The past week I went out twice and set a new record for myself! I do not go out as much as other people in Madrid might just because of how much I value my comfort at home, and I do not normally feel the urge to go out. However, last week I went twice, and I am ready to do it again.
The student mentors normally organize nice events for us, and I honestly always find a reason to stay home—whether it be due to work or simply wanting to stay in bed. It was impossible for me to say no to karaoke, though. Tuesday night, some of the mentors and students headed over to Sol, the center of Madrid, and we went to a club called “Nomad.” There, every Tuesday night is College Student Night. My friend and I convinced ourselves not to stay in that night, and we went together. It was so much fun and reminded me that even though I am in Spain, I am still a college student.
We were surrounded by people our age that were not strictly from our program, and most of the people in the club were English speakers. It was also fun to see our language interchange partners that the program paired us with before coming here. It did not feel like a Tuesday night, and I still made it in time for my 9am class the following day. The acts were hilarious to watch, as people performed songs from High School Musical and more modern tunes like “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo (Yes, I am a fan). Positive peer pressure caused me to sing, too, which I did not think I would do. Initially, I just went with the intention to watch and laugh at the interesting song choices. In the end, though, I sang “Man Down” by Rihanna, and headed home as it began to get late.
Friday night I also went out. I headed with a few of my friends to a club called Center Mambo Latino. Needless to say, all of us had been experiencing some Latinx withdrawals and wanted to be in a space where we knew Latinx people would be present. A lot of Dominican people go to this club from what I have seen (I had been there before), and the DJs are rather impressive. I missed hearing bachata, salsa, and perico ripiao—three of my favorite Latinx music genres. We ended up getting in for free and got a table for free, and it was the definition of a girls´ night out.
This was the very first time I felt fully immersed in Spanish culture despite how much the club reminded me of the Dominican Republic. I had never really gone out so late, and I had never mustered up the energy to stay out as late either. Friday night we headed out at nearly 12am, and I did not make it back home until 7:00 Saturday morning. Clubs here usually do not open until 11:00 or 12:00 and do not close until 6:00. One of my favorite bachateros, El Chaval, is coming to Madrid this Friday to perform, and I cannot wait to do it all over again.
Nicole—or Nico for short—is an Afro-Latina from the Bronx, NY who dabbles in poetry, prose, photography, and vocalism. She has published two books to date, both written in English and Spanish. She is currently attending Skidmore College with hopes to obtain two bachelor’s degrees for Spanish and Linguistics. Her ultimate goal is to someday open a school for deaf children in the Dominican Republic. She uses her writing to discuss taboo topics, like what it means to be a woman of color today’s world and how that shapes her perception.