Saturday, May 23, 2009

how renata lost her social skills

I've been hanging out in the capital the last few days, enjoying food, friends, and cable television. Unfortunately, I made some new friends last night and was forced to confront how Dominican (well, Dominican Peace Corps) I've become. A few PCVs and I went out with some visiting Harvard students who were here with Engineers Beyond Borders, and here are some of the things I unthinkingly did at dinner:

  • Hissed at them to get their attention (my friend Trina stopped me with a shocked face and a "You can't hiss at them!" But in the DR it's totally socially acceptable and useful to hiss at people.)
  • Gave directions with a hand wave and a "pa'lla" (over there)
  • Talked too much about Twilight (this is actually a Peace Corps thing, not a Dominican thing)
  • Liberally used essentially meaingless Spanish phrases like "ya tu sabes" and "ahorita"
  • Wagged my finger to say "no"

Anyway, please be understanding when I come home to visit. I'm not trying to be rude or awkward, I'm just culture-shocked. Some friends and I have also been joking about how funny it will be when we move home after Peace Corps and try to import the entire culture by doing things like asking people "Where's your site?", trying to fit 6 people in a Corolla, and showing up uninvited to people's houses and asking for coffee. Also, we will all totally invoke God in conversation way more than we used to. Ay, Dios mio--I need to end this blog entry so I can go catch the bus, si Dios quiere.

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