Re: Conditioned Assumptions

John Pastore (venture@CANCUN.RCE.COM.MX)
Sat, 4 May 1996 04:52:52 +0000

On 4 May 96 at 15:42, Judith Pederson wrote:

..I will be taking American cultural
> assumptions and comparing/contrasting them to other culturals.


> Anybody have some ideas?

When traveling in foreign cultures:

1) They assume the telephone system works like the one back home
(ie: What do you mean I can't call collect?)

2) They assume beef comes from 'Elsie the Cow'. (ie: What do you
mean the beef is fresh because they had the bullfights today? Are you
serving 'Bull Meat'!?!")

3) They assume fish served in restaurants with their heads intact are
inedible. (ie: "What do you mean just roll the eyeballs under the
nearest tortilla? I can't eat anything that was looking at me!")

4) They assume that if the order of food in a restaurant is brought
with the french fries first, the salad second, the chicken soup
third, the pie a la mode fourth, and the hamburger last, that, again
the waiter is defective rather than the waiter simply bringing the
food items in the same sequence (as would orders of more and varying
tacos) that the customer had ordered.

5) They assume when they are asking a waiter for more lemon, and
being brought more lime (limon in Spanish) that the waiter is
defective. "(No. I mean more le-mon!" "Si senor, es more li-mon!").

6) They assume light switches will always be found to the right of a
door upon entering, and not, say, behind the bed.

7) They also assume the light switch, once located within a room, is
for that room.

8) They assume all steps in stairways are going to be of standardized
heights and depths.

9) They assume when someone is smiling at them, they are sneering
rather than just being amused by all the fuss.

10) They assume the stories they heard of charming border towns have
bad reputations whether the stories may have originated in East St.
Louis, Watts or Harlem.

I have lots more, Judy, if you need more of them just ask.

Ka Xiik Keech Ya Utzil,

John Pastore
Writer/Guide in 'El Mayab'
("The Mayan Homeland")