Let’s Talk about Stereotypes! – Italian, French, German

Every time I am interested in a guy from a different country, I make sure to read some of the ‘truths’ of dating this specific culture. I type in something like ‘dating a Spanish guy’ and get a variety of articles about how the Spanish are romantic, passionate and should call you often. I must admit, it’s very entertaining, and there is definitely some sense to them.  I live for stereotypes, as I’ve been told countless times… but how true are they? Or is it just easier to make an assumption?

After all, how many ‘do you drink vodka and do gymnastics’ do I get just because I’m a Russian. The best is ‘But you are not BLONDE!?’

So let me break down what I believe are facts and myths of popular stereotypes.

The Italians

Stereotype 1: Italians are whores.

Fact: Obviously there are great guys that are looking for a serious relationship, but to be frank with you, many of them are just not that good looking or confident.  The majority of the good looking guys will never be faithful to you. Even when they’re fifty. Even when they can’t get it up any more. The important part of their southern culture is passion, which is a great thing. The bad part about it is this passion will need to be fueled up every so often, preferably by different women. If you notice a man holding his girlfriend’s hand and eyeing you, he is doing that mostly to feed his own ego and to feel he still ‘has it’ in him. And we wonder why Italian girls are so high maintenance! What would you do if your boyfriend couldn’t be faithful to you for one minute? In the words of Ariana who scored a beautiful ‘Dolce and Gabbana’ lookalike Alessandro “Once a bitch was looking at him. I say ‘Ey,you. Who you looking at, Puta?’ I have to be like that or someone else get him, you know?”

Stereotype 2: Italian men are in love with themselves

Fact: If you’ve ever been to an Italian beach and seen a man spray-tanning himself and orlebarbrownthen staring at his chest with a mix of awe and love, you will get what I’m talking about. What about the crazy bright colors that the men so enjoy? Pink polos? Green capris? A variety of scarves?Tiny white shorts? Styled hair (that literally waves in the breeze) and plucked eyebrows? In North America, all of the above mean only one thing: you are gay, my friend. (But just for the record, I love it)

Stereotype 3: Italian men are beautiful at seduction

Fact: One thing that I find Italians are wonderful at is getting you into bed effortlessly. How do they manage it? Well, for one, they understand that we girls are starved for attention, passion and spontaneity… especially if residing in countries where men are too scared to make a move and even if they do, it is more robotic than sexy .  On the contrary, Italian men ooze sex appeal, they know how to make you feel like you are the center of the universe, how to create romance and how to convince you that if you don’t have sex with them it will be your loss, not theirs. After all, you will miss out on the night you will never forget. Probably a week of tears as well, especially if you were convinced he really liked you.

simonThe French

Stereotype 1: The French are the best dressers

Myth/Fact: This one really depends. I have dated two French guys who had very little sense of style, but Parisians are a whole different matter. I recently went out with a Parisian who was dressed to the t: stylish jacket, collared shirt, impeccably smelling. As in any culture, it depends on the person, but when they have it, they really have it. Not only that, most French guys will appreciate a woman to be well put together. By that, I don’t mean short dresses that show off your crotch. They appreciate a woman who has an elegant style, good hygiene and classy perfume. Bonus to you if the perfume is French as well!

Stereotype 2: French look down their noses at everyone

Myth/Fact: I was sitting at my friend’s house when his Parisian roomate I just met, decided to share his opinion on people from Montreal. It went along the lines of “Zos people sink zey are French, but zey are NOT! Zey speek sheet language! It is not French! It is like saying Americaines are from England. It is simplee not true!” And this went on for a good half an hour. But again, Parisians are special. We all know that.

Stereotype 3: French men are worldly and well-rounded

Paris-wedding-France-romance-wedding-dress-arinab-photography-vintage-inspired-wedding-wedding-in-paris-3Fact: So so so true! One guy I was seeing could start the conversation with politics and end with history. He had an  opinion about everything and always thought hard about any question I asked him, then would come up with a well-detailed and thought out response. But beware ladies.. while it is all very charming and deep at first, it will soon turn into over analyzing and annoying. Such as: Isn’t this skirt a bit too short? Why are you wearing a bikini in your Facebook profile? You seem bored.. You do not like spending your Sunday watching a French theater about restorative justice? (All of the above from a real experience.. within the same day) So while at first this philosophizing is wonderful and is such a great contrast from North American guys, many of whom will quote “the Anchorman” as their source of information… this nagging, obsessing, and overly critical approach to life and to you will soon have you running up the walls or rushing at him with a knife.

