The words drift past you along with the crowd of people on the busy downtown Santiago street. It takes you a moment, but because the words are in English and they are almost whispered in your ear, you realize the comment is directed at you.
Flattered, you turn to see where the words came from, thinking in your 15-year-old mind that this could be the start of your brief, but exciting, Chilean romance.
You begin to mouth “gracias,” as has become habit in your one week in the country, but mid-response, you realize the “compliment” came from a man in his 40s. Hair slicked back, wearing a crisp, white button-down shirt and business slacks,...