Last week I was hanging out in my site trying to take advantage of the high voltage electricity that I have not been getting recently (I need 100 - 240 Volts to charge and operate a computer and I was trying to put together all of our charlas as one big manual for Brigada Verde). Our electricity comes back around 5 pm but doesn't get above 75 volts until after 8 or 9 at night. The rough thing about me needing high voltage to do work is that the loud speakers for the parties need High Voltage too. So while I am working the party gets started and after about an hour my female neighbor comes over and says she is selling tickets to the Discoteca tomorrow night and that "they" are going. She invites me and I say sure. I figured it would be a good bonding experience especially because the last time I went I didn't dance with any of them and now had to show the barrio that I'm not a square. She took my message of a yes and told the other neighbors that were dancing next door, I kept working and told her I will buy the ticket tomorrow.
The next day they all tell me that I am taking my other female neighbor out on a date and I find out that no one else is going. The neighbor girl already bought the ticket and so I couldn't back out (25 pesos was on the line). As it turns out, the neighbor, despite being great and all, is married to my other neighbor who happens to be one of my better friends in the barrio.
After I figured out the situation I went over to the neighbors house and said "I can't take you out on a date. My friend is your husband and I don't want to die" (I have seen his machete). She laughed and said "no es nada" but I was convinced that it was more than nada. Later she brought her husband/my buddy over by the hand and told him to inform me that the date was no big thing. He told me that he would go himself but someone has to watch the kids. Alright, I told him, but I was sure that there would be all kinds of awkwardness. And there was.
I picked her up prom style at 9pm (when the good electricity was finaly back and I should have been working) and sat with her husband for a few minutes while she got ready, then off we went arm in arm. The discoteca is about a ten-minute walk from my house (you would be amazed at where they stick dance clubs in the developing world) and consists of dark room with mirrors and a discoball.
It was my neighbors first time to the discoteca and my second time. Neither of us knew the appropriate time to get there, 9:10pm was not the appropriate time. It was near empty and the patrons that actually had shown up looked like they were in middle school. This is awkward, I thought, I am one of two people over age 25 in this building and the other person is my friends wife... who I am on a date with. We remedied the awkwardness with some dancing merengue and bachata as the discoteca slowly filled up. After a while the music stopped. A man got on the loudspeaker and announced that there would be (another) Michael Jackson dance competition. We were all forced to get off the dance floor and a guy dressed like Michael Jackon got on stage. He danced horribly for about 15 minutes to a techno version of all the old Michael Jackson songs and the crowd looked at him with disappointed faces. He kept dancing and dancing and no one could look away, it was like a wierd techno car accident. I turned to the neighbor’s wife and said, "well, at least I'm not that guy."