Europe According to Latin Americans

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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.

45 comments on “Europe According to Latin Americans

  • Comments on imperialism aside, your maps are very funny indeed. And from time to time, they hit the nail. And they seem to be good business to you. Cheers.

    • @Nestor, the problem with some, and I strictly underline some, Latin Americans is that they automatically assume all Europeans spend their time on yachts drinking margaritas. To assume my maps are a “business” just because I sell prints on my site and have written a book about them says more about one’s own shortcomings than any implied arrogance or imperialism on my side. And yes, I was considering giving you back the Malvinas but after this badly veiled insult, I will not only keep them, I will soon buy all the sidewalks in Buenos Aires. Insert evil laughter here.

      • Peace, brother Yanko, peace!

        NO insult, either open or veiled, intended. Please blame my limits with English. As to BA sidewalks, you had better hurry up because our current city major is turning them a sad drab grey mess of concrete (so as to fill the pockets of his friends, a business issue in the meaning you assumed I was talking on yours). Business was bad shorthand for “wow you can make at least in part a living on your maps”. Cool down, dude.

        As to our Southern lands, any help will be welcome. And if you still want to take our sidewalks, hurry up because our current city major is killing them grey under tons of concrete.

        BTW: you are not doing YOURSELF a favor by thinking that an Argentinean with European (moreover, East European) grandparents can harbor such an unilateral vision of the Europeans. I don’t even have such a vision of US Americans -which you will have to admit is something many Europeans do!

          • Whew! I feel I saved my country of the greatest danger we faced in the last decade!

            My mother’s parents managed to thinly escape Holocaust in the early 20s, they came here from Galitzia. My father’s parents were Ukrainian, granddad from Kiev, grandmom from Odessa. Migrants of the late 19th Century, early 20th. BTW, one of my best friends was of Bulgarian origin, Petkof by family name and a great guy indeed. Died already. A great journalist in Argentina. And I know the current predicament of Bulgarians, so that I would have NEVER EVER thought they were drinking Margaritas on a yacht off Montecarlo or some Greek resort!

            As to the image of Bulgaria to Arg eyes, you should have called it Yoghourtland or Where is Bulgaria…

            (again, no aggression intended, lest you call upon your Commanders to send them here)

            :)

            • Interesting story! Yogurt used to be our best export until we managed to engineer Dilma. She’s a product of ages of research in robotics, so please don’t ever say she can be replaced in the minds of the people by bacteria-infested sour milk. I must admit I didn’t have Argentinians on my mind when I made this map. The only Argentinians I have ever spoken to are a family who has a bakery in the central part of Valencia, they make the best alfajores in the Northern hemisphere. And we don’t talk much because my mouth is busy chewing. As far as the maps are concerned, I am, strictly said, under Venezuelan influence. Have you heard about this guy? I find him hilarious.

  • I am Colombian and I what I think about Croatia and Slovakia would be, just hot girls and boring people.

  • As a Brazilian: nobody around here even remembers Europe exists when talking about imperialism (although we *should*, as that’d make understanding Africa much easier …) – it’s always our northern neighbors (see: Ecuador :P ).

      •  @alphadesigner Which ones? I don’t recall anyone talking about Argentinian/Paraguayan/Uruguayan imperialism around here.
         
        *eagerly awaits being able to legitimately talk about “Ilhas Malvinas”*

        • Perhaps I misunderstood your reference. I thought you were pointing out that only your northern neighbors still referred to European imperialism as a driving force in EU’s foreign policy and I wanted to add that Argentina also plays that game occasionally. I wasn’t claiming there were imperialistic tendencies in any of the Latin American countries.

          • Alphadesigner, I am Argentinean, and it would be fine if you gave a single example of “Arg” or “Brazilian” imperialism. Imperialism is getting your capital into the economic tissue of another country, then support your capital with your own diplomacy and economic might, and, if need be, spies or military power. No Latin American country has ever been able to do that because our economies have always been deformed or sucked dry by imperialism. And yes, we in Arg know that there exists European imperialism too. Galore. The River Plate basin has been British playground in the shades since 1820 up to 1960. I know this may sound stale Stalinism to you. But never forget that the truth is the truth, no matter if Agamemnon or his pig caretaker says it.

        •  @alphadesigner Sorry – I meant that for Brazilians, imperialism only ever meant “USA” (which, as I said, is a somewhat narrow view, but valid as far as Brazil goes).

  • Well because I don’t think too many Latinos know Slovenia and Croatia, except those who actually had the chance to go there. And once you go there, you get definitely impressed by the beauty of the coast, which is truly spectacular. So in this case Costa Rica should be taken in the most literal way. :) Now neighboring Colombia and the rest of the Balkans are another question.

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