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This Distant World


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Villa Migelita stands out as the mountains surround her.

When I moved to Colombia I left a lot of baggage behind. By baggage I mean: “intellectual baggage that keeps one from thinking clearly”, it seems I was always fighting conflict before I moved to Colombia. By moving, I sought a new lifestyle free of conflict, negativity and chaos. I wanted to live in nature with my animals, to wake up and hear birds sing, write, hike in the mountains, swim under waterfalls, find a style of living that brought me to a place of peace. I have found this way of living in Colombia, although I have had some bumps along the way, for the most part it is a peaceful lifestyle and certainly adventurous. I live in a home that is beautiful and simple, and I no longer have the need for a lot of ‘stuff’ including the constant connection with others by having a phone in my hand every second of the day. Nor do I have a credit card for every store, nor a mountain of debt just because I must have the latest phone, computer, clothes, electronic devices and decor of the moment. Let’s face it; I am un-prepared and sorely behind this fast growing world of technology, the way people don’t interact with each other anymore, and I can’t find my way anywhere. I still keep my passwords written in a book. I am really lacking in many areas of social media advancement. I am not sure I care. I love my simple lifestyle. I was so grateful to return to Villa Migelita and my life of peace.

My most recent trip to the United States started off with the car rental place telling me I could no longer leave the airport without a sun-pass so I needed to buy the 13.99 a day option they were offering at a discount of 8.99 a day. I laughed so hard when he said that. I hardly use 25.00$ in tolls when visiting Florida. I told him that was ridiculous, and asked would it be possible to pay 8.99 for one day (even though that in of itself was stupid as the toll is 50 cents to leave the airport) until I could get my sun-pass from my Florida residence. “No, if you do that you will be charged 13.99 for the entire length of your car rental agreement” and he offered me the advice to go down the road a bit into Miami and buy a sun-pass at CVS drug store. He gave me directions. So after getting up at an early hour and taking a flight from Colombia, going through customs and then arriving at the rental place with my ears hurting because of my vertigo, I got in my rental car to buy a sun-pass at a CVS. I found the CVS without problem (a miracle actually if you don’t have GPS which I do not as I have a pre-paid phone in the USA) and entered and asked for the sun-pass from the cashier as it is sold behind the counter. She just looked at me as if I was speaking a strange language. I guess I was to her as she called over a co-worker who spoke to me in English, because she could only speak Spanish. Wow. So I then speak to her in Spanish and she made a face, and she acted like I was annoying her more. Great start to my vacation in Florida. So now I have the sun-pass and no way to activate it because my phone does not have media. I called a friend and thank God she answered and did this for me. I finally made it to my residence 4 hours after landing in Miami!

I am a person who treats others with respect, but I found the rudeness during my stay by many people I encountered unsettling. I go out of my way to be polite when I buy anything, anywhere! Where does this disrespect come from? Especially from employees? I seriously find that the most disturbing! When talking with the doctor’s office that had me in collections I spoke with a woman whom I knew. She said the employees who charged me the wrong price were not at fault. I asked “then who was at fault?” The answer was nonsensical as it could only be them and lack of training, so was it the superiors? I heard her say under her breath as she hung up the phone “jesus” like I was the problem! Was I the problem for trying to correct a situation that I didn’t cause? As a retired flight attendant from Delta Air Lines, I couldn’t get away with speaking to a customer that way! I would be fired. I am serious. So is this the new normal? Is it typical and I am just living in my jungle in Colombia with the birds and butterflies, no idea of the reality of the world anymore?  I also found my lack of a ‘proper’ phone which everyone seems to have in their hands all the time an impediment. I have phone and text. I can also hook up to internet when available but I don’t. I really don’t care about it. I have no need to look at the darn phone all day! Am I a weird because I have no wish to be connected all the time to others on the internet? I really have no desire to see my email nor others photos and thoughts around the clock! UGH but I will say a GPS would be nice to have, but I probably couldn’t figure it out if I had one! I need to buy an old style GPS for my next trip to the USA. I got lost so much while driving I know that it is my only choice. I write directions but this seems to be a lost habit and it no longer works with all the huge expressways and different names of all of them! I don’t want to say I am horribly incompetent with social media; I actually have a knack for networking. I have a successful blog,  a successful Facebook page, a successful website, and now an Instagram account. However, I am not up on the latest new thing with technology. I do have an iPad. I love it. I don’t know all I should about my device. I do have Yoga classes downloaded, and my Kindle app for reading. I have the Facebook, Instagram, and my email on it. I am sure that I am lacking so much in what I actually could have, but I don’t have anyone to teach me. I am now on Trip Advisor, and I am  on AirBnB but it takes me a while to get these things started.  So, like I said I am behind, like the last person running a marathon and coming up to the finish line last.

