P for Paraguay: Adios

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I saw him as the metro rolled to a stop. He had more greys in his hair now. Made him look more mature. So different than the boyish face that came rushing through the memories. As the car I was in drew closer to where he stood, I grew fidgety. Suddenly, I did not want to come face to face with this person, who now a stranger, had once been anything but. I wouldn’t know what to say. There were no words left to bridge the distance. No reason to anymore. And yet, I couldn’t help but wonder how he was. If he was well.

I alighted as he entered and our eyes met briefly. I said what seemed to be the courteous thing to say.

He looked at me nonchalantly, nodded and replied. “Adios.”

I shouldn’t have been surprised. This was Paraguay, after all. Where ‘Adios’ was a standard response to Hellos on the street, a shutdown response from people who were too busy to care, stop and talk. I didn’t know what was worse. The fact that he didn’t recognize me, or that I couldn’t recognize my own self anymore.

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What’s considered rude for one might be perfectly normal for the other. Its a common practice to get an Adios in response to a Hello in Paraguay. It simply indicates that you’re too busy to be bothered. http://www.10-facts-about.com/paraguay/id/901 

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I must say a Frank or blunt reply. On facts side it's crucial to know before visiting Paraguay. 🙂

Jayashree Srivatsan

In today's world with people glued to their mobiles I doubt if the Hello would fall on their ears in the first place 🙂


Yes, we as tourists need to really read up about local cultures and customs to know what's OK and what's not before we go visiting a new country!


True, that! But this one is a common practice it seems! Just feels sad.

Shreya Jacob

That's so rude and cold. I wish they'd change this….


I agree too, Shreya! But they'd argue perspectives!!

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