Aug 26, 2004, 6:19 PM
Post #20 of 21
It's those wide-eyed newbies who are entranced with San Miguel and want to know everything possible about moving there ASAP who ask the impertinent questions that they wouldn't ask at home.
Once you show any kindness at all, that's an open invitation: where do you live? How much rent do you pay? Do you mind letting us see where you live? (Rarely do we actually do that--we have to like them and then they have to at least buy us dinner first!)
I'm always torn between being a helping kind of person, wanting to help a lost stranger, wanting to share my enthusiasm about SMA, and setting limits. Norma is better about it--"We're late for an appointment," she says, grabbing me by the elbow and walking away very rapidly, my mouth still flapping. If we're sitting down, she discreetly kicks me or gives me a pinch.
Back in the States, I knew of the studies that women who are the helpful sort are also the ones most likely to be robbed or attacked. Women in the helping professions such as secretary and nurse are far more likely to be raped than those who work in jobs without customer contact. I knew better than to be overly kind to a guy who asked for the time, for example--I knew I could very well be in the process of being tested for victimhood. I feel much safer here overall, and that sort of thing never enters my mind here.
But then the people I'm talking about are mostly older women who don't exactly fit the profile of rapist/robber. If somebody acted in any way suspicious I'm sure my LA street smarts would kick in. I hope.