The origins of ‘don’t HOLA at me’.

hola (via google.com)

You might be wondering why on earth my page is called don’t hola at me. Well if you are a female that has travelled Latin America you will relate. Unlike my homeland NZ where you practically have to dance naked in front of the male species to get them to pay attention to you, Latin American men have the most irking habit of whispering to, whistling at or shouting at women on the street, which to them is a kind of compliment. I guess. Or maybe they are just all creeps.

Especially as a foreigner (although local women have to put up with it too) you will be walking along, minding your own business, when all of a sudden you hear hola… in a sleazy, greasy, vomit provoking voice. You turn to find the source of this disturbing sound and find yourself face to face with a creepy man ogling you with a sleazy smile. You used to think that little old men were lovely? Not anymore, they are just as sleazy as the rest of them, if not worse.

Anyway, It was one day walking along the streets of Buenos Aires with my dear Swedish friend Viktoria we had had enough of this ridiculous creepy hola business all over the place and jokingly started saying don’t hola at me – you know, in the way they do in the movies from the states when they say holla for what’s up (or something along those lines) and I’ll holla at you later etcetera, etcetera. We though it was pretty funny at the time and it has stuck with me – largely thanks to the fact that I still have yet to escape the creepy holas.

At one point we were even discussing dressing up as zombies to see if it would deter the creepy holas, these men are that persistent that our last resort was zombies… Just a preview of one of the cons of being female in Latin America.

So apart from finding out where the name don’t hola at me came from there’s also another lesson to be learnt here. Women, if you are planning to travel alone in Latin America, make sure you bring earplugs or a magical shield or an invisibility cloak like the one Harry Potter’s got so that you can walk the streets in peace. And most importantly, at all costs, avoid walking past a constructions site because you will never hear the end of it. Trust me. Been there. Done that. Will never do again.

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