 French are great lovers

Double Fact: YES!!!!!!!!!!! Not that I’ve been with the whole of the French population. But two of the best lovers I have ever been with were French so that has to say something. They put so much emphasis on your satisfaction and they will do anything to live up to their reputation. And yes, they are very sexual. Being naked is natural to them. Sex is natural and there is nothing that’s off limits. In the opinion of my past boyfriend – making love or faire l’amour is passion, craziness, wildness, softness, dominating.. while having sex is just ‘useless’. Also, having sex on the first or second date doesn’t label you a ‘slut’ or put a dead end to a relationship like we tend to believe in North America (and in fact, most of the world)

The Germans

Stereotype 1: They are pragmatic

Fact: Instead of providing you with my opinion, I will tell you a true story told to me by my German girlfriend. “On my first date, I was with my then boyfriend cutting up potatoes for the soup. Don’t even ask me why I was cutting up potatoes on the first date. Anyways, I was cutting them perpendicularly, when he stopped me and suggested I cut them the other way. After all that would save time and make them boil quicker, as a result, saving energy. So there you go, Mia, those are Germans for you in a nut-shell. First date: potatoes and saving energy.”

Stereotype 2: They are horrible in bed

Myth: Ok, not a lot of experience. But they are apparently rated number 1 worst in bed because they are ‘too smelly’. From what I’ve seen (or rather smelled), no, they are not. Not bad either. Probably a bit robotic and aggressive. Also they make some strange/interesting sounds…

Stereotype 3: They lack a sense of humor

Myth: No, they’re very funny. Just in a very dry, sarcastic and dark kind of way.  So when they make a joke, sometimes it’s not clear if it actually IS one. It’s like “ha..ha… Is he joking or should I be scared?” But, really, I love their sense of humor because it is so unexpected and because it is that dry. But that’s just me.

In conclusion, I definitely believe in stereotypes. I enjoy them. I laugh about them. I write about them, but I do think that while stereotypes are there for a reason they cannot ever be applied to the whole country. Also, this is a new generation of people which has been raised with internet, Facebook and Hollywood movies, so the whole world has become a bit Americanized.

coloStill, many men are aware of their cultural stereotypes and try to use it them to their full potential. After all, how many girls go to Paris just to be swept off their feet? And we are still asking why European men love tourists. Because they CAN easily sweep them off their feet using the cliched phrases (amour, bella.. lieben?), postcard locations (Eiffel tower, Colosseum.. the Berlin Wall?) and their ‘sexy’ accent (German? ya?) to finalize the deal.

PS. All these observations are generalizations. I am aware that there are faithful Italians, stupid French people and passionate Germans.. so do not take this too literally.

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A player or a romantic? – Part 1: Rome (2011)

I fell for this guy because I thought he was bad. A player. Instead, what I found out is that looks can truly be deceiving.

He was beautiful. I noticed him our first night in the restaurant while my American friend Pamela and I were eating dinner. I was travelling through Europe for two months and Italy was our third country. After Rome, we would take an overnight ferry that would bring us to Croatia.

Though the main reason for my trip was of course my love for travelling and adventure, I also wanted to take this time to figure out if I really wanted to stay with Dominick. Yes, the guy I already cheated on at the beginning of our relationship (see Non Parle Americano). It has been eight months since we’ve been together and even though he looked perfect on paper, not to mention, loved by my whole family, I didn’t love him. The first time he told me he loved me, I remember I said something along the lines of ‘wow. How incredible’ and the next time I randomly blurted out me too. Not ‘I love you too’. No, me too. I said it out of nowhere. I just couldn’t bring myself to say the word love to him, because these words were a blatant lie.

At the bottom of my heart, leaving for Europe signified the end of us. I selfishly made him wait for me as I went to explore what I really wanted. And I knew that what I wanted was someone else.

However, all I really met were a lot of players, shallow guys and men that were really not worth it. Should I stay with Dominick by default? Just because I couldn’t find any better?

We arrived at the campsite late at night. Looking around the beautiful grounds I felt uplifted: there was a giant pool, beautiful flowers, palm trees and an open air restaurant with live music. It was an incredibly romantic place, however, it seemed that the only people vacationing there were families. Now, eating dinner, I turned my head to the right only to see the most beautiful profile of a guy. He was tanned, with gorgeous almond shaped chocolate eyes and full sensual lips. He was sitting at the table with two dark guys and a blonde girl, serious and oblivious to my stares.

