I went out a couple of weeks ago to a bar that featured a tiny little man who looked a lot like a Colombian Woody Allen doing Beatles covers. When I first saw him take the stage, I was skeptical. Not so much because of his small statures, but because he was wearing hiking boots and a Crocodile Dundee hat. However, after watching half of his rendition of "Get Back", complete with high kicks and air guitar, I realized that I stood totally corrected.
As I watched the show, I couldn't help but notice something else. There was a lot of making out going on. A LOT. This isn't so uncommon in a nighttime/bar setting however it is usually not so common in my country with the type of crowd I was surrounded by. Most likely because there was a cover and the mojitos were about 25,000 pesos (14 USD) a pop, the crowd was sorta old. Many people in the bar were losing their hair and packing a few extra. Back in the USA it is not so common to see people born in the late 60s early 70s french kissing in public. But, in Colombian it is pretty typical.
On one hand, I kinda liked the idea because I myself am sorta old and I like the idea that there exists other social opportunities besides boring dinner parties and Netflix. It was kinda comforting to see some people who were even older than me who were still out to have a good time and enjoy some tongue kissing in the process. I wanted to believe that it was simply their natural Latin passion that kept them so hot for each other that they couldn't help but make out and cop a feel while listening to a itsy bitsy hombre belt out "Can't Buy Me Love".
However, as usual, the cynic in me had some doubts. Were the Beatles so romantic that these middle aged couples couldn't control themselves? Didn't they have homes where they could do this in private? Was the bald guy in front of me so turned on by his wife's flannel shirt that he had to touch her butt all night? I couldn't help but think that there was possibly something else going on.
With the help of the internets, I came up with two possible explanations, the first of which was Colombian fidelity, or lack there of. According to the world of Google 8 out of 10 Colobiam men cheat. 8 out of 10?!?!?! Aye dios mio! (You would think with these statistics I would be getting a little more action and watching a little less internet TV.) But, before you try to condem these muchachos you should know that about 3 out of 10 of their ladyfriends are also down with OPP. The very reputable website Planetlove.com told me that the reason for all these shenanigans is that the men "just can't help themselves" and the women get some on the side because of feelings of "loneliness, unfulfillment, or the desire for REVENGE". Apparently, while the rates of infedelity are high throughout Latin America, Colombian leads the region with a total of 66% of all Colombians having cheated at least once. In addition to this, 47.5% have gotten their grove on in a group setting, 51% have hired the services of a professional, and 10.5% would like to get down more than 7 times a week (Is there an 8th day of the week I don't know about???). These stats made me think that perhaps Telenovelas are not as melodramatic as I thought. Maybe they are more like docudramas. I also can't help but wonder if this means that everyone is yelling at each other all the time and constantly feeling overwhelming feelings of rage and jealousy.
For those of you who never watched Joey Grecco on Cheaters, you really missed out. The show filmed Joey and his beady little eyes and leather jacket as he followed people around in his van with their significant other to confront them while they were out romancing someone else. The first time I watched Joey almost incite an African American lesbian riot in downtown Houston, I was hooked. If he set up shop here in Bogota I feel like he would always be busy. Yes, Colombian can get a little dicey, but Joey in NOT afraid of danger! Remember this episode:
But getting back to the old people make out party, after looking at the data I felt that there could be a strong possibility that most of the couples I saw getting so frisky may have left their husbands and wives at home and stopped off for a few drinks on their way to the No Tell Motel. Or they could have been out recruiting a third. Yikes, stripes.
I also uncovered another thing that could have made the middle aged people start acting like horny teens at the bar. It's called Berranquillo and it's a Colombian Love Potion. I learned about it while on a bike tour last weekend when my friend Erica was in town. It was served up here:
My 8th grade Spanish tells me that this spot is called "The Love Door" and is convenietly located around the corner from the red light district, Santa Fe.
Berranquillo is an aphrodisiac whos main ingredient is the fruit called borojo. Borojo is thought to not only work as a natural aphrodisica, but to increase enegry, "promot hormone generation of all types developing sexual power", encourage cellular regeneration, decrease cholesterol, and revitalize ovulation, as well.
I was actually going to try to try some Berranquillo when we first rolled up to The Love Door, because I really will do almost anything for a goof. However, when I found out that one of the ingredients was live crabs, I had to pass.
To make Berrsnquillo local love doctors put some live crabs in a blender with some oysters, a quail egg, milk, brandy, borojo, and ginseng. After seeing the live crabs creepy crawling all around the glass jar, I just couldn't do it. Besides, I had no hot dates lined up for that evening and am way too square to consider hiring a professional so it seemed like it would be a big waste of jungle fruit and live crabs, not to mention Brandy.
I was very happy with my decision after I learned that live crabs sometimes carry a very dangerous parasite that can give a person symptoms like tuberculosis. SInce it is usually treated as such, the parasite then goes on to attack other organs. It sounded like throwing back some Berranquillo could have turned into a goof gone very awry.
Well, I don't know if it's the cheating or the Berranquillo or good old fashion love that keeps older Colombians so hot for each other they find themselves PDAing all over the place. However, I am sorta into it. Why should pesky teenagers get to have all the fun?