Hello, I’ve decided to write a post on why people hate Puerto Rico and why you will too! Why? Well, I’ve been receiving so many mean comments that are full of hatred without any substance and reasoning, some of them attacking me personally, so I’ve decided to just write it all here so you know many of the reasons why people hate Puerto Rico and why you will too if you decide to move here. So, basically if you are considering to move here, read this post carefully and take this into consideration.
This is a very long post and a very honest one, not meant to insult or offend; I’m just telling it how it is. So, behold some of the reasons why people hate Puerto Rico and why you will too!
- Puerto Rico is not the USA (or wherever you may be from). Well, of course you knew that! You thought that we were part of the USA but not the USA, except that in recent events we have now learned that we are nothing more than a colony or we are basically owned by the USA and our constitution is not even valid! So, this is not the USA or even part of the USA. We just belong to the USA. So why would you care? Because this is also a different culture and that bothers many people. Things are done differently here and in most cases they will not make sense to you. This is not to say they make sense to me! I personally wish that so many things (such as government services) were more like the USA, but alas, it is not, and it frustrates many people who come from abroad. So don’t expect things to work the same way they do in the USA and don’t expect the same culture, because it is not, at all. And you will become homesick, expect it.
- Puerto Ricans are happy. So, even when so many bad things are happening, especially financial, many people from abroad get confused as to how is it that we still seem “ok” with the way things are going! Our protests are full of happy music and dancing, the music at the stores is loud, we hug and kiss each other, give others genuine smiles, we have a very small personal space. This “excessive happiness” bothers a lot of people, especially when something bad happens such as the recent island wide power outage and most of us went “meh” let’s get the lanterns and candles and buy ice to keep the food cold. I receive soooo many mean comments of people who get angry at the simple fact that Puerto Ricans don’t seem to care much about how bad things are, and I am here to tell you that this is very true, most of the time Puerto Ricans focus on the good things, not the bad. We dance, laugh, play loud music and have a close personal space that could seem invasive for many. Bad things happen, we just roll with the punches.
- The infrastructure sucks! Yep! It does! Although I don’t think it’s THAT BAD, it truly leaves a lot to be desired. We have numerous potholes, the electricity seems to go out randomly for no reason, the water does too, the customer service is terrible. Add to that the fact that the power plants are old and need to be upgraded, so does the water treatment facilities, yes the local infrastructure is in bad shape, and unfortunately we do not have the money to make big improvements. Don’t like potholes? Don’t come here. It rains A LOT, and we have lots of traffic, all of which are terrible for roads, plus the fact that we don’t have an infinite budget to be resurfacing the roads every few months. So, yes, avoid the potholes or deal with them, or be mad at the fact that we have them, but you’ll be mad every day if they bother you that much.
- Other people tell you how scary it is. I see this VERY often, especially for those families who live on military bases. There is this rumor that life is extremely dangerous outside of the military bases as if it were a war zone or something! And then they believe it and they have this notion on their head that makes them focus on all of the bad things that go on! I have met families who have spent YEARS here, all of them stuck inside the military bases because they are too afraid to drive outside and explore what’s outside! So they can’t wait to leave PR because it is “SO BAD” out there! The truth is that there are some bad areas, and driving here is certainly not as easy as it is the US, but there is so much out here! There are many nice places to enjoy if you are open to it.
- They do not immerse themselves in the local culture. Research has found that there are many stages to living in a different place other than your hometown. There’s the “cultural adjustment curve”, which only gets from one end to the other if you immerse yourself in the local culture. Unfortunately I see many groups here of people who come here for one reason or another and they just stay in those groups with no interest of getting to know the local culture. You see the sub-groups going to dinner or forming book-clubs and such, which is great! But you would be doing yourself a disservice by not getting to know the Puerto Rican people and everything they may have to offer. When I ask people what was the most surprising thing you found about Puerto Ricans, I often hear how incredibly accepting they are of other people from other cultures. In fact I remember as a kid seeing that a new kid from the states came in to my school and all of a sudden he was the most popular kid in the school! Everybody wanted to get to know him and play with him etc. Puerto Ricans are very nice people, if you are nice to them. Which brings me to my next point.
- Puerto Ricans are genuine! Which means that whether they like you or not, you will know. When I lived in the USA and worked as a massage therapist there was a strict policy that we had to smile! We smiled to all of our customers and people like if everything was honky-dory fine! Interestingly it really bothered my sister when she came to visit, it bothered me, and it bothered an Italian client we had! The smiles were fake! And it is beyond annoying to see someone smile at you when the smile is not genuine. I want someone to smile if they want to or not to if they don’t want to! Be genuine, be real! So, if you are nice to a Puerto Rican, chances are they will be nice to you, if you are not nice to them, they will not be nice to you! Also, if you are a customer and you are unhappy about something, yelling and screaming and demanding will get you NOWHERE! If fact, it will make most people here work slower and make your life more difficult! People here will be nice to you if you are nice to them. Simple.
- They have a “Type-A” personality. This is a big one! Puerto Rico is the very definition of island living! We do not over complicate things and we just let things slide. We don’t start on time, we don’t stick to a strict schedule, our doctors spend a lot of time with the patients so we wait for hours after our scheduled time before we are seen. We also tend to close stores earlier than scheduled if there is no one inside, so don’t be surprised if you get to a store at 3:50 PM and it is closed even though it was supposed to close at 4:00 PM. So if you are an uptight person or have a “Type-A” personality, you WILL hate it here, every day, every single day you will hate it, and the local people will see that and they will simply shrug their shoulders, and it will bother you even more. So do yourself a favor, if you have that personality, avoid living here if you can, it will stress you out to no end.
- Puerto Ricans are politically incorrect. If you are easily offended, this place is not for you either! We WILL make fun of you and everyone else! In fact we make fun of everyone, even ourselves! Our comedy shows make fun of all different ethnicities, sexual orientations, religions, language accents etc. And we mean absolutely no harm by it! It is just who we are! We will make fun of you in front of you and then laugh and give you a hug and a kiss! Why? Because more often than not we find your language accent (to use as an example) endearing and cute! YES it’s true! We’re making fun but we also think it’s cute! And we love it! Heck I married a woman with an accent and I love how she speaks and I laugh at it too! One of our most famous comedians made fun at the most common religion here, Catholicism, and he got away with it beautifully and it became one of the island’s most watched comedy shows! Everyone loved it, even the church leaders. We are very good at making fun of others and ourselves, and that’s just how we are, we do not take life seriously, at all. If you are offended by simple things like that, you will have a hard time here and you will likely have a hard time making lasting friendships (at least local friends), you will seem too uptight to most people.
So, what is my take on all this? Puerto Rico is certainly not for everyone, and if you only focus on the bad things it will not be for you either. There are many reasons why I have decided to stay here, I actually live better here. My family is not bullied by racism or other fundamental differences, I have never felt more accepted as a person than I do here, the beach is just a few minutes away any day of the year, it is warm enough to wear shorts every day, the Christmas atmosphere and music is very festive and happy, we like the happiness of the people all around us even in such bad financial times, everyone is ALWAYS willing to help their neighbor, we like how we can laugh at everyone including ourselves without offending anyone. Life is overall more relaxed for us here, which was never the case for us in the US, I really disliked how strict everything was there. Here, so what if we’re late? Pff there are worse things in life. I’ll be sipping my piña colada in my hammock at the beach on January 2nd and not think about all the troubles in life.