When I first arrived in Mexico I didn’t speak any Spanish. I really didn’t plan on going there and had actually been trying to learn Vietnamese when I made the rash decision to head for Latin America / Central America instead. Checking out Belize was one of the selling points as I could literally just walk there instead of having to fly over a few oceans with my pup. The walk seemed like the logical choice, like Forest Gump but with a lot of weed tea and belly rubs.
I really don’t remember the mentality I had when I headed out for a Spanish speaking country not knowing a lick of espanole. I just knew I’d be fine. When I arrived it all began. How to communicate without language. It was a swift learning curve that required imagination and acting a fool.
Sometimes I had no choice but to act out the word I was trying to describe, and I can tell you how funny this is from both sides. Having a random gringo in your town where there are literally no white people trying to act out words like charades on the corner of a busy intersection leaves your pride behind.
Learning how to read peoples body language and facial expressions was key to my literal survival. When I needed something it was only achieved through one of these methods, whether it be hand gestures, acting, or full on charades. Almost like the dancing of communication. The body and expressions reveal far more than the words themselves and often times I found myself having full on conversations without understanding the language itself. At all. Did I miss some things? Did they? Of course, but these conversations are some of the most potent I’ve ever had.
How could this even be possible? How could you have better conversation without language itself. I’ve noticed when I speak to people in English it’s much easier for them to trail off or put focus on their phone. People have a very short attention span and without a reason to stay in tune they lose interest.
There’s no focus, there’s no understanding, and there is truly a lack of communication skills in society. For example, walking and riding all over you start watching people with more insight, especially in a country you don’t speak the language. You notice little things and big things much easier, and the communication skills of women in both the USA and Mexico is very poor.
Typically the men are communicative, expressive, and easy to speak with. Women however, make all kinds of assumptions, create delusions, have a hard time carrying on basic conversation, can’t express themselves creatively. They receive all this attention online but can’t have a basic friendly conversation with a stranger. It’s quite sad, whether they pretend to use their phone, pretend there is something interesting happening on the ground a foot in front of them, or literally ignore my greeting.
When I found myself having these conversations, with mostly men, we were both in tune to the conversation itself. We wanted to know what the other was saying and had genuine interest in each other and the goals of the conversation. The words them selves become meaningless when you engage in real conversation.
No language requires focus on the gestures, facial expressions, and personality of the person to help solve the puzzle of communication. I think when it comes down to it modern women don’t care to know you or your personality. Only what you can do for them. Often times the first question I was asked by Mexican women is what I did for a living. Other than that the conversation was dead.
This is based on personal experience, and traveling several thousand miles by foot and bus alone. Meeting hundreds and thousands of people along the way in the real world. Communication without language is easy, if you actually care to have the conversation.
As I write this I can imagine all the weird and strange looks I’ve received from women trying to have a basic conversation without language. Whereas very rarely would a Mexican man treat me like this, in fact, would have no problem throwing out his own pride, trying his English with my Spanish to have a decent conversation.
Not one time did they treat me poorly for my communication skills. I actually smile thinking of all the funny times I’ve had with random Mexican men, no homo, their humor and personality, it didn’t even compare to the blood sucking crab in the bucket of their work bicicleta. I seen it! Those hard working Mexican men busting their butt so the fat angry bitter women can ride in the cart.
So the moral of the story is, if you actually care about the people you are conversating with, communication with no language is very easy and quite fun. If you don’t care about other people, it will be very difficult for you to function in that environment, making you feel uncomfortable and out of place. Opening yourself up to this personally, taught me more about body language and communication than four years in college.
Not only that but I am learning another language as well as my body language and communication skills; for free while swimming in beautiful lakes and oceans.. let that sink in while you study for your next exam, or check your Facebook for likes, or turn on another predictive programming tele vision animation.