I live in Cuenca, Ecuador. There exists a large expat population. People expatriate here for a number of stated reasons. The reasons change the longer they stay here.
When the people come to Ecuador they have a logic system that eventually they cannot sustain. It starts with “aren’t the people here wonderful.” For the most part that appears true in Cuenca. It has a different meaning in Guayaquil and Quito. The cultural differences aside from the language presents many challenges. Once average people in the U.S., they find themselves a “niche” of friends and see the world with restricted lenses. Their voice has a sound.
That sound gives them a sense of being. They are isolated in a sea of foreign people within a culture that they can only understand through Expat eyes.
There are many FaceBook sites in which the expats share information. First rule, 1, number one, premero, uno — Expats make shit up. Rule number 2 — go back to rule 1.
I recently read a post on a gringo site that said that a guy had gone to 8 different banks and found his debit card no longer worked. I took immedate action. In the time I checked only one ATM machine and after much searching for cash I tried my ATM machine that I always used and voila –no problema.
Then I read more and more MISINFORMATION to my experience. I had a friend withdraw a large amount of money in what she believed a tax saving maneuver. It turns out after I investigated, that the maneuver was a ruse to have her feel obligated to waylay funds to cover a scheme by the bank official. The person who explained this to me has been wrong on many things in the past but that has never stopped her from not only telling me the ‘correct’ information but encouraging me to stop the spread of misinformation.
In the States the level of sophisticated theft and deception is “business as usual”. Here it is a crap shoot. The laws work differently.
I watch bright, highly educated, moral people make risky investments based on limited understanding and the promise of an attorney. I learned that promise and attorney have no business in the same sentence. The best crooks I know are attorneys.
I recently read a post asking for information. I read the responses, obviously from people who just wanted to feel helpful. I went through the scenario described and gave a response very different from the pther responses. I have learned to keep quiet and only intervene when truly strong MISINFORMATION is given.
My point is simple. DO NOT rely on the information you read on blog sites. Read many responses and the disparity will alert you to the need to investigate further.
Find a reliable person/friend who begins their sentence with, “that happened to me…” or ” I know of a person we can contact because that happened to him/her.”
After reading posts from educated, well meaning individuals, I am reminded of my training. Crazy people don’t advertise. They tend to find lines of people just waiting to believe. (actually my mother said that right after she cautioned, “Don’t run to your death, It will find you in due time”)