Once, I went on vacation to a tropical country with some “friends” who were your upper middle class sort of people. I had never been on vacation to a place where the rich stayed in hotels next to the nationals who lived in shanties. The haves and the have-nots were pretty distinguished. Now, I had saved every last dime for my airfare and had very little I wanted to throw away. It was the first time I had ever gone on a “for pleasure only” vacation and my expectations were pretty particular. “The Real Cancun” wasn’t even a concept I’d encountered yet, as I packed my suitcase full of history, Greek and my pastels.
The first night I went to bed early because I had had no sleep on account of getting packed the previous night. The next morning, I heard of the imbibing and philosophizing that had taken place the night before. I thought, wow, since they are all Christians, somebody must have just gotten a little tipsy. The week wore on and I turned down the offers for alcoholic beverages and eventually had to be firm about not wanting to drink because I didn’t and that was my firm resolve. One day we went shopping and I bought a few things, always under the pressure and seductive comments of a male vendor. But as we were sitting in a café next to the vendors, I glanced over at a small family sitting in front of their shop: a woman with a child in her arms and her husband next to her. The husband noticed my interest and his gaze instantly turned seductive. I felt sick and disgusted. I didn’t want to go shopping again. We went to a bar and restaurant on the beach one evening. We stayed until 12 pm. I felt horribly uncomfortable as a particular guy would not leave me alone. My friends failed to rescue me. The next night I didn’t accompany my friends, who returned to the same place. I also declined supper one evening because the restaurant was too expensive. I enjoyed the sun, the beach, the hotel swimming pool, talking to the hotel manager and staff in Spanish, reading my books and eating in the “shack” restaurants, where they caught the chicken they were going to feed to you. I had a pretty good time apart from trying to distance myself from the odd expectations of my friends, which I didn’t understand, until I got home.
There, one of my friends sat me down for a talk about the judgmental attitude I had exhibited towards them on the trip, thus, ruining their vacation. I had been judgmental of their drinking habits, their carousing and partying with the boys at the nightclub and their money spending habits.