Friday, April 15, 2011

Dieciseis & Pregnant

Brief commentary on the family life here as it appears to a foreigner.

It's interesting, because Mendocinos don't really move out of their parents' houses until they get married. This makes for PDA going on EVERYWHERE. This is mostly in the parks and plazas, but can happen in the street, on the sidewalk, etc.  I'm forced to watch people making out hardcore everywhere. Bah humbug.

Lots of these people are teenagers. I asked a friend of mine what the deal was with this, and she explained that since they all live with their parents, they pretty much just take the action outside. So that I get to watch them making out and feeling each other up while I am picking up contracts.

They also go to hourly-rate hotels called Telohs here (kind of like hotel backwards, see?), since they can't hang out at each other's houses if they are so inclined. While in the States, these are super seedy and gross with bad reputations, here it seems as though they're generally accepted and normal.

There are also a ton of teen pregnancies that I've seen, as well as super young couples with babies. They breed young here, and they all breed. I feel like there must be pressure if you're my age and unmarried as a girl here (or at least have been married at least once so far) because I'm pretty sure the Old Maid thing here is an actual threat.

The living at home thing also explains why Mendocinos go out late very often. I thought they were big partiers. It turns out, they will nurse a drink or two over the course of the entire night while smoking cigarettes at an outside cafe on Arístedes or similar, just to avoid going home until the wee hours of the morning when their parents are getting up and going to work.

Interesting effects from a seemingly conservative approach to family values.

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