Friday, February 05, 2010

i need more air quotes to tell this properly.

May I please plead the case that I am 100% Little Miss Cultural Relativism most of the time, but even when you can blend in fairly well with the language and lifestyle of a place, being North American comes with a mentality that doesn't always match that of our Southern compatriots. It doesn't mean that anyone is "right" or "wrong," we're just "different." And sometimes that gets a little "confusing."
I know what the word "work" is in Spanish, but that doesn't mean I know what people mean when they say it. So Marlo and I got "jobs" in Wayruro Hostel after chatting with the owners Julio and Jesus about their plans to open up a bar. A week ago, our understanding was that they wanted to repaint everything, design a menu, stock the bar (currently only filled with beer and what looks like a bottle of coca liquor older than I am), and have a party to celebrate Pisco Sour Day (Saturday), a day as big as the 4th of July for Peruvian-types.

This is when I first realized that for as much as people from the States complain about "deadlines," WE FREAKING LOVE THEM. We thrive on them. Marlo and I immediately perked up at the thought of throwing a killer Saturday night in a brand-new bar. We jumped behind a blender to practice our Pisco Sours, came up with a drinks list, designed a paint scheme, talked with their designer for a menu plan, and made mental notes about how much work we could accomplish before Saturday night. Who doesn't love a good project? Especially when it leaves you time to surf in the mornings?

We quickly realized that we weren't operating on South American time. By Thursday, when the designer still was only showing up sporadically and the paint we picked hadn't been bought, we asked Julio if Pisco Sour Day was a real thing or WHAT.

Us: "BTW, Julio, when you told us to invite people, we did. Lots of them."

Julio: "Shit."

He then went to yell at Jesus for telling the Americans to do things, "because then they actually do them! You can't talk to people from the States like you talk to people here."

OKAY! We are now officially going to REALLY TRY to start operating on South American time, which means that we'll be celebrating Pisco Sour Day roughly six weeks late.

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