A Predicable Pattern: Going Out In Winter In Ibiza

Is There Life In Ibiza In Winter?

Before moving to Ibiza, I tried to some online research, both in English and in Spanish. I wanted to know what daily life was like, what people here are like, etc. I generally had rough time. Maybe I was searching the wrong key words?

All I could find were tourism articles about summer and about how everything closes mid-October. And I was worried. The internet basically told me: there is no life on Ibiza except in summer in the clubs.

Which, is clearly very wrong. Yes, it is a smaller community in winter than in summer, and yes many of the major clubs are closed. And, as I typically despise almost all (not all, but most) forms of electronic music, I was also scared.But what I quickly realized is, not everyone who lives here is into the most famous clubs or listening to electronic music.

If you like to be social, if you enjoy dancing, and if you enjoy many different types of music, then going out in Ibiza in winter is still very entertaining. On my friend Daphne’s blog, she writes about how the Spanish style of going out is much different than what we Anglo-Saxons are used to. She mentions Pacha in her blog – “the club that never closes.” Pacha is so integrated into this island that everybody knows what it is, including the kids at school. It’s common to see them wearing Pacha brand clothing and sticking Pacha stickers all over their notebooks and folders.

For me, Pacha is the worst…although I always have fun when I go, because, there are ways to entertain youself, always. There are two rooms in Pacha: the main room and “Pachacha” where they play more Spanish-language pop, reggaeton, and latin rhythms. I love the Pachacha room because I prefer the music to the elcontronic music in the other room. It has also been my experience that if you like to hang out with infants (aka your 15-18 year old high school students), by all means, hang out in Pachacha. Then, in the other room, you’ve got a wider variety of people, but watch out: you’ll never escape those greasy, creepy middle-aged men!

But don’t worry. There is so much more than Pacha! Small concerts, artistic endeavors, independent film screenings, and Pintxos Nights- your options are many.

I have a friend from Beirut who describes it as “the size of her shoe” in regards to social circles.  In my perspective, it’s similar to Ibiza in the sense that everyone knows someone who knows someone. I’m currently getting my TEFL Certification online. In our first week of class, they instructed us about the role of the teacher, and how teachers are role models 100% of the time. They suggest that we avoid going places where we have the potential to see students. When your island is the size of your shoe, it’s a bit difficult to avoid them. I consistently see at least one coworker or at least one student, or both, each time I go out.

My Creepy Man Rant

And for a person with the habit of remembering faces, even of people she’s never met, that means that those creepy men, remember them? You will see the same ones every time you go out. They’ve infiltrated the whole island, yet seem to be especially keen to show up at nightclubs and community events…

Maybe you’re asking, what is creepy about the men? Let me try to explain. Imagine a sweaty, drunk, ravenous looking man (usually balding), who typically wears an opened-up button down shirt where you can see his also sweaty chest hair. He stands close behind you any chance he can get. He tries to dance with you anytime I sees a window of opportunity. He flails out of control when he dances. When he looks you in the eye, it’s as if he’s a lion waiting to pounce.His upper lip might be curled to one side and his nostrils are flaring. There is a sickness to his glare and a sternness to his brow.  And best of all, he sure doesn’t take no for an answer. That’s determination!

My feminist thoughts aside, when these men try to approach me, I typically talk to them. Why not joke around with them? Send it right back to them?

Until sometimes it’s so unbearable.

One of the men that I frequently see really seemed to latch on to me. The first time I met him, I didn’t think he was that bad. Meaning, it wasn’t insoportable to be near him and he could actually hold a conversation. That is, if you can call what we had a conversation. He was from Sevilla, with an accident that is difficult for me to understand. Even more difficult when he’s shouting in one of your ears over bumping music. The majority of our conversation was me screaming, “NO TE ENTIENDO. ERES ANDALUZ TIENES QUE HABLAR MAS DESPACIO.” He didn’t really try to make himself better understood.

The next time I saw him, he didn’t say anything. He just stood there, gave a disapproving look and shook his head. I asked him what was going on. He replying in a saddened (and clearly delusional tone), “I tried to give you my heart. I could do anything for you.” WAIT, WHAT?

Were we ever “a thing”?

Does going to a bar and talking to someone mean that you’ve fallen in love with them, and vowed to never talk to another man again?

When did talking to a man one at a bar give him the slightest indication that you were in love with them, and then by not talking to him again (because you don’t actually know each other) indicate that that love had failed?

Sad to say that that sort of thing has happened numerous times. It has happened to me and it’s happened to my friends.

While I would love to go off on them with you’re-a-chauvinist-delusional-ridiculous person who represents society’s illness, I try my best to say something like, “A woman is allowed to talk to whoever she wants, whenever she wants, and does not have to ask your permission.” Or, “I’m not interested and I don’t have to be.” That’s if I’m not flailing around the dance floor myself. In those cases, depending on how late it is in the night, I might just look at them and say “No.” End of story.

