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Signs That Let You Know You Are In Latin America  
User currently offlineThaiboynMexico From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2651 times:

Hello folks,

For non-Latin Americans and for Latin Americans who have travelled a little. What are some unmistakable hints and signs which tell you that you are in Latin America.

Here are some of mine:

1. 9 times out of 10, toilet seats never stand still in their upright position. You know how you have to lift up the toilet seat before you pee? (Well, you should, at least, if you're not doing it already). Well I gave that up long time ago since I arrived in Latin America. Them toilet seats never stay up straignt! It always falls and make a big bang. I don't know why it's so hard to make toilet seats that stay up straight and still. So I said to myself...you know what? Just forget it.
By the way, I owe this idea to Latinplane, my good friend on a.net.

2. People automatically assume that your money is fake. Whether you're paying for something or receiving change, it's almost an instinct that one verify one's change, espcially with large bills. Most recently, here in Argenitna, I learned that there are even FAKE COINS! Like coins of petty amount like 25, 50 Argentine cents? Even those things can be fake. I had this merchant testing my coins with a magnet. He told me "If it sticks to the magnet, then it's fake." What the f-? That really shows that however European Argentina is, it's still an inescapable part of Latin America.

Now that I look back, discerning counterfeit money has become my SECOND instinct! Not that there isn't counterfeit money in other countries; but it's just so prevalent in Latin America. In the U.S., no one worries too much to check if one's bills are fake. I mean it happens but very rarely. Even less developed Asian countries in Asia like Thailand (whose crime rate and drug rings are no less notorious than in Latin America), you don't spend your energy verifying your change in every transaction.

3. Everywhere you go, you are assumed guilty before proven innocent. You are assumed villain before proven before proven a protagonist. They always think you're a thief first. Houses and stores are locked with maximum security. When you have to go into a store or a restaurant, you have to ring and then wait for them to see if you're not a thief. If they see that you're not a thief, they let you in. If you wear less than decent clothes, they kinda have to probe to see what it is that you want to buy or to get, and if you would have enough money to pay. It just sucks. Nobody trusts anybody in this continent. Everybody is everybody else's enemy. There is no solidarity. This has got to change, really.

Anything else anyone could relate to and would like to add to this list? And please don't get me wrong...the purpose of this thread is not to provoke but to elucidate. Trust me, I love Latin America with all my heart. If I'm critical, it's out of love. And trust me, "the opposite of love is not hate. It's indifference." (Quoting Brie from Desperate Housewives)

 banghead 

43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2651 times:

Quoting ThaiboynMexico (Thread starter):
Anything else anyone could relate to and would like to add to this list?

There are alot of beautiful women  Wink




Lee



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineDerico From Argentina, joined Dec 1999, 4306 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2623 times:

Quoting ThaiboynMexico (Thread starter):
3. Everywhere you go, you are assumed guilty before proven innocent. You are assumed villain before proven before proven a protagonist. They always think you're a thief first. Houses and stores are locked with maximum security. When you have to go into a store or a restaurant, you have to ring and then wait for them to see if you're not a thief. If they see that you're not a thief, they let you in. If you wear less than decent clothes, they kinda have to probe to see what it is that you want to buy or to get, and if you would have enough money to pay. It just sucks. Nobody trusts anybody in this continent. Everybody is everybody else's enemy. There is no solidarity. This has got to change, really.

I have, in 15 years pluse or there abouts living in Argentina, ever encountered one restaurant that was locked or in which customers had to 'ring or knock' to get in.... In fact it is the fist time in my entire life I hear something like this, anywhere.

As for #1, I don't use the toilet seat to pee...



My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 42
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2603 times:

Quoting Derico (Reply 2):
I have, in 15 years pluse or there abouts living in Argentina, ever encountered one restaurant that was locked or in which customers had to 'ring or knock' to get in....

I've lived in Brazil for one year, one of the poorer parts too, and didn't run into this either.

And how on Mother Earth did a freakin' toilet seat become a number one seat for being in Latin America?!?



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineDerico From Argentina, joined Dec 1999, 4306 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2597 times:

Quoting Aloges (Reply 3):
And how on Mother Earth did a freakin' toilet seat become a number one seat for being in Latin America?!?

Not sure what you mean...

But since I don't use toilets pretty much anywhere outside my house (unless it is a high end anchor store at a shopping mall, no matter what continent, they are clean and good to go! LOL), I would have to say Thayboy might be right about #1, ha!



