“What can I get you?”

One of my favorite things to do is sit at a bar for hours at a time and just drink and chat.  I’m not down with “bar hopping” or doing any sort of “crawl.” I love the randomness that life brings without me moving.

Bar interactions are everywhere from charming to annoying as hell.  If you are a white guy telling me how you were with a Puerto Rican girl once and how you know “Latin Women”, I will roll my eyes so hard I’ll lose my sight for a few minutes. (Based on a true story).

As I transplanted from Portland to San Francisco, I noticed a very specific kind of bartender when interacting with brown ladies in Portland. Portland is growing into a hipster hub. I just spent the holiday back home and frequented too many drinking establishments and did some unofficial research.  Therefore I drank for the blog. You’re welcome.

These bartenders are your average “white guy” but with access to the latest “I don’t care” fashions.  How can hipster dudes be so anti anything when they all look like Goodwill’s version of Justin Timberlake’s hair with a full beard?  Throw in a mini-beanie that rivals a yamaka and trunk full of American Spirits, and you’re so at the next MGMT concert.

According to Urban Dictionary, which is where I get all my knowledge (and grad school I guess), it says this about hipsters:

Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses.

When you’re in an establishment of mostly white folks, you’ll stick out. I stick out, which is great when I’m trying to get a drink.  I swear the bartenders come up quicker because I look all “ethnic.”  They seem confused that I know the words to a song by Architecture in Helsinki but I speak secret Spanish to talk about others to my homegirl. I feel the bartenders get their “cultured” beanies on and try to act all modern and worldly.  Dude, I don’t care.  But a free drink maybe? Cuz my parents crossed 2 borders, sooooo…

Here are some great exchanges I’ve had with hipster bartenders:

Bartender: So where are you from (most famous question of my life)
Me: I’m from Oregon, but my parents are from El Salvador
Bartender: Oh nice!  I love going to Nicaragua to surf, it’s amazing.
*Because that’s the same thing, not 2 different countries or anything*

Bartender: What can I get you?
Me: Can I get a Tecate please?
Bartender: *looks confused* he was taken aback my correct pronunciation
Me: (repeat) Tecate please?
Bartender: Oh ya, TECATE (I think he busted his insides by trying to pronounce it with an accent).  Right on!
*Truth talk, he said right on*

Bartender: Would you like another drink?
Me: Sure, same thing please
Bartender: Whiskey soda with lemon?
Me: Yup
Bartender: Oh that’s a cool bracelet (*I have a bracelet full of Salvadoran flags that I got from El Salvador last year*)
Me: Oh ya, thanks
Bartender: Oh is that Honduras?
Me: No it’s El Salvador
Bartender: Awesome! My best friend is half Guatemalan
Me: That’s nice

These are just a few examples of the sea of interactions I’ve had being “othered” hardcore. But I don’t sweat it too much, I like people trying for my approval and if I can get a free guilt drink in the process…my bank account ain’t mad.


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