The most remembered meal from the trip. The beef carpaccio was amazing

The most remembered meal from the trip. The beef carpaccio was amazing

He disappeared after dinner and I figured I wouldn’t see him again. Pamela, who was very outgoing and a little bit intimidating for some guys because she was quite masculine and dominating, somehow managed to meet a cute Colombian called Jose. While Jose and her were hitting it off, I sat near his unibrowed friend Antony and sulked.

“Can we maybe look for something in the city tomorrow?” I asked selfishly. She was in seventh heaven after meeting Jose, but I only cared about myself. I knew I would have to spend my evenings watching their romance, while nothing would happen for me unless I wanted to give it a go with his unibrow friend.

The next day we spent exploring the extremely hot and tiring city of Rome, which is made especially annoying in August as it is swamped by tourists. I swear you cannot even see the Trevi Fountain behind all the Asians with their huge, expensive cameras. As soon as we got back we headed to the pool to wash off the sticky sweat from the city. I was sitting on the lounge chair when I saw him enter. He looked just as beautiful as I remembered: tall, bronze, his face now unshaven. I watched him swim laps in the pool all the while sighing like a fifteen year old.

Our pool

“He’s so my type! What do I do?”

Pame shrugged. “Just wait until the evening, when everyone starts drinking. It will be easier than in the daylight.”

She was right. I had to talk to him. I just didn’t know if I had enough guts to make the first move.

He got out of the water and sat on the chair, smoking with a vacant look in his liquid brown eyes. He didn’t even notice me as I stuck out my butt and strutted in front of him.

I saw him again in the evening. He was standing near the piano, listening to one of the musicians play and singing along in Portuguese. He looked like a Brazilian model: broad-shouldered, gorgeous and tanned in his white shirt and faded jeans. I breathed a sigh of nervousness. Oh my God. He is the man of my dreams. 

Colombian Jose and Unibrow Antony suggested getting some drinks at the Beer Garden where the Brazillian band was playing. I happily agreed. Can we sit on the benches here? Near him?

I stared at his broad back, until I must have shot holes through him with my deadly stare, because he turned around and gave me a glance. The glance, however, was completely neutral. That didn’t mean I was giving up. Any time I want to draw a guy’s attention, I always go to my Plan B: dancing. Practically forcing Jose and Pame on the dance floor, I danced nervously right in front of his eyes. When I got enough courage, I finally looked at his expression. Once again, he looked blank and serious. Seriously, what is up with this guy? I thought. Cursing everything under my breath and feeling completely invisible, I left the dance floor and went to go check the internet. Clearly, he’s seen his share of beautiful women. Why would he go for some girl in a yellow dress?

the Beer Garden

When I came back I noticed that the boy and one of his friends stayed alone and have now moved to a table far across from us. In the middle there was another table with a few people playing cards. I threw awkward gazes at him, until Jose looked  at me.

“You like the guy in the white?” He asked with a wide grin.

“No. Yes.” I mumbled.

“Then you should do something.” He offered.

“I am not doing anything. I don’t know if he’s interested. I mean, he is kind of looking at me. Oh my God.” I breathed, seeing him get up from his table. “Is he coming over?”

The beautiful boy and his friend took their beers and walked towards us. This is it, I thought. However, my heart literally dropped when he moved to the table in between. Namely, right near a blonde girl.

Yep, it wasn’t me he was checking out.

“So are you going to talk to him?” asked Jose.

“Just stop. Please. He’s not interested.” I muttered. He was starting to piss me off and in all honesty I just felt pathetic. I spent half my night staring at a guy who wasn’t interested in me after all. Could I be any more of a loser?

Suddenly, another thought came into my mind. I was on vacation. What did I have to lose? Sure, he looked like a player. Sure, he was beautiful. But how could I be positive about anything unless I talked to him? Otherwise, I would spend the rest of my night staring at Pamela sticking her tongue down Jose’s mouth and thinking What if.

“Give me some wine, please” I ordered Pamela. Taking the plastic cup with my shaking hands, I stood up. “I am going to talk to him.”

Thank you, wine in a paper cup

Thank you, wine in a paper cup

“Wow” grinned Pamela. “I am really proud of you. Do it.”

Nervous as hell, I walked up to their table. “Can I join the game?” I asked to no one in particular. His dark friend looked up.

