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"Tips for Being Shady, Abroad" by Rebecca Clingman
March 24, 2015
Tips for Being Shady, Abroad:
Here’s a luxury of speaking two languages I never thought I’d want: when you have something difficult to say, you can switch languages to say it. You can say it in the less-comfortable language for you, if you want to create distance between yourself and your own thoughts, or you can say it in the language that’s less comfortable for the other person if you want them to not quite be certain of having understood you. It’s like talking with the lights off.
But if, for example, and of course hypothetically, you want to straight-out lie, I highly recommend doing it in the language that’s harder for you. Your inability to find the right words will be taken for incompetence rather than duplicity.
In fact, go ahead and switch languages, turn the lights off, and put your hands in front of your face.
Mumble for good measure.
You’re also more likely to run out of phone credit in a foreign country. Use this to your advantage.
On a similar note, wifi tends to be more widespread and more reliable in the US than in many other countries. What I’m trying to say is that in many parts of the world your internet might cut out at any moment, and there’s nothing you could do about it even if you wanted to. Who’s to say what really happened to your router?
No one knows you here. Me personally, I’m an ok liar—but only if no one else in the room knows that I’m lying. If anyone is sniggering in the background, it all quickly falls apart for me. But in a foreign country, you can spend so much more time in rooms where no one knows the truth. Go wild!