This is something I have been asked for ever since I published the World Map According to Americans. I have postponed it for several reasons. First, I suffer from acute procrastination and second, I actually contracted it from Latin Americans. There are 3 of them snoring in my apartment right now. In such circumstances, it’s hard to just stop and write down your impressions because you are always tempted to continue observing and analyzing, just in case you missed something really important. If I didn’t feel pressured by my book project, I would have probably postponed it even further.
Truth be told, I’ve seen and heard enough to fill not one but twenty maps. And of course there are different sets of stereotypes that are applied depending on the situation. For example, every time there is a political problem in Latin America, people automatically blame el imperialismo, under which term they include the entire European continent. Precision and accuracy rarely matters in political propaganda, so I have been called an imperialist by proxy even though my country was ruled by the Ottomans for the entire colonial period.
Then there is the purely cultural rift between Latin and Teutonic cultures, which is typical even on a domestic European level. But the Latin American culture, being an extension of the Iberian one, diverts even more radically. Simply the word “German” can be used in a derogatory way to signify a person who has problems expressing his emotions. Remember, we’re talking about people who can describe even Spaniards as reserved and numb.
The collection featured on this map is a fusion of both sets, with the cultural having a definite prevalence over the political, mostly because I grew tired of analyzing people like Chavez, Correa and Morales. Even though the last one gained a special place in my heart when I heard him claiming that people become gay by eating chicken. Perhaps I can dedicate them a special map. And of course, it will come with a collector’s calendar of Cristina Fernández freshly botoxed and half naked on an empty Falkland Islands beach.