As you can see on the bill attached, a coffee at the local Starbucks costs me BOL 16,00. In US dollars that is $2,30.
You may notice that my cup says “Diego”.
My Latin alter ego was born in Costa Rica, when I was buying something at Colono (a large construction retailer). As usual you pick your products and after making the bill you are send to the checkout.
Clerk: “tu nombre?”
Me: “Jeroen, eso es con Jotta, Eh, Erre, Oh, Eh, Enne”
Me: Puede ser “Gerome” tambien, como “Geronimo” si eso es mas fascil.
Clerk: “Listo, puedes pagar aya”
And there it was, my first “Diego” on a bill. From here on I do not bother to try and spell my name in Spanish (unless it is at a border control or for an official document) because people are programmed to spell it wrong. Everywhere in the world outside the Netherlands, were “Jeroen” is a pretty common name, I have issues with my name.
When they finally get my name right, I start with my last name: “Houdijk”. You should see there faces. Therefore I did not bother to choose my personal brand this way “Houdyk” as it is one letter less to spell or type.
When I came back to Bolivia and was looking for a place to work in Santa Cruz (outside of home) I ended up at Starbucks because everywhere else the Wifi does not work. So if you buy me a coffee, tell the barista it is for Diego.