Acapulco / Transformations *tips for shy people

I am STILL in Acapulco. Remember how I said, don’t worry, just cuz I got a little place doesn’t mean I’ll just stay there all the time and be boring? Well, maybe I lied a bit!

I am not sure, but I think I’ve been here for nearly 2 months now!?! Why, you might ask? Because it is fricking awesome!

I spent 4 years traveling the world, looking for the places that really suited me and I definitely found them in Acapulco and Bangkok. In fact, Acapulco is so good, it may even overtake Bangkok as my favorite place.

For those that don’t know much about Acapulco: find out! Do some googling. It is pretty much the most beautiful city in the world and is turning into the hip place to be again… but even if it wasn’t the cool place to be, it is still great.

Here are a few pics from this week:

Me at Mandara nightclub
My houseguest this week (more on that below) – pic taken from the pool in my building
A pic of the beach in front of my condo
A pic taken from patio on my condo
A pic of Acapulco Bay

I am, however, taking off next week for Europe for a bit. Not sure exactly where but am starting out in Amsterdam and will go from there. Thinking Estonia, Ukraine… was thinking Georgia, but that may not be such a great idea right now.

So, the travel updates should resume in about a week or two. Truth be told, if it was solely up to me, I’d just stay here in Acapulco for another few months. That’s how much I love it. But I have a few things I need to do.

Now that my Spanish is improving a bit more I have really been able to meet a lot of interesting and cool people here. And this is part of the thing I want to write about today.

For all those people who are kinda shy or not great at meeting people in social situations, I have some insights that i recently discovered. The results of which shocked even me.

As prologue, I am certainly no hermit. Most of the time I am traveling the world, making rounds in various restaurants, bars and clubs, meeting people. HOWEVER, much of this is done using alcohol as a medication. Without it, I tend to stand there, look kinda angry and really, just want to go home.

And even if I am drinking, it is still very difficult for me to be really social. It is only after many drinks that all of a sudden I am chatting with everyone.

Because of this, I have spent many a night going home, alone, wondering what my day/night/life would’ve been like if only I had been able to meet that cute girl.

Well, I figured it out.

I recently had a houseguest for a week here in Acapulco. This girl is, by far, the most social, flirty girl I have ever met. She can’t walk outside for more than a few minutes before someone is chatting with her and in many cases, she just walks up to random people and starts talking to them. She is very cute, and that obviously has a lot to do with it, but I began to watch what it was that enabled her to engage so easily socially. And I asked her a lot of questions about it too. It was kinda funny because she looked at me like I was from outer space, wondering HOW could I NOT just walk up to just about anyone and start talking with them.

Things didn’t work out that well with her as I was having a hard time walking along with her and having her just walk off, start talking to some guy and even grabbing his hand and be on the dancefloor with him within seconds. I was a bit jealous, obviously, but instead of getting too jealous I just decided to learn from her.

I kinda spent the week thinking things over and thinking about all the things she told me and seeing if I could make myself be like her and see if I had the same results.

The results were UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! Apparently, everyone is just dying to talk to you (especially in ultra-social Mexico), but you have to give them the right signals. And the signals are really simple and easy.

As example, I have been in Acapulco for a few months now and, partially because my Spanish isn’t/wasn’t that great, I felt even more awkward than normal trying to strike up a convo with new people. I had been hanging around a few bars that employ some REALLY cute girls, but mostly just sat there, not saying a word. They didn’t really ever say anything to me, either, which made me just feel more awkward to try to strike up a convo.

There is one place, in particular, that employs a girl who I like so much, she was the original reason I first took Spanish lessons 4 years ago, when I was here on my boat. But I never get much beyond, “hola, como estas” with her.

Well, after my houseguest left I woke up the next day and decided, “ok, let’s try this. Try to force yourself to be how she is and just see what happens, no matter how silly/stupid it feels”.

Here is all I did… they are all so small, almost unnoticeable, but apparently, everyone notices:

1. look relaxed, calm, happy
2. shoulders back, good posture (this comes just natural if you exercise…. if you don’t you have to fake it)
3. smile a bit
4. if there is any music playing, anywhere, kinda bob your head and even move your body around to the music a bit
5. look to make eye contact with people and when eye contact is made, give a nod, wink, “hola”, “hello” or some form of acknowledgement.
6. Instead of avoiding people, look for any situation to engage with people

Doesn’t seem like much, right? But compared to my usual blank, almost angry looking, face and an almost unconscious desire to remain detached, it is a big change.

