Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Culture: Take 2

I got some interesting reactions to my last blurb on culture, so I figured I'd keep it up! This one isn't quite as long....but hopefully just as entertaining!

Bills bills bills...
You may be interested to know that paying bills here is quite different. Whether it be a cell phone bill or electric for the house. First, the bill arrives at your mailbox (some of us are lucky enough to even HAVE mailboxes, others just get it placed in the lobby of their apartment building) You then take the bill to any bank that is listed on the bill. You generally have a VERY LONG line to stand in (particularly if your bill arrives at the end of the month). The teller takes your bill and the CASH ONLY that you pay it with. The money is deposited directly into that businesses' bank account and you're set for the month. Weird huh?

Cucumber juice
This one is a new one for me. I woke up this morning and my roomate was making cucumber juice. I gave the "what on earth is that" look and she explained candidly that there was no more fruit in the house and so she was making juice out of the cucumber. Ingredients: Cucumber, water, and sugar. BLend until mushy, strain, and drink up! I did not try it, but it smelled like a fresh salad. I think I like my OJ better! ;)

Cross walks.
What Cross Walks? There are absolutely NO pedestrian rights here. You wait until there is a clearing and then you run for dear life. If you take too long, you will either get run over or cussed out. I say this too lightly. Because the fact is that there are MANY deaths every week from people who don't quite make it across in time. It can be very dangerous!

Gringo tax
Any of you who have traveled have probably noticed that upon hearing your North America accent, local venders will spit out a price that is WELL above the item's worth. Something I'v noticed...they don't do that with the locals! Well, I'm not one to really accept that kind of treatment. So I generally firmly mention something like "Sir, around the corner they are selling this same item for 10,000 pesos Less ($5). Would you like to match that price or should I go back to that store?" Their faces usually drop momentarily before they give me the item for the lower price.
Taxis are the WORST about this. They either try to short-change you or up the price. The other day, for a 7,000 peso ride ($3.50) I paid with a 20,000 peso bill. He only gave me 3,000 pesos back, hoping I wouldn't notice. When I quickly corrected him by "asking" if I hadn't given him a 20,000 bill, he looked at me in the mirror and reluctantly handed me the remaining 10,000. He said in a mumbled Spanish "you're no gringa" HAH! What a compliment. What can I say, its the "gringo tax"

That's all for now folks. Just remember, when in Rome...

QUOTE: I think foreign countries really do like it when American artists sing in their language. And when you go over there and say, 'Hi, how are you?' in their language, they love it. It makes them feel like you're doing it just for them. We in America take so much for granted.
Natalie Cole


Jill said...

I love this blog, please continue to do ones like this. HERE'S YOUR COMMENT.
LOL Love you!

Brandon said...

I'm glad things are going well!