The Colombian Cowboy

Colombian cowboyI did it again. I couldn’t be controversial. I really don’t know how other people can do it. Or have the guts for it – because it scares me. What if I say … oh no, no “if”, what I’ll say will piss this guy off, even though I have been already saying it over and over, but so far he is pretending that he hasn’t heard it because if he acknowledges that he understood, he’ll start an argument. Which means, he is just as scared of an argument as I am. So what if I then say it in such a way that he cannot misunderstand it. Will he be a coward by not defending his country in his own country against this arrogant European girl, or will he start to argue? And, since by nature he is a coward, he is also afraid of being a coward. So, naturally, he’ll start a fight. At this point for me it is already too late to calm down or back down, as my Potorian combative nature has found its way back to the surface. And I forget that the rest of the world is not my family, where debating to the blood (or, until somebody looks it up on Wikipedia) is a family tradition. By now this may be even part of our DNA. And then it will be too late. I’ll shoot at him with all my arguments that are obviously better than his (Does anybody every really think the other person’s arguments are better? Don’t tell me that that this thinking only goes for my family!). Samuel will try at some point to mediate, try to get each side to understand the other’s divergent point of view and see how each side has a point. He will try to make peace. He´ll try to negotiate. Finally, he’ll probably defend my honor in front of this Colombian dude. Not because he thinks I am right or because he thinks it’s necessary or obligatory to defend my honor, but mostly because he knows that he’ll have to spend more time with me than with the Colombian dude, so me being happy trumps the Colombian being happy. Of course, later, he will say his piece. How I went to far, how you have to be diplomatic about things, that other people have good arguments, too. Or maybe, at the slight chance of me ACTUALLY being right, he’ll still say that I shouldn’t always let my passion overcome me, and that sometimes it’s just better to shut up and laugh about it later – which I think is cowardly, but I admit, it’s the better laugh. And then we’d laugh. But it wouldn’t be the same laugh. The Colombian would now be our enemy roommate, one more person eager to steal our stuff, leave OUR dishes unwashed, or make sure he wouldn’t tell us that we left the door keys on the living room table before leaving the house. This would go on for the next three months. See, this is why I don’t start arguments. Or try not to. Well, I guess it’s time for a moment of truth. As you and I can both tell from my detailed description of the potential conflict, it can only be so detailed and accurate because I don’t always chicken out of an argument. Clearly, I must have tried to avoid it, and I must have failed before. So let’s be completely honest with each other here. I probably argue 4 out of 7 times to prove that I am right. I am not sure what this says about me, but last time I got a little carried away over an argument about a door and a blanket, it ended with a Moroccan uncle cursing my family.

So this time, I chose door C. It is not the time where I draw my sword of words (maybe I should have become a lawyer after all), nor the time where I find my inner Zen, (I might have found my inner ENZ, but I certainly have never ever found my inner Zen … it’s like “find Zen in the crowd” for me), but it is the time where I just leave the conversation at any given moment, after mumbling something unrecognizable that ends with a sound that rhymes with bathroom. Exit. A few minutes later Samuel comes. Apparently, if there had been any traces of bad vibes, he had been able to smooth them over with a good game of rock, paper, scissors. He agrees though that this guy did talk a bunch of nonsense. But, in his defense, Samuel explains that he seems to be a Colombian hick. The first one I have ever encountered, so I am immediately intrigued. And for now I am also safe, as it seems that I have avoided a Colombian cursing, which would have been number three on my being cursed list, after the Moroccan uncle and the Paraguayan witch. However, Samuel does mention something about the cowboy mentality of these people. As I ask if that means that he might just open our shared balcony door and shoot us at night, he thinks about his answer for an unsettling 2 minutes, until he says: “I don’t think they use guns. I think they prefer knives.” This is it! I cherish my sleep above anything else, so I decide to make a peace offering. As I peek my head out, ready to wave my symbolic white flag, the scene has changed completely. The Colombian has disappeared, and now I see four to five Europeans (Britishy-Frenchy sounding), probably discussing the cultural shortcomings of their countries’ integration policies, or the last van Trier movie they watched, or actually, I think they are talking about the fireworks and the dinner they had. Either way, I am too flabbergasted to say anything, I pretend to be a Colombian hick and flee the scene.

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