Oranges are in season. The orange vendors roam the streets ringing doorbells. When Pablo answers the door I usually hide and he buys 100 oranges for 25 pesos. When I answered the door yesterday, home alone, the vendor wanted 110 pesos. I refused. We talked back and forth. He cut open a fruit for me to try. He was hot, tired, and thirsty and wanted to go home. As I walked away, he cut the price to 40 pesos. I bought the oranges. I may have only gotten 50 of them though. But I was disgusted and finished with the conversation.
I think I am attracting too much attention with blonde hair here in Latin America. It seems to cause heads to turn, which I am trying to avoid. I have been wearing my hair like this a few years now and until recently didn’t give it a second thought. I just want to fit in, and get a fair deal on purchases, and feel less discrimination for my very existence here.
The way I look causes prices on just about everything to double, and the general treatment by the people is often less than hospitable. If people see me with Pablo, my young local boyfriend, between the age difference and the cultural differences, we often are treated with yet another discrimination. I am seen as a cougar and he is seen as a gold digger. Neither is true. Only we know and understand why we are more than just friends. And who is to judge us, anyhow.
So, I am thinking I want to dye my hair Mexican brown. Real dark brown. Then see if I get the same treatment when I walk to the marketplace, or go to the supermarket; if they treat me any differently before they know for sure I am a foreigner. I still may be a dead gringo-giveaway since I won’t be wearing spiked heals or heavy black eye makeup. And of course I am afraid I will look like a freak, wearing a bad wig, or appear older than I already feel I look. I have to try something, even if it’s wrong.