So, I think we're all familiar with the term latin lover, no? The hot, steamy passion, corsing through the veins of Latin men and women, bursting with lust for their desired partner. Before coming here, I guessed there was probably some truth to this stereotype, what I did not foresee was that I would witness it first hand...among adolescents on the metro.
Yes, I'm aware PDA (Public Displays of Affection) exist in the US. Yes, I can handle it. But here, from my culturally biased standpoint, it seems a bit out of control. It seems everywhere I look, somebody is getting some sort of physical attention; I'm not talking about hand holding or a simple peck on the cheek, I mean full on steamy make out sessions, with lots of tongue and butt grabbing. Things I have only seen other people do in movies or on TV, behind closed doors. In my spanish immersion class, our professor taught us that the slang for these actions is comerse caras, which directly translates to "eating each others faces". Pretty accurate.
Also, I would like to point out that it is not just one age group; although the majority seem to be high school or college students, I have encountered a few couples who appear to be in their thirties and forties enjoying a quickie in a dark corner of the metro station. Why, you might ask, are all these people so pleasant as to demonstrate their animal instincts right before my eyes?
From what I have gathered from Chileans here, it is absolutely inappropriate and unheard of to have anyone of the opposite sex in your bedroom, whether or not your parents are home. The home is considered a sacred place, a place for family, and to bring your pololo /a(boyfriend/girlfriend) over for a good time which warrants a door closed is considered disrespectful. Let it also be noted that most students go to school in their home town and continue to live with their parents through university and even after. My thirty year old host brother still lives at home and the same is true in several other host families in the program. Since this young adults typically don't have their own homes, they aren't allowed to sexually do as they please either. So I guess it's a choice between getting it on in public or straight up celibacy. Take your pick.
Pretty much any public place seems to be fair game; the university, bars and clubs, a random street corner but the metro seems to be the hot spot. Seriously, I probably see close to twenty couples daily during my train rides to and from campus, those of which are usually during peak hours when the metro is stuffed with bodies like sardines in a can, vacuum packed. Seriously, my body has been closer to some random people on the metro than to some of my past boyfriends. Yet the lack of personal space doesn't seem to be a deterrent for any couple, they just continue on about their business, which quickly becomes everyone's business when the sounds of their face sucking begin to echo throughout the train cabin. Also, Cerro Santa Lucia ,a gorgeous hill which is conveniently located close to campus, becomes a zoo of lovers every afternoon, basking in the glow of the sun and their libidos. A unique view for tourists.
You may ask why I have chosen to post about this particularly topic this week. Well, I will admit that I have made a Chilean friend of sorts. While we haven't spent anytime on hills or the metro together, I have kissed him on a few street corners. Hey, when in Rome, right?
Shout out goes to all my WashU loves who are back in STL or heading back in the near future. Miss all you guys and hope you have a great semester!