As I’ve documented in this article here, I’ve had a weird relationship with the owner of the apartment that I am living in.
In that article, I described how I was going to leave the apartment with my rent and deposit handed back in hand on some Friday not too long ago.
His reasoning for having me gone primarily boiled down to the use of my fan in my apartment in which, according to him, it drives up the electricity bill SO MUCH.
Not to mention that, given that I work from home during the night, I use the lights in my room for 6 hours a day.
So, to him, it’s not very economical to keep me around.
Some landlords in Mexico are like that by the way.
For some odd reason, some REALLY DO NOT WANT you to actually be in the room or apartment.
Their motto being that “the place is only for sleeping. NOTHING ELSE!”
It’s honestly such third world logic to me.
Why kick someone out for spending extra time in a place they are renting?
If there’s extra electricity costs to them working from home, just charge the difference!
Sure, you’ll get a few less clients but the difference isn’t THAT huge.
Whenever I look around for a new place to move into, some landlords do actually have an IQ above 75 and so they are not that dumb to not realize that they could charge more instead of denying a client.
How much do they usually ask?
Around 500 pesos or roughly 25 bucks.
Not sure if that’s a fair price but it’s only 25 bucks.
Who gives a fuck?
Anyway, I decided against doing that because I simply couldn’t find a place that I liked quick enough and the owner only gave me a 4 day notice to leave so that I can have all of that money back right away to move out.
After that date? I now have the option to move out but with only half of the first month’s rent and the full deposit in hand if I leave by this week.
Which I feel is fair given that I’ve already gone through half of the first month anyhow.
Though I’m not leaving.
Given we’re halfway through, I figured I might as well just stay until the month is over and ditch.
Still, the landlord seemed irritated that I’m staying with some midnight texts coming my way last Monday.
“What happened, Matt?!” he asked.
With this screenshot here showing his concern about that damn fan I use.
At any rate, we agreed that I'll stay until the end of the month.
He can suck my dick if he don’t like it.
Still, last night, we had another weird moment.
I used UBER Eats to deliver me some flautas.
They showed up at around 9:45 PM roughly.
I walked downstairs from the third floor to the bottom floor to open the door to get my food.
With food in hand, I close the door and spend about a minute or two checking to make sure it’s actually locked.
The room was very dark and I had no light and so I was checking a door that is kinda weird in how the lock works.
It looked locked anyhow.
As I walked past the pool on the bottom floor going up the steps, I heard a concerned voice behind me from above “QUE PASO, MATT?!?”
I looked up behind me and see this fat dude looking down on me.
I recognized the voice but there was some super bright light behind him hitting my face.
“QUE HACES?!?” he asked seeming a little bit annoyed.
And I pointed at the bag and yelled back “COMIDA!”
To which he grunted out “ya es un poco tarde.”
Meaning “it’s a little bit late.”
Based on the words that followed, he seemed a bit irritated that I went downstairs to open the door for food.
It’s literally like 9:45 PM roughly.
And I’ve never had another place in Mexico City or anywhere get bitchy at when I leave or enter the building.
Be it 10 PM or as late as 4 AM.
This is one controlling motherfucker.
“Y eso que??” I asked.
“Eh?” he throws back.
To which I said “los vecinos llegan tarde todos los días. A las 9, a las 10….”
Meaning “the neighbors show up late every day. At 9, 10.”
Which is true – they often work very long hours and arrive sometime actually between 8 to 10 PM roughly.
And, given that I rent this place out, am I not allowed to just walk out the door when I want?
Keep in mind that this isn’t some family house.
It’s a business that rents out a pool on the first floor and a space on the second floor for people taking dance lessons with the landlord seemingly living in a side room.
If this was a family house I was living in, I could get the concern a little more if happened to be opening the door at maybe 4 AM.
But it’s not a family house and it’s not 4 AM.
Still, the dude then asks me “what’s in the bag?”
And, despite having already told him, I reiterate myself saying “COMIDA!” and pointing at it.
Then the guy pisses off to his room and I go back to my spot.
But the experience did leave with me a slightly bad feeling.
It felt like the dude was suspecting that I was up to no good or some shit.
Which isn’t too unusual among a very few locals in Latin America.
Let me explain with a few more examples.
“So What You Cooking?”
A few years ago, I was living by Metro Juanacatlan in Mexico City.
