwhelming that it’s common to lash out in frustration at what’s “wrong” with your new surroundings. Over time an enlightened person comes to recognize that “it is what it is” and learns to go with the flow of the culture. The chronically unhappy half-empty people are going to complain and find fault no matter where they are and what they do.

  16. VT . . . are you 100% Native American Indian? I’m gonna take a wild guess and say “probably not.” Fact is, over 95% of the people who are U.S. citizens had forebears who came to North America to E-S-C-A-P-E the conditions of the place they left. People MOVE to get to some place better. Your ancestors did it. My ancestors did it. And everybody who’s reading this article has ancestors that did it. So when you say to me, “if you moved to escape the U.S. I feel bad for you,” make sure you include everybody else.

    Oh, and by the way, the U.S. IS a Nazi State. Jim Marrs does an excellent job of machine gunning his readers to death with example after example in his book, “The Rise of the Fourth Reich,” showing that the U.S. has far exceeded the tyrannical ferocity of anything that ever passed through the sick mind of Adolph Hitler. Like or not, a large percentage of expats here in Ecuador emigrated precisely because the U.S. has evolved into the antithesis of its former self. You talk about freedom? What, are you kidding? What agency do you work for? Even someone as conventional as Noam Chomsky recognizes that since 9/11 there has been a complete collapse of civil liberties in the U.S. In no way is the U.S. the same country I was born and raised in. Between the essays I write and the entheogens I take . . . there isn’t a week that goes by where I don’t do something completely legal in Ecuador, where if I did the same thing in the U.S. and got caught, I wouldn’t get 5 to 10 in Federal Prison. There is no freedom to speak of left in the U.S. and countless Ecuadoreans have told me that they returned to their homeland for this reason. So you can take those U.S. State Department talking points to the burn bin.

    And that gets us back to Carlos’ article : Knowing how things in the U.S. are only positioning themselves to get much, much worse, very soon — (something like Revelations 18 or the Henoch prophecies comes to mind) — even more so we should be cultivating gratitude and not petty complaints about our adopted country.

    1. With all due respect, Greg, if you think the US is a Nazi state, then you have no idea what a Nazi state is or was.

      1. You’re wrong.

        My wife’s sister-in-law who is roughly 20 years our senior is from Hamburg and she lived through it, first-hand. She says she is shocked that the U.S. has morphed into something far worse than Nazi Germany. I heard the very same thing from Danish politician, Uve Jensen. ( Our photo together : http://www.meditopia.org/images/uwe_jensen_jan11.jpg ).

        You’ll never believe it, of course.
        Because you haven’t been given permission from The History Channel.
        Nor have you read Jim Marrs’ work, so it is not something we can discuss.

        Hitler’s regime would never have thought to go around kidnapping its citizens abroad, the way that I was by U.S. agents in 2009 — a highly illegal act that was subsequent condemned by the Ecuadorean government. You are on the wrong side of history, my friend, and when these fully-manned FEMA camps go active, sooner than later, you will end up owing me an apology.

        1. I get so tired of Caton bloviating about how he was “kidnapped” by US agents, but there is no sense in reinventing the wheel. Just go to the following page
          and read the thread. Follow the links and decide for yourself.

          http://gringopost-forum.blogspot.com/2015/07/mms-is-it-safe.html#disqus_thread

          It’s really pretty funny, actually. Caton pled guilty and served 5 years in
          prison. Now he wants you to believe that he was falsely arrested and
          railroaded into his guilty plea. Do you really want to believe this guy about anything?

          Charlie

          1. Hey-hey-hey — you better give that man a break! Anyone who’s had is photo taken with a Danish politician deserves our undying respect!

