If you love someone, POP THEIR ZITS

Okay, before you think this blog is gross, just read it. Around the world cultures have different ways of showing their affection and displaying emotion in public. From throwing rotten fruit in rural China to sticking your tongue out if you're an indigenous New Zealander. In some cultures showing affection is just plain illegal. For as long as I have lived in Lisbon, I have seen PDA as something of a primal and cultural marvel. Young and old alike can be seen holding hands during a walk in the park, frequently kissing each other, and gazing at sunsets on the banks of the Tejo or beaches in Cascais. Until recently, my foreign friends never understood one particular part of the Portuguese love-story; publicly popping each others pimples. In Portuguese it is called 'espremer borbulhas,' which literally means to squeeze bubbles. Who doesn't like to squeeze bubbles.. (actual bubbles)? It makes you feel like a kid again. If you understand pimple popping in these such terms, it definitely sounds more endearing. Most Portuguese women are addicted to the act of popping pimples on others. Portuguese men often cringe and are not as inclined. However, like proper gentleman, they let their women have at it. Watching their eyes light up with excitement. The anxiety of how much puss will come out of the inflammation and the thrill to spot another. Why in the world would someone want to pop another persons zits? Unbeknownst on-lookers have no idea. Most dont even want to touch their own zits. Other cultures may try not even to look at them and hope they just disappear without a scar. In Lisbon however, it is a courtship ritual. In the metro, or on a bench waiting for puberty to pass them by, love is in the air. Unfazed by germs, bacteria, acne, or disgusted foreigners, we pop pimples in public. When you are in Lisbon and see friends or loving couples bursting each others imperfections, look to your girlfriend, boyfriend, or travel buddy and burst that bubble! Squeezing bubbles makes people feel young again. Pimples are a readily available source of unconditional love and a time for bonding in Portugal. Don't be grossed out, just show your love in Portuguese to someone special.