Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm Not a Gringa!!!

Ok, yes, I am.  But I'm not! 

A little something that seriously annoyed me I noticed while Laura was here was how everytime her blond hair and blue eyes were standing beside me, I got the "Gringa Treatment".  Let me just clarify that when I'm alone on the street (which is usually) people don't even bat an eye.  They don't usually ask me if I'm a Gringa, or if I'm from another place, or even comment really.  But standing next to Laura, it was like their Gringo-Spidey Sense was on full blast. 

I've never been asked, "Você é Gringa?" "Voce fala Português?" "Você e da onde?" SO MANY TIMES.  Argh. 

So you may be thinking, 'but, uhhh, you ARE Gringa....'.  I see your point.  And you are correct.  Technically.  But when you've put as much effort into learning a language, trying to understand a foreign culture that goes against many of your instincts, and just trying to be normal, you'd be pissed too when people are calling you out like snowflakes in July.  Or just snowflakes in Brazil in general.  Which is what we were.  Snowflakes.  Big ass, white, shiny snowflakes. 

I have reached a level of Portuguese that makes people look at me and think "Oh, she must be handicapped.  I know she's speaking Portuguese, but it's kind of funny.  Good for her!  Doing things in the world all by herself!  Way to represent the handicap, Weird Portuguese-Speaking Girl!"

And I take that as the utmost compliment. 

But I don't stand a chance to even be a handicapped Brazilian with other Gringas around me!

So Gringo Friends, if in the future I suddenly run away from you on the street in an attempt to stand out less, please dont be offended.  I just don't want my hard-earned efforts to go to waste!


  1. kkkkkkkk

    funny your point of view, =P

    menina relaxe, as he said that old song: "being different is normal"

    You are special because of who you are, and that's enough, or at least should be enough


  2. I stood out so much in Turkey....other English teachers didn't even want to be in public with me b/c the harassment was so severe! Here, surprisingly, no one ever thinks I'm America. They ask if I'm from Argentina or Germany. It's weird.

  3. "I have reached a level of Portuguese that makes people look at me and think "Oh, she must be handicapped. I know she's speaking Portuguese, but it's kind of funny. Good for her! Doing things in the world all by herself! Way to represent the handicap, Weird Portuguese-Speaking Girl!""

    I laughed out loud at that whole paragraph! I think I'm at that same level, and it explains a lot of the looks I get. Hilarious.

  4. Lolololo this post just made me go through an embarassing moment while - why did I decide to read it while waitting on the master degrees assingmrnt line?! XD
    And, believe, I know how you feel..

  5. I know what you mean. I don't feel like I stand out too much here or like people stare at me (or even give me the second look) when I'm alone. When I'm with my husband sometimes people look more because we look so different from each other.
    However, when I'm with a gringa friend (especially a blonde, blue-eyed) then we really get the "gringa treatment".

  6. HAHAHAH. Yes, you must be handicapped! Just kidding.

    This is funny though, and yes, I could see why you would get annoyed by this.

    At least you aren't constantly called out when on your own!


  7. Ugh, I hate the "Gringa Treatment"! I'd gone almost a year without encountering it... aaaand then my family of 5 (all whiter than me!) came to visit for a week. In Bahia. Where something like 80% of residents have some degree of decendencia africana. You can imagine how that went :-p

  8. It's funny what Jen said, because people also never ask me if I'm American(Canadian) when I'm alone. If they ever do, they almost always think I'm German!
    I don't even have German roots!

    Brasilicana, I'm looking forward to the same thing when my mom and sister come to visit. Even my husband says I look more gringa when I'm around them.

  9. :) I know what you mean. I always have people asking if I am Gaucha or if I lived the majority of my childhood in the states. I'm always excited when either two of these guesses come out of people's mouths. It is so exciting when you can ALMOST pass as a native, right? I'm blonde haired and blue eyed, so thankfully here in Rondonia there is a huge Gaucha immigrant population that helps me to blend in a bit smoother :)

  10. Soooo, you wanna be a handicapped Brazilian? lol

    I totally get what you mean. Did they also charge you extra for stuff like food or tickets because your, umm, gringaness was extra visible while your friend was visiting?

  11. I travel a lot and when I do that, I'm treated the same way. Paris, Rome, anywhere, if you're not from the neighborhoods, you have to be prepare for that kind of stuff. I just don't think this is a Brazilian thing. Sorry.

    But it was a funny post though.


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