I was learning how to cook for the first time in my life.
A nice gal taught me how to cook some pasta.
Forgot who it was that taught me that but I was basically having Latinas I was fucking from Tinder to teach me how to cook some basics so I could, in theory, save money as I was low on cash.
But, being honest, I wasn’t very loyal to the kitchen.
As I wrote here, it’s just so damn cheap to eat outside at street food spots in Mexico that the price difference between cooking at home and eating at a spot like that really isn’t anything.
It’s arguably cheaper in my opinion but let’s move on.
Anyway, I couldn’t cook much as you can imagine.
My skills involved cooking chicken and rice or pasta.
Which, as a side point, I’d like to thank whoever taught me how to cook pasta.
To this day, I still enjoy some pasta meals I can make that I quite like.
The benefits of dating a nice gal, huh?
They can teach you how to cook some cool shit.
Anyway, as I said, I wasn’t actually cooking that much given the street food factor.
But I tried.
And, one day, I was cooking some pasta.
Didn’t use any oil. Nothing greasy.
The cleaning lady walks in.
She was an old woman who was suspicious of me!
“What you cooking?” she asked.
“Pasta!” I responded.
“Uh-huh.” She replied.
Then she went on a monologue at some point about “JUST HOW GREASY THE KITCHEN IS ALWAYS!! SOMEONE ISN’T CLEANING THE MESS THEY LEAVE!”
“Damn that sucks major ass donkey balls” I responded.
Well, minus the donkey balls – despite my Spanish skills, I don’t know how to translate that into Spanish.
Never learned that specific vocabulary!
Anyway, I initially had a nonchalant attitude about it because I knew I didn’t make the mess.
She then goes on about the “MESS IN THE SINK” and how SOMEONE is tossing shit they shouldn’t be into it!
And that I had an answer for.
There was some Lesbian Colombian couple who lived on the bottom floor that I had seen dump vegetables (corn and whatever else) into the sink.
Just leaving it there.
The cleaning lady didn’t seem convinced.
She then took her time standing there asking me “how EXACTLY do you cook that pasta?”
And I explained it to her step by step as I did it right in front of her.
Got to dump the hot water out when it’s ready.
Put some sauce in it.
Mix it all up.
Add some parmesan cheese.
Don’t forget the meat to mix in with it either.
We ain’t no soyboy communist vegans out here!
And, during the explanation, she saw that no grease was left on the stove.
“That’s how you cook it, huh?” she asked in disbelief.
“Sure do!” I responded.
“What else do you cook?” she asked.
And I explained how I sometimes cook chicken and rice but rarely.
She responded “well, SOMEBODY has been leaving A LOT of grease on the stove and a BIG MESS in the sink. You don’t eat corn? Don’t make anything greasy?”
“Nope!” I responded.
She didn’t seem convinced.
Later on, I got a message from the landlord about it as he was notified of “concerns” that the cleaning lady had.
The landlord, whose name was Rodrigo if I remember right, was fairer in believing me.
Still, life went on.
“What Are Your Intentions With My Daughter, Punk?”
To be fair, this is a more innocent example of “ojos sospechosos” in Latin America.
Years ago, I met the parents of my last girlfriend named Brenda.
To keep it short, her dad was intelligent, down to earth and very likeable.
Look, she’s a nice lady.
I’m not trying to be mean – only report the facts.
She was dumber than a pile of rocks.
Her IQ was so low that it was astonishing to see how someone could be as dumb as her.
And I don’t mean “dumb” in an offensive way.
Only in a matter-of-fact way – she literally came across as VERY low IQ.
Also very superstitious.
But, when speaking of Latinos being “suspicious” with you, she was an obvious case.
Though her example is understandable.
A simple “is this guy good for my daughter?”
We had no issues on that front between us.
Though with her brother was a different story as I’ve written about before..
Still, it’s an obvious example of when Latinos can be overly suspicious of you but an understandable one that you see in any culture.
The parents of someone you are dating simply being curious about you.
Want to make sure you are a good person.
Here’s a funny video on the subject.
The Wrong Neighborhood?
Readers of my blog know that I’m no stranger to visiting and living in neighborhoods of Mexico City that most foreigners wouldn’t step foot in.
Personally, I think they’re a bunch of sissies.
