I’ve developed a small list of frustrations travelling off the gringo path into more remote regions. Often you’re treated like an animal to be stared and laughed at. I’ve gotten so frustrated that I’ve started staring right back, or telling people off for being rude. I remember one incident where Gina and I just wanted to cook and eat dinner. We were surrounded by half the town, children and adults alike stared at us from arms length as we ate quietly. Even after I calmly explained that we were exhausted and needed a bit of space, we were only afforded an extra 30cm to breathe. This isn’t a cultural thing. You wouldn’t see locals treating each other this way. There is a difference between being respectful of a culture, and letting a person treat you poorly. I’ve always found this line to be quite fine.
I however do realize that complaining never solves anything. And that’s why in lieu of these frustrations, Gina has decided to be proactive and design a small booklet. It contains some basic information about our trip and how we sleep and eat. These are questions we get a lot. Sometimes we are asked the same question multiple times by the same person. Seeing as our Spanish isn’t that great, we thought maybe compiling some written information might be helpful. It’s simple stuff, but we’re hoping that if some children read it they will realize we’re not such weird creatures after all. So far we’ve handed it out only a few times, but it’s satisfying seeing children intensely studying it. If nothing else, maybe it’s a good conversation starter.
If you’d like to see the booklet you can follow this link.