Monday, July 23, 2012
I was talking to a friend of mine on Saturday and she asked if I am still happy here. Of course I told her I am and she asked what makes it so fabulous. Of course I said the people and the weather and several other things but then I included the lack of stress. We talked about that a little but after we got off the phone I thought about it some more. Of course each of us have our own stressors whether it's here or in whatever country we're in and I have/had them as well. When I was living in north central United States one of my big issues was weather. It was frequently too hot or too cold and it was always too humid. I'm retired and on a very tight fixed income and that created its fair share of stress as well. Those are the obvious kinds of things we think of. After I got off the phone, though, I realized there is one huge factor I hadn't really thought about before -- the general lack of stress was thinking a little more about the stress "in the air." You know how it is when you go to the store and it seems like everyone is at least a little wound up, in a hurry, not really interested in whether or not anyone else is having a good day? It's totally different here. No one seems to be in much of a hurry. It's different in the big cities, of course, but not here in Cotacachi. If you don't say "buenos dias" or the appropriate time of day thing, it's halfway rude. Everyone says it and means it. And it is frequently followed with "how are you?" And they mean that too. People smile at one another -- they don't get upset if the customer in front of them needs a little extra help or if the crazy gringa didn't have her produce weighed and priced back where they have the only scale in the store. Yes, the general stress level here is so much lower that I feel a TON better than I did in the States.