While in Spain, I made a trip to Barcelona.
Barcelona is a beautiful city in the daytime. It’s full of life. Very easy to navigate, you turn one corner and you run into the Sagrada Familia. Hop on the metro, walk a few minutes and you find yourself in the famous Parque Guell a magnificent park known for its sculpture and panoramic view of the city. A little bit longer and you can walk along la playa of La Barceloneta, enjoying a sunny day on the beach.
However at night, it is a different story. I was staying in Las Ramblas. The difference between day and night life of Las Ramblas was very noticeable. In the day time it is full of tourists, families, couples, students, all eager to get a taste of the Spanish lifestyle by means of Barca. At night however it transformed, the students and couples were still there, the smell of drunkenness and lust permeates the air, the lights of night clubs glow as promoters attempt to fill their clubs and their pockets. The vendors selling little trinkets on the street are now replaced. In their stead, are women. The streets of Las Ramblas are lined with women at night. I noticed immediately the fact the majority if not all the women that I was seeing were African, many of them I recognized to be Nigerian.
They intermingled with the drunken crowd of vacationers, sometimes approaching groups of young men, striking up a conversation. It hurt to watch how they were offering themselves up to men. I noticed the drunk tourists and the way they treated these women. I cringed as I watched blond boy, who appeared to be in his early 20s and clearly American, scream at a women who approached him. He told her to go away, if he felt like it, he would call her later.
Later I saw a man who was clearly drunk being followed by one of the women. She chased after him and latched onto his arm, stumbling with him as they walked to a patch of bushes nearby that would hide the act that was about to be committed.
I looked into the eyes of some of the people I was surrounded with, but especially the men. I saw in there eyes how little respect they had for these women, calculating and accessing these women and equating them with the lowest of the low. Ironic because to me, these men were the lowest of the low. When the gaze turned upon me, I noticed something akin to lust and disdain in their eyes. They didn’t know how to categorize me, biologically and physically I was just like these women, but by an accident of birth I was on the other side.