As I finish this blog I have one thing to say; ‘This is a distant world now.” No one really connects with each other in a personal way.They post photos and their life online and we all read it. I do the same. So I am not criticizing, I am just making obvious points. I miss seeing the people I love, but I understand it is not personal, it is just the way it is. I come home to my mountain home and I love my life of solitude. I am very happy to be writing my thoughts in my blog. I don’t miss real social interaction. I guess this is the new world we live in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author:

I am an American who moved to Colombia to find peace after the devastating loss of my daughter. I bought and renovated a Villa, am learning Spanish, and writing as catharsis. This blog will be like my book with chapters. Each blog will be about my life and adventures. I hope you will enjoy the many new discoveries I am making every day about myself and another culture.

15 thoughts on “This Distant World

    1. It sounds to me as if you are still in touch with the Tech world. I agree that there should be no excuse for rudeness in this world but people sometimes stress and have “bad days”. We are all vulnerable to this in our daily lives but it does help to press through those feelings. On a different note, why would you leave the Land of Shangrila to come to vacation in FL? It seems to me that you are living the dream in Colombia. I will be checking out Bogota and Cartagena for a week with friends; from 10/16 to 10/23/15. Is your Villa Miguelita anywhere near those two cities? I will check further into this. I trust you are back home and doing well. Enjoy reading about your peaceful retreat in Colombia. You go girl!

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  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Best wishes for all!
    God’s richest blessings to you! The Points you have made are well taken. I, too, wish we were more polite, more courteous, more well mannered.

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  2. JUST THE WAY I FEEL ALSO. I HAD TO TAKE MY NEW EYEGLASSES BACK BECAUSE THEY JUST WEREN,’T RIGHT . WHEN I WENT TO THEIR DOCTOR AT THE STORE. HE RUSHED ME THROUGH THE EXAM SO FAST AND VERY RUDE. I WASN'[T HAPPY WITH HIM BUT SAID NOTHING. BUT TODAY HE HAD TO REDO THE EXAM. THE GLASSES WERE NOT STRONG ENOUGH. HIS MISTAKE NOT MINE. HE WAS RUSHING ME AGAIN TODAY AND SMARTED OFF AT ME AGAIN SO I SALUTED HIM AND SAID OUT LOUD YES SIR. I THINK HE GOT THE PICTURE THAT I WASN’T LIKING HIS BIG MOUTH. THEN WHENHE WAS DONE , HE SAID. I COULD LEAVE. AGAIN I THOUGHT HE WAS RUDE AGAIN. SO I LOOKED HIM IN THE EYE AND SAID I WASN’T LEAVING TILL HE GAVE ME A BIG SMILE. I REALLY WOULD’VE LIKED TO GIVE HIM A GOOD HARD SLAP. BUT I THINK HE GOT THE PICTURE. WHY WAS HE LIKE THIS? ALL I WANTED WAS A NEW PAIR OF GLASSES. NEEDLESS TO SAY AFTER I GET THE NEW GLASSES I WILL NOT RETURN TO THIS STORE. I WILL ALSO TELL MY INSURANCE CO WHY. HERE I AM TWICE HIS AGE AND TREATED LIKE A NUMBER. SO YOU SEE I DO UNDERSTAND. ANOTHER REASON WHY I WISH I WAS YOUNG. I’DO ALOT OF THINGS DIFFERANT IN MY LIFE. ALL I EVER WANTED WAS PEACE AND QUIET WITH NATURE ON THE SIDE. HUGS, GRANNY
    .

