It wasn’t exactly culture shock when I got here – in a way it was familiar and expected, but at the same time it was different. I haven’t been to this part of the world in a long while, and since Im here for only a short time, it seemed that everything is a novelty. Those who’ve been here a while don’t look twice at it anymore, it’s so common place. I suppose it would be the same for me, if I had to stay here a couple of years or more, but I hope not.
It was refreshing to see the sea waters everywhere we drove, instead of congested traffic and high-rise buildings. Our first weekend, we had breakfast in a cafe, on the beach. Nice, clear, warm Pacific waters. If I had known, I would have brought swimming gear. Although I’m not sure about being in full view of everybody passing by on the street – somehow I feel like I would be on display, for some reason.
The people have adapted well to the influx of the foreigners and expatriates – specially in raising their prices up by three times as much as what they would charge their own.
Take this fish vendor, for instance. He’s got a catch fresh from the sea, and is now walking the streets. He’ll usually charge $2 each or maybe $3 for two to the people here. But when a foreigner, even one who’s been living here for a while comes to buy, he’ll be charging $10-$15 for one. There is of course the ritual of haggling it down to a price agreeable to both. But it won’t be the $2 that he’ll usually charge.
Guess he’s got make the most of it, while we’re still here.