Stupidity is universal, and it comes in different languages, color, and sizes.
¿En qué parte de México está Perú?
Sometimes people can just be very dumb. We all can act dumb at times: our 5 minutes of stupidity. But living in a perpetual limbo of stupidity can actually be a serious problem. The gift of dumb spreads so far and wide, that it knows no boundaries. It seeps into all of us on occasion, yet some get a heavy dose of it and can’t seem to shake it off. Yes! B.S. spreads rapidly. Does it make them bad people? I don’t think so. But does it make them head scratchingly stupid at times? Yes, it does.
As my dad used to say, I am only afraid of idiots. Why? Because they are way too many and have the power to elect our authorities.
I had a person ask me once, “Where in Mexico is Peru?” My blood went cold for a moment, and I had to regain composure. She’s got to be joking! Nope. She really thinks Mexico is in Peru! All I did was nod my head and leave the place. Too much to handle at once. I needed to take my tónico para los nervios (nerves tonic) o mi valeriana. ¿Dónde está?
Ok, humans make mistakes. It was sad to see her asking that question, but wow.
I have been asked this question a few times in at least three different languages. I sometimes respond that Peru is the capital city of Mexico or the other way around. Just to see how far they are willing to go with their irony. Wait? They are not being ironic? Really? Some people tell me that I speak Spanish because Peru is so close to Spain—jajajaja.
Or people ask my Brazilian friend why she has a Spanish accent that’s very difficult to understand. The other day my friend saw these two guys talking in Spanish. And then she goes: It is interesting they sound like Spanish but they actually speak Portuguese. I looked at her and said: Well, they are speaking Spanish: They are just drunk!
I can see how people can get confused. Spanish is the official language in 21 countries and the biggest population of all the countries is Mexico. The next four are Colombia, Spain, Argentina, and Peru. And guess what country the second-largest population of Spanish-Speakers in the world? Yes! You are right! The United States of American with over 50 million who speaks it as a native/heritage language and more than 40 million who study it as a second language.
Now! Going back to stupidity: Contrary to what most people think there are far more Peruvians in Peru than in other countries. However, it’s understandable that many people from the Northern Hemisphere would think that all people who speak Spanish live in Mexico or anything south to Rio Grande is just “Mexilandia.” Plus, we eat Guinea Pigs (aren’t they cute) in Peru, but they don’t in Mexico. Also, Mexicans are from North America and Peruvians are from South America.
Each country has a unique vibe, flavor, and culture. And there are many stupid people in both countries too. I still have faith in humanity. With a little education, we can all be less dumb one day at a time.
It is also fair to take into account cultural differences: As an American, what do you believe is the true America? After all, there are a few of them. In the Spanish language, America is a continent divided into three subcontinents: Central, South and North. In French culture, it is a similar idea. But in the English-speaking world, North and South America are different continents which can lead to some cultural misunderstandings at times.
The fields of Geography, History, and Linguistics are written by the winners, and every culture has their own way of seeing it. Once I was yelled at by assuming—according to my culture—a sole continent called America divided into three subcontinents. This guy would argue he wasn’t stupid and he knew there were two continents: North and South America. I replied: “Not for us.”
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Think in Spanish! Don’t just speak Spanish!
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