This is basically a post about dumb dressing – particularly footwear. There were two occasions in particular when I deserved the title of “stupid gringa”:
My friend Karoline and I were hanging out at Colombia’s Tayrona National Park and we decided to hike out. We were getting conflicting reports, but figured the trek would take between 2-3 hours. Our plan was to take our time, skirt around the coast and hit a couple of beaches on the way.
Since we’d be beaching it, I thought I’d wear my bathing suit, a sarong and flip flops. This was a bad decision since the hike turned out to be much more arduous then we anticipated. The trek consisted of a dirt track with lots of rocks and roots in the way.
Most of the time, we were slipping and sliding around in our plastic sandals. I also had to creatively tie my tie-dyed sarong so that it covered me as best as possible. The end result was a very hippie-like look.
This impression was cemented when we passed two guys walking in, as we were walking out. We said a cheery “Hola!” and they replied “Taganga, Taganga,” which basically referenced a hippie enclave further up the coast (where we were, in fact, staying).
I responded to this with enthusiastic encouragement to the two blokes to keep on trekking that the beautiful beaches on the other end were worth it. It only dawned on me after they passed, that they were actually local guys trekking into the beach-side resorts to work and their Taganga, Taganga greeting was a bit of a jab at our silly and specifically gringa-like appearance.
The second time I really blew it was while visiting the Valley of the Moon in Chile’s Atacama desert. In my own defense, I had just come from 3 days in Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni (salt flats) where we toured around mainly in our 4×4 and only popped out for pictures, so I wasn’t expecting to rock climb.
But rock climb we did. Again, in my flip flops (which by this point were badly worn away and super slick), our little team trekked up and along the salt cliffs. I finally just took off my jandals and walked barefoot. This gave me better grip but again my feet were filthy and getting tiny cuts from the salt rock poking through the dirt. Maybe not so smart.
That afternoon I also elected to wear multi-colored harem pants, a tank top and long beads on my desert outing. Again, perhaps not the best choice. (Although, seriously, look how camouflaged I am — perhaps it was really the perfect choice…) I made the best of it and enjoyed myself and the freaky moon-like surroundings.
So I’ll own up to a few instances of dressing too casual and perpetuating a stereotypical gringa-like appearance. But then I am a gringa, and I do like my harem pants and long beads. So if the shoe fits…
Oh wait….if I had shoes, that is.
Interested in reading more curious dressing choices? Read:
This entry was posted on Saturday, December 1st, 2012 and is filed under Shopping & Fashion.