All you need to know about Iberian America

The American Confusion With the Metric System When Traveling to Latin America

Many years ago, I was in Chile doing the W Trek in Patagonia as you can see here.

Some parts of the trek were a tiny bit harder than others.

And, throughout the walk, you would think to yourself "just how far away is the next cabin/house/whatever to sleep in?"

But, to the American, the answer was never quite clear!

For you had signs that would say something like "2 km" or "2 kilometers."

For the Americans out there, I just did a quick Google search and apparently 2 km is 1.243 miles.

Even to this day after many years outside of America, I still don't know "km" very well.

At least in terms of translating it to miles.

Though, to my credit, I can have a "rough idea" of how much walking MIGHT be needed for a 2 km walk but it's always a rough idea and nothing too concrete.

Similarly, another incident happened recently that reminded me of how I still have much to learn regarding this pesky metric system.

"How Much Food is That?"

About a week ago more or less, my sister texted me on Messenger while living here in Mexico City.

She wanted to talk about something and I also needed her help to contact my bank by phone to dispute a charge put on my debit card.

Before she could pick up the phone though, she had to charge her phone.

Meanwhile, I'm looking at Uber Eats and wondering if I should buy something.

As I wrote here, there's another restaurant nearby that sells boneless wings but they NEVER have boneless wings

They have them perhaps once a week or maybe every two weeks. Always on the weekends though. Forget about the rest of the days!

Typical of Latin America for a place to constantly run out of food.

At least compared to back home, places down here run out of food much more quickly for whatever reason I still don't understand.

So, after realizing that they AGAIN don't have boneless (despite having it on the menu), I'm on Uber Eats thinking about ordering some from another restaurant.

"You SEE, Latin America (con ojos)? When you are INEFFICIENT and can't run something properly, you LOSE customers! Big concept for yall Need it written out?"

Anyway, I see this deal on Uber Eats and they have a "2 for 1" offer.

Buy 250 grams of boneless and you actually get 500 grams.

Now, to be honest, I had no idea how much "250 grams" were so I asked my sister.

Here is our conversation.

She estimated you'd get about 6 boneless wings.


Oh what a silly little American, she is!

Let's take this moment and LAUGH at you!

Join me everybody!

We are going to LAUGH at this silly American and their SILLY calculations!


....And, to be fair, you can laugh at me too because I didn't know either.

So I buy the deal for a grand total of 10 bucks thinking that "surely 500 grams is enough, right?"

And here is the final result!

I ended up getting TWENTY pieces of boneless wings.

One side had BBQ and the other was garlic Parmesan with some side sauce of "habano" whatever.

So, as you can tell, both of us Americans failed at guessing how much food it would be.

I ended up eating 10 for lunch and 10 for dinner.

But is there ANYTHING that I am familiar with in the metric system?

Liters and Milliliters: How Much Vodka, Jack?

Perhaps not so surprising, I am VERY competent at anything liquids.

After all the bottles of vodka, whiskey, brandy and rum that I have bought over the years, I am VERY familiar with the metric system in terms of liquids.

Got that down cold!

Final Thoughts

In a way, I'm a little bit odd in this one.

I think in terms of miles and not kilometers.

I don't really think in terms of grams so much but I know roughly how many grams I'll get in terms of french fries because I'm used to being told how many grams of french fries I'll get when reading the menus down here.

.....For some odd reason that doesn't translate well to how many boneless wings I'll get or much of anything else.

But, when it comes to liquids, I actually think in terms of Liters and Milliliters but never in terms of pints or quarts.

In fact, on a few occasions, I've confused my sister when talking about liquids in Liters or Milliliters and she has to start converting that to ounces.

Being honest here, I genuinely don't remember well how to measure anything in ounces, Liters or Milliliters.

No joke!

My measuring system -- in terms of liquids only -- has been replaced by how everyone else does it and I only understand in Liters and Milliliters.

....How long until we cover distance and grams of food?

Maybe never!

In Middle School and High School, I often did Track so I'll likely never forget how long a mile is.

At any rate, it's an odd detail for the American living outside of his home country.

Truly, it's not that big of a deal as it doesn't actually impact your daily life that much and it's not hard to learn other measuring systems.

But, for some reason, I've always been too lazy to learn km and grams.

At least for now -- as long as my memory is good for -- I'll always know what 250 grams in boneless wings gets me.

So we got that covered!

Anyway, it's a minor detail to life abroad for the American (or for the foreigner going to America) so I'll leave it at that.

Drop any comments below.

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Thanks for reading.

Best regards,


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