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- The Gringo Piñata at a Party in Latin America
Back in my first year living in Mexico City, I was staying at some small rental in Roma Norte area of the city.
The building I was staying at mostly consisted of other young foreigners and young Mexicans who often seemed like they came from more comfortable backgrounds.
More fresa types if I’m being honest.
Given the younger demographic, you can guess obviously that there were always rooftop hangouts late at night.
Which brought funny moments where maybe some older foreign person in their 50s would find themselves moving into the building and always complaining about the noise at night.
Lady, you live in a building full of only young people except you. Get it? Move out. You don’t fit in.
Anyway, one night there was a little get together like usual and there was some German dude at the party also.
I forgot his name but, being honest, he wasn’t the most popular guy in the building.
To this day, I don’t know why he didn’t flow well with some of the folks in the building?
He was a rather quiet and stern guy though.
Not one for laughs.
He was never an ass or anything.
Anyway, there was a small get together as I said in which we were all sitting around on this little balcony with this one big white table and some chairs for everyone.
There was some card game we were playing where you’d have to take a shot if you fucked up somehow.
And there was one Mexican guy in the group who genuinely seemed nice but was always taking shots at the German guy.
It was always passive-aggressive shit.
Which, as a side point, I genuinely find Mexicans to be most passive-aggressive than I like in my opinion but that’s just my perspective.
Anyway, if I remember right, I think the Mexican dude was taking shots at his Spanish.
And he was once in a blue moon making more crude jokes indirectly implying he had a small dick or something.
That’s what I remember anyhow.
Now, to keep it short, they eventually had a talk.
At this gathering, the German dude was kinda quiet through it all.
But, at the same time, maybe it could be said that he didn’t understand what they were saying perfectly?
I don’t know if he did.
That would be normal by the way.
A dude who doesn’t understand the Spanish being said and some minor or major shit talk is being said about him with the belief that he doesn’t understand.
Though, on the flip side of it, sometimes Latinos down here really do underestimate what they believe the foreigner understands.
Largely because a lot of folks down here are ignorant as shit about a foreigner’s ability to learn Spanish.
Regardless, the German dude was quite taller than the Mexican dude.
They went into the kitchen area and I couldn’t hear much of what they were saying because of the music blasting from the patio area and all the people talking.
Still, from the looks of it, it seemed like the Mexican dude got offended or something by his face.
To end, I can only assume the Mexican dude was still talking shit and wasn’t truly believing that this German guy was taking him seriously.
Consequently, the German dude began walking away but the Mexican dude threw out one last minute joke at him with some friend of his next to him.
The German dude turns around and gives the Mexican a nice shove.
Mexican dude falls to the floor.
And German dude walks away that second without taking it further.
That was the last time I saw the German dude at any gathering upstairs.
In hindsight, I do think the dude knew Spanish well enough but his character might’ve been the type to keep silent.
Anyway, this scenario isn’t entirely unusual in Latin America.
Beating the Gringo Piñata
Now, as some of you know, a lot of people like to say that Latinos born in Latin America (be it Mexican, Colombian, etc) are very nice and warm.
It’s a common saying regarding how “warm” everyone is.
The more nuanced gringos will say something like that and maybe be nuanced about it by also mentioning how Argentines are the exception.
Personally, I don’t find people down here necessarily nicer than those back home.
Home being Iowa for me.
That isn’t to say people here are rude or mean.
They’re just normal.
Not necessarily nicer than what I’m used to elsewhere.
And, on top of that, I find some of the niceness you get down here (not all of it) to be a bit superficial.
People wanting money or English practice from you.
I find that annoying.
Anyway, it’s also the case, like you saw in the story above, for said Latino to be a real dick to you.
Though, in my experience, a lot of folks I find down here to be passive-aggressive.
Regardless, it’s not an unusual scenario then in any particular house party where one particular Latino at the party wants to turn you into a Piñata at the party.
Meaning the dude is either indirectly saying shit about you to be offensive or he doesn’t know when to stop the jokes that the gringo in question actually doesn’t find funny at all.
In most house parties I’ve been to, it’s never an issue.
Most folks are chill.
Of course, in a lot of house parties I have been to, it’s not uncommon for people to express extra interest in you for being a foreigner.
Just out of curiosity.
I don’t like that so much because I don’t like performing a little interview about the US and why I’m here.
But, being honest, it doesn’t bother me that much.
It’s a slight inconvenience but not much to talk about.
Still, as I said, you might encounter a once in a blue moon Latino who feels the need to treat you like a Piñata with his comments.
From what I’ve seen, one of the more common things said about or to you from said Latino has to do with your Spanish level.
Basically some ignorant dumbfuck who likes to shit on your Spanish or whatever else.
Of which I can only think to myself “well, let’s see you speak English. Oh, your English ain’t perfect then? You got an accent too? Then shut the fuck up.”
Still, part of me thinks that the comments made by said Latino are, in some way, meant to remind everyone that you are a foreigner.
If that makes sense?
Be it comments about your Spanish to maybe some rude comment about gringos in general.
The funny thing though is that, from what I’ve seen, the most likely suspect to do this is either one of two types:
It might be a upper class local who is seemingly quite effeminate in tone but doesn’t present himself as gay.
Or a little fucker that isn't very big in height.
Of course, anyone is able to be an ass outside of just those two types of characters.
And, to be fair, I haven’t met too many Latinos who act like this at house parties because, as I said, almost most people at house parties I’ve been to have been chill and respectful.
My Own Experience
The only time I have had this experience that I can think of was one time at a house party in Pachuca de Soto, Mexico a few years ago.
