12 Ways To Tell You're In A Latin Country

Christopher Fowler
Heading back for rainswept Britain after a week working abroad on ideas for a new thriller, I
can't help noticing cultural differences . Latins do things their way. Some observations; 1. After
stealing your phone they use the sim card to call premium-rate numbers repeatedly until the phone is blocked. This is because they really, really like to talk. 2. Movie poster promises; 'You will soil yourself with excitement'. 3. Two dogs get stuck together during intimacy. A crowd forms. Someone starts playing a guitar. 3. Want to invite everyone to your grandpa's birthday party? Hold it after dark in a public park, with singing. All welcome. 4. PDAs. A lot of them, everywhere, all the time. In the streets and on the walls. This mural consists of photos of local kids and families, transferred to tiles and arranged in a way that would possibly be considered inappropriate in the US and UK. (Mind you, the French just erected a giant butt plug in a Parisian Square - see yesterday's papers.) Kiss 5. No fancy little yellow-and-gold train taking tourists around the picturesque spots, but there is a cab driver in a car full of smoke who'll show you his favourite girlie bars. 6. At 10pm you can always smell prawns cooking somewhere. 7. Nobody watches TV at home. TV is for bars. The bigger the screen, the worse the food. 8. When they say a restaurant is full, they mean it's really full. They'll serve you if you bring a chair from your flat. 9. More than eight people standing in a group means they're about to start dancing. 10. Buy some groceries, counter clerk throws in a free cake because it's fiesta. 11. Car is less popular mode of transport than unicycle, tandem, motorised skateboard and a thing that looks like a lawn-mower with cinema seats. 12. October. Tourists in bikinis. Locals in scarves. I just noticed a couple of further points; 13. Visit a perfectly preserved, valuable national monument - climb on it, maybe have a picnic. 14. Go for breakfast at 10:00am - be the first one there. Breakfast is accompanied by three things - the best coffee in the world, flies and an accordionist.


Kate Levey (not verified) Sat, 18/10/2014 - 10:36

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Latin countries tend to denote *lavatory gender* by silhouettes of a man and woman dressed for Strictly Come Dancing.

Jo W (not verified) Sat, 18/10/2014 - 11:19

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Hey,Admin,are you a 'local' now or a 'tourist'? Confess now - scarf or bikini? No! The image either way is too disturbing. 😉😉

Christopher Fowler Sat, 18/10/2014 - 17:01

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

To Kate - Nice to see Ms Brophy honored; I guess my little piece ran.

To Jo W - Neither - I'm 'man pants' - shorts below the knee.

And I've got another 'Latin Countryism':

Any family-friendly historical re-enactment will involve a lot of drumming and an execution.

Charles (not verified) Sun, 19/10/2014 - 04:23

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

PDA == Public Display of Affection?

Ralph Williams (not verified) Mon, 20/10/2014 - 07:16

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Must admit I read PDA as Personal Digital Assistant - I thought "the UK is a bit prudish but no one has come up to me and said: Steady on, don't whip out your Nokia in public".

Helen Martin (not verified) Thu, 23/10/2014 - 05:32

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Glad I'm not the only one who read PDA that way, Ralph.