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Feeling the effects

Normally, on a Friday night, Mérida is crowded, at least the downtown surrounding the Plaza de Independencia. Calle 60 is closed to automobiles and the restaurants compete for passerby’s patronage with music, their tables full of revelers eating and drinking. The tables spilling out into the street and dancers taking up what space is left. Last night was different. The restaurants were uniformly empty, while I realize it was still early by Mérida standards, it wasn’t that early. My walk home at around 9 pm also took me past several carriages stationed near the Peón Contreras Opera House where I over heard $100 mxp quoted as the price for a carriage ride. Never before have I heard a tourist being offered a ride for just $100 mxp! Normally they start at $250 and sometimes settle for $200. I wanted to urge the tourists to take it before the driver changed his mind. As I cut across the plaza, I noticed ...

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Hey, I’m famous!

No not really, but I got quoted on Viva!Vercruz! To understand what I’m talking about, please read this post . Basically it is about what I call Speaking Spanish while Gringo. Wildbill said that a very similar thing happened to him in Japan. If he wanted to talk to someone new, it was easier to start speaking from a position where the listener couldn’t see him. If they saw him first, then no matter what, they had difficulty understanding his Japanese. It’s all about expectations, someone who is inexperienced sees an Anglo face and assumes that they don’t speak Spanish. I think that is why comadre (with the world’s worst Spanish) gets understood, they don’t expect her to speak good Spanish, she doesn’t and so they get into charade mode and everyone has a good time guessing what she wants. It doesn’t happen to me, I have something else happen to me, since I am Hispanic and I came here ...

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