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Some virtues of my life. Places that I traveled though, feelings that I lived through, people that I met and colors that I saw.

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Getting Local

12th of January 2009

Location: Floredita, Cuba
Music: Reggeton
Mood: ready for a fight! :)

I had an interesting thing happen to me today, which led me to this post :) Anytime I go to the new country I try to become a part of the locals.

The pros are obvious: you are less bothered by hustlers, spend less money, locals treat you as a human being, not as an ATM and finally you see the country from a perspective unavailable to tourists…

Well, I was damn good at it! Here’s my scale - becoming a local by Viter:

1) It’s your first time in a country. You just left an airplane. You know about the country only from the geography classes in your high school. Well, you might also heard some news about catastrophes in the country.
You still have light skin and you still are being stared by everyone. At that time everyone tries to sell you something: drugs, cigars, a whore, a tour, $30 Vertu mobile phone, genuine Rollex, diamonds, ancient artifact, and shit like that.

2) You got tanned a little bit. Your clothes became crappy. You learned some dozens of vital phrases. You have already got accustomed to tuk-tuks, rikshas, 50’ chevys, cars without doors and interior. You react normally to homeless people. Moreover, you now understand that those huge black guys doesn’t want to knock shit out of you he just wants to sell you a bar of chocolate :). Locals ask directions from you on local language. However, the sharp eye of jinetero still sees you.

3) Now you know the language. You know all the prices for papyruses, marijuana, whores, taxi fares, and 3-block realty in the city. Jinetero argue with each other whether you are local or a foreigner. After all, one of them asks you for the truth, and you confess that you aren’t one of them :). In response you get his positive “good boy” :)

4) Everyone you see you say you’re local born in some other region to reason your pronunciation. If you are in Egypt you were born in Saudi, if you are on Goa you were born in Mumbai, if you are in Cuba you were born in Panama :) 
When a hustler offers you something you say him: “bro, I live here”. Then all the other sellers laugh their asses off because of his mistake :)

5) That’s a pro level! Police officers stop you on a street as if you were a local to check your documents. They even take you to police station in case you don’t have your docs! The only thing you can do to fix the problem is to use Russian coarse words:)

6) Military police takes you as if you are deserter running away from the army and puts in a vehicle with other “lucky ones”. Russian coarse words to senior officer and a mobile phone with Russian labels on it help :)

7) The edge. Oh, I’m pretty sure 99% of the readers won’t be able to do this:)
After you lose your passport and go to the local embassy the consul says: “ah, look at this Cuban’s perfect Ukrainian language skill! He definitely wants to escape the socialist heaven”:)

Yes, all of this shit happened to me:) You better not to follow my example :)

P.S. Disclaimer: these things don’t work everywhere. For instance, for some reason I couldn’t pretend as local black people in Jamaica...

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Lil, Germany
demk es!:)))))

nagora, Khmelnitskiy
Way to go!
Following you, thinking about you a lot, God bless you!
Thanks a ton for the piece of sunshine! I've got it already and feel extremely happy!