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    1. I wanted to share my actual stories Granny, like you have, but it was too depressing. I can’t tell you how much energy I put into trying to fix the problems and nothing was solved. I wasted so much time that I could have spent doing other things. On top of that I had the rudeness too. It is very frustrating and unnecessary. Sorry you had that happen to you!

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  3. I can relate to this post of yours! The Internet, gadgets and social media has radically changed the attitude of people…well! “influenced” would be right word! Add to that pressures of city life and work. People want to be connected with each other -24*7 but not in old fashioned way; social networking is the new way! everyone wants to share the picture of pizza they are eating, holiday they are on and what not?? but no one wants to keep in touch in old fashioned way!

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  4. sadly this is the new way where everything is done via social media, however it does have a good side.We see many things for real that non of us would do otherwise, we connect with people the other side of the world that would not be possible without social networking sites.We are shown the horror’s of abuse and have a say by signing petitions that actually do work so I suppose there is a price to pay.People generally are more impolite and what happened to the old saying “customer is always right” no these days a customer is treated with disrespect and annoyance!! all very sad.It is hard for us older ones who wrote letters, used the phone to connect with friends and suddenly to be thrown into the new age is a challenge, just when you think your getting a handle with all the new tec they go and upgrade so is back to square one again.I think its finding a balance, understand whats happening, use FB and other sites to connect with like minded people around the world but step away for the tranquility of the old fashioned peace and quiet.

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    1. Yes there is a lot of good things to be said about social media too, good point. It is just sad that it seems to be taking the place of real connections. I for one am always struggling to figure out new stuff, and I always will. LOL

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  5. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but unfortunately rudeness and people not really connecting is the norm in the US. My husband and I are retiring in a couple of years and moving somewhere different. The days of the customer being right are long gone. There are certainly both positives and negatives to the technology issue and you are definitely made to feel out of touch if you don’t have the latest gadget.

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    1. I really felt so relieved to leave the USA this visit. I was shocked by the rudeness and the inability for employees to help with the most basic problems. I think you will enjoy moving to another country, I sure have. It is so peaceful. Today I had to have the electric company come to my house due to a faulty meter box. They were so pleasant and helpful. It was a nice way to have someone assist me, instead of acting like they were doing me a favor. I will always love going back to the USA, but hopefully the next time it will be a bit less hectic and I will enjoy myself more.

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  6. I’m sorry you had so many problems on your visit to Florida. My husband and I moved to a small town in Western Ky near where he grew up. It is more of a slow paced life and people here are helpful and friendly. After he passed in Dec. 2013 I have found tho friendly and helpful they are very clannish. If you aren’t from here you will never be fully accepted. At least I enjoy the country life, I’m outside of town by around 3 miles, have a couple of dogs and cats and can sit on the back deck and enjoy nature. I’d hate to go to a big city now. I haven’t actually been to a big city in almost a year and found that it is so impersonal and friendliness has went out the door.

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  7. HI Michelle. It has been a long while, hasn’t it? Well yes, people are ruder than they once were. When I was a child, there was an informal & gentle competition each time two people met; which of them could be genuinely kinder or more considerate of the other? Now it seems the game is to be more outrageous or nasty, to shock or “dis”. Gadgets were meant to augment connections, but have replaced them. This in part, is responsible, as people no longer have interpersonal skills. Being on the other side of customer service, I know (as do you) the customer isn’t always right. The difference is, there are more ‘wrong’ people than ever, voicing their discontent to the under-trained under-paid under-staffed employees! Each person is assaulted with this everyday, no mater which side of the desk you are on. I like your solution:take away the desk!
    I used to travel to Central America several times a year. I was always so pleased and impressed with how polite and patient the people were,there was a sort of innocence and honesty to all interactions. Sometimes I nearly cried when I had to return to Indiana. As the Dalai Lama said, we need more compassion and kindness. It does get overwhelming, when one feels like the lone voice of reason and kindness. My last trip was to the interior of Belize, about 10 years ago. I fear going back to these gentle lands. My fear is they have also been ruined by rudeness, money/greed, and technology.

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