Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 16-04-2013, 09:28   #76
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

Very interesting conversation here. I am a slob. Always have been probably always will be. I own one suit. You could put me in a computer "clean room" and I would find some way to get my clothes dirty. I'll iron my shirt and get it perfect w/o any wrinkles but between that and the time I put it on it looks a mess. My Mom was born in San Salvador and dresses immaculately and at a low cost. She and my Grandmother came to the US in 1941 "sin una estera para morir en." (Without a mat to die on) but they always dressed very well. As a single woman who spoke little English my Abuela was able to get a loan to buy a house in the 1950's when it was legal to not give a loan to someone based upon them being a woman or not speaking English.

Although Spanish was my primary language I was raised in an Irish Catholic neighborhood and when my older brother went to school w/o being able to speak English (My father was an Irish Catholic who learned Spanish so he could communicate with my Abuela) Abuela said that we would no longer speak Spanish in the house.

Funny how cultures are so different. When we went to visit the Salvadoran side of the family we were required to dress up. You could line up my Great Uncles (I had 8 of them) and they would all be dressed to the nines but there were subtle differences in the cut of the suits and the quality of the jewelry so that if you were observant you could tell who was wealthy and who wasn't. When we went to the Irish Catholic side of the family telling who was wealthy wasn't so easy. Tweed jackets, paddi cap, linen shirt, and serviceable slacks. Nothing ostentatious. Kids were allowed to wear anything as long as it was clean and mended. On the Irish side of the family it was more often the person who had the older clothes and the older pick up truck who was wealthier. The flashy clothes didn't always tell the tale.

In Texas I think they say, "All hat and no cattle."

I fell into the Irish Catholic side. I don't like a tie or a suit and leather shoes hurt my feet (except work boots). Now I like to dress comfortably. I buy clothes based on how long they will last. I have some wool shirts and sweaters that are over 20 years old and I mend them. They bring me comfort to wear. My brother OTOH spends a fortune on clothing and doesn't have any thing that is out of style. His bank account reflects that.

I guess I took the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover." to heart.

Captn Phil's post really hit home. I am more comfortable in a set of work clothes then a suit but I think that in the future I am going to keep a set of clothing just to go meet with the officials. They will be my "work" clothes -- when I need to "work" the system.

I can't give up my flip flops and shorts but I can wear nicer shirts. I can smile more. But most of all I can emulate my Abuela -- She always treated people with respect and in doing so was respected.
__________________

__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2013, 09:51   #77
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: WTB Lagoon or Leopard 38'-40'
Posts: 1,273
Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

That's the thing, it's not about being "dressed up". Flip flops are ok, as long as they are clean, fit properly, and match your style. People will wear flip-flops with long pants. Trim your toenails though! I like to buff or even put on a coat of clear polish myself, or at least I should do it more often than I do. You ever look at an American man's feet?
__________________

__________________
ArtM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2013, 10:03   #78
Registered User
 
bgallinger's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Jupiter, FL
Boat: Hunter 340
Posts: 350
Images: 10
Send a message via AIM to bgallinger
Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

Ok, so I'm a Gringo, look like a Gringo and act like a Gringo. Spent years in SE Asia, S. America, cental america and never cared.
__________________
bgallinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2013, 10:11   #79
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Toronto
Boat: Sandpiper 565
Posts: 2,943
Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

I consider just about any day I'm not wearing a suit as a good day. And I don't wear'em to work.

Still, when you're broadening your horizons and seeking a welcome from people who don't necessarily share all the same social cues and norms, showing a little respect and goodwill goes a long way. Certainly more than projecting "I don't give a rat's arse".
__________________
Lake-Effect is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2013, 10:25   #80
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,964
Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

Interesting...I am in Panama City today...walked down the street to the ATM...and noticed quite a few Latin men wearing shorts. This is something you almost never see in a city in Guatemala (some down on the Rio, but in Guatemala City...no way!).

Those locals who wear them down on the Rio do so probably from the gringo influence there. Maybe the same influence in Panama City??
__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2013, 10:50   #81
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,388
Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
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.
[/SIZE]
One nit picking point. Some Spanish speakers (mildly) resent the citizens of the USA calling themselves Americans. Since there is North America, Central America, South America or even Latin America then "they" consider themselves also to be Americans.

But then what do us gringos call ourselves, USAians? Comes out a bit awkward. Doesn't roll off the tongue as nicely as Mexican or Cuban or even Argentinian.

Regarding gringo, the etymology seems somewhat murky but as far as the meaning or translation, for most Spanish speakers it generically refers to foreigners but in Mexico specifically those from the USA. Whether it's derogatory or not depends on the tone and attitude of the speaker. Like Gary Cooper (not John Wayne) said, "If you wanna call me that, smile."
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2013, 10:54   #82
Registered User
 
Jimbo485's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: some ocean down under
Boat: Kelsall Suncat 40
Posts: 1,247
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag
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.
In that situation, Zee, I put my good clothes on when I am on the beach. It was so rough once, I used the kayak instead of the dinghy, with good clothes in a plastic bag.