            1. J, I hope the humor in your post isn’t lost on other readers. You’re right. In the future, I’ll be more circumspect in knocking caton. The reality is that caton provides all the info for his own self criticism in the ridiculous screeds he wirtes. Just read one of those rambling pieces of garbage and you’ll know all you need to about caton

      2. You’re wrong.

        My wife’s sister-in-law who is roughly 20 years our senior is from Hamburg and she lived through it, first-hand. She says she is shocked that the U.S. has morphed into something far worse than Nazi Germany. I heard the very same thing from Danish politician, Uve Jensen. ( Our photo together : http://www.meditopia.org/images/uwe_jensen_jan11.jpg ).

        You’ll never believe it, of course.
        Because you haven’t been given permission from The History Channel.
        Nor have you read Jim Marrs’ work, so it is not something we can discuss.

        Hitler’s regime would never have thought to go around kidnapping its citizens abroad, the way that I was by U.S. agents in 2009 — a highly illegal act that was subsequent condemned by the Ecuadorean government. You are on the wrong side of history, my friend, and when these fully-manned FEMA camps go active, sooner than later, you will end up owing me an apology.

      3. Unlike Bill, I do not believe that his sickness with US bashing changes the truth or makes the US a taboo subject. That attitude advances nothing.

        For me, when I stand back a bit, l find all governments more the same than not, even in the terms they use for patriotic hype. People can be very different, but governments are not. After all, they are all in the same business.

        As for NAZIism, it is a sadly overworked word. But the historical similarities are hard to miss. A failing economic system. Regular and deadly incidents of racism. A compromised and agenda-driven media. The world’s largest prison population. A huge military machine, when the country is not at war. Enormous government deficits. Of course, the USA goes much further in spying on the private lives and thoughts of its citizens while Nazi Germany had a fetish for building great highways.

        The element that causes me the greatest concern is polarized politics. The Nazi use of labels was infamous. Everything that the Nazis didn’t agree with had a political label/slur.

    1. Americans live in North and South America, what is your point ? Get it ? South America, North America.if we live or are from there we are Americans. And frankly who cares, anyone can post here within reason

        1. I see Globetrotter has upvoted his own comment. What an ego you must have.

          Sincerely,

          William Baker

          1. TY. A mistake which is rectified. I am not familiar with this system yet. You also illustrated the American the rest of the world normally sees.

            YOU DID NOT ADDRESS ANYTHING I WROTE. Examples
            like yourself do not address opinions. They simply personally attack
            those that have them. Nothing is advanced beyond animosity. Like so
            many of your countrymen, you have lost the way to interact
            productively. You even discourage dialogue from others by instilling a fear of abuse. An insight on Congress.

    2. Looks like it. Pretty simple why that is. Think about it. About the time many of us on this blog were born, we lived in one of the 3 nations (Russia, China, America) of the world that put down the U.S., UK-Japanese, European driven oligarchical, banker Nazi war to take over the Earth.

      Ecuadorians haven’t experienced the exhilaration of greatness and the extreme disappointment in thier nation, the deep sense of loss, as we realized since the death of FDR, puppets of Nazi forces held the Presidency. We may have come to realize there are hardly any exceptions: Eisenhower, Kennedy & Ford, the first term of Reagan (before he was shot)…

      We have suffered immense betrayal, sorrow and loss, having fought for nothing on, perhaps, several fronts of aggressive war and realized our nation has supported more than 1 coup or overt/covert war for every year we have been alive! We will talk a lot about all these things, because we need to talk a lot about it. All of us are talking about Ecuador or have a relative either in Ecuador or on their way. Sure, if there was some broad based civil resistance, we would stay and fight. We would like to.

      But, Americans mostly are pretty disappointing. But, I’m giving it them some more time. We’ll see. But, don’t think I’m I’ll wait for the Prison Camps to fill up before I leave.

      1. Dude, you’re embarrassing yourself putting this drivel on public display. Do yourself a favor–re-read and count to 1000 before pushing the “post” button.

    1. Americans live in North and South America, what is your point ? Get it ? South America, North America.if we live or are from there we are Americans. And frankly who cares, anyone can post here within reason

    2. Looks like it. Pretty simple why that is. Think about it. About the time many of us on this blog were born, we lived in one of the 3 nations (Russia, China, America) of the world that put down the U.S., UK-Japanese, European driven oligarchical, banker Nazi war to take over the Earth.

