Chilean Shamelessness or Why Using Public Transportation in Santiago Is Never Boring

As a German, there are two topics you NEVER EVER discuss in public:
1. your salary and
2. your private problems.
 At least with the latter, Chileans on the other hand, don’t seem to have any issues at all. It is amazing what they discuss on the metro, on the street or in a café – mostly over the cell phone. Not only do they openly lay out even the samllest detail of their private lives, they do so on full blast. Now, I am not quite sure if I am particularly shameless and indiscreet and maybe no other Chilean eavesdrops on these conversations but even if I WANTED to be polite and give them some privacy, it is just impossible to NOT listen what is yelled into a cell phone two steps away from you. I have gathered quite some insight into the Chilean private soul by now. Chileans discuss how and when they cheated on their partner, how they got fired and what their doctor had to say about their hemorrhoids (this is not even an exaggeration, I have heard it all!!). There is one particular incident however that stood out for me.

One morning riding the metro to work, I was squeezed right between a couple, probably in their 40s. Of course, me tangled in between their legs and arms did not stop them from heavily making out. Until her cell phone rang. She ignored it. It rings again. She ignores it again. It rings a third time. She finally picks up. Only to tell – “that aweonado son of a bitch to fucking leave her alone!!!!” This little intermezzo interrupted the love scene and for ignorant bystanders like myself the whole situation was explained. Turns out, the mystery caller was the woman’s ex-husband who could not accept the divorce and kept calling her multiple times a day. She divorced him because he was abusive and she could not take it any longer so she finally took her children and ran away, to live with her new boyfriend. However, the boyfriend seemed to get more and more annoyed at this situation. “This has to stop! What does that weon want from you? Why are you even answering him? Why does he have your phone number? Are you still sleeping with him??? Gimme that phone!!!!” With this he grabs her phone (to this day I am not quite sure how in a sardine-can-like metro car they managed to even move an inch !), throws it on the floor and smashes it with his foot. “There you go. Now he’s not gonna call you any more!” The scene ends with heavy kissing.
Well, what can I say – who needs soap operas if you can watch it all live?!

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