He was 75, and he asked me to dance.
Respecting him as if he was my grandfather, and finding him harmless, I agreed. Ok, I exaggerate – I suppose he was 60, at least.
The dance was tolerable. He had a funny style; I had to bite my lip so as to not burst out laughing. But it was fine.
A few minutes later, he asked me if he could buy me a drink, to which I politely declined.
Then he asked if he could talk to me.
“Where are you from?” he asked me.
“India,” I say.
“Wow. I have never met anyone from India. I’ve always wanted to go there.”
“Ok” I say.
He continues: “You dance very well, where did you learn?”
“In India,” I say – by now hoping my one word answers would give him the hint that I really have no interest talking to him.
As if he got the hint, he got straight to the point. “I need a dance partner for the rest of the year, and was wondering if you would consider?”
Me: (blank look)
“You would come with me to all my classes and whenever I go out dancing socially,” he adds.
“Actually I don’t really have time to dance much,” I say, “besides I travel alot, so wouldn’t be able to commit to anything.”
“Well, I’d pay you,” he says.
“No, I’m sorry I cannot do it,” was all I could muster after that, and I walked away with disgust. He even had the nerve to ask me for another dance after that. As if it was perfectly normal for us to have that conversation.
I left that night in thought. Was I just subjected to a polite form of prostitution? Or am I making a mountain of a mole hill?
There are a few things in Spain that make me question my morals. Simply because of the normalcy people treat them with here. I’m not clear on whether it’s Spain or Europe, but since I am here – let’s just stick to Spain for the moment.
Openly having more than one amante (lover) is another – fidelity isn’t too common here. Being with one person is what is questionable, and almost unheard of. Also having a good job where you earn more than 1000 Euros is uncommon, and it really isn’t uncommon living all your life washing dishes, or herding sheep. And, remember I’m in Madrid.
Perhaps I’m just in the wrong – or let’s say ‘different’- circles. Or perhaps I take things too seriously – be it life, making a living or men. See what I mean?
I suppose everything is relative.