So, I started by going down to the pool. It was just the first few minutes and I was just getting the hang of it and already two of the lifeguard guys came up to introduce themselves (I later saw them at a disco, with all their girlfriends, so this already paid off). I got many nice looks from girls at the pool but was still a bit uncomfortable to fully engage in convos with them.

Then I walked up to my condo. You really aren’t going to believe this. I swear I am not lying or even exaggerating. In fact I am holding back on a lot details here…

I walk in my condo, feeling kinda happy about my experiment. Then, outside of my condo, I could hear some maids talking loudly. They were out there for at least 5 or 10 minutes. So, normally, I would never open my door and see what is going on, but I thought, with my new style, why not open my door, and just see what is going on.

I open my door, and it is 4 of the cuter maids in the building. They giggle at me standing there in my towel, straight out of the shower. I say, “hola, que paso?” and give a sly grin… they respond and then I kind of give them the “want to come in” look… they were shy for a second, but 10 seconds later 2 are sitting on my bed and 2 are sitting on my couch.

As the minutes go by, I keep smiling and nodding my head to the music and make small talk and acting interested (which, actually, strangely, I was). They get more and more comfortable. Soon, they are all taking turns taking pictures with me, ogling me, touching me. It really was very close to getting out of control. It really was all I could do to keep my towel on… I was getting kissed, groped, fondled and grabbed as they went on, “ay papasito… ay mi guapito!”…

This went on for nearly 2 hours! Finally once I had given them all my phone number and promised I would see them again they finally left.

So, by this point it was only mid day, and I already had some very interesting results from my very minor character changes.

I was in a great mood and headed out for the evening. Just walking in that way, down the street, everything changed. I was getting whistled at by girls on the bus… the guy at the 7-11 told me I was very handsome, and I am pretty sure he wasn’t gay… then I walk into the first bar where I normally go and sit in silence for an hour.

I walk in… there was no one in there except the 3 really cute girls who work there and who never talk to me. I bobbed my head to the music, look up at the them, throw my arms out to the sides and bellow, “muuuuy tranquilo!!!!” (very quiet here). They giggle, get me a drink and then all crowd around me, taking my picture, touching my hair… we must’ve chatted for a half hour straight, ending in an open invitation for later this week for them all, yes all, to come to my pool for the afternoon!?!?!

So, rather than sitting there for an hour, kinda feeling bored, I had a great time. So, I then went to the place with the girl I love.

I walk in, hadn’t even done anything yet, except the bobbing of the head and the half-smile and she walked right up to me and gave me a hug and kissed me on the side of the face. The kissing part isn’t too special… Mexicans do that with pretty much everyone they know, but that was the first time she had done it with me!!

We went on to have more of a convo than we normally would, but then the lights went out and she had to run around and I wasn’t able to talk much more with her. But I REALLY got the impression that this convo was leading somewhere and I bet if the lights hadn’t gone out, I woulda had a phone # or something that night!

So, anyway, despite the electricity glitch, I was still super stoked about my entire day. So, I headed off to a disco.

Inside the disco were the lifeguard guys, so I hung out with them and some of the cute girls they were with for a bit and then I decided to go to a different club.

I walked outside and these 2 cute girls were standing there. It’s getting repetitive now, but I did the little head bob, smile and gave a ‘hola’. A ‘hola’ came straight back. So, then I gave a, “so, what you doing?”. Two minutes later I was walking into another disco with each one holding one of my hands. After 20 minutes of dancing (another thing I would never do, but my houseguest friend just told me, all I really need to do is stand there and bob my head a bit and just let the girls dance around me, which is all I did, and it worked) we were off to my apartment, where they both stayed most of the night! (here is a pic of one of the girls in my bedroom)

So, how many girls is that, total, that I either ended up with phone numbers, dates or actually ended up in my room? Nine!!! Coulda been 10 too if it weren’t for electrical technical difficulties! And I had two new, cool friends who seem to know all the cute girls in my building! All in just one day!

All because of a few very, very slight modifications to the way I acted.

And, even more great, whereas I normally would have drank a lot in order to get up the courage/desire to meet new people, I barely drank anything that night. It just seemed like alcohol would have taken away from the fun of meeting all these new people rather than adding to the enjoyment!

So, with a head bob and a smile, my night changed from a night of fairly heavy drinking and, quite often, not meeting any new people, to meeting tons of people and barely drinking much at all and having way more fun than I regularly do.

I’ll have to keep this little head bob and smile going! Who knew!

*disclaimer: Mexico is a highly sociable, very energetic, curious and open place. Whether this stuff works in other places will be subject to further testing in the weeks ahead. *bobs head, smiles and nods*, ciao!