(Extra side rant: I believe there is truth in saying that girls (embarrassingly sometimes myself as well) have a hard time saying “no” as not to offend the person. It’s something that we’ve been taught that we always have to be polite and not hurt someone’s feelings, when in actually we are perpetuating a system where we loose. We have to be more brave and be clearer with our rejections. Yes, men should already get it. But until they do, it’s better to be clear. You don’t need to say “I have a boyfriend” or “my friends are here” – a simple and firm no should the trick…. sometimes. We don’t owe anyone anything. Even if they buy you a drink.)

Disclaimer: I’m not trying to proclaim that all heterosexual men and all heterosexual women behave in this manner. I’m simply trying to put you in my shoes in regards to how I am treated when I go out.

Now that you’ve gotten a taste of being in a room full of those men, you can see why I prefer outdoor parties to the clubs. More space to escape! After weeks of going out only to see creepy men (exaggeration, but has the potential to hold true), it is refreshing to go to a party and see families, young professionals, and youth. Most of these community events are hosted by the local government and they close down streets in the town where it’s hosted and set up a tent. It will almost always include some sort of live ADCD/Rolling Stones/Beatles cover band, followed by a DJ that plays oldies.

Flower Power
Flower Power in San Jose. Just me, grandparents, the youth of Ibiza, and a slew of sweaty men.

History Repeats Itself

After going to several of these, I realized that I have a similar way of functioning each time I go out. We all have tendencies and habits that we repeat in certain occasions.

Relating to people you know

  • I tend to get more affectionate if I’ve had a drink. Which means, if I see a coworker, I will usually hug him or her and say something about how lovely it is to work with them while staring intently into their eyes. If I see a student, I will say something parent-like, such as “Please, Ricardo, get home safe. You’re not staying out late are you?” To which they usually laugh about, and then on Monday say “EHHH ALLISON, YOU LIKE PARTY PARTY”

The dance floor

  • I love to dance. I dance all the time, to many different genres (sometimes I’ll even suck it up and dance to electronic). So if I have any ounce of alcohol in me, it’s something where I won’t be able to stop dancing. #cantstopwontstop
  • When I’m in my dancing groove, the creepy men will usually gravitate towards me. Because, if someone likes to dance, they obviously want to be watched, right? (It’s actually possible to like to dance not just to get old men’s attention) [If I look at you, it’s not an invitation. It’s how I dance. Sad, because it has the potential to be confusing]
  • When I realized that the old men have gravitated around me, they will usually have already formed some sort of circle, in which one of them will usually engage in a semi-dance battle with me. He’ll take it really seriously and act like he’s flirting, and I’ll know the whole time I’m consenting to this dance battle purely for my entertainment.
  • Some man will usually interpret my eye contact and as flirting, and then subsequently get angry if I talk or dance with other men (because you own me, right?). For example, last weekend at Flower Power there was one man that latched on to me and then the whole night told me I was “una chica mala” for talking to other men.
  • At the same time that creepy men gravitate towards me, the young, attractive men wouldn’t touch me with a 10 foot pole. They typically run at the sight of me. You know that looking-them-in-the-eye trick that makes me a creepy man magnet? No such luck with the other types…

Bodily functions

  • I usually have bad gas when I go out. Having a large, late dinner, combined with alcohol, combined with dancing can produce some gnarly farts. Good thing most of these parties are outdoors. I usually walk/dance away quickly. No one’s ever noticed.
  • When the bladder starts to hurt, I will usually find a tree or a bush to go to the bathroom behind. Who has time for five minute walk to a restaurant to find a bathroom when you’re missing all the great music?

Those damn Argentines get me everytime

  • I will almost always run into at least one Argentine. I will proceed to tell him how much I love Argentina and the conversation usually ends with him saying, “Pero dame tu numero, vos sos tan linda…” *Fulfilling stereotypes*

Conversation topics

  • If I talk to someone, I will somehow always work into the conversation any one of the following topics:
    • My sciatic nerve problem and my old chiropractor (I might even ask them if they want him number. Sometimes you forget which continent you’re on)
    • The fact that I’ve had numerous lesbians hit on me
    • Can guys and girls really be friends? (This one gets soooo Carrie…)
    • Gender roles and male/female relations at bars

Although these patterns are consistent, going out is never the same.  And the creepy men are just a small part of it. As long as I can get some humor out of it, which I almost always can, they don’t ruin the night. There are always plenty of other things to be laughed at, entertained by, and amazed by.

What entertains you when you go out? What has your experience with creepy men been like?


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