Assume we don’t speak English.
Living in Miami is like living in a different country. The Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 has allowed refugees to stay in the USA. But just because more than half of our population is Hispanic, doesn’t mean we are incapable of speaking English. Are most of our signs and menus in Spanish? Yes. Do we prefer it that way? Of course!
The bottom line is, you have now set foot on Miami soil, so when you automatically assume we don’t speak English, rest assured you are an asshole.
And your overplayed attempt at speaking Spanish — by tacking an ‘o’ on to the the end of every English word — is so ridiculous it’s amusing to play along. When we say “I don’t speak English.” Or “I don’t understand,” in a bitchy tone — we are making fun of you. If you still haven’t picked up on the sarcasm, you’re a lost cause.
Spanglish, on the other hand, is our primary language. Don’t be a pendejo and learn a couple of phrases, it’ll keep you from getting a chingadaso.
Ask us where you can score some coke.
Who doesn’t love the 1983 film Scarface? I know I’m guilty of shouting out, “Say hello to my little friend!” at a totally random time. When people come to Miami, they assume it’s just like the films. Newsflash: We’re now in 2015 and people want the cheap, synthetic shit. I am not condoning the use of drugs, but it doesn’t help when the media has glorified them. Nothing pisses us off more than tourists having the audacity to ask us where to buy. If you’re that desperate, tough shit. Go the hell back to your drug dealer and stay the f*** there.
Point out the obvious about our police force.
We get it, the news is infested with badge-wearing maniacs, but you don’t need to tell us that. Everyone knows that police officers in South Florida are corrupt, but we prefer not to admit that to the rest of the world. Ever heard of the term “Ignorance is bliss”? You would do well to abide by that in Miami. On the off chance you piss off a local, most of us know someone in the force. Are they corrupt? Maybe, maybe not.
Ignore our life stories.
In Miami, we love to talk — that’s just how we are. Most of us are social by nature and tend to get carried away. Miamians will spill their guts to you about religion, family, and provide you with a timeline of their lives. You need directions? Okay, but first let’s talk about me. Are you at the checkout line in Publix? No problem, but we’re still going to have that conversation. Do you want to know the best place to get shitfaced? In exchange, I get an hour of your time. Ignore our life stories, and we leave you with “Sabes que, chingate!” whispered under our breaths. And guess what? We still haven’t answered your questions.
Turn down or refuse to try a colada. We dare you.
Cuban coffee is like crack in the form of a cortadito, cafesito, or colada. A colada is a hot, thick cup of sweet nectar. Traditionally, it is poured into a Styrofoam cup and comes with little plastic shots to drink from. Trust me, one sip of this drink and you will never go to Starbucks again. Coffeegasm, anyone?
The best place to get one is on the famous Calle Ocho in Little Havana. Scour the street and you will find authentic Cuban cuisine and people dancing to salsa music. If you are invited to drink a colada with a stranger, don’t be alarmed, it’s a social custom. What’s the worst that could happen? We devise a secret plan to stuff you with coffee and delicious guava pastries? Just say yes, or be prepared for some hostility if you refuse to join in. No seas grosero. Don’t be rude.
Follow the traffic laws.
If you want to survive in Miami, drive like your life depends on it. Killing people on the road is like a sport here. No joke. This isn’t just limited to vehicles either, people here will trample you at the damn crosswalk. Stop signs do not exist in Miami, nor do signals, or any lights other than green. Our road rage is bad enough, but when you create more traffic than the Palmetto Expressway, be prepared for some serious majaderias. Nothing is more annoying than a driver or a pedestrian holding up a line of cars, so please do us all a favor and pretend you’re a NASCAR driver. This will not only save us time, it will keep you from getting the finger.
Admit you have never gone fishing.
Don’t get me started on fishing. You live near the ocean and have never been? Shame on you if you have ever lived near a creek, lake, beach, or any other body of water. Fishing is a way of life for Miamians. Most of us go to the Haullover fishing pier, right across from the marina, and next to the public beach. From throwing a cast net to trolling for bigger game, we are more than willing to show you the ropes. All we ask is that you don’t complain and learn from the pros. After we’re done, you will never make the same confession twice.