Before I left England I had beautiful legs. Beautiful by my definition meant no marks; bar a light scar below my left knee from breaking a window (not as cool as it sounds, my mum was very cross with me). Sure my legs might have been pasty white but they had no marks god damn it!
A little more than 3 months abroad and my legs look less beautiful. They are riddled with marks from insect bites and random injuries such as scratches from tough grasses when hiking. #DamnToughGrass
I can no longer show my legs in public without revealing to the locals I’m a gringo – the last thing I ever want to reveal. Insect bites the size of mine scream “she ain’t from around here folks”; and I don’t want that kind of attention. My mission is to slip under the radar. Get by with no interference. Bourne/Bond/Gadget style.
Until I understand Spanish, at least as well as Dora the Explorer, I want to minimise the number of people who figure out I don’t know Español. It usually only takes one word from my English lips and people know because my pronunciation is way off and my face is screwed up in a weird shape.
I’m keen to keep a low profile until I understand a full episode of Bob Esponja Pantalones Cuadrados (SpongeBob SquarePants). Then, Spanish speaking countries in South America, you’d better watch out! I’ll be ordering food, buying bus tickets and talking in queues to the people around me like you’ve never seen! [Insert Cruella de Vil laugh here].
To keep my mono-language under wraps I conceal my legs in jeans or leggings. I’ll be honest, it isn’t easy in a country that’s best friends (until continental drift gets between them) with the Equator. I could cook an obese turkey in these streets in under 5 minutes (Jamie eat your 30 minute meals heart out). The second I peal my leg coverings off I thank Jesus my skin is still intact and hasn’t merged with the fabric. It’s a dangerous game to play but I like pretending to be local.
My advice to you dear reader is don’t travel if your legs remaining mark free is important to you, or if you insist on seeing the world beyond your doorstep, wear long trousers/skirts to be incognito.