“Yes, of course” He said in his bad English. I awkwardly seated myself on his right. The beautiful boy was in front of me, but I couldn’t bring myself to look at him. I did get a glance at the girl. She was not pretty. Not only that, she had a really hippy looking bearded man for a boyfriend. Wow, how deceiving it can be when you judge a situation from a distance. Namely, from someone’s back!

I continued talking to his friend(who turned out to be his cousin)for some time. Then I finally found the guts to turn my head and look at my boy. He smiled at me. I smiled back and talked very fast as I always do when I am nervous.

His name was Luiz and he was from Portugal, though as I assumed correctly, he was part Brazilian. And the strangest thing? Luiz was nice. He looked like a very successful and gorgeous player, but he wasn’t. Or at least he didn’t seem like one. His English wasn’t great, but at this point, what did I care? I was actually talking to him. And he wasn’t someone I thought he was. In a good way.

And he was twenty-three. I was officially becoming a cradle robber.

Behind him, Jose and Pamela held thumbs up. That is before, they stuck their tongues down each other’s mouths for about an hour and disappeared.

I spent some time talking to Luiz, until I figured I should try to get him away from the crowd. Subtly!

“ I should go back to bed.” I said. Luiz, not getting the hint, grew visibly disappointed.

“Would you like to walk me back?” I offered not so subtly.

He nodded happily. We started walking to the cabin, when he asked me if I wanted to take a walk around the park.

tumblr_m5y9k7oDPX1r3a6jho1_500The walking turned into sitting and sitting turned into lying as he spread out his sleeping bag on the ground. It was a freezing night, so he gave me his sweatshirt and kept on covering me up every second to make sure I was warm. We kissed and talked. Kissed and talked again. This went on for hours. He would sweep the hair from my eyes and run his hands over my face.

“I really like kissing you.” He told me. Was he just saying that to get me into bed? Looking at him and his sexy eyes, it was hard to imagine him as anything other than a player, but the gentle way he was with me proved otherwise. Granted, he did press me down and try to take it further. Even though I wanted him, I stopped it at kissing. Luiz seemed both innocent and impish at the same time. I didn’t know which side was true. But he was definitely one – a romantic.

He walked me back to the cabin, a sleeping bag on his shoulders and I kissed him goodnight, standing on my tiptoes.

“Goodnight Mia” he smiled softly. I ran into the cabin like a little girl.  I fell asleep exhilarated  No thought about Dominick even crossed my mind.

The next day was our final one in Rome and coincidentally, his final one  as well. Distracted, in the ruins of the Coliseum, all I could think about was seeing Luiz again. After all, this was it.

When we came back, I was extremely nervous.

“Don’t build yourself up” told me Pamela as we sat in the restaurant, waiting for our order. She has recounted her amazing sex with Jose, how it went on for the longest time and what a big dingaling he had. However, what threw her was that he never even asked her for her contact information. She didn’t understand it.

“I mean, he could meet another girl or maybe you won’t like him. Who knows?” she shrugged. “Just relax and see what happens.”

Thanks, I wanted to say, that is a really uplifting speech. However, I felt like I knew Luiz. He wouldn’t do this to me. He was a genuinely sweet guy.

When he entered the restaurant, my heart began palpitating again. He was just so incredibly gorgeous. I was unsure if he saw me, because he looked so serious. He didn’t smile or wave at me. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him as I ate the pasta. He was wearing a hoodie and jeans, his beautiful dark eyes concentrated on something.

Later on, when I was almost close to freaking out, we finally saw each other in the lobby. He smiled to me and kissed me on the cheek.

“Do you girls want to join us for drink?” He asked.

We sat with his cousins as Pamela told one story after another. To me, it felt like I was in English for Beginner’s Class. Pamela, who is a teacher like me, knew how to tell a story not only well but clearly. The Portuguese found everything hilarious and laughed in unison.

Pamela fell in love with Luiz. “If you don’t sleep with him, I swear I will” she told me in the bathroom. “He’s just adorable.”

“Ok, Pame.. Just so you don’t get him first!” I laughed.

Luiz held my hand under the table as everyone talked in their broken English and shared stories about America and Portugal. I felt like I was in high school. Soon, everyone left and so did Pame. She looked upset because Jose was gone and she would have to spend the night by herself. It didn’t help that I was with Luiz now.

