Culture

We Were So Disappointed After Visiting The US And Realizing It Didn’t Look Like This

As kids, we couldn’t wait to come to America because somehow our parents managed to plant these seeds in our head…

We imagined America as Disneyland.

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CREDIT: THEMEXICANWHOVIAN/TUMBLR

We thought Micky Mouse, Pluto and the rest of the gang would be around us all the time. And that we would be surrounded by happy music, castles and princesses too. Sadly, this was not the case.

READ: Disney Princesses Getting the Selena Makeover Prove La Reina is Still the Best

We thought every town would be like LA and NY.

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CREDIT: BAYWATCH/CARLOSMESEJO/TUMBLR

We all know who is responsible for this one: La pinche TV. In our heads, the idea of America was either an ongoing summer vacation, like in “Baywatch,” or a glamorous life in the city with the cast of “Friends” or “Gossip Girl.” We were so naive.

We pictured everyone being blonde.

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CREDIT: SNL/OHMYGODWAYTOOLONG/TUMBLR

It made sense… blonde heads everywhere, right? What we didn’t know back then was that America is a nation of immigrants and that diversity is all around us. Latinos represent over 55 million of the country’s population and the majority of us have brown or black hair… that is until we color it pink, green, blue or yellow.

We thought that staying in a Holiday Inn was luxurious.

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Hearing our parents talk about hotels, and even motels, sounded so cool to us. Room service, breakfast in bed… ah, the life. Until we discovered the Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons existed.

We pictured eating happy meals every day AND being happy about it.

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CREDIT: GIFSFORGOMEZ/TUMBLR

After visiting America for the first time we found a new religion: fast food. French fries never tasted sooooo good.

READ: 11 Fast Food Items You Can Find In Latin America But Not Here

We imagined everyone being filthy rich.

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The mansions, the Lamborghinis, the labels. Everything was so perfect… on TV. How in the world could they afford all of that with their regular jobs? Very easy, welcome to the land of debt, homie.

We thought America was the largest country of all.

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The endless rides on highways and the fact that everyone used to drive everywhere, convinced us that the United States was Goliath and the rest of the world, poor little David. Sorry to burst your bubble, but we actually rank third.

We pictured all Americans being gorgeous.

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CREDIT: PARAMOUNT/ZOOLANDER2/ALISONLIKESCATS/TUMBLR

People living in America looked so shiny and beautiful, almost as if they won the gene pool world lottery. It was beautiful until we came across the people that go overboard with their Botox, sunless tanning and steroids.

How did you imagine America after your first visit? We are dying to know! Leave a comment below.

More Than 100 New Emojis Are Dropping This Year, And Our Latinx Cultura Is Represented: Meet The Tamale And Piñata Emojis

Things That Matter

More Than 100 New Emojis Are Dropping This Year, And Our Latinx Cultura Is Represented: Meet The Tamale And Piñata Emojis

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This weekend was special for more than just the Super Bowl, it was Día de la Candelaria (aka. Candlemas). And I don’t know about you, but I stuffed my face with tamales—as is mandatory. Why is that important? Because this weekend, we also found out that more than 100 emojis will be available on Apple this year —and one of them is an actual tamale. Is it a rajas tamale? Or is it filled with mole? We’re not too sure, but what we are sure of, it that a tamale emoji is coming and we can’t wait!

Emoji is the fastest growing language in history. 

Five billion emojis are sent every day, just on Facebook Messenger. And they’re appearing in some places you wouldn’t expect. One court judge in England used a smiley face emoji   in a document to make it easy to explain the court’s decision to children —an actual fact. So it should come as no surprise, that emoji consortiums have formed to keep updating the language and including more and more elements to it.

Starting in the second half of 2020, users can insert a tamale Emoji into any conversation.

Whether you’re including it in a text conversation about making tamales during the holidays, or simply emphasizing your craving for one of the best Latinx dishes around, the option will be there before you know it.

Emojipedia confirmed the introduction of over 100 new emojis this year.

According to Emojipedia, the emoji reference website —yes, it’s a thing—this year we’re getting 117 recently approved new emojis. From a gender inclusive alternative to Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, named Mx. Claus, to a fondue, a bell pepper and a piñata emoji. 

That’s right, Latinos are getting another emoji that illustrates our culture.

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The Piñata emoji is coming in the shape of a Donkey—granted, it’s an old, clichéd reference, but hey, it’s iconic nonetheless. Get ready to dale dale dale because the paper maché burro will be available to add to your convos, this year. 

The Christmas icon is not the only gender-neutral addition, btw.

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The new emojis will also include a woman in a tuxedo, a man in a bride veil and a gender-neutral person feeding a baby. All of these emojis are also available in all skin tones.

As reported by Emojipedia, the officially approved Emoji Version 13.0 list was published last week by the Unicode Consortium

And it features 117 new emoji that will be arriving on devices like iPhone, iPad, and Mac later this year. Apple typically adds the new emoji with the next major operating system updates in the fall.

