In Venezuela we use piropo as a word meaning a compliment a person gives to another, generally about their looks. We tend to use it as a noun, but have been known to also use it as a verb, as in piropear. One salient difference between the US and Venezuelan cultures can be found in how people treat each other in the streets. Strangers greet each other very different here than they do back home.

I’ve gotten used to the anonymity of strolling down the streets and have no one pay much attention to me. I’ve gotten used to the freedom that comes with being invisible. It suits me, I’m a live and let live kind of gal. But that is not always the case. And I have found that here in the Midwest, people tend to be friendlier than they are back East.

I was jogging down the lakefront today when a dude on his bike passes by me and says something. I can’t hear because I’m plugged into my iPod as usual. So, I stop, I remove the earplugs and ask “What?” I’m thinking he wants directions. I always get asked for directions, even when I’m visiting in a new place, for some reason people tend to think I know where I am.

He says smiling “You have more curves than an Indy car track!” I say “what?”, because I can’t hear him well enough to make it out, and because, what the heck does that mean? So he repeats it, but I still look puzzled. And he says “beautiful!”, so I say “thank you” and smile, while actually thinking to myself “Is that a good thing? How does an Indy car track look? I’ll have to google that.”

I figured it was a piropo, but just in case those curves are too curvy, I kept jogging, because all curves need maintenance, and looking good never comes easy. But, bicycle guy, thanks for el piropo, it somehow reminded me of home.

Have you gotten a piropo lately? Have you given one? Try it, with a stranger, go ahead, make someone smile. But remember, not everyone knows what an Indy track looks like 😉


4 responses to “Piropo

  1. ! Que cómico ! y al fin pudiste chequear si el piropo estaba un poco subido de tono??? Imagino que no, pues la gente aqui es menos picante….. Pero anyway, esta bueno para un coleccionista de piripos….

    • Si, fue comico. Nada pasado. El estaba en su bici y se paro para decirme eso, y luego siguio andando. Yo segui caminado… pero me quede pensando si seria bueno o no…

  2. When walking the dog or the baby, I try to make eye contact and say hello to others I see, because I assume they’re my neighbors and it always makes me feel better when others say hello to me.

    Funny enough, just this morning, some guy whistled out his car window at me. I kept walking, because, well, I find it creepy when guys do that. ha.

    • 🙂 Yeah, I tend to ignore whistles or random comments yelled out through passing car windows. But, creepy and all a little attention, of the positive kind, can bring a smile to your face, and in my book, that’s usually a plus 🙂

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