Monday, July 5


Without Julia and Gustav Granada felt far bigger and far more intimidating. I had become used to being with people who I could trust and I lost some of my confidence without them. For some time I retired to my hostel room for some time, a prisoner of my own fears.

For a while I found excuses for myself. Blog posts to write, which I obviously didn't write, friends and family to skype with, and books to read. However, after twenty four hours without human contact I decided I did need to get off my ass and go out again. Checking through my books I found mention of a small bar that was supposed to have amazing Salsa nights.

The bar turned out to be right around the corner from my hostel but it took my almost thirty minutes of walking to find because it was hidden halfway down an alley between two buildings. It was worth it.

I have never found such amazing music before. They were not playing salsa but jazz, with instruments from India. There were two women sitting on the ground playing something akin to giant guitars (Yes, Aydin I know you told me the name but I can't remember it.) There was also a man with a flute and a man on small lap drums. The music sounded like it was from India and at first I thought they were playing from memorized music but as I watched the two men watched each other and lead the melody on a merry dance. The music rose and fell and jumped and skipped and everyone had a marvelous time.

When the concert was half way through I took a break from the sweltering heat. The bar was built entirely of stone and I believe was partway underground as it had to windows and only the one door. With so many people inside it was exhausting. Outside I met the bouncer, Miguel, who was very tall and very handsome and spoke English. Our flirtation continued until I went back inside for the rest of the concert.

After the concert was over musicians began to arrive to play impromptu salsa jam sessions and locals arrived to dance. I considered going back outside to flirt some more with Miguel but on the way out I stopped at the bar for a beer and met this older English gentleman who began engaging me in a spirited discussion on politics and society. Of course given the choice between possible romance and a discussion in politics I chose the politics and so my short romance with Miguel came to a close.

This man was a musician and seemed to be a bit of a local legend. Everyone at the bar knew him and greeted him as an old friend. We talked for hours outside the bar. We covered everything from history, to politics, to Spanish culture and music. I had an absolutely fabulous time.

As the bar closed we started walking back toward my hostel. At the corner where I would turn down the street toward my hostel I was completely caught off-guard when the man asked me to come back to his hotel with him. At no point the entire night had any subject relating to sex been brought up. I sort of thought he was joking at first so I smiled as I said no. When he asked again with a, "come on" as if we had both known this was where it was going I said no again and this time I was not smiling. He accused me of leading him on and said, "this is the problem with Americans." So I stated a very firm good bye and wished him a good night. Alone.

I got into my hostel quickly and found myself very thankful for the two heavily locked doors and a long stairway between my bed and the street. I was also very very angry.

How dare that man assume that just because we engaged in a conversation I was looking for sex. It is one advantage that men seem to have over women when they travel alone. They have the freedom to engage anyone, male or female, in random conversation without the other party assuming that they are going to have sex with them. Such an ending seemed to cheapen the entire night and I found myself critiquing my every action of the night, looking for anything I might have said or done that would have "led him on".

I spent half the next day sulking before I shook it off and headed out again. I found a park and drew people and ate pasta for the first time in weeks and I bought my bus ticket to head south again for Estapona and a couch surfer's house.

No comments:

Post a Comment