Saturday, November 10, 2012

Cultural Affinity – Sometimes It Just Works

For the past three days it has been my distinct pleasure to visit Paraguay. While I really haven’t seen very much of the country, it has been one of those rare trips where everything seems to just work .

After an incredibly long set of flights which included a seat mate who was, as we use to say, “falling down drunk”, who tripped over me twice and stole my sleeping blanket during the flight. My Spanish was adequate enough to get through immigration without a hitch.

Sure enough there was a car, driver and escort at the airport to meet me. After the driver helped wrestle my bags into the trunk we learned that the car was locked and the keys were in it. He quickly got a second car and I was at my hotel.

The best hotel in Asuncion, Paraguay is the smallest Sheraton Hotel in the world. However a new “Loft” similar to the one in Arundel Mills, MD is under construction along with a new World Trade Center. This says something if you are sensitive to the implications.

The people are incredibly warm and friendly. After I purchased some post cards in a mall shop, one of the store’s clerks was kind enough to take me to the post office after it became clear that I couldn’t make out the Spanish instructions I was given. After we went through the door marked “Do Not Enter” and down a corridor with no signs it was a good thing he helped me out.

The food is marvelous, especially the fruit and meat. I was even able to find a very respectable version of a NY Deli favorite, tongue, which was served on a portable charcoal grill. At my dinner last night the pate was some absolutely incredible chicken liver as it might have been served in Brooklyn. A very nice complement to the pork medallions which were slow kicked for over 7 hours.

I was in Asuncion giving a set of two presentations on Cyber War and Cyber Crime and the interpreter was a delight to work with. Even though she was an attorney like me, she also had a great sense of humor and our timing together was quite good. While I suspect she told the audience when to laugh a few times, we did get marvelous reviews.

The point of the story is that for PSYOP/MISO relating to your audience is key. Sometimes it takes an incredible effort to try and understand things from their point of view and other times, like this week, it just works.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Larry, looks like you had a great time in Paraguay. I'm curious to know more about your experience with your cyber presentation.