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The Demanding Latino Meets the Broke Ass Gringo

Published September 22, 2021 in Personal Stories & Opinions - 0 Comments

As I wrote in this article, I once was put in the back of a police car in Mexico City around Cuatro Caminos area a few odd years ago.

To keep it short, the cop insisted that I give him about 200 bucks as he falsely accused me of taking a piss in the street.

To his surprise, he picked the poorest gringo in all of Latin America to get a quick buck from.


In that moment, I had maybe 100 bucks in my bank account.

More or less.

And so, even if he put a gun to my head, I wouldn’t have been able to bring together 200 bucks unless I asked someone in the family to help me out.

In the end, he only got like 20 bucks out of me.

Poor guy….

Can’t catch a break can he?

Takes the risk of trying to extort a gringo for money…

Thinks he caught the piggy bank!

Didn’t you hear?


And yet, as I said, he picked the poorest gringo to steal from.

Still, it’s a funny example looking back at it.

An example of a local in Latin America confronting a gringo who has no money and/or bargains like a poor local who lives in a shit neighborhood.

There’s a certain irony there that I’ve always found comical.

The difference between what the Latino expats we have to what we actually have.

Now, to be fair, plenty of gringos down here have plenty that you can steal.

Much more on average than the average local for sure.

But, at the same time, you do have that type of gringo who doesn’t have a penny to his name.

I was like that gringo at one point!

And so here’s some examples of that going forward that I have seen over the years of living in Latin America.

Saving an Extra Dollar in Colombia!

Back when I was living in Barranquilla, Colombia, I remember visiting some popular beach area close to Santa Marta in Colombia with my ex-girlfriend Marcela.

If I remember right, there was some beach area basically in front of the city.

Not Tayrona as many would assume but some beach spot very close or in front of Santa Marta.

And, at night, we were walking towards this spot from the hotel where there was some event going on.

Some live bands playing on a stage on the beach with lots of people relaxing.

I remember getting some empanadas that were surprisingly good.

Normally, in my time in Colombia, empanadas are shit and nothing like what you get elsewhere like in Argentina.

But with the luck of the Wayuu gods, we found some tasty ass empanadas!

Anyway, Marcela and I were having a normal time on the beach.

She was teaching me well how to dance to merengue and I actually got pretty good at it oddly enough.

Then I went off to the bathroom real quick and made sure to get some more beer on the way back.

Along the way back with about 6 beers in a bucket in hand, I do a little merengue dance being maybe a tiny bit drunk at the moment.

Then we relax again on the beach enjoying the music and the view of the water.

Soon enough, we noticed some mini commotion going on not too far from us.

There was some white blonde dude speaking Spanish in a non-American accent with some beer guy.

If I had to guess, he must’ve been European because his accent wasn’t North American and his Spanish wasn’t very good.

And the beer guy almost seemed offended at how his offer for some beer.

Anyway, the beer guy leaves him behind and, quickly enough, another beer guy does a little jog up to the Euro dude.

Asking him in barely passable English basically how much the other dude was trying to sell the beer for.

Quickly enough, the Euro dude pulls out some cash and that was it.

How much did he save from buying from the second beer dude?

I don’t remember the exact quantity in Colombian pesos but remember thinking in the moment that he saved roughly a dollar.

Not exactly a dollar but a dollar and some odd cents in difference between the two sellers.

Now, being honest, I obviously couldn’t have read the mind of the first beer seller…

But I’d be willing to bet part of him being offended had to do with the fact that even fuckin gringos are bargaining us down now.

What the fuck is this?

Aren’t these rich cocksuckers supposed to have millions of dollars and now even they want to pay like a local?

Fuck you gringo! I ain’t selling to you.

And, being honest, I have encountered that type of mindset in Latin America.

Where a local will straight up not deal business with you because they’d rather lose out on an opportunity to make the some money than to fuck over a foreigner that they perceive to have lots of money.

Part of me wonders how much of it is ego driven?

Still, on the flip side, you could argue that the foreigner in this case was simply being cheap.

I mean really….

Only a dollar difference?

So I get the logic with that one.

On the flip side, I can say that, for me personally, it’s also a matter of self-respect.

If I feel some local wants to treat me differently because of my skin or nationality, then I ain’t fucking doing business with them.

I hope he makes no money that day and starves to death.

Fuck him.

But, on the other hand, I also get the logic some gringos give about how you shouldn’t worry about the gringo price in literally every single incident or else you’ll constantly be annoyed.

That’s true also.

At some point, you need to pick your battles and move the fuck on.

Especially if you are on vacation like that guy probably was.

No point in ruining the good vibes of a vacation over a fucking dollar.

At any rate, if I was in that guy’s shoes, I’d probably have bought the beer unless the gringo pricing was completely out of whack or too obvious.

