Friday, September 14, 2012

You Know You've Been Assimilated When...

We have been here for almost 5 years now and I have noticed some things. I think I have been assimilated. You know you have been assimilated when:

- you have lost all use of your hands and now point to things with your feet
- you ignore all flashing lights from emergency vehicles and especially police (since they are driving around   
  with lights on so criminals know they are coming)
- you are compelled to touch absolutely every piece of everythnig in the store and not buy anything
- you open everything in the store
- you block any and all intersections while driving
- you pop the emergency blinkers on at the first sight of rain
- you get excited about a hacked up chicken smoked with car exhaust on the side of the road
- you do "even steven" to block everyone on the highway
- you expect nothing so you won't be disappointed
- you regularly run red lights and turn where you aren't supposed to
- you back up on the highway for a long ways (is there even an exit there?)
- you don't pay your tickets since they'll lose the record that you paid it anyway
- you say "it's not that bad" a lot


Cassie said...

Doesn't sound that bad :-)
I suppose you know you've had the "true" experience when you feel assimilated. It's actually pretty cool. Just think when you move back to the US, you'll have to re-learn those antiquated norms all over again! haha

Linda said...

sometimes I think I can leave a bar with a "to go" cup in New Jersey, then I remember.. I'm not in Puerto Rico

Anonymous said...

Welcome to New York City

Fran and Steve said...

Steve and I busted a gut! Here are more, with comments as to our frequency of offense:
- you ignore yield signs, treat stop signs as yield signs, and treat stop lights as stop signs (sometimes)
- keep thumb hovering over car horn so there is no hesitation at appropriate moments (always)
- you park on the yellow curbs at shopping centers because you can't find a space (sometimes)
- you stop the car to chat with a friend and totally ignore the car honking behind you (wait, this actually happened today!)
- you interrupt a clerk who is attending a customer to ask a question, to which the clerk actually gives you a lengthy answer, and neither one of you apologizes to the customer (not yet...)
- you let your kids run wild and scream in the restaurant or store and never make eye contact with the victims (not applicable)
- you pick your nose when talking to someone (I hope never)
- a piece of litter is blown from your hand and you make no effort to chase it (not yet)
- visitors to your home enter through the marquesina door (always)
And we have committed about 1/3 of your list as well. After 18 months, we are well on our way to assimilation!

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

Fran- you've added some goodies! I also forgot about "chin jutting (hellos or pointing)" and "Triple parking (when you don't want to walk 4 feet to a space and do want to block cars in." And my favorite - just busting out with a yell/grunt- I resisted this for a while but find it relieves stress!

Fran and Steve said...

A lot of these practices are based on the premise that others don't exist, but if you must acknowledge them, you don't have to show any courtesy whatsoever. Steve lived in S. Korea and said they had some of the same practices. We think it has to do with overpopulation, where if you are too considerate of others, you don't survive. We used to get pissed every day. Now we just shrug our shoulders and justify everything that way-- TMP (Too Many People).

Cesar said...

I have also lived in South Korea where you see some of the same things. Overpopulation is part of the reason, but I don't think it is because people wouldn't survive if they are considerate. As far as Korean go, they have historically lived in villages and clans and thus tend not to consider those outside the village or clan. There is also an acceptance that "bumping" into each other will happen when there's so many folks around, so there is no need to apologize or engage in pleasantries. Puerto Ricans, on the other hand, seem to live in a perpetual state of "before I get screwed, I'm going to screw you" which ends in that lack of acknowledegment of the other that Fran and Steve talk about. BTW, In the Seoul Metro area there are about 25 million people, give or take,guess how often you get bumped into as you walk around or ride the train?