Our first sex wasn’t incredible. To tell the truth, it wasn’t even good. He was nervous. We were both awkward. It was in an empty room in the cabin, but instead of regular beds, there were bunk beds.. so at one point I hit my head on the bottom of the other bed. And he came too early. As he lay near me I could feel his dissapointment.

“You hated that, yes?” he finally said, his voice like a little boy’s.

“I didn’t hate that!” I said, half lying. I didn’t hate it, because it was with him. I liked him. The sex? I wasn’t so certain.

“You are lying” he concluded and crossed his arms like a stubborn child. I found this ridiculously endearing and kissed him.

“You know” He added.  “I would like to take you out. We could listen to some piano or go to a restaurant. I wish we don’t go tomorrow.”

“I wish we didn’t go tomorrow as well” I sighed.

“I really like you, you know?” He turned to me. “I am not saying it because I had sex. It’s more for me. I do not want us to forget each, Mia”

“We won’t forget each other. I like you too” I said.

“Good. Because I really like spending, time with you. I never pay attention to girls, unless they have something special. When you started to talk I didn’t.. could not stop listening to you.”

“You mean when I babbled on and on?”

“When you what?” he turned to me, his big eyes confused.

“Nevermind. When I talked a lot, I mean”

“Yes, you talked a lot. But I liked” he smiled. “Can I ask you one question?”

I nodded.

“Can I spend night with you? It’s cold in tent and I like having you near.”

Not us, but how it felt

Not us, but how it felt

“Of course!” I exclaimed. The bed was narrow and I was stuck to the wall. We would have to sleep in an embrace the whole night, but I wanted to sleep close to him. He felt so dear to me in such a quick time. A boy who was beautiful and who looked like a player, but who had such a great and pure heart. I didn’t want to leave him. I breathed in his scent and felt his warm breath against me as I dozed off.

I dreamed of him that night. I would wake up and look at his perfect face and feel both happy and sad. Happy because he was just so damn beautiful and I had him near me. Sad because, well, I wouldn’t have him near me for much longer. He lay there, dark against the white of the pillow. I wanted to take a picture of him. Not to be creepy, or anything. I felt pretty proud of myself as well, I must say. Inwardly, I gave myself a round of applause.

The next morning was difficult and awkward. We kissed each other goodbye and he left. He came in again when I was talking to Pamela. I felt his scent even before seeing him.

“I wanted to say bye to both of you again” he awkwardly shuffled in the doorway.

I was awkward also, mostly because I looked ghastly without any makeup, my hair all disheveled and I didn’t want him to remember me like that. I kissed him goodbye and that was that.

Pame and I took a ferry to Croatia, where we stayed on the coast. It was an incredible place only made miserable by the fact that I missed him so much. I added him to Facebook, but he never wrote me an email. Instead I would skim through Dominick’s letters, annoyed that it was him and not Luiz who emailed me. There was an island we went to, called Hvar, full of beautiful tanned people. I kissed a Spanish guy, rather got licked by him, to better describe it. Apart from that, I once again missed my Luiz. He wasn’t just beautiful, he had a good heart. Most of these guys were arrogant, shallow assholes. And they weren’t anywhere as gorgeous as him.

Hvar Island

Finally, Luiz began writing to me and we established contact. I laughed and made annoying ‘aww’  noises as I read his hilarious emails. He was just so adorable! I was probably the most irritating person to be around made only tolerable by the fact that Pamela really liked Luiz.

When I was in Budapest, I was on the computer one day and started to talk to him. Our conversation centered on how much we wanted to see each other until I suggested he visit me at my last stop – Berlin. He invited me to Portugal first, however, as much as I wanted to I coudn’t risk being exposed and hurting Dominick.

Please, please come to Berlin! I really want to see you! I begged, thinking he was going to say no. He had to start work after all.

He got back to me that night. Yes, he would come.

Does Age Matter? – Part 1: Mexico (2010)

My swift vacation romance with a younger guy that turned into a long distance relationship. I guess the sun can really melt your brain!

I slammed the phone shut and angrily stared in front of me as I walked. The friends I was supposed to meet did not show up and now they were not answering the call that must have cost me a fortune.

