They while away long days in the Andes sun, “guarding” shops and banks and probably have little to do except examine the lint on their uniforms. Still, I don’t appreciate the policeman at the bank breathing “Holaaaa” down my neck every time I need to take out cash.I’ve tried to perfect a glare to shoot back at them that, in my mind, looks life-threatening.But every time I try it, the offending policeman instead seems pleased that I’m actually looking at him.
No matter how many times you say you want to be “just friends,” it generally doesn’t translate here.
If you give out your phone number to a guy and say you’d like to practice Spanish, you can soon expect to receive a romantic text message or heart-shaped necklace.
My other American friends say that if they go on one date–even a seemingly platonic coffee date–their phone will ring incessantly for days if not weeks.
The cab driver smiled at me as I climbed into his taxi. “There is an angel in my cab.” I sighed and crossed my arms. “Anything for you, my little queen.” Now, if a strange man tried to call you “my little queen” in the United States, you might either vomit or call for help.
It had been a long day at work and I wasn’t exactly in the mood to be wooed by a man who was twice my age and favored turquoise track suits. But in Ecuador, this seemingly spontaneous affection from strangers is the norm.
To the cashier at the pharmacy, you are “ If only these comments were always so benign.When you live in a “machista” culture, you’re bound to experience its negative effects.A simple trip to the supermarket, for example, virtually guarantees a catcall or two.I don’t imagine I look all that attractive slouching in sweatpants and carrying shopping bags, but somehow men still find it necessary to hiss “Tssssss ! But Ecuadorian women experience much worse, their husbands routinely cheating or leaving. My host father has been loyal for all of his married life and my own male students have only treated me with respect.While living in Ecuador, I’ve met plenty of men who are polite and chivalrous, and have even expressed shame at the typical men’s behavior.But until that feeling reaches the masses, here are some tips to keep in mind for your interactions with Ecuadorian men: Ironically, policemen are far and away the most enthusiastic catcallers.