      Ecuadorians haven’t experienced the exhilaration of greatness and the extreme disappointment in thier nation, the deep sense of loss, as we realized since the death of FDR, puppets of Nazi forces held the Presidency. We may have come to realize there are hardly any exceptions: Eisenhower, Kennedy & Ford, the first term of Reagan (before he was shot)…

      We have suffered immense betrayal, sorrow and loss, having fought for nothing on, perhaps, several fronts of aggressive war and realized our nation has supported more than 1 coup or overt/covert war for every year we have been alive! We will talk a lot about all these things, because we need to talk a lot about it. All of us are talking about Ecuador or have a relative either in Ecuador or on their way. Sure, if there was some broad based civil resistance, we would stay and fight. We would like to.

      But, Americans mostly are pretty disappointing. But, I’m giving it them some more time. We’ll see. But, don’t think I’m I’ll wait for the Prison Camps to fill up before I leave.

  17. I have always stated my observation and so far it has hold true and that is ” Arrogance is a weak

    person imitation of strength”

  18. Mr Calderón, so now that you have moved to Cuenca you have decided to join the complaining gringos. Who’s going to write about your complaints? Me? Nope! I will not write about anyone who complains. But I will tell you, like I tell everybody else who comes to the US from other lands and all they do is complain about everything they see, JUST GO BACK TO YOU CAME FROM! You may want to calibrate your writing simply by reading the comments included herein.

  19. Mr Calderón, so now that you have moved to Cuenca you have decided to join the complaining gringos. Who’s going to write about your complaints? Me? Nope! I will not write about anyone who complains. But I will tell you, like I tell everybody else who comes to the US from other lands and all they do is complain about everything they see, JUST GO BACK TO YOU CAME FROM! You may want to calibrate your writing simply by reading the comments included herein.

  20. VT_Bill- I agree with you. I too am tired of U.S. bashing. My grand fathers family lived under Nazi occupation in Europe. They have told me what is was like. They are truly insulted by comments like these comparing the U.S. to a Nazi state. They love America and feel it is a great nation. Not a perfect nation, but still a great nation.

  21. While I haven’t made it down to Ecuador YET, it’s on my radar for possible retirement in the next 6 or 7 years. Hopefully in a year or two I’ll come down for a month or two to see how things are. In the meantime, because I’m Canadian I have spent considerable time in Havana Cuba, living in a rented apartment and shopping/living locally. I see the exact same attitude from many visitors, especially Americans who are always saying…. “Just wait till we come back and we’ll get this country running again”. Absolutely everything is wrong and they steam-roller over the local culture which while poor by North American standards, is rich in culture, music, the arts, etc. My whole reason for heading to Ecuador in the future (besides leaving snow behind) is to live in a culture which hopefully offers me what I’m looking for. Sad to see the Ugly tourist/expat is still alive and well in so many places. They truly don’t know what they are missing with their myopic approach to seeing the world as it is.

  22. There are also a group of expat complainers whose primary hobby seems to be monitoring the behavior of other expats. They are often obsessed with whether we are studying Spanish, whether we smile enough, or complain too much. They believe most of us are here for the wrong reasons, while they are here for the “right reasons”, such as love of the culture and the people. In any case, nobody likes to be around incessant complainers in any country.

    P.S.
    I am not a guest and I consider “sheeple” permanent residents who act as guests.

    1. Nards! Beautifully put. If Charlie reads that he’s going to find you and give you a big kiss. I’m not a guest here either and declare that loudly, but it seems to be a passionate issue for Charlie.

      How are the Spanish lessons going? Hehehe (or jajaja if you prefer)

  23. You are not being objective. Let me help.

    The world picks out Americans on the internet by their gratuitous hostility and constant resort to personal attacks and insults. On forums, they instantly abandon the original subjects for name-calling and a short list of inexplicable (for non-Americans) labels.