I have now been in Playa del Carmen for  two months and the animator position at a resort that seemed so wonderful in my dreams was in reality truly exhausting. In

the opinion of drunk American tourists, most of whom came to Mexico to escape winter,

me, in a hideous purple wig

me, in a hideous purple wig

playing volleyball with the guests must have been the best job ever. Sometimes it was. Most of the time though, smiling and constantly interacting with people, eating with them, performing in front of them and always being on drained me to no extent. Apart from the day off, we had zero time to ourselves. At first the two hour break we received in the middle of the day seemed perfect for tanning on the beach. Lately, I would use this time to curl up on the stage behind the curtain feeling true bliss. Then the cell phone would buzz that hateful sound and I was back to entertaining, which never seemed to end.

santiago-lrgThankfully, I made two wonderful friends: Paula and Patricia, whom I called Pau and Pate, both hilarious and straight to the point. This was also doubled by the fact that they spoke less than adequate English and I spoke average Spanish: so we conversed in Spanglish. And let me tell you, when you are limited in a language, you can’t help but be straight to the point.

Pau was a skinny rich girl who left her home in Mexico City to try something new, while Pate was a busty, sarcastic girl from a small town, Celaya that she has always wanted to escape, because ‘is so boring!‘. Both lived across from me in a shared apartment. We would usually yell to each other through the window, which was ultimately heard by the entire animation team who also shared the complex with us. Tonight, they promised they would meet me at Mandala, a big electronic club, but didn’t show. Had I gone home as usual, I would have seen their note in the bathroom which told me about their change of plans, but for the first time, I had gone straight into the city.

Now feeling lost and angry I stared into space, until a tall and blond silhouette appeared in my vision.

Hola, como estas?” He said.

I blinked. He was a tall, curly blond guy with light blue eyes, full lips and light skin. He was of an athletic build and looked slightly French. How was it possible that he spoke any Spanish? He did not at all resemble anyone who might be from South America.

This guy bears UNCANNY resemblance to Javier

To my grand surprise, it turned out he was. Javier was from Chile and was in Mexico for a weekly vacation with his family and his half brother Cristian, who was sitting in the bar. His brother definitely looked a lot more Latin with his contrasting dark eyes and skin. They were leaving in two more days. This fact didn’t faze me.  Especially here in Playa, where hardly anyone stayed for more than a week.

Playa by Night

Javier invited me for a drink, which turned out to be a bottle of rum that his brother and he took from their hotel. Seeing as how my friends weren’t showing and I was slightly attracted to him, I agreed. He was relaxed, had an easy demeanor and did not try to impress me in the least. He seemed very genuine and I felt comfortable with him. And OK, he was very attractive, though for some reason, this only kicked in later.

After drinking a bit of rum, we went to an underground bar to dance salsa. Turned out, I was much better at salsa than he was and by the looks of others, they thought it too. They must have thought I was a Mexican, trying to teach an American how to dance. He was so white and I looked so dark, it really confused even me.

After we danced, Javier and I sat on the chairs talking.

“How old are you?” He asked in his soft Spanish accent.

“Twenty-five” I said. “I just turned twenty-five” I corrected. “And you?”

“I am almost twenty”

I think I must have either squealed with laughter or put my head in my hands in shame. He was a child! And as it would later turn out, almost twenty meant nineteen and a half. I was a cradle robber. Not that I have done anything yet, but I was definitely thinking of it.

Craddle robber indeed

Cradle robber indeed

However, as many of you know, your vacation mind is not exactly the same as your everyday one. You do not assess the person with as strict of a check mark list as you do in real life. In Canada I had to make sure the guy had a career, goals and was my age or older. Maybe one or two years younger. But six? My vacation mind told me that I was just having fun and none of it would last, so why worry?

He walked me to the end of the street, as we waited for my taxi and leaned it to kiss me. There were no crazy fireworks. Just a nice and soft kiss which I knew was coming.  We agreed to see each other the following night.

The next night was just as fun as we danced on the beach, kissed and laughed. I wouldn’t say I was falling for him, but I definitely enjoyed spending time with him.

The last night of his stay, I invited my friends to come out with us. Having heard endless stories of Javier to the point where they couldn’t take it anymore, they were interested in finding out who I was so interested in. Exhausted from work, I almost didn’t wake up as they screamed through my window. All I wanted to do was sleep. Unwillingly, I got myself up. I have worked for thirteen hours, and it was eleven, but he was leaving the next day. I had to see him.

“He’s gorgeous” said Pau and Pame in unison. Before this statement, I mostly saw Javier as a cute guy who I had a fun time with. Now I looked him over. He really did look like some sort of an Abercrombie model with his toned and muscular body and a sexy pout that would get all the fifteen year old girls excited.

