It’s an odd concept for most people born in the cold climates to grasp, but an elderly man on the Island of Puerto Rico explained it to me while we were sitting on Playa Azul (Blue beach) sipping DonQ rum. He said; ‘Young Gringo, people in the northern latitudes think we in the tropics are lazy. But the fact is we have more time to get things done than they do.”
He explained that years ago, when life was simpler, if you live in the North you knew that if you’ve not worked at full tilt during the few warm months planting, gathering and storing food for the winter you’d be dead by December so they must rush.
But in the equatorial and warmer areas on earth the food is still growing every month and the rush to plant and harvest just never existed in the same way. So that seemingly slower way of doing things makes perfect sense to them (And now to me) Food is available 12 months a year so the rush the people in the northern latitudes feel driven by, does not compute by those in the tropics and by the way the same rule also applies in the far southern regions of Earth.
If you doubt the old man from Puerto Rico think about this. It is below zero outside, the snow covers the ground and you wait for it to end. Then you walk over to your globe or (Google Earth) and you longing gaze at the places on Earth located at 15 degrees North or 15 degrees South along the equator and you will find quite a few of those locations you dream about getting away to on vacation.
Okay you’re right some of the places are real crap holes to be avoided at all cost, but for the most part you’d pay good money to go to one of the good places just to sip Boat drinks (Rum Drinks) and sit in the warm sun.
As we move to places like the Philippines and other warm climates remember the words of the King Parrot head Jimmy Buffett; “Changes in latitudes will bring about changes in attitudes” (I’ve paraphrased)
So we would we be wise to knock that, we’re superior to them crap off and realize that we are here with them because we are sick of the rush and hurry that we grew up with, and not to forget the great weather. (I still don’t know if my new car has a heater)
So as my older friend from Puerto Rico asked me; “Hoy Gringo don’t you want to slow the speed of your life and enjoy this day a little more? Then he added; “Don Pablo we need more rum!”
So that day on the beach sitting with a wise and very contented gentleman (Drinking my rum) who opened my eyes to another way of life, one that moves a tad slower but not to worry you’ll get to the end just the same but at a more relaxed pace.
And remember evolution doesn’t change people quickly, so in the future the Philippines is going to be caught up in their own style of rat race it’s already starting but Kano’s can’t see it, I believe we should allow them the time they’ll need to adjust to the new pace of life at their own speed, not what we think it should be.
I wish my friend from Puerto Rico was still around to give classes on social adjustment to Island life. He was a fixture at the end stool of my bar and held court there. I can’t ever remember him ever buying a drink, but no one cared, we were paying for his sage advice and experiences.
But prior to anyone boarding a plane to fly to any tropical place on Earth, they should read the book by Herman Wouk – “Don’t Stop the Carnival” (In Spanish: Que no pare la fiesta in Tagalog: Wag mgil ang kasiyahan)) If you don’t believe me that it should be required reading, ask our host Mr. Bob Martin, I think he’ll agree with me. It is the funniest book I ever read, mostly because after living in Puerto Rico for ten years, I knew it was all true!
I’ll sign of with a few lines from one of my favorite songs by
Changes in Latitude
These changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes,
Nothing remains quite the same.
Through all of the islands and all of the highlands,
if we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane
The ability to understand the fact that we Kano’s or Gringo’s are not the keepers of all the correct answers to life, will give you what I learned from my Old Puerto Rican friend and Jimmy Buffett plus my own life, “If you can’t laugh you will go insane.” (Again I’ve paraphrased)