Nationality: Italian-American, Portuguese-American, but a couple generations removed
Occupation: Engineering Professor
Residence: Boston, MA
Date of Performance/Collection: 3/25/15
Primary Language: English
“They’re not from around here.”
“This is a line that sometimes still gets used in our house.
We went out to visit Jimmy (his wife’s brother) in San Diego. Him and his girlfriend at the time. We were going to some fair in the town just north of San Diego. I forget the town, maybe it was Carlsbad. I’m not exactly sure of where.
I was driving the rental car. It was like a big one too because we had to fit us five in the family plus Jim and his girlfriend, Amy. So we get to the fair and there are people there to direct you where to park. You know it’s this big lot and they wave us in, you know, go, go, go. And they are giving us directions, like turn left, go straight, turn right, turn left.
The next thing you know we’re about to exit. They directed me through the lot to the exit. And if I go out the exit, I’m stuck because it empties onto a one-lane highway. So I stop and do a U-Turn to turn around.
Next thing you know the guys are yelling at me saying that I can’t do that. And I’m just like, “I want to park the car.” And then I hear from the back Amy yelling, “They’re not from around here.”
“They’re not from around here!” Even though that had no relationship as to why I didn’t park the car. Me not being from San Diego did not account from those people not navigating me correctly through the lot.
So now my wife and I use it when we get lost or don’t understand something.”
I feel like people can learn a lot about others during travel. Traveling is just one of those times when the best and worse is brought out of everyone. It is in those moments of stress that so many funny things can happen that make for great stories later.
This is one that apparently is told with some regularity to it, with that line being the real gem of it all. To adopt it and say it, of course brings this family back to those days of traveling in a new location, half-way across the country. I think their might even be some unconscious cultural bias here. Amy, I was told is from the west, and is generally remembered as being somewhat ditzy. So that line kind of encompasses that stereotype of dumb blonde California girls.
More than that though, I think it is one of those really funny, organic moments that people tend to hold on, not wanting to forget. That line is a perfect excuse for whenever something does not go your way in a new location, and can also serve as a way to ease the tension and stress. If something goes wrong, just say, “I’m not from around here.”