- The San Cristóbal of Where?
Just the other day, I was in a Starbucks in Mexico City that is right in front of the Angel of Independence statue.
As you can see here, they didn't quite get my name right but that's OK.
While sitting down, I am reading the newspaper about AMLO and the Grito celebration as you can see here.
Interesting group of people he invited over.
Among other interesting articles to read about the latest news in Mexico.
I quite like going to this specific Starbucks because, in my first year in Mexico City, I used to go here daily basically and just always enjoyed sitting in the open air space.
In fact, when I go inside to order my tea, I'm always paranoid that some asshole is going to take that last seat in the open air space and leave me hanging with no good place to sit.
And it's even worse when, like that specific day, there is someone in front of you taking their sweet ass time ordering.
Where it seemingly takes them 5 minutes and only takes me 30 seconds.
Hurry the fuck up people -- someone might take my nice spot!
Though not all spots in that open air space of that specific Starbucks are equal.
While I prefer to sit closer to the air coming in, I actually like more the spot by the corner because it's easier to ignore the homeless people asking for money every hour.
You can't sit there without them asking for money.
And, in one case as I wrote about here, there was a homeless dude yelling at me years ago the following: "HEY! HEY YOU! WHITE GUY! I'M GOING TO STEAL YOUR FUCKING LAPTOP!"
He then proceeded to use a street phone to tell his buddies to come rob me but, in the moment, it was clear he was on drugs, that he didn't put any change in and that he had no buddies to help his skinny ass rob me.
He then fucked off across the street.
Anyway, I like this Starbucks more than most I've been to in the city.
I'm always a loyal fan of Starbucks simply because they are one of the better establishments for making black iced tea (without sugar) in Mexico City.
I could go to Cielito also but they are Mexican and, while I have nothing against Mexican establishments, I'd prefer to support a business of the motherland.
All things being equal, I'd always support the business from the US instead.
So, on that specific day, I was standing in line and waiting for my turn to order tea.
As you saw in the photo above, they fucked up the name as usual.
Similar to what I wrote here about how it seems like a lot of folks in Latin America (not just Mexico) struggle with "Matt."
Then I sat down for the newspaper and thankfully got my spot.
But, like I said, it was a spot near the window and so I was more open to homeless people begging.
San Cristobal of Where?
Though, on that specific day, I only remember one homeless person in my maybe 1 to 2 hours of being there ask me for money.
Which, in my experience going to that specific Starbucks so many times over the years, is actually pretty damn good.
Normally it'd be like 3 to 5 people in some hours.
Just one after another.
In this case, it was a short Venezuelan dude of light brown skin asking for money with a sign saying something along the lines of "I am from Venezuela. I need money."
Which, to be honest, was a surprise in the moment.
Simply because, up to this day after all my years in Mexico City, I don't think I can recall the last time I actually saw a poor Venezuelan in Mexico City.
All the ones I have seen or recall seeing in this specific city were more the white, relatively comfortable Venezuelans with good jobs or some form of inheritance seemingly as I wrote about here for example.
In other Latin American countries like Colombia or Peru, you do have more of the "poorer Venezuelan."
So is Mexico City getting more poorer ones recently?
I have no idea but that was the first time I can recall seeing one who was poor and claimed to be Venezuelan.
Anyway, the dude asked for change from the couple sitting across from me first.
They said no.
He then turns to me.
Personally, I don't mind helping a tiny bit.
The dude is hungry and needs to eat and giving him 5 pesos (25 cents) isn't going to break the bank or make it impossible to pay rent next month.
I know some people have grown sick of poor Venezuelans specifically due to their reputation of crime, poverty, drugs, etc.
And whatever else.
I've never had much bad experience with them and, even among the poorer ones, some of their women suck dick nicely.
So I can't complain!
None of them have ever attacked me, their wealthier ones are snobbier and more arrogant but overall tolerable and their women can be quite cute at times and seemingly decent at giving head.
What's there to complain about?
But, like I said, some people really don't like them and that's how it is.
At any rate, I pull out a quick 5 pesos (25 cents) to give to the young guy (he couldn't have been older than 20 from how he looked) and asked him out of curiosity "de donde eres?"
I've briefly gotten to know Venezuela before but, in all honesty, I'm not an expert on the country at large.
Though I have heard of many of their cities.
In this case though, the guy confused me.
He claimed to be from "San Cristobal."
Perhaps I was tired that day.
But my mind immediately rushed to thinking of "San Cristobal de las Casas" in Chiapas of Mexico.
Then I read his sign again.
And I am confused.
How could he be Venezuelan and from San Cristobal in Chiapas of Mexico?
And I respond "from Chiapas?"
Now he looks confused.
And, in the span of about 15 seconds at most, he clarifies that "no, from San Cristobal, Venezuela."
Then he explains it is some city near the border of Colombia.
It then hits me.
I remember the city (though I have never been there as of this writing in 2022).
San Cristobal Venezuela
The small talk continues for another minute or so.
Then he goes about his day.
When living here in Latin America long enough, you might find yourself in moments where the name of a city is casually mentioned but somebody in the conversation is confused as to which of those cities with that name they are referring to.
Most of the time, the confusion isn't there though if everyone knows which country we are talking about.
Though it can still happen.
When I was in Iowa, I remember going to a Mexican restaurant where I've known the owners all my life.
I don't remember the exact city that caused confusion but I mentioned to the owner something about visiting some city in Latin America and she thought I was referring to another city by the same name but in Mexico.
It wasn't in Mexico.
I forgot the exact name of the city that caused the minor confusion but things were clarified and the conversation went on.
Actually, now that I think about it, I think it was Potosi.
Where I was discussing Potosi of Bolivia and she thought I meant San Luis Potosi of Mexico.
Anyway, it is what it is.
Sometimes confusion happens and I think that, for at least us expats, digital nomads or people who travel through all of Latin America and not just one country, this issue is more common than for the foreigners spending almost all of their time in just one specific Latin American country.
Harder to get confused perhaps if you don't have in your head the cities and memories with them that share a similar name but are in some other Latin American country.
Anyway, it's a small detail to life down here.
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Thanks for reading.