Kissy Face Culture in Grenada

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In addition to the excitement and randomness of driving in Grenada – which is really best done on a scooter – there is an orchestra of peanut gallery that lines the roadsides and makes for quite an entertaining journey. It’s kissy face culture in Grenada!

This post was originally published in 2013. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.

Kissy Faces

As a white female, I attract quite a bit of attention in Grenada whether or not I want to. One of the incantations of this attention comes in the form of the following soundtrack which accompanies me when I drive around:

Honey!”

Baby!”

Sweetness!”

Love!”

Darling!”

Hey!”

Can I ride wit you baby?”

Aaahh!”

Oooh!”

…and the ever-present kissy face sounds…

I’m not exactly sure what any of my potential suitors would do if I actually responded to their calls; as if I might jump off my scooter right there and then and leap into their arms.

And yes, I’ve been temped to do it just to see what would happen, as I suspect they’d be so surprised that it would turn into a big joke.

But I haven’t done it. (I’m too chicken).

What truly amazes me is that even when I’m on the scooter with my partner (who is a strong man you might think twice about pissing off) – the orchestra of cat calls from the roadside continues unabated!

So now my suitors’ odds are stacked significantly against them with my partner right there, yet they still feel it’s worth a try.

You’ve gotta commend their tenacity.

So we’ve found the perfect way of responding to these ever-present road-side calls:

My partner blows kisses.

Waves

But driving and riding around Grenada is a much more interactive (and pleasurable) experience than simply fending off men.

Grenada is a small island, made up of smaller communities. It doesn’t take long to become a familiar face, especially if you live outside of the major towns (as I do), and you are simply friendly and open, willing to lime, engage in some small talk, and provide a helping hand if it’s needed.

Thus, in my morning ride to the gym, I get smiles, waves, beeps, and hellos from no less than half a dozen people I know or recognize – sitting on their porches, walking along the road, manning the fruit or rum stands, or driving on the roads. And this happens wherever I go.

It’s a heartwarming experience, every time I leave the house.

The Transition

I’ve also noticed a transition recently; the ratio of kissy faces to heartfelt waves has shifted.

Instead of getting the hey-there’s-a-white-chick-on-a-scooter kissy face…

…I get the hey-there’s-that-white-chick-on-a-scooter-I-recognize wave and greeting!

It’s the little things.

Editor’s Note: I wrote this piece prior to having my scooter accident, and although I’m currently relegated to Grenada’s buses and walking, and despite the accident, I still very much loved my scooter days. 

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19 thoughts on “Kissy Face Culture in Grenada”

  1. I was really sorry to hear about your scooter mishap and subsequent long recovery. Will you be getting a new scooter and continuing your “scooter days”?

    Reply
    • Hi Larry,
      Although I hope that my two-wheeled days haven’t completely come to an end, given my partner’s hip injuries, four wheels are the only option now. But we both still talk about getting another scooter! 🙂

      Reply
  2. I’ve often daydreamed of doing something like that here in south Florida.
    “I like a man who knows how to get a woman’s attention. You had me at the first grunt…”
    And then just wait to see what they do. But like you. I’m too chicken 🙂

    Reply
  3. I always wonder what cat-calling men are thinking. I mean, has shouting out ‘hey, baby’ ever once worked for anyone? What is their ideal end to this scenario here?

    Reply
    • Jess – My question exactly! That’s why I wanted to jump off the scooter and leap into their arms. They’d probably drop me with shock.

      Reply
  4. I laughed because that’s a Caribbean thing: whether you’re white or not, the men here are extremely flirtatious! Take me, a Puerto Rican, when I walk around I still get lots of honks, kissy faces, and ‘oh baby’s! XD

    -Maria Alexandra

    Reply
    • Maria,
      Oh, I don’t know. Most of my black girl friends don’t get cat-called in the same way. Maybe you still get it because you’re just plain smokin’ hot! 😉
      Or, maybe it’s different in Puerto Rico.

      Reply
  5. Haha it’s the same way in Trinidad. One time I was there, there was a popular song out called She’s Royal by Tarrus Riley so guys would scream out “Yuh royal gyal!” Cracked me up every time.

    Reply
  6. I love stories like this. So great that you’re assimilating and becoming familiar! How are you and your partner recovering from your accident?

    Reply
    • Thanks, Andrea! We’re coming along….it’s a very slow process, as is the legal system here in Grenada too. But it could always be worse, so I’ll take my lot! 🙂

      Reply
  7. Oh girls, I`m not Caribbean, BUT…I`m Italian 😀 and I think I can explain!
    Cat-calling is not strictly a form of courtship as you might think, it`s more a form of loud appreciation, or compliment! As in “I like this one so much I just can`t help letting her know/saying it out loud”. It doesn`t necessarily imply the will nor the availability to start a relationship, that`s why existing relationships (from either part) are not deterrent.
    Here in Italy, if the compliments are not vulgar or annoying, women usually reply with a smile which, again, is not and would surely not be interpreted as a flirting response by any man.
    Thing is, if ever a latino/mediterranean man wants to hit on you, believe me, you will know. For sure. 😉 So don`t worry, just smile and go on with your business. And remember that, after all, they`re commenting on your BEAUTY, it might not be such a relief if they stop! 😉

    Reply

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