Public Displays of Affection


Pablo, I don’t think the Colombians got the memo.

If you can’t stand seeing Public Displays of Affection (PDA), Colombia may not be your top travel choice.

Not just in the dark corners, but In every well-lit segment of society, couples are furiously locking lips, and twisting tongues. We have seen couples eating at restaurants, at tables full of friends, intwined in passionate embraces, embraces that seem poised to spawn a new child at any moment.

Pretty sure I got pregnant at dinner!
“At first I thought I ate too much bandeja paisa, but it turns out you got me pregnant at dinner!”

Johanna and I love each other, but we have never been the most outwardly romantic couple.

How we do PDA
How we do PDA.

Johanna and I say we love one another all the time, and tell the people we care about the same. We just don’t kiss much in public, or maul each other at the dinner table. We kiss, but usually anything past a peck, is done in the comfort of our own home.


This Kiss
The kind of Kiss I like to see in public.

While in Colombia, always be aware of your surroundings. Yes, you need to be aware of pickpockets but also the rarely talked about, couples who refuse to release their grasp. Many couples, refuse to let go of their mates hand, even to let someone pass, and will continue straight through you. I have nearly been knocked over multiple times by the aforementioned couples. They might fall out of love if they release. Let me assure you, nothing makes you look more graceful than being clotheslined by two people at the same time.

Couple holding hands
“Never let go.” “Never? Even when the train comes?” “Yes, even when the train comes.”

For weeks, we laughed at all the PDA, but as the weeks pass, we are holding hands more, and stealing a peck here and there. We may have caught a case of the Colombians. I can assure you, we will never be caught in a public tongue-tango, but maybe being here has brought us closer together.

Colombian Flag

Colombians are passionate. They are passionate about their country, love, food, dancing, and life in general. I must admit, I love their passion. While all of the public slobbering still makes me queasy, in the end, I would rather see people kissing in the streets, than killing in the streets. As Pablo Neruda said, “if nothing saves us from death, at least love should save us from life”.

Note: Pablo Neruda is not from Colombia, he is from Chile. Read here for more great poems and info on Pablo Neruda.

2 thoughts on “Public Displays of Affection

  1. Luz Rodriguez says:

    Hey Zack, it looks like it’s an a Latino American phenomenon, here in Mexico City is about the same thing, very disturbing seeing young girls in full PDA.
    I am very much disgusted by the whole PDA wherever you go ( churches, parks, restaurants, street benches) the only thing I see ( in my mind)is population growing , poverty increasing and not a great future for the new generation.
    Who should we blame??????
    Lack of education? Society? Religion? Lost family values? Etc.


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