In which I wouldn’t even negotiate with the dude because I’m not putting money in the hands of people who want to treat me differently that way.

And, in many ways, I have been in his shoes.

Negotiating with the Taxi Driver

Around that same time, I also remember having to take a taxi in Barranquilla.

I was standing outside a corner shop drinking some beer at around midnight with a Colombian friend of mine named Andres.

We would often hang outside any nearby corner shop for some drinking late into the night since we both lived very close to each other.

Anyway, we had finished like maybe 6 beers or something and decided to check out a rock bar named 4B.

It was a small little rock bar that not any foreigners knew really and happened to be very close to Barranquilla’s famous salsa club La Troja.

So we find a taxi and Andres obviously does the negotiating because me doing the negotiating in my gringo accent only invites gringo pricing.

Unfortunately, the taxi driver noticed my gringo ass standing next to Andres and gets into a little back and forth over the price.

And the taxi driver literally says something to the tune of “cmon, he has plenty of money. You telling me he don’t have money?”

Which was his justification for the noticeably higher price.

To which Andres tells him to piss off and we walk away.

While walking away, the taxi driver yells out the window throwing a lower price.

But we kept walking.

With Andres telling me to “really keep quiet this time.”

And they negotiate.

This taxi driver did try throwing a price that Andres didn’t agree with but it wasn’t insanely exaggerated nor did the taxi driver mention anything about me.

And they settled on a price.

In their negotiations, they probably settled the difference over just a few bucks.

Was Andres being cheap then like the Euro dude on the beach?

Honestly, I’d say no.

And the Euro dude in question is also more than free to negotiate for a better price too.

There’s a few things that come to mind anyway when it comes to talking about negotiating the price with the taxi driver.

First, you have some foreigners who take an elitist attitude on this and think we should just stay home if we can’t afford or tolerate being gringo priced on something.

That we should just let the local fuck us over or else we are too poor.

Honestly, I’d say they’re cucks.

You let people treat you differently because you too insecure about your manhood that you don’t want to be seen negotiating a taxi driver when everyone else does it?

Second, you have others who disagree with the Euro dude and someone like me negotiating with the taxi driver because “they’re so poor, Matthew! These poor brown people need your money! Give it to them, First World Person, you!”

And I’d say those people are cucks too.

“Oh poor brown person from Latin America! Take my money! Take my wife too!”

I don’t fucking get the mentality.

Granted, if the taxi driver didn’t try ripping me off and gave me a good service, I will tip.

Especially because, in many cases, they are right that these folks don’t have much money.

For me, it’s much less about the money and more about not being treated worse for who I am.

And, at any rate, it doesn’t matter because there’s always someone who’ll do proper business with you.

Forget those who treat you differently. Let them stave.

Work with those who don’t see you like a piggy bank.

But let’s get back now to the purpose of this article with other stories of a local finding it confusing when he can’t suck more money out of a gringo.

Who Covers the Liquor?

So we covered more negative examples when it comes to cops extorting you to locals trying to gringo price you.

But what about a more normal setting?

Some odd months ago, I was living in Roma Norte area of Mexico City.

And, in the building of my apartment, there were numerous other young Mexicans and young foreigners living there.

Quite a big building actually.

Anyway, on my first night in the building, I joined some little party on the patio upstairs in the open air.

A few folks had supplied the party with plenty of beer and I think some tequila also.

Anyway, some Mexican dude named Vicente wanted to get some more liquor late at night and asked if I’d split it with him.

So we go to the nearby OXXO where he wanted some combo that OXXO had of rum and coca cola.

They didn’t have it anymore.

I convince him to buy some vodka instead and, funny enough, I eventually introduced him to my ol’ favorite of vodka and black tea.

When asked if he liked it, he couldn’t hold his face in upon trying it for the first time but was nice enough to nod his head and go “yeah yeah, muy rico.”

I appreciated his attempt at being nice.

Anyway, later on, we had another American join the building.

Some guy from Florida named Alex.

And another gathering the patio began.

The idea came forward to “put some money together to buy some rum.”

To which Alex coincidently didn’t have much cash on him since he hadn’t pulled out any money from the ATM in a while.

Just about everyone in the party though didn’t have any issue with that and Alex gave what he could in the moment.

Which, if I remember right, was maybe half of what everyone else chipped in?

And, while his Spanish wasn’t perfect, I did wonder if he overheard some chubby Mexican dude who was sitting next to his girlfriend when he said “let him pay for it with his card. He’s a foreigner. Haha.”

But, being a joke or not, nobody commented on that and the money was put together for someone to go out for the rum.

Anyway, while that dude’s comment was rude, it’s not entirely surprising.

At most house parties I’ve been to, most people are chill actually and don’t try to squeeze extra pesos out of you just because you are a foreigner.

But it could be the case that someone expects you to chip in a little bit more because of who you are.

Though it probably won’t be an issue almost never.