My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
User currently offlineSenorcarnival From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2592 times:

Quoting ThaiboynMexico (Thread starter):
3. Everywhere you go, you are assumed guilty before proven innocent. You are assumed villain before proven before proven a protagonist. They always think you're a thief first. Houses and stores are locked with maximum security. When you have to go into a store or a restaurant, you have to ring and then wait for them to see if you're not a thief.

You do? I lived in Sao Paulo for most of my life and the only place I ever had to ring to get in was the rare occasion that I went into an H. Stern jewelry store with my mom. Never heard of this for restaurants...

As for toilet seats, WTF? To be honest, I'm not going to waste my time trying to remember every toilet I went to when I lived there but even if you don't need the seat you can still pee with it in the down position, what's the problem with that? This is a non-issue anywhere in the world.


User currently offlineAndesSMF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2545 times:

Quoting ThaiboynMexico (Thread starter):
9 times out of 10, toilet seats never stand still in their upright position.

Well, then you are going to the better parts of LatAm! I spent parts of my childhood peeing outdoors, even though our beach house had a working toilet. Took me years to learn to use bathrooms in other places rather than our house, on account that other restrooms can be so filthy, or a hole in the ground.

You know you are in LatAm, when you dont see people wearing jewelry while out on the streets, unless they want them stolen.


User currently offlineMarambio From UK - Scotland, joined Oct 2004, 1160 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2530 times:

Quoting ThaiboynMexico (Thread starter):

3. Everywhere you go, you are assumed guilty before proven innocent. You are assumed villain before proven before proven a protagonist. They always think you're a thief first. Houses and stores are locked with maximum security. When you have to go into a store or a restaurant, you have to ring and then wait for them to see if you're not a thief. If they see that you're not a thief, they let you in. If you wear less than decent clothes, they kinda have to probe to see what it is that you want to buy or to get, and if you would have enough money to pay. It just sucks. Nobody trusts anybody in this continent. Everybody is everybody else's enemy. There is no solidarity. This has got to change, really.

Where does that happen? I have never encountered such a thing anywhere in Argentina. Same as Derico, it's the first time I heard about it.

Saludos,
Marambio



Aerolíneas Argentinas - La Argentina que levanta vuelo.
User currently offlineBoeinglover24 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 305 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2524 times:

The toilet water spins the other way when you flush... Smile


Uhhh What?
User currently offlineEWRCabincrew From United States of America, joined May 2006, 5523 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks ago) and read 2521 times:

Quoting Boeinglover24 (Reply 8):
The toilet water spins the other way when you flush...

As long as you're south of the equator Latin America.  stirthepot 

I would also add food sold by vendors on street corners, great customer service, waste baskets next to the toilets, (onboard to Latin America) mothers asking for coke (with extra packets of sugar sometimes) or coffee with milk and 5+ packets of sugar for their child's bottle. The list could go on.



You can't cure stupid
User currently offlineWellHung From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks ago) and read 2518 times:

You can order a cheesesteak in Spanish.

User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2488 times:

I haven't found any of the original three to be true personally, but here's a few:

1. Applause from all on board the a/c when the wheels touch down.
2. Rent a cops who are more heavily armed than the real cops. Of course they may not know how to use the weapon or even have it loaded.
3. As has been noted, great street food.
4. Multiple classes of travel for buses as well as aircraft.



Where are all of my respected members going?
User currently offlineThaiboynMexico From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2477 times:

Quote:
I have, in 15 years pluse or there abouts living in Argentina, ever encountered one restaurant that was locked or in which customers had to 'ring or knock' to get in.... In fact it is the fist time in my entire life I hear something like this, anywhere.



Quote:
Where does that happen? I have never encountered such a thing anywhere in Argentina. Same as Derico, it's the first time I heard about it.

Sorry I wasn't clear folks. I didn't say that this was specific to Argentina. But I experienced most of these security concerns in Mexico. And, in Buenos Aires, there are many restaurants in San Telmo and some in Palermo Viejo that operate on "buzzed-in" basis as well. And at some upscale restaurants or boutiques, when there are no secured doors, there are security guards surveying standing in front of the premises, telling you not to bring in your bags or handbags or whatever. And it's just really annoying.

But may be this is because I am not white. And it really assaults my self-esteem to tell you the truth.  Sad


User currently offlineAM744 From Mexico, joined Jun 2001, 1779 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2447 times:

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 11):
1. Applause from all on board the a/c when the wheels touch down.

