Ojo: The "Cholo Word Of The Day" is simply for fun. This is not an academic exercise, therefore I do not spend much time checking for espelling or grammatical errors. Most of the words are not only used by "cholos," but by many people in S. Texas - and their usage can vary. c/s

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Un Abrazo, Two Pats on the Back, Y Besos All Around

My first stop as I drove in to the Valley was at my friend's new apartment. He greeted me outside
of his apartment with the embrace customary for friends who have not seen each other in a while - the abrazo w/
two heart felt pats on the back. I knew I was home.

I find that there's a difference even among the Mexican abrazo used by men depending on what part of the state the
abrazo is being initiated. Two hours after flying into Austin Thursday night I went over to see
Maneja Beto in action. It was the first show in about a month and coincidentally it happened to be on
the same day I was flying into town. One of my friends already had a cold Lone Star waiting for me when I arrived at the bar.
He's one of my handshake friends (maybe because he's a gringo, but he's as good a friend as I have).
I took my beer and started making my rounds. Un abrazo aqui, un beso a las muchachas, otro abrazo aca. I noticed it
immediately. The abrazo was more of a warm, gentle, embrace. It was genuine and soft. No great ordeal. We talked,
caught up, and had a great time.

The next day I met a long time friend for lunch and I reached over and gave her a hug (no beso, she's a hug friend,
maybe because she's a gringita).

In San Antonio the next day I visited with some other friends. Bueno, una amiga, y sus amigas. Estas que si son
fresas (even though when she reads this I'm sure I'll get a nasty email from her professing not to be one). I was
with my primo and some of his friends. My friend arrived and of course I gave her a hug and a kiss. She soon
introduced me to her friends and one of the girls me dio un beso, las otras dos estaban sentadas and didn't get up
but smiled. At the end of the night, besos all around. At some point during the night my primo bought me a beer and
I turned around to thank him. He gave me the Mexican (or is it?) backward hand "you're welcome." You know what that
is, right? Instead of showing the palm, you show the top of your hand when you wave and add some emphasis (un
poquito de umphhh).

This week I've been spending time with my high school friends. There's an abrazo with two and sometimes three
(usually reserved for family) hard,firm,loud pats on the back. My friends and I were joking about this the other day
and one of them said that his tio is always the guy that over-does it and after the initial abrazo
either pushes him, slaps him on the ass, or says "ven paca cabron. Dejame darte otro abrazo."

I love being home.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ay carlitos, just becuase we're not all chicana and we speak proper spanish doesn't make us fresas ok??????????? for real fresas go to any club in monterrey. ;-)

12:15 PM

Blogger Xolo said...

I always have a hard time making those transitions from one form of salutation to the other. I have ended up hugging people who should have gotten a beso and giving a kiss to those who were looking for an abrazo. People are very startled when they get something they were not expecting.

In Europe it gets more complicated because there you give multiple besos. In Italy it is two, starting on the left cheek and then changing to the right. In Beligium it is three, right-left-right - I think. It seems like you spend all day giving besos. Phew!

5:46 PM

Blogger Alma said...

The guys from Queer Eye say that the 3 pats on the back from man hugs are a way of the men saying "(1)I'm (2)not (3)gay. Hahaha

11:14 AM

Blogger Sangrona said...

Yo siempre te doy beso y abrazo, pero yo si soy fresa a mucha honra!
Que envidia que fuiste al Valle...si dios quiere, yo voy la semana que entra...besos-Ana

4:10 PM

Blogger mariposatomica said...

It's always great to be among family and friends! Sounds like you are having a blast. Abrazos des de Chicago.

8:32 PM

Blogger Xolo said...

A while back you were compiling a list of informal names for Spanish first names. I learned today that the formal term for this is Hypocoristics. You might be interested in having a look at this Wikipedia entry:



6:01 PM

Blogger Mayra said...

You know, when I first moved to Austin, I was suprised at how distant people were..people would be polite but personally stiff. (That infamous American invisible wall of personal space). But I got used to it and now that I am back en el Valle I find myself having to readjust to being more open again. It was fun though, when I would forget I was in Austin and I would kiss someone on the cheek..very awkward for them but fun for me to see their reaction. Haha. Mostly it would just take them by suprise.

1:15 PM

Blogger tortillasandwich said...

Hope you enjoyed your trip back. You got it down about the hugs and besos though..haha, good job!

2:45 PM

Blogger Aleksu said...

Guerrerense Hug (Male to Male)- You shake hands and you pass your left arm briefly over your friend's shoulders and momentarily apply pressure on the opposite shoulder on a side to side stance.

Guerrerense Hug (Male to Female) - The classic bear hug with her arms around your neck.

Mid West Gringo Hug (Male to Male)- You shake hands and while keeping the grasp on the hand shake you each reach over with your left arm and proceed to give a half but firm hug.

Mid West Gringo Hug (Male to Female) - The classic bear hug with her arms around your waist.

Basque Hug (Male to Female)- You keep your hands on her shoulders and kiss each cheek starting on the right.

Basque Hug (Male to Male) - Uh oh, not such thing, unless you're drunk.

8:11 AM

Blogger cindylu said...

I always feel weird with one friend who doesn't touch women (he's Muslim), well at least not on purpose. I just saw him for the first time in months and wanted to hug him, but it was inappropriate, and it just doesn't feel right to me because I love that contact. And you're right, it is a part of being home.

8:46 PM

Blogger Adam Faust said...

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12:08 PM


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