Home > Communication, Humor in business, LIfestyle, Psychology, Travel > Adapting to Local Customs

Adapting to Local Customs

I know a man whose terrific Mexican vacation was almost spoiled by an indifferent customs officer. While in Mexico City, he met a beautiful Mexican woman. She toured him around the city the night before his flight was to leave. The next day at the airport, she surprised him by showing up at the airport to give him a bouquet of flowers as a send-off.

After she left, he went through customs and was stopped because he didn’t have a tourist card. They ushered him into the office where a customs official refused to let him go. My friend was desperate to make his flight, but no matter what he said or how much he pleaded, the shiftless customs man wouldn’t budge. Frustrated, my friend dropped the flowers on his desk, which provoked a wide-eyed unexpected response: “Para mi?” (For me?) Noting the change in the man’s demeanor, my friend replied, “Si, claro.” (Sure). The customs official smiled and declared, “You can go now!”

Putting the flowers on the desk inadvertently created a pattern breaker that altered the officer’s usual way of being. It allowed for a new opportunity to occur. Who would have thought that a bouquet of flowers could become an exit visa?

Excerpt from the book, “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Lighten Up!”

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