    The incidence of their abuse goes beyond anything I have seen on other forums and other languages. And, as you have just proven for all eternity, it is NOT a function of how many US teeth, upbringing or education one has.

    There is something that is talked of now among non-Americans. Americans can so often be kind, generous people when met individually. Is it possible that your style is really that of the few and that they prejudice contributions from the many? After all, who wants abuse by strangers simply by voicing a personal opinion? You make that risk too high. It prejudices the easy “expression of independent thought”.

    What are you so angry about? Do you really want non-Americans to assume you are the US template? Ecuador is a good place to start afresh.

  24. I notice the same behavior out here, West Texas, when retirees or trustfunders move in. They behave as if they have discovered the place and are here to solve all of our problems.

    1. That is what I have seen in other places around the world as well. The behavior has nothing to do with West Texas or Ecuador or any venue, it is simply an odd characteristic of many displaced Americans.

  25. Lets be honest, there are more than a million Ecuadorians living in USA, and they are hateful when they are deported. More than half the Americans who have come to Ecuador have left.

  26. Carlos, while I agree with your points about lack of understanding of some expats from different parts of the world living in Cuenca or some other cities in Ecuador about how things work out here in our lindo pais it´s not adventurous to say that most complaints are well argued and based in facts and plain truth of how communities must organize and face everyday life for a better living so to speek. I´m a Cuencan born and raised and belong to old families that settled here more than two hundred years ago, so I´m proud as heck of my national background but truth is, our actual communities, being mostly formen by peasant or natives of one or two generation country-city immigration, has wrecked up most of the hard earned order and devellopment our city in particualr had or held some decades ago. Nowadays things are literally out of control, it´s seems like a jungle out there, at least that´s how most of us Cuencanos and Cuencanas that witnessed the changes over the last three decades feel about it. If I could I would also like to have presidential acces to be able to point out at the highest level, all the terrible deficiencies of communitary organization that our country has. Maybe I´d like to talk to that Massachussean gentlemen you talk about and could probably do something about it since I happen to have some close friends on the local town council.
    Regards.
    Pablo E. Jerves C.

  27. This thread is a goldmine on local lingo and customs.

    1. GRINGO means American, as it does in other parts of Latin American. However, Ecuadorians will use the term for anyone who is of non-Spain European descent.

    2. EXPATS means American.

    3. Running afoul of US herbal regulations can results in clandestine extraditions in other countries and years of imprisonment in Texas.

    4. After the herb seller serves his time, his political observations about the US become unacceptable in Ecuador.

  28. Boys, boys easy:-) – hey have you noticed that it’s mostly men posting in this discussion, just an observation.
    Donald is there really a wrong/right forum for JD to voice his opinion, maybe we can all be inspired to learn something about the current world economic system; for in the end it will affect us ALL – we’re on the US dollar (world reserve currency – at least for a little longer) and many derive their monthly income from US benefits in US dollars.
    One might consider getting to know others of like mind and work together for a common goal of surviving what is to come and JD only scratched the surface – in depth we’re all SOL when the BOYZ decide to crash the system and it’s coming; (and yes Donald that would require a thesis to explain)
    This article brought back memories of the same ole, same ole, when I lived in the Middle East, Caribbean, other SA countries, the ones that complain and I know we all do a little at some time or the other; but the recurring factor is that it generally comes from people who have not had the opportunity to live outside the US, maybe first experience and in shock. Where you live is not about potholes or bus fumes (although I have to admit I’ll be glad when the buses are gone and the train is running:-) it’s about the people you spend time with.
    Lets face it I suspect we all love the US but find that we cannot live there for one reason or another, I love the US but refuse to live in a country with No Rule of Law. It’s an adjustment but it becomes a little easier if one follows the principle “When in Rome do as the Romans do”.
    I’m grateful that I have a beautiful and safe place to live with great weather and natural food (no GMO -yet?) and of course nice people!!! When I consider the pros it definitely out weighs the cons.
    Cheers!

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