It’s not that I’m a fearless thug who ain’t scared of catching bullets, it’s simply that some foreigners, in my opinion, are too chicken shit to ever leave touristy areas.
Though, to be fair, some might not see any reason if they want to live in an area with more activity.
I get that.
Either way, I will say that I’m a little more “accustomed” to areas that might be seen as too ugly by others (even locals) to visit or live in.
And so, while not every area I live in is like that, just a few I have lived in were kinda like that.
Even though they were fine areas to me, I can be reasonable in understanding why a few areas I’ve lived in would definitely not be appealing to any other foreigner.
As a result, you find yourself being the only foreigner in the area like that.
The consequence of that?
Well, most people you interact with are actually very friendly.
Definitely VERY curious about why you live there.
And some, a special few, do give you the “ojos sospechosos.”
Though not in a bad way that gives negative vibes like above in my experience.
Only in a way like “really? Whose this dude in our area?”
Again, they’re not hostile!
Just genuinely finding it strange that you are in the area.
For example, I once was apartment hunting in an area called Pedregal de Santo Domingo over a year ago.
I had already lived there before and ended up actually living in Copilco area instead.
However, as I was apartment hunting, I found one apartment (not just a room) for 7,000 pesos that I saw online.
Looked good in the photos online and wasn’t overly bad looking in person.
Though I did get lost trying to find it initially.
Some young looking skinny dude in his 20s was eyeballing the living fuck out of me as he saw me wonder around trying to find this place.
Clearly looking lost.
I asked the dude since I clearly had his attention about “where is this address?”
He then called one of his buddies standing some odd feet away to come on over.
They began discussing in a very rough “barrio” sounding accent (if that makes sense) about “which direction could it be in?”
Anyway, they helped me find it.
And, after pointing me in the right direction, were just generally curious about what the hell am I doing in this area?
Not in a hostile or mean way.
Not in a “get the fuck out of here” way.
Just curious because they had never seen a foreigner in the area before.
In that area specifically when I did live there, it wasn’t uncommon for the occasional one or two people every other day to give me a look like that.
It bordered on some suspicion – ojos sospechosos – but never hostile.
Anyway, what’s the point behind all of this?
There were a few other examples I could’ve brought up but decided against it as I want to wrap this article up already.
The point is this – in Latin America as a foreigner, it’s not rare to get what I call “ojos sospechosos.”
Now, to be fair, I don’t know if I heard that term anywhere else or if I made it up and if it doesn’t sound “proper” in Spanish.
Regardless, it’s when a local in Latin America is giving you a “certain look” that makes it seem like they are suspicious of you.
Trying to get a sense of who you are and what you’re doing.
When you’re a different person that some are not accustomed to (be it racially, nationality wise, etc), you get people like that.
And you have others who give you those eyes because of preconceived bias against you for who you are (which can also be based on race, nationality, sex, etc).
But when it happens varies by the incident and how it happens in Latin America most definitely happens in other parts of the world.
It’s only relevant here because I’m simply bringing forward my own experience with it living as a foreigner and as a racial minority in Latin America.
How can it happen anyhow?
Well, some of the examples above might illustrate the point.
For one, I get the feeling some suspect me of being guilty of something simply for being a foreigner.
While you have plenty of Latinos who give preference for foreigners and like all things foreign (like malinchistas), you have others who will blame the foreigner for something before contemplating that the local might’ve caused the problem instead.
Second, from my observations, being in an area where you are of a significant racial minority (like some heavily indigenous area), can provoke the same sentiment against you simply for being such an obvious outsider.
Third, you have some women in Latin America, like in any part of the world, that simply hate men and suspect us of always being up to no good. They always carry some bitterness and resentment that they project onto all men for some reason. A few women in Latin America (and only a few) give off that vibe.
Fourth, like anywhere in the world, going to a more rural community (town or village), can provoke this sentiment among some of the locals when you visit. Just a suspicious demeanour on their part regarding who you are and what are you doing in the area.
Fifth, like anywhere in the world, you have parents in any culture who can be suspicious of the intentions of someone trying to date their child. Not unique to Latin America either.
Sixth, as I said, going into “rougher” neighborhoods (especially those with a tiny few young men just chilling on the sidewalk for some odd reason), can provoke curiosity that doesn’t always resemble “suspiciousness” but can.
Either way, that’s all I got to say.
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