Cultural Miscommunication

At a tiny currency exchange in a dark little cul-de-sac, an older gentleman asked me where I was from. 

“Ah, the United States!” he exclaimed. “People are so afraid in your country. They are terrified!”

“Of what?” I asked. 

“I don’t know. Everything. Bad things are happening and people are afraid.”

“Huh,” I said. 

“I have no desire to leave my country,” the gentleman said decisively. “We are very safe here. We don’t need to be afraid!”

“That’s very good,” I said. 

What this was all about remained a mystery. But at least I finally have pesos. The people at the hotel have been refusing to exchange my money since yesterday. They are the nicest, most helpful hotel workers I’ve ever met but the idea of buying dollars seems to fill them with existential sadness. 

After I had my pesos, I went to a local supermarket and bought food. At the hotel, I spent 15 minutes converting the price of each item to USD and feeling shocked that such good food can cost so little. 

I’m eating something called arepa with jamón serrano. I know they aren’t eaten together but since I’m breaking the diet anyway, I decided to eat the combinations of foods that will make me happy. 

9 thoughts on “Cultural Miscommunication”

      1. OK, that’s not the preparation I’ve seen. I was thinking of a masa and water dough that gets pressed like a tortilla, but not so thin. Then it gets fried and it puffs up a bit so it can be split and filled.


  1. Article examining the one county in America that went from 20+ Obama to 20+ Trump. Reaches many of the same conclusions I have. I do find it very interesting that these factory worker dudes were so into Bernie. All this time I’ve been saying “these kinda guys would never like Bernie in large numbers, get real” but apparently not in this county. When it comes to Ohioans, I’m right, but what about in Pennsylvania or Wisconsin? I don’t know anymore.


      1. I love Bernie, love him. But he doesn’t speak to the working classes. He speaks to people who love the working classes at a distance. He’s the classic bourgeois revolutionary who wants the best for people he doesn’t really understand.


        1. That’s exactly how I always felt about him (which is why I don’t like him), this article just threw me off. But then I realized it was a caucus; the kind of people who show up for those aren’t normal or representative in any way.


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