Some like it close and noisy

Nov 2, 2016 | 8 comments

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz

Latinos are not afraid of close contact even with strangers There’s no “three foot” rule. Why waste the space?

Teenages packed in line like sardines.

Teenagers packed in line like sardines.

Same goes for sound. Why would you turn down the music?

Lonely beaches exist because Latinos prefer the crowded ones.

My wife, from Mexico, and me have always preferred the crowded sidewalk, and gravitate toward wherever there’s a lot of people in a clump.

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I was once married to a girl from California, and she hated crowds. I was drawn to them like a magnet — the malls, the discos, the subways and busses.

Subtle cultural differences can make living together easy, or not.

When I grew up in Buenos Aires, I’d approach the balcony in our apartment and watch a 1,000 people cross the street. I walked through a throng on my way to and from school. Crowds provided security, and social stimulation. In Latin lands like Ecuador, where folks feel at ease when they flock, lonely places are places best left alone.

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