How Brazilians Kiss. (Or at least how Leandro does.)

19 08 2006

Last night, I went back to Piola with Kendra. When we walked in, the bartenders and servers who we met on Tuesday all hugged and kissed us and came over to say hello at our table. I felt famous for a second, or at least more at home and comfortable to see familiar faces in Campinas. After an hour or so, two other friends of ours from school joined us and we continued drinking our caipirinhas and talking. I have discovered that a strawberry caipirinha with sake instead of with cachaca or vodka is probably the best tasting thing in the world. (Whenever I have a good new drink, I tell Dennis and he thinks of how he can make it at Roomba.)

One of our servers, Leandro, told us that there is a good club for dancing nearby, and that he and the bartender Mitchel and another of our servers, Brenno, were going to go. We decided to go too, the three of us (Mandy went home), and the Piola guys gave us passes to get into the club for free. Score.

The club was called Deluxe and it is primarily a gay club, so it didn’t surprise me to see a lot of same-sex couples on the dancefloor or up at the bar. I was actually kind of grateful because I am not into the club scene at all and I figured I could just dance and not be bothered.

Not the case. Leandro made it a point to “show”, rather than “tell”, that he was interested in me. Here’s how he did it: Standing no less than a foot and a half away, he wrapped his tongue clear around my head. No joke. I literally had to wipe my face with the back of my hand. Wet and all over my face. I pushed him back and told him “eu tenho um namorado”–I have a boyfriend. He then told me he had a girlfriend, and so I asked him why he had just kissed my face and he said, “Porque nao?”–why not?

Are you serious? Why not? Shortly after that mess, I left him and began dancing with another guy for literally thirty seconds when he, too, dove in for a kiss. I pushed him back, too, and gave him the ye-olde “I Have a Boyfriend” speech.

These people and their tongues. Come on.

We stayed maybe two hours, and Leandro kept sticking his tongue out at me which made my stomach churn. Kendra had a similar experience with Mitchel, but she seemed to think more positively about her experience than I did. In the end, I just wanted to go home and get out of the smoky techno environment. And I really wanted to wash my face.

Dennis asked, when I told him this morning about my night, if I had kicked the guys in the groin. I laughed and said I hadn’t thought to do that, that a simple push back worked for me. He said he would make me a t-shirt that said “Watch It” and then in parentheses below it, “(Your Balls)”. I said he’d probably have to get it translated into Portuguese.

In the States, I think a kiss is important. I think it’s something I look forward to that is intimate and exciting–you know, a “first” kiss is something that is memorable. A first kiss is something that should have a good story to go along with it, a story that you can whisper to your friend and she will say, “That’s so sweet!” A first kiss shouldn’t be, in my opinion, something you wipe off with the back of your hand in nightclub.
A kiss here is kind of like a handshake–and the later it is at night, the more vigorous the handshake. It is an unremarkable event, unless it’s a very bad kiss, I think. I prefer a peck on the cheek…this “getting-to-know-you” tongue is not my style. But it is a cultural thing–kissing is just what a person does to show he or she likes another. I support this, generally speaking, but not in the way I experienced it last night. I could have done with a regular handshake, the good old-fashioned meeting of two hands. Maybe I’m conservative, maybe I’m simply exclusive. But whatever the case, I prefer the tongue to stay in the mouth until the proper time.




4 responses

22 08 2006

LOL. That must have been a weird experience for you but I’m glad you didn’t think as V2 did becuase you woulda been in a lot of trouble. Portuguese and the spanish languages are similar, but the culture is “slightly” different.

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