Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Piropos--or the Latin man´s version of a "compliment"

Piropos are the noises a man makes at a woman as she´s walking down the street here. They can range from a noise somewhat like "pppssssstttt" or can be anything from "Hola, mi amor", ¨"Que rico", "Bellisama" or a simple "Buenos Dias" said in a particularly leering manner.

Usually these don´t bother me too much but I got one guy who went right up in my face this morning and let me say that the guys who do this kind of thing are not cute, not young and usually not thin.

By all accounts, everyone says to just ignore them but sometimes I´m tempted to stop and say in Spanish, "All right, let´s go. I´m ready for a hot date with you. In fact, I´ve been waiting all day for a stranger to proposition me in the street."

I´m not quite sure what kind of reaction I would get with that though and I´m not sure I want to find out.

I don´t think I´m all that and this is something special for me, it´s a part of the culture (although I haven´t figured out if it´s the kind of knowledge that´s passed down from generation to generation or it´s the kind of thing a kid learns on the street---my guess is the latter).

I´m pretty oblivious to them, but it gets a little tiring when it´s 8.30 in the morning, you´re dodging past excrement (hopefully dog´s), sidestepping bones (presumably chicken) and shooing away flies. Ive been in Panama City for the past 2 days and it´s not the cleanest of cities---although I´m staying in a kind of sketchy area.

It´s called Santa Ana and it´s about 3 or 4 blocks away from the tourist area of Casco Viejo (the old Spanish settlement).

I´m going out to take pictures this afternoon and walk around, but for me, Panama City isn´t very exciting as a tourist destination. There isn´t a whole lot to do and it´s more humid than Florida in August.


  1. "Hola, mi amor" I´m ready for a hot date with you.
    HeHe! I see you are getting more than you bargained down in Panama City, I think I told you once a long time ago that it was dump.
    BTW you do not have to go far to get Piropos from latin guys, just go to NYC the Bronx to be exact, you are bound to get your share of it there.
    Puerto Rico is the same way, kids learn that crap on the streets I grew up listening to garbage like that, it was not nearly as bad in Miami.

  2. I just wish it was you giving them to me not creepy guys on the streets!

  3. "and let me say that the guys who do this kind of thing are not cute, not young and usually not thin."

    OMG. Yes. That is so true. I should blog about my old man stories some day. I have a habit of attracting toothless old men. Once, in Colombia it was the worst. I almost couldn't leave the café and of course everyone was watching and doing nothing to help.