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Saturday, January 22, 2005

9. Kissing (B.A, Argentina)

Kissing is big here. Men kiss other men hello and goodbye. Men kiss women hello and goodbye. I'm not sure what women do with each other. It's always a kiss on the cheek, only on one side, not like the European (and Sydney) double-cheek kiss. I don't think lips are supposed to make contact with skin, it's only a cheek to cheek thing. I've embraced the kissing culture now, at least with my friends. Us gringo guys don't mind kissing our girl friends (girl space friends not girlfriends) goodbye, and when I met up with Juan and his friends last night it was kisses (and handshakes) hello and goodbye.
As a first time visitor to a bar here you'll probably be surprised by a couple sitting at a table kissing - not just kissing though, but practically chewing each other's tongue and tonsils, really deeply porno styles, for like 5 or ten minutes straight, then they'll take a break to drink and catch their breath before getting back into it again. A French guy I met here said even if he really loved his girlfriend and he was really horny he didn't think he'd want to kiss her that much. "What if it was your first date?" I replied. OK, maybe.
And so it was that I found myself at a bar last night getting my own tongue chewed by a lovely porteƱa (Buenos Aires girl) for a few hours, before the bar closed at 6.30am and we were kicked out bleary-eyed into the morning sunshine. It involved the usual bar chat up, but with my pidgin Spanish and her slightly better English, and my incredulity that such first encounter kissing doesn't usually lead to the bedroom. I've turned into one of those bores who starts every sentence with "In my country, ...", so in Spanish it's "En mi pais,...". The conversation went along the lines of "In my country, your friend and that guy she's kissing would have left the bar an hour ago". She assured me that here, no. The couple will kiss all night and then if the girl likes the guy she'll give him her number, and they will meet up again etc. But she may decide that having gotten acquainted with the inside of his mouth she doesn't like him that much after all, so he won't get the number and that'll be it.

Random pic: The subte (subway)
The nightclubs still haven't started back up again in Buenos Aires city yet, but the two European guys staying here at Etty's House went to a club outside the city last night, and said it was awesome, 2000 or 3000 people until 9 in the morning.


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