Back when I was living in Barranquilla, Colombia some years ago…
I was dating a Colombian chick named Marcela.
Anyway, I got around to seeing her family for the first time ever.
Her family lived in a fairly dangerous area of the city.
Once I got outside of the taxi, I walked over with her to where her parents lived.
Inside, I got introduced to her parents and her brother.
Her brother was a quiet medium brown skin skinny type and a bit younger.
She had a sister also that I already met named Karla who had curly long hair and light brown skin.
Marcela was completely white.
Anyway, the dad was a very quiet guy also like the brother and never said a word at first.
The mom seemed very weird initially when I met her for the first few times.
Where I could be sitting somewhere in the house and her mom would be seen staring the living fuck out of me from across the room or wherever.
With the widest eyes you could ever imagine.
It was weird as fuck.
I can’t exaggerate how intense her staring was.
With her mouth open and the eyes wide open as wide as you could physically make them…
It seemed like I was a Martian to her or some shit.
Or maybe the only gringo in town I suppose.
Anyway, Marcela at one point asked me what I thought of her family.
I told her that though they seemed nice…
The dad seemed like a silent mummy who never spoke and the mom always looked at me like I was an alien.
After I told her that, her parents magically changed.
Dad learned his first words in the Spanish language to speak and mom stopped looking at me through a pair of binoculars.
So things were cool from there.
But it wasn’t the only time that I caught Latinos down here staring at me like I’m a ghost or some shit.
It’s weird at times.
Here are some other incidents where I have noticed it happening.
Curious Young Ladies
In Mexico City, I never get stared at in touristy areas like Roma Norte, Condesa or El Centro by the young women.
But what happens in non-touristy areas?
I once lived in a area called Santo Domingo de Pedregal.
Which has a little bit of a reputation for being more dangerous.
Same with Cuatro Caminos where I lived once.
Not as dangerous as Tepito maybe but both areas don’t have the best reputation.
In either way, I’ve noticed a shit ton more staring by the local women than in touristy areas.
Perhaps because a white gringo in a non-touristy area like that is rare to be seen.
So, for any Latinas there who like a white gringo, I guess I have limited competition.
In that case, I’d actually argue being “the only gringo in town” could maybe have a sexual advantage if you play it right.
But I imagine a good deal of it is also just a curiosity about why I’m in the neighborhood.
Insecure Men in Mexico City
the worst area in the world I have noticed for staring was Mexico City.
Where I have noticed Mexican guys in Mexico City tend to stare the living fuck of you just because without ever breaking eye contact.
Like one time I was in Metro Juanacatlán late at night around 11 PM more or less…
I got out and this homeless looking guy got out also.
We both walked into this long ass hallway where we walked opposite directions.
Never breaking eye contact as both of our heads were turned around while walking forward away from each other.
Eye contact broke out of sight.
Was also weird as fuck.
I chalk it up to, in my opinion, folks from Mexico City being more insecure about their manhood and just wanting to prove to themselves that they are more manly by winning a staring contest with random strangers.
Otherwise, it doesn’t make any sense to me why this city has so many more men obsessed with staring contests.
And it’s always young as fuck skinny ass short dudes in their young 20s.
Always short as fuck.
Like a Chihuahua who wants to prove himself tough by barking a lot.
Replace barking with staring and there you go.
But outside of Mexico City….
Like in Pachuca for example or Chiapas or Villahermosa…
I never noticed too much staring at all in those places.
Maybe it’s just a Mexico City thing, I don’t know.
But there’s another funny little story I have of being stared at by down here outside of Mexico City…
The Guatemalan Hooligans
One time in Guatemala that comes to mind when in the city of Xela…
Where I stumbled onto a street being a bit lost looking for something…
And there were a bunch of young teenagers all crowded around with music blasting out of some speaker or phone or some shit across the street…
Once I turned onto the street and when they noticed me…
Not joking, the music literally just stopped and they all turned their heads towards me staring the living fuck out of me.
And they kept staring.
While I kept staring.
Anyway, the street went on and on forever and we stopped our staring match until I was out of sight.
Was weird as fuck.
Maybe they were up to no good and planning on taking over the city?
Didn’t want me to hear their plans after all…
Or, perhaps more likely, I wasn’t invited to their street party of reggaeton viejo blasted by a phone…..
On a less threatening note…
Sometimes the staring might not mean so much “you aren’t welcome here, who are you?”
And more of a “who are you and I want to know more about you.”
Like the chicks I mentioned above in Santo Domingo de Pedregal…
But in this case a little bit different.
Sometimes you meet folks down here in non-touristy areas that want to be your friend.
Or at least know more about you as you are one of the few foreigners they have met in a long time or ever.
Like when I was in Barranquilla, Colombia…
Eating at a steak restaurant in the city…
Some Colombian dude named Andres noticed my accent from the other table and got up after I ordered my food to ask me where I’m from.
He asked if he could sit down to eat with me.
Before he got up though, I noticed he was looking or staring at me in a weird way while I was ordering my food.
Perhaps trying to understand that pesky gringo Spanish?
Either way, I said sure and we became friends for the time I was there going out for drinks whenever.
Same thing happened when I was in Guatemala and some Guatemalan grandma got up to ask where I’m from.
So the staring isn’t necessarily always hostile but really, most of the time, I’d say it’s out of a general curiosity.
Is there a racial element to being stared at?
Like if you are the only white guy in town?
Do people stare at you more then?
Well, first off, plenty of Latin America has enough local white Latinos I would say for you to not be a literal Martian to the locals.
Second, I never felt like I got stared at simply for being one of the relative few white guys in town.
Even in more indigenous countries like Guatemala or Bolivia.
But I’m sure that plays a role in it to a degree as the color of your skin can make you stick out more for sure in various areas.
But that’s all I got to say on that for now.
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