By Robin Friday
After seeing gringa after gringa riding on the back of motorcycles driven by local Quetzalteco renegades, I began to wonder where all the extranjero – Quetzalteca couples were hiding. Did they even exist? Being a charismatic fellow, I decided to volunteer myself for a field study on “foreign relations” here in Xela. In the field, I soon learned of the stereotype that, unlike my gringa counterparts, gringos “son frios” and are thus not boyfriend material. Did that stop me? No chance. Here at XelaWho, we’re all about breaking down stereotypes. My mission was clear: to prove that gringos too can be seductive and passionate lovers.
I met Nina at a club and the sparks between us nearly shut the place down. I suppose I didn’t move fast enough because a few days later I saw her at another club making out with a different gringo. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised; many girls here in Xela are working or attending university away from home, and are thus free from the otherwise strict rules on dating and staying out late. (Remember the freedom that came freshman year of college when suddenly the answer to everything was “yes”? Same deal.)
I met Jasmine in the market. Our first date was dinner at her house, where I met her family, her extended family, her extended family’s kids and I think there was a neighbor there as well. As for me, I try to hide my crazy-ass family as long as possible, but the process for dating girls from conservative and traditional families is reversed here – first you get to know the family, and then you get to know the girl. The family had some interesting questions for a first date, including, “What will happen to your relationship when you leave?” “Do you think you’ll get married?” Intense! We never even kissed.
I met Marie at an internet cafe. After a few minutes she asked me to join her for a date sometime, and it has been great ever since. Like dating anywhere, we go dancing, enjoy intimate meals and share great conversations. Dating is dating. Que linda!
In the end, what I love about dating here is defying the “frio”stereotype. I have the freedom to express fondness for my lady in a way that would be considered weird or overly romantic in the states. In so doing, my frio has been melted away by the heat of my newfound inner Don Juan.