Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reverse Cultural Observations

Here are the first observations I had in my first few hours after landing in Chicago:

-It was hot as hell out and humid in Chicago and after being in Rio for a few weeks, I just wanted to do the natural Carioca thing and take my shirt off. Guess that doesn't fly in our culture. I refrained.

-Why do people need so much damn space? A couple did not want to get on the airport terminal shuttle because they 'thought' it was full. I wanted to tell them to get the heck in and stop wasting their time. Memories circa the loco Buenos Aires subway (and many a subway ride in other cities). Dummies. The American's need their space stereotype rand through my head.

-I saw a few greyhound buses downtown, and they looked real crappy in comparison to South American buses. I did see a MegaBus, and it looked of comparable quality. I was stunned to see a massive line outside of it, though. Must be the $1 fares.

-I pulled out my camera to take a picture of the Chicago River and some nutty bum yelled some crazy talk at me (If I recall he actually kept asking me if I saw a pigeon poop on him). I thought at that point I saw something that the US had in common with many places I had visited. Nutjobs and poverty.

-There was a lot of random types of people in the US Immigration line. I heard a guy with a thick Texan accent, and remembered thinking, that is American culture, embrace it or be proud, even if there are some dumbass politicians from the state that I don't agree with. I had so many people mention Texas in my trip. It is one thing America is defined by.

-There was not a drug store on every corner (drogaria in Portugese, farmacia in Spanish).

-I saw a Cadillac Escalade, and thought the guy was a dumbass. Then, I thought he probably didn't have any money and just thought he was cool. Then, I thought about how I saw a lot of really unusually nice cars in Asuncion, Paraguay, and how those people really did have a lot of money.

-The freeways are really big.

-I could ask for directions in English. Always nice.
-I went to the beach for a large volleyball tournament. Everyone that was not wearing shirts or was wearing bikini's looked good. If you had an ounce of fat or were somehow not a model with a tan or hadn't been working out lately, you were covered up. I really hate that. That's one big difference with Brazil. People shouldn't feel like they have to cover up if they don't fit into the sterotype. Well, really, I guess our society is filled with people who are so damn self-concious. Must be all those silly work out and teen beauty girl magazines, or something, clouding many a naive person into thinking they need to look a certain way. My skinny, white ass was out there without a shirt blinding everyone in sight, haha. Hope I hurt their eyes good! haha, just kidding.

-I could buy Mountain Dew. I bought one within 2 hours of landing.

-Oh, one other observation. The airlines in South America always have their stewards and stewardesses dressed up REAL nice. But I flew Southwest, and they were wearing shorts, tube socks, and polo's, real ugly attire. I think the business world down there seems to be much more formal/serious still, while we have been moving to a much more casual dress, in general. I'm only talking about dress codes here, people.

1 comment:

  1. farmácia in here as well. well, i explain you latter. ;)

    love reading it.


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