At Porvenir, San Blas, I tracked the Port Captain down to an outside shower where he was having a late morning shower in his bright red underpants!
__________________

Jimbo485 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2013, 11:01   #83
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,777
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

i wear good clothes without holes for checking into and out of port--yes shorts and a top and is almost feminine.
from what i get from conversing with my mexifriends, we are all gringos until proven otherwise. does not matter what is worn.
is not a huge deal. we be travellers and transients. we only slightly help the economies in these places, yet we feel like the kitten looking into a mirror to see a lion.
as long as respect is shown and smiles and random acts of kindness invested, is irrelevant how ye look on a daily basis--just dont be more obnoxious than am i...lol
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2013, 11:09   #84
Registered User
 
Jimbo485's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: some ocean down under
Boat: Kelsall Suncat 40
Posts: 1,247
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac

One nit picking point. Some Spanish speakers (mildly) resent the citizens of the USA calling themselves Americans. Since there is North America, Central America, South America or even Latin America then "they" consider themselves also to be Americans.

But then what do us gringos call ourselves, USAians? Comes out a bit awkward. Doesn't roll off the tongue as nicely as Mexican or Cuban or even Argentinian.

Regarding gringo, the etymology seems somewhat murky but as far as the meaning or translation, for most Spanish speakers it generically refers to foreigners but in Mexico specifically those from the USA. Whether it's derogatory or not depends on the tone and attitude of the speaker. Like Gary Cooper (not John Wayne) said, "If you wanna call me that, smile."
Latins call citizens of the USA, Estadounienses. You guys have to invent a new word for yourselves in English! If the French called themselves the United States of Europe, the other countries around them would probably feel a little miffed as well.....!

The USA army uniform was blue during the war in Mexico, so the green-go shouted by the Mexicans to the USA soldiers makes no sense. I spent many years in Chile and the other possible origin was based around the Brits who introduced the railways there. The Chilean train drivers would stop the train when there was a red light at the stations, sometimes get distracted and not notice the change to green. So the Brit engineer would get angry and bellow "Green! Go!". So that is the nickname they gave to him. And then it spread. Could be true..... or you could invent another one.
__________________

Jimbo485 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2013, 11:16   #85
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,777
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

jimbo--yours makes sense.
i have yet to hear anyone say as long a word on usa citizens here--merely del norte. or gringo.
canadians are canadiense. lol....seems canadiense are in mixed welcome status here....cheaper tippers, lol is fun to listen to the words of the wait staff...
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2013, 11:19   #86
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: ontario canada
Boat: grampian 26
Posts: 1,743
Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

I am not a Gringo but I am a Kabluunak. Would that give me a free pass?
__________________
perchance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2013, 11:29   #87
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,777
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by perchance View Post
I am not a Gringo but I am a Kabluunak. Would that give me a free pass?
good question.....
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2013, 11:31   #88
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Toronto
Boat: Sandpiper 565
Posts: 2,943
Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
seems canadiense are in mixed welcome status here....cheaper tippers, lol is fun to listen to the words of the wait staff...
Q. What is the difference between a Canadian and a canoe?
A. A canoe will tip.

yeah, I'm embarrassed how cheap many of my fellow Canadians are when it comes to tipping.
__________________
Lake-Effect is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2013, 11:37   #89
Registered User
 
Jimbo485's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: some ocean down under
Boat: Kelsall Suncat 40
Posts: 1,247
LOL! I think the Aussies might give you Canadians a drubbing when it comes to poor tipping.
__________________

Jimbo485 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2013, 12:00   #90
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2011
Location: PDX
Boat: Gulfstar 50
Posts: 896
Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

I've spent a bit of time climbing around the world and of course sailing. I try to fit in and appear to be a local when ever possible. I've been mistaken for a local in Pakistan and Ukraine for example. It takes work and is more than just clothes.

When you speak the game is up....

In general you dress as the locals do. Shoes are a give away. Once in Rawalpindi there was a group of Americans in typical garb. The locals were looking in masses as that they stood out. I was in the crowd looking at them too and the guy next to me was talking to me. I just grunted back at him. Eventually he focused on my shoes and then looked me in the eyes intently.

My wife is from Ukraine. She is constantly amazed that I can pick out the Russians here in town (Portland Area). I tell her look how they are standing. Which brings us to this point:

Americans expect things to go their way. They stand in a relaxed posture (some say sloppy) and smile often. They express themselves without much of a care of how others take it (some say they are loud and disrespectful).

So beyond clothing being respectful in manor and demeanor as well as speech will go a long way.

Last story - I had been 3 months in the Karakoram climbing Gasherbrum I and we were on our way back out. In the village of Askole I went to the local barber to get a shave and haircut. This was in the mid 80's. On the wall of the shop were photos of the Ayatollah Khomeini and slogans such as "Down with USA".

As the barber shaves my neck with a straight razor he asks what I think about the Ayatollah. To which I replied: The Ayatollah has many valid points but I do not agree with everything that he does. Also I said that my President has many good points but that I do not agree with everything that he does. Then I asked the barber "My president has never asked me to Tea, Has the Ayatollah ever asked you to Tea?" To which the barber replied: "No, we are both peasants".

REgards
__________________

__________________
evm1024 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:53.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.