So I hate to say this, but after living in Panama for almost a year, I have come to the conclusion that if you don’t have something to offer a Panamanian local or an expat living in Panama, you are dismissed.
Nothing ever goes beyond the reason for the initial conversation, whether it’s an expat helping you on a Yahoo group, to you answering a rental ad or inquiring about buying a house, etc. The one time it did go beyond that, it was with Marie & she is a homeless person obviously looking for people to support her (I fell into that one, but that was my choice & I learned from it).
While you may say it’s the same way back home, one of the reasons I came to this country was to make new friends thinking it would be easier. Who wants to be around people who ONLY have an agenda?
Also, expats know they have to stick together (for the most part) because of how some Panamanians treat us & because of how difficult it is to relate to them (sorry, I really don’t want it to be this us & them thing). I’m not saying many Panamanians don’t have the right to dislike many expats, but I’ve been treated with disrespect for no other reason other than I am an expat, not because I did anything wrong to them. Then again, other Panamanian locals are nice, depends on who you get. But again, it never goes beyond the being nice for those 5 minutes.
I’m told now that Panamanians don’t trust themselves, so I guess they will never trust an expat.
That seems to be to be the same with expats, they don’t trust other expats. They are very suspicious of me when I ask simple questions so I can get to know them, & they like to attack viciously for no reason at all that I can see of.
I’m not saying all expats worldwide are like this, so I’d be curious to know if expats are different depending on which country they live in.
My conclusion is, maybe I’ll find a new friend if they are new to the country, otherwise if you don’t have a lot of money or something to give someone (connections), they don’t consider you worthy.
These are just my opinions, I’m sure others will have different opinion.