We’ll be getting a wide array of animals, household items and more foods in emoji form!

The list of new emojis also includes other foods like bubble tea and a flat bread, animals like a seal and a cockroach, and household items like a toothbrush.

The new emojis build on last year’s round of more inclusive icons. 

A hearing aid emoji, wheelchair emoji and seeing eye dog emoji were in 2019’s new batch. A gender-neutral couple and various combinations of people with different skin colors holding hands were also made available last year.

Back in February 2019, the Unicode Consortium unveiled 230 new emojis with a majority representing people with disabilities and their needs. 

They included hearing aids, prosthetic limbs and service dogs. It also included the option for interracial couples to mix and match skin tones.

New emojis are now added to the Unicode standard on an annual basis. 

These emojis are proposed by different companies like Google, Apple and Twitter, and finalized by the start of the year. This allows ample time for these platforms to include these in future updates.

The first emojis debuted in October 2010 

10 years ago, Unicode Consortium released 722 different designs, and the genre has come a long way since. In 2015, Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year was an emoji–the Face With Tears of Joy one. There’s also a World Emoji Day celebrated annually on July 17.

Travel Restrictions Limit Americans To Only Flying Into Havana But Sube Let’s Americans Explore The Island

Things That Matter

Travel Restrictions Limit Americans To Only Flying Into Havana But Sube Let’s Americans Explore The Island

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The progression of Cuba’s modern world has been a slow one, but it’s also been eager to thrive thanks to the younger generation. The integration of the internet didn’t arrive on the island until the late aughts. Back then, when U.S. relations with Cuba became friendlier under the Obama Administration, it looked as if Cuba was ready to get online. However, it wasn’t until 2007 that Cuba decided to team up with Venezuela in order for the country to help them venture into the digital age. Now, under the Trump Administration, who is putting the breaks on the Cuba/U.S. relationship, the Cuban people have something more to aspire to. 

A Cuban startup has launched a cab service that will help tourists get around the island now that the Trump Administration has blocked airline travel to all areas of Cuba except Havana.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

The company is called Sube (which translations to “get on” or “hop on”), and it’s basically a ride-share service like Uber and Lyft, although their intention is to seek out tourists who wish to visit the areas outside of Havana. 

Late last year, the Trump Administration issued a travel ban throughout the island, which meant that American airlines could only fly into Havana. All other airports in Cuba were forbidden. The announcement didn’t automatically erase flights that were already booked. U.S. travelers can only arrive in Havana, so if they have plans outside of the capital, getting there is trickier and expensive. The solution is Sube. 

Sube wants tourists to know that their service is safe and that they can provide an exciting and fun way to get around the island.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

“Sube is a ridesharing app founded in Cuba,” their About section states. “Our drivers will help you move around safely and fast while sharing their knowledge of our customs and culture.”

One of the most popular attractions in Cuba is their vintage cars. So how can these old cars keep up with this new motive of transportation? Sube owners say all cars, vintage ones as well, are in perfect condition and can drive long distances. All drivers have verified licenses as well. 

The app launched in 2018, and since then, the app has been downloaded at least 10,000 times and so far has 6,000 registered users.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

“We knew the trouble people go through in Cuba to get to work every day, to get home, or if they just want to go out,” Claudia Cuevas Alarcón told NBC News. Aside from Cuevas Alarcón, a 27-year-old, Sube’s creators include 26-year-old Damián Martín, 26, and 27-year-old Darién González. 

What makes this company even more fascinating is that these young entrepreneurs have found a way to work the system to their benefit. For example, U.S. credit cards are prohibited on the island, which means travelers can only use cash. 

Sube creators registered their company in the U.S., so this makes it possible for travelers to download the app before they leave their home country, upload their credit card information. Once they arrive on the island, they have already reserved their car service, and the exchange of payment is not needed. 

It’s not just tourists who use the app, locals are using Sube to get around the island as well.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

“If you are visiting Cuba this December, move with SUBE and pay from abroad,” one of their beautiful Instagram posts says. “We have 70 registered and available taxis, which will make your trips more enjoyable and safe. You can book them before your arrival at the airport, until departure. Do not hesitate.”

Other ways to use Sube is pretty straightforward. You can use Whatsapp or Facebook to reserve a cab. Travel experts also suggest that if you’re traveling to Cuba, you should also download apps that will help not only with travel information but translation, money exchange, and texting capabilities. Here are some useful apps that extremely useful: Maps.me, XE currency, Google Translate, Pocket, Havanatrans, Zapya, AlaMesa, CubaMessenger, and ProtonVPN. And, of course, Whatsapp and Airbnb. 

It’s very exciting to see young Cubans not allowing connectivity or travel regulations (or any sort of limitation) stop them from progressing into a new frontier of digital capabilities.

READ: The Trump Administration Took Another Swipe At Cuba By Banning Almost All Flights To The Island