Saturday, April 25, 2009

Do You Have a Boyfriend?

I find it amusing the types of questions I've been asked since arriving in Latin America. People tend to ask much more personal questions than we do in the States.

The first time I visited students in the schools they asked me things like: "How old are you?" "Do you like children?" "Do you have children?" ""What are your parent's names?" "How did you get to Uruguay?" "What's your favorite animal?" "What's your favorite color?" "Do you have a boyfriend?" They want to know everything; even things we consider improper to ask upon just meeting someone.

And it's not just the children who are inquisitive. The other day a fellow teacher asked me, "How much do you weigh?" I was taken aback. I actually said, um, you can't ask me that; but then I felt bad, because I realized it wasn't out of the ordinary for her to ask people that question. She proceeded to tell me how much she weighed and so forth.

Communication norms are different here. I generally live by the principle of very slow self-disclosure, revealing things about myself to others over a long period of time. In Uruguay, that process seems to be much faster, something that as a North American I struggle to get accustomed to.


  1. awww...but I bet when they ask, they mean it in the nicest way possible. By the way, your profile picture is very cute! Love the necklace.

  2. so do you have a boyfriend? haha... i am just picking. if you think about it, what does that say about north americans, we try to keep out distance? i have a theory about how our generation is becoming more and more anti-social. everyone walks around campus on their cell phones and mp3 players. no one cares about the people around them.

  3. thanks for the necklace compliment. it's from buenos aires.

    and i agree. more and more anti-social and afraid of real person-to-person interactions that don't involve some sort of technology (phone, text, email, chat, etc.)