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Old 15-04-2013, 22:33   #61
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Well said Phil

By the way.... What is a 'wifebeater'?


The shirt this guy is wearing, but the shirt is just part of the package...
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Old 15-04-2013, 22:34   #62
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

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Zee's outlandishness is refreshing and I'm sure gets her through a lot of situations that the normal 'Americano' would have a problem in. ArtM also seems to be pretty savy IMO.
My experience over the years as a delivery skipper in and out of Mexico and dealing with the Zarpe/Dispatcho dance taught me several things not the least of which was to give deference to authority no matter how petty they might seem by American standards.
I remember several instances when checking in or out of Mexican, Costa Rican and Panamanian ports, getting showered, shaved and dressed in a clean white shirt with my bars and Capt's topper, clean black slacks and dress boat shoes walking into the Capitan de Puerto's office and seeing a bedraggled bunch of American sailors sitting in a row in wifebeaters, shorts, sandals and five days growth of beard. The officials took one look at me and i went to the head of the line immediately. I carried a leather briefcase with ships papers, crew lists, insurance documents and my last Zarpe all in triplicate along with my personal stamp, ink tray and hand embossing equipment.
As the official stamped all my documents. I stamped them again with my stamp, hand embossed a copy which I gave to him, smiled alot and was out of the office within 10 minutes.
Rituals and documentation are very important in Central America and providing respect and deference to people in authority appears to be out of the norm when they deal with Americans. In addition, learn to speak enough spanish that you can make yourself understood and understand what they are talking about. you don't have to be fluent, just trying to converse in their language is many times enough. Most of the port officials speak english better than they let on, anyway. It is a requirement of their job.
It may seem like alot of trouble to go to but it saved me hours of waiting and I imagine countless problems with 'migration' and other bureaucratic roadblocks one meets when traveling south of the border. To me, time was money!
Good luck in your travels, everyone. Phil
+1 You fit in the professional mariner catagory rather than the Gringo catagory that way.
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Old 15-04-2013, 22:55   #63
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
By the way.... What is a 'wifebeater'?
A slang term for an undershirt / singlet / vest
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Old 16-04-2013, 06:15   #64
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

ok folks.. scenario.....
going to the port capt to check into aport ...no dinghy dock, just a surf landing ont he beach.....

what would YOU wear to go to shore ?????

ye gonna wear long pants??
a dress ??

get real.

formality is great for dock landings. so are long pants and dresses.

lets get some reality going here.
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Old 16-04-2013, 06:44   #65
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

A quick way to spot american gringos is to see them walking into a church. Most churches in central/south america are catholic. Bare shoulders on women are frowned upon and not polite. Shorts on men or women - ditto.

Entering a church, even for non-worship means blouse an skirt for women, shirt and long trousers for men.

In general - try just looking neat and clean. At least try to look like someone who takes a little pride in their appearance.-
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Old 16-04-2013, 06:59   #66
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

when the locals do something, it is probably ok to do that also, as far as clothing issues are concerned.

local knowledge rocks.

having locals for friends is a wonderful experience--i have that experience inmany places. mazatlan, la cruz/bucerias/pv, and here in zihuatenejo. also other places in world.

even being loud , obnoxious, and socially unacceptable, politically incorrect, and female, i manage to get along truly fine no matter what i wear in public.

always wear decent clothing to the port captain. yes, cargo shorts are ok in a surf landing environment. no holes no bathing suits or board shorts.

anywhere brit needs proper clothing. yes i wore a dress to check in there...LOL even have a pic of me in that, somewhere....LOL (dress was pink--!)

i doubt anyone will change habits because of a forum thread.

i doubt anyone will conform to a long pants and dress nice dress code while enduring surf landings in any kind of dinghy.

i wonder if the op ever looked at the locals in towns travelled to or is merely quoting emily post and amy vanderbilt, the 2 my ancestors raised us with....but amy and emmie never surf landed, either. the world changeth.


