This post comes about as a result of the general group blog topic of "Chilean Men." The topic was started over at Just Married Chilean Style blog but was suggested by Heather.
I haven't had much experience with Chilean men, but not wanting to be left out of this new blog phenomenon, I thought I'd give it a shot, albeit a little late. I have 4 experiences to tell about. Although they are unrelated to each other, they can be related to what the other bloggers wrote about Chilean men.
1. R. - The Chilean guide that melted my gringa soul
The most memorable experience with a Chilean man that I have ever had was when our whole family made a trip to visit K. last December. From Santiago we rented a couple of cars and drove 9 hours south to the resort town of Pucon. We had all decided ahead of time that thing we all really wanted to climb the volcano while we were there. We arrived at the designated time and place to begin our adventure and were greeted by two friendly guides; the lead and the tail. I didn't have much exposure to the guide who was bringing up the end of our line but the one in the front really impressed me. He was an ox. Upon meeting him he looked a little beat up; the kind of guy who was middle aged and over weight and probably smoke and drank too much. But he was very cheerful and despite the languange barrior with most of our clan, he was good humored and seemed to understand just enough English to be able to joke around a little, if not with words then with gestures and looks.
His name began with an "R." It was something like Rodrigo or Ricardo. I can't remember for sure. It was not Rafael or Rodolfo. I'll just refer to him as "R" for the rest of this story.
As someone else noted in their blog (yes, I cheated and read everyone else's blogs already), chivalry is definitely not dead in Chile. Not too far into the climb it became apparent that E. was not doing too well with it. She wanted to give up because she felt she just could not make it. R. would not hear of it. He very graciously insisted on taking E.'s back pack and slung it onto his own back and continued to climb effortlessly. A little later E. was still struggling. He encouraged her step by step and for about 4 hours of the climb he actually held her by the hand and literally pulled her up the mountain. When the going got tough for me toward the top of the climb he gave up his poles for me to use.
But my favorite part was when it came time to don the funny chap type pants that are made especially for sliding back down the mountain. He assisted each of us in figuring out how to untangle them and not put them on upside down. R. was down on his right knee directly in front of me, almost as if he were about to propose. In the American culture, the space between us would most likely have been deemed as uncomfortably close. He helped me put my right leg in and then the left leg and then right when I was hoisted the pants/chaps contraption up and wriggled them over my butt, he looked me square in the eyes and with a big grin on his face he said "SUPER SEXY!"
I thought that was about the most hysterical thing in the whole wide world right about then. By that time I was totally exhausted after all of the climbing we had done and I'm sure I looked like an old hag, but I had to hand it to him .. . .his delivery was smooth. I'm absolutely sure it wasn't original. I'm absolutely sure he used those almost universal words on every woman tourist that he had ever assisted up that mountain. And maybe his motive was a bigger tip in the end. But guess what? I didn't care. He made me melt up on that moutain!
2. Piropos for the mother of the bride to be
This story dates back to that February day in 2007 that K. got married. I went with K. and her Sara of honor to get our hair done for the wedding. We went to a salon that was located at in an upscale area of Santiago although I'm not sure exactly where we were. The talented gay hairdresser put my hair in an updo and I was all set to go. While I was waiting for K. & S. of honor K. sent me on an errand to walk to a nearby ATM and withdraw a bunch of money that she needed to pay for some of the wedding expenses. I was dressed in blue jeans and heels and somekind of button down shirt (so I could take it off without ruining the do) and was clicking down the street when suddenly I heard cat calls and whistling and whooping from a car passing by. I looked around. Really, that couldn't be directed at me, now could it? I glanced around and there was no one else in sight, so I guess it was. O.K. so there were no gross, dirty remarks and to be honest I didn't catch sight of the men (I'm assuming) in the car so I don't know, they might have been gross and dirty . . . but at the ripe ole age of 48 (at that time) I'll take a cat call in Chile as a compliment cause that sure as shootin' wouldn't have happened in the good ole US of A.
3. Chilean men will do anything for their friends
I witnessed this first hand during the week of K & S's wedding. S.'s friends bent over backwards to accomodate all of the requests from K. & S. for their help; from acting as chauffers to hair appointments, hauling mattresses, providing transportation to the wedding to participating in the festivities, S.'s friends impressed me with their loyalty to him and K as his bride to be. They were at K & S's beck and call and did whatever was requested willingly and good naturedly.
4. S. as a son-in-law (SIL?)
What can I say? S. is an awesome SIL. He takes care of my K and puts up with her shizzle. He lets her use the cupboard space under the kitchen sink to store her shoes and boots in. He works like a devil all day and comes home and gives her love and attention. He let's her be in charge but once in a while will call the shots (as well he should / better). He let me invade their precious space for an entire week when I recently visited in June and never once complained about it, at least not to my knowledge. He makes K. laugh with his cauliflower antics!! S. is an awesome SIL.