After dancing in the beach club, the Blue Parrot, the girls said they were exhausted and needed to sleep. I was beyond exhausted as well, but I didn’t want to go. Javier took my hand and pressed it against his chest.

“Please don’t go” he said.

“Okay” I agreed. “I’ll stay”

We went walking on the beach. Heavy rain started and we decided to go swimming in our

This is romantic only in the movies

This is romantic only in the movies

underwear. I, as usual, didn’t plan my choice of underwear so it was mismatched: a black bra with flowery panties. Without his shirt, Javier really did have a six pack.

I walked in the water and he followed me. We attempted kissing each other,  which was made difficult by the splashing waves of salty water on our faces. I gotta say, it definitely looks a lot more romantic in the movies.

The rain got heavier and we climbed up onto the covered lifeguard chair. Our kissing turned into more kissing and suddenly he was removing my bra and we were having sex. Let me be honest here: yes, it looked ideal, just the way I’ve always imagined it, but here was the thing – I didn’t really enjoy it. We were slippery, it was a bit awkward and it felt too rushed. Not only that, we never finished as there,in the midst of all this rain, appeared a couple who decided that kissing each other right near the lifeguard chair would be a superb idea. Javier and I sat naked, laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation. I mean, could they really not find any more space on this gigantic stretch?

I put on my wet blue dress and took my sand filled shoes into my hand. The taxi dropped me off and we kissed each other goodbye. I didn’t invite him in, firstly because I had roommates and then, just because there was no point in prolonging this. He was leaving the next day.

My next day went along as usual. During the Playacar bike tour, which consisted of me in

Something like that

Something like that

an ugly helmet making up a whole bunch of history about the ruins, in order to entertain the tourists who were too lazy to leave the hotel zone, I thought of him. I felt a bit empty that he left. The time with him, though short, was genuine and fun and now I felt alone.

The day after, I came in to our morning meeting with the animators only to see the headline of the paper Terremoto en Chile. Had there been an earthquake? I asked one of the guys. Apparently there have been. They even closed down the airports, or something, someone else said.. though it could be a rumor.chile-quake-headline_645x400-2

I was playing darts, or rather watching people miss the bull’s eye and feeling insanely bored as well as nursing a sick throat, when a short stocky Mexican security guard came up to me.

Eres Mia?” he asked.

I nodded my head. He told me that were two guys looking for me.

Was one blond? I asked, my eyes widening in disbelief and hope. Could it be him? He was blond, answered the Mexican man with a shrug.

Hands shaking, body shaking, everything shaking I ran to the animator office.

“Mia, can you go collect people for the water aerobics?” Vicente, my boss asked.

“I’ll look on the beach” I said.

He looked me over as if I looked absolutely insane.

“Everything ok?” He asked.

“Of course!” I squeaked looking as if I just snorted Coke.

He gave me a doubtful once-over and turned away.

I ran or rather skipped to the beach thinking: is it him? What if it’s not? I don’t want to get myself pumped up for what might be a mistake, because if it’s not him I will be so upset I will die!

Awkwardly standing in the water, shuffling his feet, Javier’s eyes lit up when he saw me approach. I put my hands to my mouth. The older man sitting on the lounge chair smiled at us as if to say ahh, young love! and got more comfortable in his chair to watch this movie meeting.

I ran into him and hugged him around his neck.

“You’re back!” I exclaimed.

“Yes, I wrote you an email, but you didn’t respond. The airports are closed. We’re staying for two more days. It took me so long to get to your hotel, and I didn’t know if you wanted to see me. But I really wanted to see you.”

“Why didn’t you know if I wanted to see you?” I asked.

“Cristian. He told me it was just sex. That I should let it go and not act so romantic” he smiled.

“Your brother knows nothing” I laughed. “Come to my place tonight. I will meet you outside of the apartment”

I kissed him and turned around to walk to the hotel. The old man and a couple of others seemed happy they got to watch a free show.

“Ju so lucky, Mia!” exclaimed Pate in her deep, raspy, accented voice, when I told her the story. “I wish someone would do zes to me! Is so nice to have a boy come back for you!”

“Well he didn’t come back just for me! He kind of had to come back, because of a huge tragedy..” I added.

“Does not matter. Que romantico!” she clapped her hands together in excitement.

That night, I ran home just to see him. I was so elevated by the thought that he was still there, near my apartment, that he didn’t leave and that we could continue whatever this was for a few days more.

I got out of the taxi in my red polo shirt and black skirt, which were the evening uniform of the animators.

