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Old 26-03-2013, 16:28   #16
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

I think I prefer to be happy with who I am.
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Old 27-03-2013, 21:56   #17
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

I agree with the above about dressing well. Everywhere I have been in urban areas outside the US, the dress code is dress up. Even during the day. You can get away with Jeans and a sport jacket if you really want to go all out. Or maybe jeans (don't forget good looking boots) and a really nice button up shirt.

It has been my experience that in most places of the world (even in places where you are SURE its a bad idea for you to be there), if you don't act like a jerk American it doesn't really matter you are American. Just be nice and mean it in your heart and mind. People universally appreciate sincerity.

Also, don't set yourself up as a target by flashing around a lot of cash and expensive electronics (especially SLR cameras).
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Old 27-03-2013, 22:17   #18
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

With the traveling Connie and I have done, we have learned a smile and try at the local language, will get ya smiles in return! (sometimes a grin at the lousy accent) We also wear clean but a little worn clothing, never wear fancy watchs or jewelry, and never carry any big amount of money, we try to have local currency if possible, and we shop like locals and where they shop! never, never, miss a farmers market or a street market, and try to get a discount if ya can ! The locals always do, and mostly it's expected!! But over all I think the smiles the best way to stay out of trouble, (that and stay aboard after dark LOL) just our 2 cents
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Old 27-03-2013, 22:57   #19
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

We have a lot of cruise ships come through.

It seems to me that North Americans are generally identifiable and distinctively different from, say Australians off the same ships (who also speak quite loudly and ... let's leave it at that !)

- even in the NZ street - and we all generally come from overlapping Caucasian bloodlines - the Americans generally stand out regardless of how they dress or look or talk or act.

It's something indefinable about the way they carry themselves, and also, perhaps, in the way they look about them - there's often a sort of perpetual wonder

but on sober reflection, I think that's an American tourist thing, and not typical for expat Americans.

In the general case, I think it's a whole variety of body language messages, different for each individual, but recognisably from that culture.
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Old 27-03-2013, 23:14   #20
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

American culture is internally very expansive and vibrant, and we have enjoyed a position of extreme prominence in global affairs.

This has led, I believe, to an internal condition in the U.S. where the news agencies provide almost no information about anything happening outside the U.S.

When American's go to other places, those places seem completely exotic and wonderous to them. It is a place they have never seen, populated by people they have never met, full of experiences they have never imagined. At every corner is something new and "funny". "Look, the street signs don't have words on them." "Hey, check out the goofy looking cars." "How come there's nothing on the TV?"

I imagine that's the source of their look of wonder! And probably also of the famous American arrogance/ignorance.
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Old 27-03-2013, 23:58   #21
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

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Originally Posted by Liam Wald View Post
In my experience you go from Gringo to Amigo as soon as you learn to communicate in their language.
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Old 28-03-2013, 00:00   #22
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

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Originally Posted by endoftheroad View Post
Don't ever wear shorts no matter how hot it is.
Yep.

Gringo attire:

- "sporty" shirt or ragged t shirt.
- "technical" sandals
- shorts
- sun hat
- backpack

Wear jeans or dockers, generic white sneakers, a soccer jersey or single color t shirt, and maybe a baseball cap. Basically don't wear anything that costs a lot of money.

Or do, and just be nice because most people don't really care.
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Old 28-03-2013, 00:13   #23
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

My wife generally has black & purple hair with a tattoo running from her L pinky to the middle of her back. My kid is a dwarf, often with a mulitcolored mohawk. I'm built like a barrel. We don't even try to fit in except in Santa Cruz, Ca. We seemed to fit in there.
BUT, we don't ever get hassled. Not even in the bad parts of Oakland.
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Old 28-03-2013, 00:16   #24
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
I think I prefer to be happy with who I am.
Good one Rognvald!

While the "do as age and gender cohorts do" is a guide, it's only a rule of thumb, and I think all of us have our limits with what that might be! :-) I don't think purdah is in my future.

However, i think the issue of what makes Americans (or, indeed, anybody, appear arrogant) might best belong on the anthropolosists' , or psychologists' forums. It does have to do with cruising, for sure. But lack of arrogance from "first world" culture people is something that they have to learn, and if I had to guess, I'd say that that comes from developing empathy. Many may well be mainly uninterested.

This latter issue has been addressed well by those who suggest a friendly and open manner.
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Old 28-03-2013, 00:32   #25
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

Don't wear a Rolex.
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Old 28-03-2013, 00:52   #26
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

Attitude is everything. I was at a restaurant In Cabo years back enjoying my food when an ugly American, with his family, began barking out orders and complaining about the service. Of course he was talking way too fast for the locals to fully understand his food order. I felt like leaving.
It's best to be as kind as possible, live with what you get and not to take life too seriously.
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Old 28-03-2013, 01:15   #27
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

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Attitude is everything. I was at a restaurant In Cabo years back enjoying my food when an ugly American, with his family, began barking out orders and complaining about the service. Of course he was talking way too fast for the locals to fully understand his food order. I felt like leaving.
It's best to be as kind as possible, live with what you get and not to take life too seriously.
I thought that that is what Cabo is for!
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Old 28-03-2013, 08:39   #28
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

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I thought that that is what Cabo is for!
I'm sure that place has not got any better. It's too convenient a place to travel to. I remember Suntrips was bringing them in daily.
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Old 14-04-2013, 18:42   #29
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

Would love to hear back from the OP. This topic is very close to my heart, and I'm interested in hearing Guy's thoughts after reflecting on it!
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Old 14-04-2013, 19:26   #30
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

I am offended by the dirty finger nails, overweight image. I have met few. The long pants thing was coming to me. The wearing of nice sweaters in Panama is too funny. Maybe if you were naked and it was a very thin sweater and it was raining and the wind was blowing, then a sweater would be nice.
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