btw--i have been watching the ladies enter church, here in mexico , wearing tank tops and shorts, with a nice hand made lace veil/stole draped appropriately. god doesnt care what you wear, but what is in your heart....


wife beater tanks make great sailing dresses while at sea and lounging on board.....
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Old 16-04-2013, 08:09   #67
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

Can anybody translate the word "gringo"?
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Old 16-04-2013, 08:13   #68
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

geoduck--i keep getting the story about the natives seeing the green on th e usa army and saying green go... but they woulda been saying verde-va, not green go, so.......lets hear a better one.
have also heard the ones involving the usa greenbacks into mexico--with same phrases spoken ....
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Old 16-04-2013, 08:17   #69
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

Wikipedia:
The dominant view among etymologists is that gringo is most likely a variant of griego ‘Greek’ speech (cf. Greek to me). Nevertheless, it has been suggested that griego > gringo is phonetically unlikely, because the derivation requires two steps: (i) griego > grigo, and (ii) grigo > gringo. Instead it is claimed that gringo might derive from Caló, the language of the Romani people of Spain, as a variant of (pere)gringo ‘peregrine’, ‘wayfarer’, and ‘stranger’.[5][6][7][8][9]

So gringo = "talks funny" or "stranger".

My Mexican friend says it's mostly used for Americans and is mildly derogatory or dismissive. Sorta like any ethnic generalization, I guess. Lord knows there's enough derogatory terms for Mexicans in the US.
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Old 16-04-2013, 08:39   #70
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

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Well said Phil

By the way.... What is a 'wifebeater'?
Tank tops are called "wife beaters" because it seems that people who get hauled off by the police for beating their wife in shows like Cops always seem to be wearing a tank top. Personally, I think tank tops worn by men look pretty low class.
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Old 16-04-2013, 08:44   #71
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

there are tank tops and there are wife beaters--wife beaters are the ribbed cottton ones that folks of lower class and no class wear to beat their home girls, or wives..hence the name...


but they make great sailing dresses for out to sea times..
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Old 16-04-2013, 08:46   #72
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

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A slang term for an undershirt / singlet / vest
I thought it was when the blender breaks down and you hand the bowl to the wife.

The stuff you learn on the net !
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Old 16-04-2013, 08:53   #73
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

From my posts you can probably tell my experience is pretty narrow, 'Zee'. Mostly bigger boats, dock landings and ports that don't require surf landings. But I get your point, well made I might add.
My comments were intended to give the uninitiated to the Mexican and ports south of there, points to ponder when dealing with officialdom and some of the things I found worked for me when I worked the west coast.
I recall 'gringo' being a rather pedestrian term to describe a rude norte americano but it has been broadened by Americans and others to include just about everyone from north of the border. Alot of the meaning, as you know, has to do with the inflection used when saying the word. It can be said in a joking, friendly manner or in a way that comes across as a real putdown. Pretty easy to pick up the difference! Phil
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Old 16-04-2013, 08:55   #74
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

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From my posts you can probably tell my experience is pretty narrow, 'Zee'. Mostly bigger boats, dock landings and ports that don't require surf landings. But I get your point, well made I might add.
My comments were intended to give the uninitiated to the Mexican and ports south of there, points to ponder when dealing with officialdom and some of the things I found worked for me when I worked the west coast.
I recall 'gringo' being a rather pedestrian term to describe a rude norte americano but it has been broadened by Americans and others to include just about everyone from north of the border. Alot of the meaning, as you know, has to do with the inflection used when saying the word. It can be said in a joking, friendly manner or in a way that comes across as a real putdown. Pretty easy to pick up the difference! Phil
I think your last two posts are excellent, especially about dressing up to deal with officials.
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Old 16-04-2013, 09:03   #75
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

Much like "yankee," "gringo" is somewhat ambivalent. While it can certainly connote spite, it may also broadly generalize any non-latino of European extraction from north of the border.
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