“You’re late, Mia” He grumbled. “ I waited here for an hour. There are some wild dogs in your neighborhood, you know?”

I lived in a ghetto neighborhood, where the houses had broken windows, the dogs roamed feraldogs_0the streets (I almost got attacked by a pack of wild dogs once) and the only taco joint in the neighbourhood had the menu scribbled on the wall. Our white building also looked like it had been bombed during the war.

“Sorry!” I exclaimed. “I practically ran here!”

I brought him upstairs to my apartment, which I shared with two Mexican girls: Ana and Karla and a loud French-Canadian girl Cara. Unfortunately all were there, as well as Karla’s brother and boyfriend. I quickly introduced Javier to all of them and whispered under my breath.

“Ok, we need another place to stay”

Thankfully, Pate and Pau were going to sleep anyways, so they let us stay in their living room. Javier and I talked for hours and now I saw a new side to him. He was a lot more manly and non-nonchalant than I gave him credit for and I was very attracted to this new sarcastic and masculine side that I saw. It was a few hours before we actually got to having sex. He quite dominating this time as he held my by the throat and whispered “shh” when I made noises. And I was a lot more attracted to him.

I fell asleep sometime in the early morning, after I kissed him goodnight through the gate.

The next day was brutal. I had to somehow function on about three hours of sleep, I was

I am one of the pink 'things'

I am one of the pink ‘things’

still sick, and we had a dreaded Disney show that we had to perform in every Monday. One of the reasons we dreaded the show so much was because should (God forbid) one of us forget a costume or mess up, we were denied our night off. And the bosses really seemed to enjoy taking our so-called privileges away from us. In fact, one of the very first shows I was in, I misplaced my knife costume. Yes, I was a black thing with a huge silver knife on my head for Beauty and the Beast. What did my boss do? He told me I would have no night off. I didn’t like that? There was the door.

Sick and tired, I had to go through the day and try to stay alive for the night when I could spend my last moment with Javier. The night finally came. We went dancing on the sand and by the end, I sat on his knees staring into his eyes.

Blue Parrot

“You’re so beautiful” he told me. Javier wasn’t your typical Latin man. He didn’t just throw words around. So when he said something, he must have meant it.

“I want to see you” he said, his sky blue eyes widening.

“When?”
“After Mexico. I don’t want to lose you.”

“Me neither!” I exclaimed. I felt that we had something special and that even though we had such an enormous age gap, maybe our connection could erase that. Now, writing this, I realize just how ridiculous this must have seemed from the outside: a younger guy from South America, who has not even finished university and who in reality, was not so mature, to move to Canada? To do what?

At that moment, however, our feelings and the ideal Mexican background added to this perfect illusion of our international romance. After all, what is not perfect about the smell of the ocean, the tropical air on your skin, the slow Spanish music, tanned and relaxed (at least on his part) people, and the sad yet beautiful finality of our romance?

We must have watched too many movies.1452175945_1367036341

Maybe I created some of this illusion because I wanted it, but at this moment I truly wanted to be with Javier. I wanted to see him again. And on the plus side, no one has ever gone such a distance to be with me. Stefan included. (Read the German)

I brought him back to my apartment. Actually, he carried me back because my feet were full of blisters. I opened up a bed in the living room, so that my roommates wouldn’t see me.. until the morning, when they had to pass by us on the way to work. We talked and talked, for hours again, and he only made a move on me by the early morning where I was too tired to keep my eyes open. My roommates must have seen him because Cara later told me that there was a beautiful boy in my bed. What, how did he get there!? I laughed.

I had a day off. We went to the beach,swam in the salty water one last time, and then he kissed me goodbye. I sat on the sand and cried. I cried and cried on my way to the telephone booth where I called my mom and mumbled the story to her through my tears.

“So how old is he?” she asked, her voice full of concern. I tell my mom everything and after Mistake #1 she didn’t expect Mistake #2 to come so quickly.

“He’s nineteen.. but he’s really mature!”

I heard laughing on the other side of the phone from both my mom and my brother who was listening on the other line.

“He’s how old?” she asked again. “Don’t tell me you’re serious.. and what are you going to do with this child?”

“I don’t know.. We will work something out.” I yelled angrily, wiping the tears with my free hand. We would, I thought. We would make it work somehow. People had long distance relationships and they found a way to stay together. And he is younger… so what? Did age really matter in the grand scheme of things?

The answer is: yes. And yes.