As sexists as we still are — sorry, Mariela Castro — it is still a bit startling.
They call the taxi driver “Papi,” a guy with a criminal face who can barely hide that he’s up to no good; a young man who looks like a metrosexual, all very ambivalent: gelled hair, waxed eyebrows, piercing in his left eyebrow, tight top which shows his well sculpted arms, and chest hairs showing signs of prior shaving and even the top of his underwear showing the name of Versace that sticks out two inches above his pants, which also, by the way, are hanging almost to his crotch.
And how about if the one calling you “Papi” is a good-looking girl made up like a porn star? First, make sure that is not a man. If it really is a girl, then perhaps there no need for a sweet little compliment. Within the next hour she can ask you to light her cigarette and then turn her back on you, shaking her assets without even thanking you. As if everyone in the universe deserved it.
She might also be a hooker looking for clients. Chances are that nothing will happen, because the money you have is not enough to pay her fee; perhaps you don’t have a place to take her; or you are afraid of the place where she could take you and where two or three of her followers could be waiting to fleece you; fear of AIDS might stop you; or you’re turned off by her warnings that you have to pay her in advance, use a condom, not take too long, and not kiss her (the prostitutes in Cuba do not kiss on the mouth).
In many instances, when you really look at her, you have to be a championship pervert to overcome the weight of your conscience and do it with a girl who could easily be your daughter and who you can tell from a mile away is hungry.
Now it doesn’t bother me when they call me “Papi.” Perhaps I would feel uncomfortable if they called me “Señor. Especially if it is a young girl. I feel that if they don’t address me in familiar terms it is because I look as old as a Polynesian turtle. Too old for them to call me “Papi.” And that is much worse.
From Cubanet, September 6, 2013
Luis Cino Alvarrez — email@example.com
Translated by – LYD