Last updated on March 8th, 2016

It was a warm Medellin night. My Dutch friend Gerard and I didn’t like the nightclub we were in. It didn’t have many people – just a dark, empty space with Spanish music. We left looking for another place.

We saw a group of four or five party-goers heading down the street. “Let’s follow them,” I said. The streets were dark with not many people around. Gerard and I should have taken note of what streets we walked by in case we got lost, but we didn’t care. Only having a fun night was on our minds. Eventually, we were led to a venue where we heard music from outside and there was a lineup to get in. The buildings around the venue were closed. The bouncers in their black pants and t-shirts were in full force. The party-goers we followed were nowhere in sight. Instead of the Latin-Gino appearance the men had at Medellin’s upscale clubs, the guys here were thugged out: baggy jeans, loose t-shirts, baseball caps or short hair, and heavy necklaces. The nightclub looked suspect, but we couldn’t resist entering.

A few minutes later, we were inside. The nightclub in Barrio (neighbourhood) Colombia had several men standing and drinking, without female counterparts, near the entrance and stairs. “Were they looking for their next victim to rob or client to sell cocaine?” I thought. They reminded me of Tupac and Snoop Dogg west coast rap videos from the 90s. Then there were the bigger crowds; with every group of hombres, were mujeres that belong on the cover of Maxim. There’s a reason why guys consider Medellin having the most beautiful Colombian women – if not the world.

I saw countless guys get their head smashed by a beer bottle, or nose broken, during my nights in the Toronto Entertainment District. Sometimes you bumped into someone the wrong way or accidentally made a move on a woman with her boyfriend nearby. I’m not interested in seeing this happen tonight.

“I think I’m the only guy here with blue eyes.”

“I think you’re the only guy without a gun,” I replied to the Dutchman. We just wanted to find some women to dance with but we may have made a mistake. Make a move on the wrong girl and you might go home on a stretcher. “You have my back if anything happens?” Gerard said. I had to keep reassuring him I wouldn’t run away. I was much larger than Gerard, but no way would we make it out alive if a brawl started.

After making a few laps around the club, we saw a guy with his face fully tattooed. He was lanky, had long hair in a ponytail, and wore extra baggy clothes. Tattoo-face’s body was standing idle – not much movement. Gerard and I looked at each other thinking, “what the fuck.” A friend of tattoo-face was beside us at the bar. He poured us free rum and juice, a small sign of peace and things might not be so bad. The friend actually smiled at us. His demeanor was more welcoming than tattoo-face, who never once looked at us.  I still dared not to hit on their women.

We finished our drinks and headed upstairs where there were less people. Gerard saw a group of women with no guys around them. This had been our only opportunity to meet new women. Maybe it was their only opportunity to avoid men. He again made sure I had his back and then chatted them up. He did all the talking because his Spanish is better than mine. But his Spanish took us nowhere.

The operation was a failure, but we survived.