Friday, January 17, 2014

Count, Pointer-Count

As if.

Have you ever stood in place and pounded your head against a brick wall? Voluntarily? Yes? No?

Note: I'm leaving out the choice of maybe because you'd definitely recall this exercise it if you had engaged in it even once. Unless you did try it, in which case maybe you don't remember so good no more.

But back to the topic at hand. Arguing.

It's a religion.

Not for me — I tend to walk away from such nonsense and then swear in private for a while to purge the bile from my system, but for a lot of people, you know? Religion. Way of life. Requirement. One hundred percent natural ingredients.

Not meaning to point fingers (and not being an expert on Latin America or anything, with my whole eight months of living here and all), but.


But there seems to be an ingrained belief that arguing over something makes something else better, somehow, whether or not arguing can possibly achieve any rationally-definable result.

OK, you already know where I stand on this issue, if you've been reading with your eyes open. So, not for me the arguing, but for a lot of people, yes — there is this hewing to the arguing thing.

Truly, I feel it — I am a guest here. That's where the First Rule Of Expat Club comes from. You don't set foot on someone's turf and then get all Bellig and Rant. But they can. And do. Those who were born here. It's natural, I think, for them. And it's their place to do so if they wish, since they own said place, and its accompanying culture.

Well, some people. Some of them do. The ones that do it. (Argue.) Not most people, but some, maybe a lot of them, and they do it with relish and vigor.

Be surrounded by, and then argue with police? Sure. Why not?

Sit on a plane that's sort of not going anywhere, and then tromp up front and ream out the lead flight attendant? Ditto. And find that you are subsequently joined by several other passengers? Yup. Keep it up for twenty minutes or so? Sure. In an attempt to make the plane move sooner? You betcha.

Run a business? Have a customer? Have that customer bring back defective goods? Well hey — time for a roaring argument. Let it roll on for many, many long minutes. Declare victory when your customer troops out and never returns.

What could be better?

Truth be told, I haven't seen a whole big lot of arguing myself. Mostly on that flight, and at the immigration office, where I sat all too many times, waiting my turn, and had nothing else to do but watch every single damn person who got there ahead of me go up front when their turn came, and immediately plow into a free-wheeling, half-hour-long argument.

About whatever.

Maybe about nothing.

In that situation, there, I simply had my stuff, had it sorted out, and in the right order, and completed correctly, and I submitted it and had it approved. Without argument. From anyone. Least of all me. So no need of arguing.

I could be wrong but I believed then and believe now that punching someone in the gut with endless arguments is not a good way to make them happy. Especially if you are soliciting their assistance, like, for instance, when you are applying for residency.

I guess I just don't get it.

So I'm kinda going to keep lying low and will continue to wear my happy-face and not argue. Even if it is what people expect. Until I learn a better way.

Meanwhile I'm keeping up my crazy-inscrutable gringo act. That seems to throw everyone off.

I like that in a way. My non-argument counter-argument anti-argument supersonic invisible unscented Tao.


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