14 May 2009

Coffee in Chile... Do you want legs with that?



I read that for an interesting cultural experience one should head to a Café con Piernas, or "Coffee with Legs." So as I passed a shop front of black, tinted glass and a red, neon "Café" sign I thought I would expand my cultural knowledge and enter into the unknown.

I paid for my espresso at the cashier by the entrance and entered the small, dark room, and then waited at one side at the counter which lined the entire room. The darkness within contained a mix of rough, working-class men and businessmen apparently drinking coffee whilst delicately running their hands over the almost-completely exposed bodies of bikini-clad women - and by bikini I mean strings.

Three men were standing in very close proximity to one well-fed "waitress" who had her arms around a fourth man, who in turn was caressed her buttocks as if he was feeling the soft texture of velvet for the first time and checking for imperfections. The three other men stood around and enviously watched, like hungry wolves waiting for the leader of their pack to finish feeding.



A woman in strings brought me the drink and began speaking to me vacantly whilst looking at herself in the mirrored walls, singing to the music and shaking her breasts side-to-side, as if it was her proven method to hypnotize a man.

"What is your name," she asked with a shake of her breasts.
"Ara. And you?"
"Joanna."
"Are you Chilean?"
"Yes. Chilean by heart," she replied in song, whilst pretending that her breasts needed adjusting.
"Do you want to buy me a drink?" she asked, as she is required - trying to get the clients to spend more money.
"No," I said blankly. She hit me on my back and walked off. Luckily a well-dressed businessman walked in shortly after, and she quickly forgot about my resilience to her hypnotic powers as the businessman felt her velvet.

I finished my drink and left.



I often wonder why such establishments are so dark. Is it to simulate the bedroom? Or perhaps to afford the women sanctuary for their imperfections - after all, there are varying qualities of velvet. I would have thought that the darkness antagonises the precise motive of even visiting such a place. Realistically, these places should be lit up like a rare-diamond in a museum, but I think the sanctuary of darkness is for the men rather than the women.


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