Quite number of years ago, I was on a family trip to Miami and we took a tour of one of the neighbourhoods. The tour guide's commentary was that in this neighbourhood, anyone who had bought a house there had to abide by the rules of the council. You had to have your grass cut or you would be fined $100. If you didn't get your grass cut, someone would be sent to your house to cut it for you and you would not only have to pay the fine but you would have to pay $100 to the person as well for cutting it. The paint color of your house had to fit within the certain acceptable colors or you would get a fine. Also, you car had to be kept within the garage out of sight or you would receive a fine. The tour took us by one house where the people broke all the rules and the guide told us that if these people ever sold their house, they would have nothing left due to the amount of fines.
Latin America may have many struggles economically and politically but the one struggle that they never have had is with the fallacy of normalcy. Latinos are very well of the fact that the fairytale life with the perfect family and white picket fence doesn't exist. As well there is next to no pressure to have your life planned out or to be a certain way. Come to think of it, the opposite is quite true, quirkiness is a welcome factor....it is seen as having life and flavor.
One of the most memorable moments in my english class where I taught is when I looked into the eyes of my students and told them that sometimes when you are dealing with foreigners, if someone seems a little TOO perfect, then something is wrong. I then mentioned to them that it was easy to see that I'm a little quirky but it was obvious that I was a safe healthy person. They immediately agreed profusely and chimed in that they did think I was a healthy person.
From having an entire lifetime with people always finding fault with me, or saying that something wasn't quite right, it was a huge weight off my shoulders that people here know what I have always known deep inside....there is nothing wrong with me. It may seem like such a simple statement but you have to realize that there are certain factors biological, social disorders, and things that come from my upbringing that have caused me to develop into someone that can easily be misinterpreted.
I will admit that my persona may not properly translate live and in person. But it is a comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one, many genius especially in the world of tech like Mark Zuckerberg (the founder of facebook) are actually very socially awkward in person. For people like him, social cues are an extremely difficult thing to master. I'm not that bad, but I can relate and still for me it takes lots of practice to have success in social scenarios.
It is endearing to spend the majority of my time in a continent and country where the cookie cutter has been thrown out the door and people are free to be what they are....no questions asked. And I certain wouldn't want to be a member of the Solomon family in this hilarious episode of "3rd Rock from the Sun" when the concept of what it means to be the average family hits them for the very first time.