Where You From? is part of the ANA, Take Me ‘Round the World Trip Report.
Nepal should be on the list for Worst Places to Hail a Cab. After asking where I’m going and giving me every excuse as to why the price should be triple, after negotiating why it should be one-third, and after speaking to the Xth taxi driver, the trip begins. The next topic of discussion is where I am from. The worst answer to give if you don’t want to engage in small talk is to say USA. If you say America, best case you hear everywhere in the US where the driver has been. Worst case, you have to hear about all the bad things America has done. To quiet the chatter, for years I simply reply with, “Mexico.” The response I receive is, “Oh Mexico!” That’s it, nothing more, nothing less. To be clear, I don’t pretend to speak Spanish when I enter the cab in order to avoid the interaction. I don’t change my accent to hide my American voice. I just say Mexico. That gets me to my destination in peace. Having moved to Puerto Rico, I thought I could stop lying, but then I was peppered about questions regarding Hurricane Maria and Justin Bieber.