Friday, November 21, 2008

Culture Take 3

The only thing going on here these days is fervent prep. for a huge expo we have at the University next week. I'm thinking that you don't want to know the details at this point, so I'm giving a lesson in culture for the third time.

What do you think this gesture means???

It means that there were a lot of people. For example, you want to explain to somebody that the bus was SO full that there were people hanging out the doors. THAT is when you would use this.

What about this one???

It means something was delicious. I'm serious! Its actually a two-part deal. You start with your finger under your eye and then move it forward and away from your face. This signifies that the Tamale you had at Liliana's last night was delicious as you describe it to your friend over another eye-to-finger deserving coffee! the States when one walks into a room full of people, you simply give a general "hello everyone" and then begin to mingle with your particular favorites (so to speak). NOT SO in Latin America. Upon entering a room, you MUST greet every person individually with an air-kiss to the left cheek and some time of salutation. Translated, it would go something like this:
"Hi, Angie, what's up? (muah) Hello Oscar, how are ya? (muah) Hey there Eliana. (muah) Hi Andres, how ya been? (muah)..." This would continue until all had been greeted and THEN, only THEN, could I be seated and begin to mingle or eat or whatever.

The not so enjoyable cat-calls. This is one of my least favorite things in this culture. Despite popular belief, you don't have to have a fresh layer of makeup, weigh less than 110 lbs, wear tight clothes, bla bla bla. In fact, the only requirement for a woman to receive cat-calls is to, well, be a woman with legs, arms, hair, a face and the other womanly essentials. Seeing as Bogota is full of people who walk to work, school etc (like me) it is a daily occurance that you pass construction workers, business men, grandpas and adolescent boys. Again, the requirement for the type of man is simply that he has eyes. Click-click go the heels and whistle-whistle come the calls. Sometimes its the simple whistle and stares. Other times, such as this morning, a middle-aged man will approach you and tell you where his apartment is located if you're interested. It is immediately followed by a blank look from the woman that sends the message "over my dead body Mr." followed by a quick turn of the eyes and continuing, at a faster pace, of her journey to work or wherever her day is taking her. In my case, the rest of the walk is comprised of me feeling like I need to take a shower again and dress myself in a parka and mask from now on. EW!

That's all for now! HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY Thanksgiving to all!


aaron-das said...

I like how your amazing ring is highlighted in the 1st pic...whoever bought you that ring is 1 lucky guy...

p.s. What is your parka size ? :)

Anne Marie said...

good stuff! but i actually do wanna hear about what you're doing to get ready for the big event with UCU :) maybe next time...
and aaron made the best comment ever with that 'parka size' question. lol.