“You know when it’s so uncomfortable you just want to vomit?”

Unfortunately, I knew exactly what Bronwen, another health volunteer, meant.

On Christmas evening, I went to greet a friend. As we kissed cheeks I noticed that her hair was chin-length. It looked good on her.

“Your hair!” I exclaimed.

“You like it?” She made a face, implying that she didn’t.

“I really do.”

The next day I was walking down the street and saw her and a friend. As they passed I asked brightly, “Te gusta tu pelo ahora!?”

The girl gave me an odd smile, almost placating, and both girls laughed good-naturedly, but drily. As they passed I saw that the girl had a long ponytail.

I’d confused them.

As far as the girls I’d passed by were concerned, the American (who by the way was wearing her wet hair wrapped up in a scarf turban-style) had just randomly asked, Do you like your hair now!?

Sometimes I fear that by the time I leave everyone here is just going to think that all Americans are crazy.