Real Housewives of Cochabamba

by Angie Washington on December 12, 2014

In Americana pop culture annals our time in history will be marked by the exposé-esque entertainment of: the reality tv show. Amidst the hundreds of shows about “real” people doing “real” stuff you will find a group with the prefix ‘Real Housewives of…”. We have a little joke in the missionary wife community here in my city that when we tell our crazy stories they would be great episodes of the fictitious tv series ‘Real Housewives of Cochabamba’. Granted, I have never seen an episode of any Housewives shows, I can only refer to the cliché. No, all that drama is not my style; I have enough personal drama.

Confession: I love the reality tv show Survivor. Oh the joy of being able to vote people off the island… whoops, too judgey? You’ve never wanted to kick out a few tribe members? It’s only a game, folks! Okay, okay. Yes, we love everybody because Jesus loves everybody. Yes. Sometimes, though, I just love people at a distance. You know what I mean?

About clichés, I feel I must clarify lest anyone get the wrong impression about the reference to the Housewives of Cochabamba in this here article. Sadly, the term Housewife in some contexts carries a derogatory slur towards a married woman as a lazy lady who sits around the house eating bon-bons all day “just” taking care of her home. Nuh-uh! Not these ladies! Also, the cliché of the Housewives tv show franchise insinuates jobless women who are shallow, vapid, materialistic, bored gossips. No way! This is not the case in my town!

The toil of living in a foreign land is anything but those clichés. Any wife living outside their passport country works hard, even if she has no title beyond housewife. Some days just getting food can be an arduous task.

Our joke refers to the shared nature of the absurd drama these shows portray and the craziness we encounter just living our daily lives.

Real Housewives of Cochabamba

My friend went to the shoe stand in the market of hundreds of stands and thousands of shoes. She picked up a few sandals she liked. The lady at the stand said, “Pick your favorite one.” So she chose. She tried it on and didn’t like it that much so asked to try on another pair. The vender said, “No. I told you to pick your favorite one. You picked one. That is the only one.

Another friend went to a local beauty parlor to get a manicure and a pedicure. The manicure went fine. Then came the petrifying pedicure. The gal brought out a cheese grater and a razor in order to work off the calluses. Ouch!

I got my long hair cut to a short style. The stylist tied it back with a rubber band before she chopped off the chunk of straight golden strands. The other stylist saw what she had done. She asked if she could have my hair that had just been cut. I let her take it. Next thing I know she is pinning the dismembered ponytail to the tuft of black hair at the nape of her own neck. She spent the rest of the time I was in the busy salon flipping and flaunting her new blond hair for all to see.

How about that time we went to the movies and wanted to buy popcorn? The movie had already started so they told us at the counter, “We can’t sell you this popcorn because it is to sell to the people who come for the next movie.”

Or the one with the fries? My friend only wanted fries. The place didn’t sell just fries. “Okay, so what if I pay you full price for the meal but you don’t give me the chicken, you only give me the fries?” Answer was, “No, you must take your chicken.

Or the time with the apples? Friends were not allowed to purchase all the apples at the stand, as they had requested, in the event that some other people would come by who also wanted to buy apples.

I am sure an anthropologist or social sciences genius could explain to me the undercurrents of logical reasoning below the surface of each of these encounters. These are moments of culture shock between people from different backgrounds with different value systems. Analysis would bring enlightenment. Blah, blah, blah. But at the moment? Hilariousness!

Shoes, beauty parlors, nail salons, movie snacks, and other funny food fumbles make up a sizable chunk of our lives. Not every second is spent visiting the homeless, sharing the gospel message at bible study, or wiping the snot off the precious little noses of orphans. As they say in these here parts, our halo is a little crooked on our horns. Meaning, not every moments is brimming with holiness and celestial good works. We live our lives, and sometimes they get a little crazy.

Maybe we should work on a pitch to some Hollywood producer. People would watch this stuff; I’m tellin’ ya’, they really would. Nah. Now that I think about it, I don’t want a camera crew following me around all day. Although, it would be great publicity for the ministries, right? Nope. Just no.

I want to hear your crazy stories of the Real Housewives of _________ (your city). Make me laugh. I need to laugh. We all need to laugh.

*The photo for our fictitious tv show logo was taken at this year’s Christmas party. Love these ladies!

*The Real Housewives trademark is copyrighted and does not belong to me. Duh. {smile} Okaythanksbye.

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About Angie Washington

Co-Founder, Editor of this collaborative blog site: A Life Overseas
  • Elizabeth Trotter

    These are hilarious, Angie! Thanks for sharing!

  • Beth

    Awesome Job Angie! I love it!!! One day all of us should write a book and Yes I love all of you so much! So thankful for our friendships

  • Richelle Wright

    Laughing… you have such a gift for giving others smiles! By the way, we LOVE Survivor as well!

  • Miriam

    Great stories! I loved the shoe-story, as I encountered the opposite: having found nice shoes, trying to buy them, the response was ‘No, you can only buy EIGHT pairs at a time’! In the next store, trying to buy a skirt: ‘No, you can only buy the set of four skirts’ (=S+M+L+XL) So what do I do with the three that don’t fit? 😉

  • Angie

    This conversation still makes me laugh when I remember it:
    While passing her shop a woman asked me, “What flavor gum are you chewing?”
    “Mint.”
    “Can I buy it?”
    “From my mouth?”
    “Yes.”
    “No. it’s not for sale.”

  • Shari M

    I needed 2 new suitcases and a carry-on bag. I took a native friend to
    the market to translate and transport the cases. The vendor laid out a “set” of 3
    totally mismatched cases for my viewing. I chuckled gently. I chose
    one I liked and asked my friend “Do they have another like this one?”
    He quickly responded “I don’t know. I don’t know them.” LOL After
    further conversation I did manage to obtain a fairly matched set, which
    reminds me at every airport baggage claim of the fun I had obtaining
    them. It also gives one little victory over the OCD that normally has
    certain requirements.

  • Sooo funny! I have so many like this (stories that is) but of course cannot remember very many right now :-). How about trying to buy bananas at hte market and being told they were not for sale, upon inquiry I was informed they were local bananas and therefore could only be sold to locals. After explaining I lived here and asking again the vendor clarified they were bananas mad in North Africa and would therefore not be able to be digested in my belly.

  • lomagirl

    I was thinking of doing a Real Housewives of L___- the place where I grew up as an MK- as a skit at one of our reunions – but I realized most of the audience wouldn’t get it, and the drama would all be pretty low key.

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