My interests in international relations took a literal turn while I was living in Madrid. (Typical blogger’s disclaimer alert). I am not a fan of stereotyping AT ALL and despise when people make assumptions about me based on my race and background, so I will try my best to avoid doing so in this blog. This post, of course, is biased and based solely on my experiences with a small number of men (I sure tried to research as much as possible but this is all I got, y’all). So how do I write without making careless generalizations of millions of men? Easy, I give them a name and pretend I am talking about a specific individual.
*Actual disclaimer, the name has been changed and a person described below may or may not be one actual person or a combination of people with similar traits.
- Jorge el hipster
You might spot him smoking outside on the balcony of his quaint little apartment or run into him in cute coffee shops or small bookstores. He spends time in the alternative Malasaña and the hip Chueca neighborhoods. His closet maybe full of plaid shirts and tight jeans, but he loves all things vintage. He may say that he is open-minded, but never expect to see him in El Corte Inglés nor play mainstream pop/raggaeton/trap music near this guy. While his English skills may not be perfect (or near non-existent), he loves to incorporate English vocabulary into his speech. This diamond in the rough could sport a man bun or shave twice a year.
- Hugo el hombre de negocios
He wears a nice silver watch on his left arm and carries his suitcase with the other. His hair is carefully styled with the “no-hair styling” look. If his outfit could be any sharper, it will literally cut you. Hugo looks like he steps out of a Massimo Dutti ad and knows where he is going. He can be seen during lunch in the Justicia, Castellana, or Castilla district (take a look here). However, you will lose sight of him during rush hour in the Santiago Bernabeu metro station among the sea of men in business wear. Luckily, black is not the only choice of color, so pay attention to the fashion-forward ones in grey and navy suits. Chances are he lives in the suburbs and only comes into the city for work. Sigh.
- Tomás el tinderero (Not sure if that is an actual word but I sure made it up)
Finally, the man you have always been looking for: he is direct and honest. It will not take long for him to be upfront about what he wants (but seriously though, what is ¨cyber sex¨ anyway?). However, he will not be that way when you ask him point-blank about what he is looking for on Tinder. His response will most likely be ¨Lo que surja¨ (¨whatever comes up¨…like, really, bro?). You will see him based on his schedule. Be patient with this one, he is juggling all that he can without dropping anything to wake up his girlfriend. But when he finally makes the effort to take on you a date, he wears shorts and t-shirts…or even a tank top. Yikes.
- Pedro el party animal
While he cannot particularly dance, he claims to be a lover of music. He is friends with the DJ’s and knows bouncers on a first name basis. He has a group of close friends that he will always hang out and get rowdy with in the club. He flirts by tapping you on the shoulder or bumping into you from behind. His day may start as early as midnight, but will not end until 6AM. On a 3-day weekend, he will most likely make a quick escape to Gandia or Benidorm. You will most definitely run into him in a foam party somewhere in Ibiza in the summer, if he wasn’t at Tomorrowland, that is.
- Alejandro el alumno
He goes by Alex. His goal is to stay in school as long as possible. While he may or may not be a native of the city, he probably lives in a flat in Moncloa. Alex owns hoodies with American collegiate logos and many print t-shirts with ridiculous quotes that make no sense because he shops at Bershka and H&M. He could go “tapeando” in Lavapiés with his buddies if he was in a good mood, but he doesn’t mind eating in 100 Montaditos either. He enjoys his student discounts to
museums nightclubs and is often seen in white, light blue, or baby pink long sleeve button-down shirts – it’s a uniform. He will claim to be studying during exam time either to avoid seeing you or lure you to come to his place. My advise is just let him study and finish school already.
- Enrique el español
I avoided putting him first on the list because some readers will roll their eyes and stop reading, but we cannot leave Enrique out. While it is perfectly ok for him to criticize the government, his fútbol’s team performance, or the transportation, it doesn’t mean that it is ok for you to do the same. He thinks Spain has the best food despite the fact that he has yet to explore the endless possibility of foreign cuisines. Even though he does not go see bullfights (at least not on a regular basis), he sees it as an art that should not be prohibited. Hates FC Barcelona and makes fun of Shakira. Thinks he is smooth with the ladies but actually isn’t. Far from it.
- Luís el latino
If it is anyone who is smooth with the ladies, it’s this guy. Chances are he’s Colombian or Dominican. Unlike Pedro, he knows how to approach a woman and seduce her with words (and empty promises). Soon enough, he will offer to teach you how to dance salsa or bachata. His outfit is usually not as neutral as the others’ and he may not have the best fashion sense, but his seduction game would be strong enough to blind you. He likes to build just enough trust and intimacy to make the sex great, but it doesn’t mean
shit that he is genuine. If you confront him about him lying that he was single, he will call you crazy and you might believe him. My advise is run and don’t look back.
- André el africano
He is from North Africa and speaks perfect Spanish and English. While your average Alvaro’s are hanging out and about (read: not approaching you first), he is not afraid to come up to you to start a convo. If he wanted to dance with you, he would ask…even though you were clearly already dancing with someone else. André does not care. If you refuse to dance or flirt with him, he may ask ¨Is it because I’m black?” with a straight face. Like Pedro, he has a lot of contacts for the nightlife.
- Emmanuel the Erasmus Bae
A possible roommate of Alex, Emmanuel is spending a semester or a year in Madrid. He will use the Bear in Sol as a meeting point despite knowing that there are a thousand people there. While his apartment is somewhere in the dead center of the city, it is ridiculously tiny and he prefers to be somewhere less claustrophobic – like La Kapital, Joy Eslava, or Fabrik. Expect him to send you invitations to university parties and Erasmus events on Facebook. You will definitely meet him at language exchanges. Even though his looks could pass him for a local, the way his clothes are fitted is usually a giveaway. Spaniards generally wear clothes that fit them well (too tight by American standards) and no one is better at it than they are. Well, except for the Italians.
- Brian the Bro
Someone has managed to dress worse than Emmanuel. Brian walks around in his old college t-shirts and flip flops (not going to the beach) or sneakers (not going to work out) and carries a backpack. He is studying abroad or doing a gap year teaching English, but is not ready to leave his frat ways behind. On Sundays, he will organize an NFL-watching party at his place or in some American bar. While his goal is to “meet” as many Spanish women as possible, he finds himself in the English-speaking bubble and ends up hooking up with a compatriot. While you may hear him chant “America!” ever so frequently, he frequents Irish bars and gets white-boy wasted. Just because there’s music at the bar doesn’t mean it’s for dancing, Brian. Sigh.
- Ethan the Experienced Expat
Lastly, Ethan is everything Brian isn’t. He plans to never going back to America, a place that he feels lacks history and culture for his taste. He does not identify with the “basic” expat circles and has a deep appreciation of the Spanish ways…and tries too hard to fit in. He likes to correct and lectures others about Spain – his adoptive home. Because he cares not for superficiality, he doesn’t care much about his wardrobe. He prefers off-beaten path places, so don’t force him to hang out in Callao. His preferred getaway destinations include places in Asturias, Galicia, or Basque Country. If he was to go to Catalunya, he avoids Barcelona at all costs. Try catching him during his vacay’s by closing your eyes and throw a dart at a map of Spain.
And so I will end with an almost actual meme of myself.