Salsa in Vancouver
Last night was the first time I felt at home in Vancouver since being here- I went to a salsa event with a couple of new friends. I'm definitely out of practice but it was comforting to know that salsa people are salsa people everywhere!
Granted the venue could be better (Evangelical church auditorium?) but it was a fundraising....for some ...person....a salsa dancer...suffering from ....oh I don't know. There was Salsa, Merengue and Bachata music; a not so good salsa instructor and all categories of salsa dancing men and women that you'd run into any Toronto salsa clubs.
Type A- They arrive in the middle of the lesson and languish in the back tables. The women are impeccably dressed for salsa i.e. frilly skirts or jeans with a well ventilated top. The men, very casually dressed in untucked striped shirts and jeans, sit with a bored , lemon faced expression and crack open a smile occasionally but only at Type A women. all of whom they seem to know. They are the serious salsa dancers who come out at least three/four times every week and make their way through all the events around the city. An A type man will only ask you to dance once if you are new to the club, barely tolerate your presence and never ask you again if you are not upto their level. Please don't be offended. Its not personal. You'll know when you see them in action. They are a vision to be revered on the dance floor as they swing and spin Type A women, who in their part seem to be made of jello as they swirl, swoosh and do splits- all the time never losing their partner. They are...as Cindy pointed out...making salsa babies.
Advice: Accept an offer to dance, try and follow, then sit and enjoy the view.
Type B- First on the scene, there for the whole lesson and always asks you for a dance. Be cautious. These are the new eager salsa dancers in the midst of their first month in taking classes. If you happen to be on your third month, you'd soon tire of their awkward leading and their complains that you are not doing it right. They have not learnt the first lesson of Salsa- the women are never wrong if the men know how to lead.
Type C- They are dressed like the Type A guys but they are nicer people. These are the guys you want to learn from and if you are a confident enough woman- ask them for a second dance. They will spin you right, make you look good even if you are counting in your head instead of listening to the beat and best of all- they'll give you tips and repeat steps just so you'll get it. Occasionally they can be a little too intense and come across creepy as they invade, what you thought until that point was, your personal space. But its not intentional- they feel the music and the dance and just want you to trust them to lead you good. Let go, follow, ask questions and dance away.
Type D- Mystery men. They come with a partner, don't really dance often unless they are grabbing their partner's bums but stay till the end for mysterious reasons.
Now ,this is important.
Ladies, pay attention.
There are no datable type men at salsa club. It's not the usual club. If you think you are going to meet a nice guy with shared interest in salsa, forget it. Not that such guys are not at the club with the exact same agenda, but you probably won't run into them. They will be too chicken to ask you to dance and if they do they'll be too busy trying to impress you by dancing to start any meaningful conversation.
Salsa at a club is, as my friend Whitney (the confident super salsa dancer) would say, a 5 minute one night stand (or something like it)- you are completely in tune with your partner for the 5 minutes you are dancing. Only its safer, guiltless and just as exhilarating.
I really should get back to taking classes in the new year though. Its the most fun way you can work up the heart-rate to healthy scale. Go with a friend if its your first time taking lessons.
Two bedtime stories
Gather around children.
I have two tales from the collection of 'Russian Fairy Tales' by Aleksandr Afanas'ev , originally published in 1945 that I'm currently reading.
You will love it.
First tale is from page 278 and its called 'Daughter and Stepdaughter'
(Summarized)-Man with daughter remarries. Stepmom banishing the stepdaughter to the woods. Stepdaughter is kind to animals and gets rewarded for it. Greedy stepmom sends own daughter away to the woods. Daughter is unkind and gets eaten by bear.
Our second story of the night is titled 'The Stubborn Wife'
(I'm typing this one out exactly how it appears in the book)
Once a peasant shaved his beard and said to his wife "Look how well I have shaved". "But you haven't shaved, you have only clipped your beard", said the wife. "You are lying, you wretch, I have shaved!" "No its clipped."
The husband thrashed the wife and insisted: "Say its shaved or I'll drown you!"
"Do what you will but its still clipped." He took her to the river to drown her.
"Say its shaved!""No its clipped." He led her into the water upto her neck and shoved her head in. "Say its shaved!" The wife could no longer speak, but she raised her hand from the water and showed by moving tow fingers like a pair of scissors that his beard was clipped.
I've loved the Bengali 'pomegranate prince' (dalim kumar), Slavic 'house walking on chicken legs', Arabic 'tortoise swimming with a city growing on its shell', Japanese 'peach boy'...BUT! come on now! What was that?
Six weird things about me
Why 6?- Its slightly better than 5 which is just too average, but less than 10 weird things which will be too weird. Very weird analogy but hey its on the list.
So, six weird things about me-
1. I say 'I'll do something' always followed by 'Inshallah' which translates to 'God willing'.
Why its weird: Born Muslim, I'm agnostic
2. I cannot leave books opened anywhere. I have a compulsion to close it.
Why its weird: My mother thinks it leads to knowledge evaporating or something highly 'logical' like that. I believe her.
3. I hate eating on/drinking out of chipped china.
Why? Don't know. I find it yucky. I feel like I'm eating/drinking what ever chinaware is made if and not to mention I've heard somewhere that its unlucky to do that.
4. I always have a handy reason for my actions - logical or otherwise
5. I hate buying shoes
6. I am convinced I'll die too soon. Don't know when that would be, but whenever the time will come, it would be too soon.
Update on being in Vancouver?
I'm dealing with it better and I've come up with Plan B , C and D.
Hello Optimism, I missed you.