This has been quoted often, but I have yet to be in such a flight. Maybe it happens in planes full of ethnical travelers

Quoting ThaiboynMexico (Thread starter):
3. Everywhere you go, you are assumed guilty before proven innocent. You are assumed villain before proven before proven a protagonist. They always think you're a thief first. Houses and stores are locked with maximum security.

And for good reason. Thank good ol' Carlos Salinas for screwing the economy and peaceful environment we enjoyed prior to 1995... Yes, Mexico City(and most of Mexico) was WAAAAAAY more peaceful back then, car thefth was unusual and secuestro(can't remember the English word) and Narco vendettas were almost unheard of.


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2438 times:

"Bienvenidos a los Estados Unidos"  Big grin

User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2438 times:

Quoting AM744 (Reply 13):
This has been quoted often, but I have yet to be in such a flight. Maybe it happens in planes full of ethnical travelers

It definitely happens in South America. Freaked me out a bit the first time as nobody had bothered to give me a heads up. After 30-40 flights you take it in stride and even join in.  Smile



Where are all of my respected members going?
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17511 posts, RR: 45
Reply 16, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2424 times:

Can't say I can relate to anything on the list...but a good sign you're in Latin America is that when you leave the airport, you have to show your passport to at least 6 different people before you can even get to the gate.

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 11):
2. Rent a cops who are more heavily armed than the real cops.

Ahhh...los watchimanes Smile



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineCarmenlu15 From Guatemala, joined Dec 2004, 4761 posts, RR: 30
Reply 17, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2418 times:

You know you're in LatAm when you send your party invitations for 7:00, expecting everyone to start arriving at 9:00.

And you know you're in LatAm when the party starts at lunch, and all your guests leave after dinner.

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 1):

There are alot of beautiful women

But of course  Silly

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 16):
Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 11):
2. Rent a cops who are more heavily armed than the real cops.

Ahhh...los watchimanes

 yes  And I see them on a daily basis (I work in a security company).

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 6):
You know you are in LatAm, when you dont see people wearing jewelry while out on the streets, unless they want them stolen.

A lesson learned the hard way, I must say.



Don't expect to see me around that much (if at all) -- the contact link should still work, though.
User currently offlineCurtisMan From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1002 posts, RR: 50
Reply 18, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2407 times:

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 15):
Quoting AM744 (Reply 13):
This has been quoted often, but I have yet to be in such a flight. Maybe it happens in planes full of ethnical travelers

It definitely happens in South America. Freaked me out a bit the first time as nobody had bothered to give me a heads up. After 30-40 flights you take it in stride and even join in.

I've experienced this several times on domestic flights in South America and Central America. I've also experience here at home in Canada a few times.

Last month I was on a charter flight from Cuba to Toronto and I would say 99.9% Canadians on board. I don't think there were any Cubans. Everyone clapped when we landed in Cuba on the outbound and everyone clapped when we landed in Toronto on the inbound.

It's a great custom and I'm glad it's done in Latin America!

Saludos!

Leonardo



Citizen of the World
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 19, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2391 times:

Well, the signs used to be "Venceremos" or "Hasta La Victoria" spray-painted on overpasses etc.

Another is 200 identical political posters on a single wall.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineM180up From El Salvador, joined May 2006, 403 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2389 times:

Quoting AM744 (Reply 13):
secuestro(can't remember the English word)

kidnapping



Werner from SAL
User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2344 times:

Oh yeah, here's another. Lots of streets named after important dates. Other than often referring to Independence Day as the 4th of July, you really don't see that at home but it's everywhere in SA.

Statues and memorials to Simon Bolivar also work, not all of LA but a large chunk of it.



Where are all of my respected members going?
User currently offlineZen100 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2320 times:

Thaiboy, can i ask you a question?Are you dark skinned?. Because you know how funny people can get.

ProudQatari
World's Richest Country


User currently offlineMD11junkie From Argentina, joined May 2005, 3148 posts, RR: 57
Reply 23, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2316 times:

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 21):
Statues and memorials to Simon Bolivar

That's the northern half. The southern half to General José Francisco de San Martín.  Smile

Quoting CurtisMan (Reply 18):
It's a great custom and I'm glad it's done in Latin America!

Len,
At least in Argentina, during my flights to and from Buenos Aires, I didn't hear any clapping, fortunately!

