Thursday, May 3, 2012


You won't believe what I just saw.

Living in a foreign country forces you to come to terms with some issues. Issues you may always have had, but simply weren't aware of until you set foot in this new world and immediately began to see everything in a stronger contrast.

Foreigners look funny.

You catch onto this one right away. Few of them have tattoos, and for those who do, their tattoos tend to be small and discreet. Covered, perhaps, so you'd never know they are even there.

You don't see so many lip or eyebrow rivets either. Of course, having to pass through one too many airport screenings probably prompted you to grab a pliers and rip yours out too, but now you have scabs, or at least scars. Your foreign business associates, not so much.

The same goes for your mohawk, which you reluctantly decided to shave off after that incident with the women running down the street screaming, and now you have a shaved head, which few of the other women around you have.

Their taste in clothes is off.

Plaid shorts hanging off your hips. High-top, rubber-soled canvas shoes without socks. A grungy T-shirt with a message about your crotch, or someone else's crotch. All these seem odd to those around you.

They may still be wearing pressed slacks with polished leather shoes. White shirts with ties. What's up with that?

Take this as an opportunity for some culture transference. Help bring your new neighbors and business associates into the 21st century by setting a good example.

You really have to wonder about the food.

First, what is it?

Second, why?

What's wrong with good old-fashioned American food? You know, the kind that you get from a hole in the side of a building. Food in a paper bag with extra napkins and a straw. Food that tastes exactly the same no matter what time of day it is, whose sign is on the building, or which state you're in.

See, foreigners have this concept thing. For them, food has to be prepared by people who put their hands all over it, and then cook it and serve it, and then stand there and watch you eat it.

Creepo. Will they ever understand that food should come off a conveyor belt? This may take a while.

Funny languages.

Like that's going to work. Almost everyone speaks English, or wishes they did. At least the smart ones.

But there are all too many people, all over, who insist on that stale old gibberish. Some of them pretend not to understand you no matter how slow you talk or how loud you yell. Others actually do not know any English at all. True!

At your own peril, Dudes and Dudettes. We own this place. You have been warned.

Crazy fake money.

There are smart countries out there that use the good old U.S. dollar. But not many.

The dollar has been the world's currency standard for over half a century, but two-bit countries everywhere still prefer to print their play money in those weird stupid colors. Who comes up with this crap?

You get some tiny little bills like postage stamps, and other ones the size of banana leaves. And it all has a way of growing mold in the rainy season. Hey. Rubber glove time.

Face it. Real money is boring and has American presidents on it. Accept no substitutes.

So, to sum up, you're out there, and somehow you have to make sense of whatever hits you in the face.

How? As always, proceed at your own risk, Bro.


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