In which I went to this really nice house in a gated community where we had to pass two check points to get in.
Once inside, everyone was cool and respectful.
But there was one gay dude (actually gay) that was giving me weird vibes.
And, at one point, the dude generally asked me when I went to get another beer if “my time with my girlfriend is just a short term thing.”
In the brief moment, he made it sound like to me that I’m just a sex tourist and will be dumping her soon?
I don’t know what fucking crack he was smoking when he said that.
But I left him behind and went back to the beer pong table where people were playing.
Outside of that, I don't remember any other weird incidents at house parties with myself personally.
But let's get to the story that inspired this article or at least reminded me of the topic.
Is Blayde Really with Her?
Not too long ago, I remember being told a story by a guy I know named Blayde about his time visiting some house party.
Now, to be fair, I wasn't at the house party involved so there's a lot I don' t know.
Anyway, the story is pretty simple.
Blayde was at some house party some months ago with a chick that he was dating at the time.
They broke up since then for other reasons not related to this story but were pretty serious in the moment.
Anyway, from what I was told, some local at the party ended up throwing shit at Blayde for whatever stupid reason.
Again, I'm not familiar with the details but only that the dude was being a smartass apparently.
And he implied somehow that Blayde was a sex tourist or not really serious with her.
To keep it short, Blayde had him go outside of the house with him alone and they almost got into a fight.
For whatever reason, the dude felt like being a dick but backed down when a fight was about to happen.
And that was it basically.
So let’s wrap this up now with some final thoughts on the subject.
First, let’s go back to what I said before about how gringos are stereotyped into being cold and Latinos into being warm.
It’s a topic I wrote about here actually months ago.
But does it play a role in this type of situation?
A gringo and a Latino at a party and the Latino makes a joke that the gringo took a different way.
I think some might argue this that, being gringos are “colder,” we also take things more literally.
Is it true? I’m not sure.
You be the judge.
I don’t entirely agree with it though but, in the context of incidents that happen like those above (minus any disrespect), I could see how that could play out.
But, second, I also think too it’s not just possibly a cultural influence but a linguistic one.
In which some gringos, maybe like the German guy, just straight up did not understand what was being said.
And he assumed something bad.
Granted, in his case, disrespectful shit was implied.
But I could totally see some gringo with limited Spanish and a “colder” personality taking a well-mannered joke wrongly.
Third, I do feel that upper class fresa types in Latin America are more likely to “cross boundaries” with their jokes and pretentiousness.
Fourth, part of me wonders to what effect the feeling of “being an outsider” plays on the gringo mentality when confronted with a Latino like this who is questionably being an ass or not.
Fifth, as you know, it does seem to me that the gringo’s Spanish is one of the more common things to punch at when making a joke by said Latino. I guess it’s an easy thing to joke about if his Spanish is legit not good or if the joke is about his foreigner accent.
Or, in some circumstances, if the Latino in question is speaking with a certain accent himself that said Gringo is not used to.
Sixth, there’s a part of me that wonders if said Latino is more likely to be insecure when it comes to comparing himself to gringos?
And if that provokes a more asshole behavior from the guy?
Meaning that type of Latino who feels insecure about the gringo having more dating success down here with maybe some chick the Latino guy wants or anything else.
Anything else being stuff like the assumption that said gringo has more money, is more well-traveled or speaks English perfectly.
You can comment on that you want. It’s a theory of mine.
Seventh, in most of the incidents where this has happened, the Latino in question is almost always some short ass motherfucker making jokes about the bigger gringo.
Part of me wonders if it’s like a Chihuahua barking to appear tougher or cooler than the bigger guy?
Just something that has come to mind right now.
Finally, how do you deal with this if some Latino guy is crossing lines?
Depends on the context.
For example, you can banter back obviously and that’s fine.
But sometimes, like in the case of the German guy, the comments are not just banter.
And, being honest, I’m not really the type to come with up with the most clever banter in some scenario like this.
I play it cool though in any party setting unless some Latino was outrageously being a dick (which hasn’t happened).
Something like what the Mexican dude was saying to the German guy for example.
But, otherwise, I’m just more the type to say things directly and firmly if I don’t like something.
Not as a way to be an ass back but to simply set boundaries.
Otherwise, I'll just excuse myself from someone if I don't like them.
Like the weird ass gay dude? I left to go play beer pong and that was it.
Anyway, this is all a pretty minor topic when it comes to life in Latin America.
As I said, I’ve only had like one incident where someone at a party said weird shit to me that I can remember as being worthy enough to go into detail here.
I'm sure though that, in my earlier days in Latin America, maybe someone said something about my Spanish when it was not as strong.
Outside of that, the only other incident that actually happened was one time at a house party in Roma where some dude was making a joke about my drinking habits.
Primarily with how I like black tea and vodka.
In fact, I've had a few Mexicans (including a chick named Jovi that I'm seeing now) joke about it.
And the dude in question at this party was drinking a corona.
Like at least I ain't a little bitch drinking piss water.
But I didn't go into detail on that because it wasn't a big deal.
I get it's weird for most Mexicans (and people in general) to see as a drink.
We bantered about it and that was it.
Outside of myself though?
I haven’t seen too many foreigners get treated like a Piñata at other house parties.
Still, it can happen.
Especially with you being a foreigner, I also feel like that increases the chance of some random Latino dude (insecure or not) targeting you for some jokes.
But, as I said, it’s not really that common in my experience and not something to think about too much.
A minor aspect to life down here.
Anyway, if you have any comments, drop them below in the comment section.
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Thanks for reading.