Monday, February 14, 2011

Amor, Besos y Despedidas (Love, Kisses and Goodbyes)

Happy Valentine's Day everybody!  It just so happens that on this day of love, I left one of the countries that I love.  It's a bittersweet feeling - I think my journey is truly beginning, now that I am away from the comfort of "home" and the familiarity of friends and family.  But "on to the next one" as they say (or maybe that's just Jay-Z).

I saw this cute chair at the La Piedra Feliz - how appropriate!

As I say "goodbye" to Chile, I'll share with you their passion for love.  My Chilean friend summed it up best (when referencing his last relationship) as he sighed and admitted, “I’m in love with love.”  What an endearing, vulnerable, and downright adorable statement.

In Chile love is nothing to be shunned or shied away from.  As an American who isn’t fond of PDA (ewwww) I didn't like seeing people making out in parks, on the bus, at parties, on escalators, in restaurants....okay you get the picture.  But eventually I got used to it – people love to touch, show affection, and be close to each other.

Trying to not be creepy - but there were 2 couples cuddling in the park, a common sight in Chile

Awwww young love....

A perfect example of this closeness is how people greet each other.  There aren't any distant, stiff, professional handshakes.  In Chile people greet each other with one kiss on the right cheek.  Males and females, females and females, and sometimes males and males too.  If you go to an asado and there are 16 people, you best be expecting to kiss 16 cheeks, regardless of if you know them or not.
Now this is normal to me, but I remember when my family came to visit me 5 years ago.  My then 16 year old brother thought it was bizarre and I couldn’t help but smirk every time a Chilean girl (or woman, for that matter) would come in for a kiss on the cheek.  He would get all red and nervous looking. J  He had that awkward "What do I do now?" look about him.  Cute.  Innocent.  And a reflection of how our society (or at least the one which I come from) depresses physical contact.  After living in Chile I embraced it - I felt like it was a sign of welcoming and warmth - one simple gesture which I will miss so much.
My "Despedida" lunch with family
Just like their greetings, when you depart you kiss goodbye as well.  Therefore, I had my final "besos" today as I left Chile for Argentina.  I'm off to explore a new city, and I'm treating myself to a steak dinner for Valentine's day. *Big grin*
I always wonder why single people don't like Valentine's day.  I think it has to do with jealousy or the lack of "someone special" to spend the day with.  If you are single, I have a request of you today (not a thought - a request)....that you may be happy.  I might not have that ONE special person in my life, but I can give thanks because I have LOTS of special people in my life.
To me Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate the love in your life no matter who it comes from - your husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, family, friends, or anybody else that brings you joy. 
So thank you for bringing me joy and Happy Valentine's Day from me to you - someone who loves you. J I'll think of you while enjoying a nice slab of red meat with red wine....

3 comments:

  1. Change the world, Annie. Take what you learned in Chile and spread the love, one hug, one kiss at a time. You have inspired me to do that!

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  2. hermanaaaaaaaaaa te prometo que casi llore con lo q pusiste eres tan linda y lamento mucho no haber podido verte mas tiempo no sabes lo feliz q me hiciste y lo mucho que te kiero... enserio eres mi hermana hasta el infinito....tkm y espero verte muy pronto... proximo blog en español jajajaja besos estamos cerca pues estoy en argentina . ciudad de calafate---- besos

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