Quoting ThaiboynMexico (Reply 12):
Sorry I wasn't clear folks. I didn't say that this was specific to Argentina. But I experienced most of these security concerns in Mexico. And, in Buenos Aires, there are many restaurants in San Telmo and some in Palermo Viejo that operate on "buzzed-in" basis as well. And at some upscale restaurants or boutiques, when there are no secured doors, there are security guards surveying standing in front of the premises, telling you not to bring in your bags or handbags or whatever. And it's just really annoying.

That's because wealthy or powerful people or even TV jetset go there. That poses a huge amount of risk. Or maybe, the owners are just 'fantasticos', but really, Rye, you've seen it once or twice. You KNOW it's not the way it is here.

Quoting ThaiboynMexico (Reply 12):
But may be this is because I am not white. And it really assaults my self-esteem to tell you the truth.

Have you ever read Apollo's comments on his visit to Buenos Aires? He was always asked for Directions as if he was a local. Now, there's a much larger Asian community. There shouldn't be a racial problem.

Cheers! wave 
Gastón - The MD11junkie



There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
User currently offlineDerico From Argentina, joined Dec 1999, 4306 posts, RR: 11
Reply 24, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2308 times:

Quoting ThaiboynMexico (Reply 12):
But may be this is because I am not white. And it really assaults my self-esteem to tell you the truth.

I really hope not, as in Argentina the 'white-non white' thing was never such a divisive issue as in other countries. Specially since the line is not as clear (some very light mestizos could pass for white, and many whites in Argentina are very mediterranean as supposed to blond nordic, though there are quite a few blonds, and redheads too).

But if you go to really upscale restaurants, you will find security guards. It is a combination of a sense of increased crime (which is true, but it's not as bad as in many other countries), but also when it comes to entertainment and leisure in Argentina are not as segregated still as in Brazil, Mexico, or the United States where the rich attend restaurants, boutiques, etc in mostly segregated very upscale enclaves.

If you think it was racism, you should report it to the Tourism Authority in BA. They are taking racism and taking advantage of tourists very seriously now.



My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
25 Post contains images ThaiboynMexico : Huh, what a passionate discussion. This was supposed to be a light-hearted discussion. I guess I should tone down my drama-queen language in the futur
26 Derico : I don't think the discussion was remotely passionate! Well, at least for me. I don't think it's heated at all, just an exchange of views...
27 Carmenlu15 : Indeed... I find it interesting to see the different points of view in a subject like this, to which we can relate in a way or other...
28 Post contains images CastleIsland : If you're using a thong to select your baked goods, perhaps the Board of Health should be involved.
29 AndesSMF : You know you are in LatAm when: The government OFFICIALLY declares 1/2 day so people can go home and watch Ecuador defeat Poland! (This is true!)
30 Post contains images Latinplane : You did? What the hell... Oh, yeah! I forgot that you're a writer! And I forgot that I need to watch out what I say when I'm around you because you pa
31 Post contains images Latinplane : Please allow me to answer these two post, specifically answering them, and dedicating them accordingly: Almost every place in Latin America that I've
32 Post contains images Latinplane : Right. And, as much as Argentines used to think that they were more European than Latin American, recent genetic studies have concluded that in fact,
33 Derico : That is the case all over the new world. North Americans are not pure European either as many of them have some native american ancestor, and quite a
34 Post contains images Latinplane : That is something that is widely accepted. I have never heard a Caucasian- American deny his Native American background. As a matter of fact, Caucasi
35 Marcus : Quoting Boeinglover24 (Reply 8): The toilet water spins the other way when you flush... As long as you're south of the equator Latin America. ********
36 Post contains images ThaiboynMexico : Latinplane, It took me three years and half living here to come up with 3-4 stupid criteria that make Latin America Latin America, most of which I cou
37 AndesSMF : Well, I do have video taken from the middle of the world showing that the water does indeed spin in different ways according to the hemisphere you ar
38 BHMBAGLOCK : Silly, it just goes straight down, no spinning.
39 Post contains images Latinplane : (the M word in spanish!) I love everything Latin American! My goal is to travel through each country of the region and: see, feel, smell, eat, and ab
40 AndesSMF : And that is what happens when you place the tub of water right in the Equator!
41 AR385 : You are making generalizations that are both fallacious and insulting. You should know by now that as similar as Latam as a region is, it is also as d
42 RCS763AV : Maybe where you go.... Very rare in Colombia...but it does happen Indeed! Not in Bogota, here we give a number to the street and maybe a name if its
43 ThaiboynMexico : To everybody who’s reading this thread, Please let me make a public apology for those who really felt offended by my post. I started this post, thin
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