“You weird, dawg.” That’s exactly what my host mom’s eyes scream every time I do or say something un-Peruvian. Everyday I’m forced to think about how American I am because I’m constantly doing something that’s strange in the Peruvian context. Consequently, I have become most accustomed to the classic side eye. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock and can’t readily identify a side eye, ere’s a perfect example brought to you by Waka Flocka:
And that is exactly what goes down in my house and in my site on the daily. All day, everyday. So for funsies, I put together a list of all the things I have done or said that were deserving of the Peruvian side eye. Enjoy!
- When I say I can’t finish the ridiculous amount of food set before me because my stomach is this crazy, ludicrous thing called “full.”
- When I say we generally don’t eat rice every day in the states because there’s this stuff called vegetables.
- Host Mom: I’m so sorry nobody was home to keep you company. I know you must feel so sad and so lonely
Me: Actually, I liked it. When I was in the United States I lived by myself. Being alone is normal for me.
Host Mom: #WhereTheyDoThatAt?
- When I put on my sun hat and bathe in SPF 55 sun screen before I set one foot out the house because who cares about skin cancer? Its only at least 85 degrees every single day and so hot the devil would be on his hands and knees pleading for one of these cold Peruvian showers.
- When I told my host mom I was going for a walk by myself because how can exercise be healthy when you’re oh so lonely?
- When I put string through my teeth and do this thing called flossing, it is not only deserving of a side eye but also a hysterical laugh. Dental health, what is that?
- When I’m feeling a little naughty, I’ll drop a bomb and announce that I don’t like things like novelas or that I don’t care about futbol.
- Peruvians love to ask the question, “What is you’re career?” since in their universities they have to study something like engineering, medicine, law, teaching, accounting, etc. So when I answer, “I don’t have a career yet but I have a degree in African American Studies. In the U.S. you can study just for the sake of learning more about a specific topic that you like,” minds are blown and side eyes are thrown.
- When I’m in the mood to educate and I tell people in the street that my parents didn’t name me Brittany for no reason and that they should use that name instead of “la morena” or “la negrita” if they want my attention.
- When I tell the little kids in the street that me and my ancestors are from the U.S. because of this little thing called the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and that like… not all the slaves were dropped of in Peru.
Well that’s all for now but I’m sure there’s more side eye encounters with my name all over it. Side Eye Part II anyone?