Sunday, July 10, 2011

Getting Propositioned in Victoria, BC, Canada vs. Madrid, Spain

I’ve only been propositioned by prostitutes twice (I declined both times) and the two times are in start contrast with one another.

In the case of Victoria, I was walking along Government St. some time in the late 1990s to 2001 and a woman in front of me looked back and started smiling. I was a bit more naïve back then and thought she looked vaguely familiar so I smiled back. She let me catch up and said hi. I said hi back, wondering where I knew her from. She then asked “Want some company?” Luckily I did know enough to decipher that bit of code so that ended that.

Forward ahead to 2002. In Madrid, Spain the hostel I stayed was in a park called Retiro Park. A guide book described the park as being a red light district in the evening. I agree except for the last three words. It pretty much always is. I did see a lot of street people along the main drag (some may have even been in drag) but those left me alone. But after I had checked out I was in the park again just to wander around, after having gone to Lisbon in the meantime. A woman called me over and finally I got curious. She asked me where I was from. I said Canada. She said she was from Nigeria. I had no idea where this was going so I just let this hang there. A moment later she said, “Let’s have sex, right here!”

It was quite the stark contrast between the euphemism in Victoria and the bluntness of Madrid, though neither did their intended, uh, trick. I’m guessing the former was due to the law and the latter was to avoid any language barrier, which there certainly was none of. Something to be said for both approaches, probably.

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