On my second day in Madrid, I strolled over to Puerta del Sol, where I picked up a sightseeing bus that gave me a great introduction to the beauty of Spain’s capital city.
As I enjoyed the views from up top, I couldn’t help noticing that posters for “Eat, Pray, Love” the movie seemed to be on every other block. I found myself thinking that, though my international journey hadn’t produced anyone remotely resembling Javier Bardem, I had enjoyed almost every moment of it. And I was excited to meet my Madrid date — radio journalist Victor, 32.
Exceedingly smart, well read and adorable, Victor charmed me right away by talking seamlessly in both Spanish and English.
Over cerveza at a cozy bar in Madrid’s Lavapies district and then a delicious dinner (where I discovered I love black pudding, and rediscovered my love of flan), Victor shared his take on how dating in Spain is different from NYC.
For one thing, there really is no such as a date. Victor was adamant in an endearing way about how I was his first-ever date, saying the Spanish don’t call it that. Social networks are so strong in Spain that people meet in groups and, for the most part, see no need to use Internet dating.
Over after-dinner drinks, the talk turned to politics. When Victor started talking about American imperialism, I could feel myself growing uneasy, tired at this stage of my travels of being put on the spot about US foreign policy. I think there’s something to be said for the no politics or religion rule about conversation on a first date.
Still, I truly enjoyed Victor’s company. And I was happy when he said he was free over the weekend and would love to get together again. So that’s exactly what ended up happening.