At any rate, I wouldn’t worry too much about if you maybe chipped in a tiny bit more than the average person somehow.

Like when I split the bill for the vodka with Vicente? I remember a few other folks enjoying the vodka but being defensive over your liquor isn’t big down here.

People tend to share their alcohol together at parties down here instead of people showing up with their own beer that only they drink.

Maybe if someone said something as rude as the guy in the party above, then don’t hang out with him in the future.

Fuck him.

And enjoy your night and move on.

Begging for More in Argentina

Finally, let’s go to another example but in Argentina this time.

It’s not very eventful but lays out the irony one more time.

So near the end of my days living in Buenos Aires, I went to some public space in the downtown area of the city with a few folks.

We were basically just sitting on the outside of a café talking about our time there.

Anyway, some random dude shows up and begins performing in front of the café in Buenos Aires.

Where he starts singing some classic song in English that you would think he wouldn’t have known.

The funny thing was that the dude was clearly young and not an American.

But yet he was singing a song much older than him called “Going Up the Country” by Canned Heat as you can see here.

Which, as a side point, is something you do sometimes see in large cities of Latin America.

At least I’ve seen it recently in Mexico City!

Where someone will come up to a café and perform a song that you would think he wouldn’t know in English.

Granted, sometimes the song could be a very popular but older one that makes sense for why he’d know it.

Especially as plenty of Latinos down here do listen to music from the US.

But “Going up the Country” is your song of choice?

Among all the young tourists at the café, I’m willing to bet not many of them know it unless they’ve spent hours looking for new music on the internet like me.

Regardless, his cover of it wasn’t bad.

As he went around the tables on the outside of the café asking for money, I did give him some x amount of money.

I forgot what it was but something that felt normal for what you give.

And he looked it and said in English (his English wasn’t bad actually): “Cmon, give me a little more.”

I look at him and say politely “sorry, it’s all I got” in English.

Which was true – I didn’t carry that much cash on me and I didn’t have an insane amount of money in my bank since I was living cheaply while traveling abroad.

Not to mention I was in my early 20s.

And that’s when the dude starts mini arguing with me and also the larger table I’m at.

“You guys come from America and you can’t offer a little more?” he responds.

At that point, some Canadian dude named John sitting next to me reacted with a small laugh.

Some black American chick sitting across me from looked taken aback.

And I was just thinking “who the fuck are you?”

Reminds me of another time, except in Mexico City, where I gave some change to a young Mexican kid begging for money outside of a pizza bar called Perro Negro with my last girlfriend.

Even though the change was alright for what a local would give, the little kid looked at me and said “MAS!!!!”

I almost took the fucking change out of his hands when he said that!

Like you don’t fucking demand kid. Appreciate what people give you.

At any rate, both the Wannabe 60s era Argentine Hippy from the past and the young kid pissed off.

And that was that.

Two examples of how it can be the case that a begger might expect more money from you because of who you are.

Final Thoughts

A lot of my own thoughts on many of these stories have already been laid out above.

There isn’t too much more to say outside of the obvious.

First, you’ll obviously find more entitled cunts in touristy areas.

It’s one reason why I get sick of living in touristy areas in general.

Second, I do feel some folks down here have a better understanding that a younger gringo won’t have as much to give versus an older one.

Sometimes I do think that helps lower the expectations and entitlement of the local Latino to a degree.

When some chubby older guy in Mexico asks for money and you give him some…

He might look at you, see your young face and say thanks.

If you were older, maybe he’d demand more?

Could be.

Third, some countries have people who are much more demanding than others.

People in Mexico, for the most part, are pretty chill when it comes to begging specifically.

Same with Bolivia and Peru.

Even Argentina.

The nationalities that I have noticed to be the most entitled and aggressive in getting money out of you when begging are Colombians, Venezuelans, and Dominicans.

Fourth, obviously being able to speak Spanish and having experience living down here will help you lower the entitled expectations of the local Latino seeing you like a piggy bank.

As you’ll be able to negotiate in their language obviously and have a better idea on what to spend.

Finally, above all else, try not to let it get to you too much if someone does try to treat you like a piggy bank.

Simply don’t hang out with that person or do business with them obviously if you feel disrespected.

And that’s all I really got to say with any last thoughts on this subject.

As I said, it’s all around really just a funny irony that I find humorous when an entitled Latino has dollar signs in his eyes but quickly realizes that said gringo is poor as fuck.

“WHAT GOOD ARE YEAH THEN?!” is probably what goes off in his head.

Anyway, enjoy this video of 90 Day Fiance here where some American dude has to tamper the entitlement of his Brazilian fiancé when she is expecting a thousand dollars a month.

To which he replies to the effect of how it’s his impression that she thinks that everyone in America is a millionaire.

And leave any comments below in the comment section.

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Thanks for reading.

Best regards,


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