Yes is Maybe in the Developing World

Yes is Maybe in the Developing World
Travel Tip

“When you hear a yes or no in the developing world, quickly remember to rephrase the word to “Maybe,” in your head, however please do not tell them, it is not polite.

My Mother wants me to write her when I am ready to leave for Breu, Peru.

Mom, Yes, I am ready to go, “Maybe.”

I truly wish it were possible for a person in 20 percent of the countries like the USA we call developed, to understand the people who live the other 80 percent of the planet like Peru are different.

They are normal, we are abnormal, and I am from the USA.

I am 100 percent ready to leave by Plane today for Breu, Peru.
My bags are packed.
I am telling you I am ready to leave.
I may leave by airplane today.
Yes, I am leaving today, but then again maybe I do not.

I am in Peru, it is developing nation, so this means a “maybe,” the word “yes” always means “maybe.”

You can trust people, however please understand yes is not translated the same here as in the USA, Europe or Australia. (Should I include the French, Italians or ... etc in this list?)

Pucallpa, Peru
Ucayali River or Amazon River
Monday, January 26, 2009
Travel Journal --- What is your travel problem?
I will write a Travel Tips with the solution

When I am close to traveler or tourist and they tell me something about a country, it is easy to suss out how well they understand cultures. If they say absolute comments, such as,
“the Guide is coming exactly at 10:00...”

I know they do not understand the developing world. Now, there are people that have lived in the developing world for 20 years and still say things like this, they never learn to adjust, and often this person is perpetually angry or a hermit. The majority of expatriates in developing countries become the same as the locals. They are late, they do not care, and they are not committal or responsible they are normal people on Planet Earth.

Then again, the long-term travelers, the expats of the planet, are indeed the “wanted and un-wanted,” or they would not be traveling.

When you hear a yes or no in the developing world, quickly remember to transpose the word to “Maybe.”

There is a phrase in the Christian Bible where it says to let your yes be yes and your no be no. This truly makes sense when you understand the primitive cultures. When I have a friend that does not make a yes a yes, or a no a no, I know they are acting natural, this is the natural way of living, it is not our nature to committal, but a person is one step closer to Sainthood when a yes is yes, and a no is no, because we can be trusted.

Culture, - Language, - Customs, - Manners

Yes is Maybe in the Developing World


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Hmmm. Having lived my life (so far) in North American cites - I am equally accustomed to yes or no meaning maybe - but all under the assumption that, theoretically we are all supposed to mean what we say. That said, I have limited experience with the yes/no = equals maybe concept in other countries, though I've heard concepts like "Indian" or "Persian" "standard time" meaning 2hrs late, from people from either country. Customs and cultures are fascinating and can often be frustrating to people used to "a certain way of life". For instance, I would have to settle down a great deal before people arriving 2hrs late would be OK with me :)

With all due respect to all cultures, I do agree with your statement that keeping your word encourages people to trust you. It's my sincere belief as well.

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