Why did I dream that my back hurt so much I felt the need to stretch it only to wake up and find that I really did need to stretch it (kind of like those dreams about needing to pee that I always have)? Read on to find out!!
My friend and companiera de casa (house mate) Jessica, who has been making regular appearances on this blog in varied posts from masked partier at Carnival to narrator extraordinaire for the empanada video brought me to my first salsa class at Azucar two weeks ago. Of course we were late, but jumped into it. For 10 pesos you get an hour and a half of salsa, an hour and a half of rock and roll, and then ANOTHER hour and a half more of salsa if you have the ganas (a word you should get used to: there is no direct translation, its somewhere between desire and ability and something else, its stronger and different from to want...its a great word - ex. Ulise - do you have want to dance tonight? me - hmmm, no tengo ganas depues 3 horas de bilando - i don't have ganas after dancing for three hours). Oh and did I mention the free coat check?
Well last time we had to leave because Zach and Evelyn had arrived and I had a dinner to attend, but this week we brought Ted and his friend Rebecca who was visiting and Jessica and I stayed for Rock and Roll as well. Salsa was a little bit easier this time. Again we were late, but tried to pick up the steps we had missed. First you stand in lines and practice the steps, and then you get into a circle of boys and girls. You dance for a few minutes, practice a few steps and then the girls rotate around in a circle. Its a bit like speed dating. A bit too much like speed dating. Anyway, lucky for me I eventually ended up with a guy who was actually a little bit worse than me (he lacked the strong arm that tells a woman what to do during the dance) and instead of making me turn he would tell me to turn...kinda lame, BUT he had the ganas to practice a lot so instead of standing aorund and watching I got to practice with him for a while. I was one behind Jessica, and everytime I moved to a new partner they would say to me, "Oh, you are Jessica's friend?" "Si" I would respond, and then the salsa would begin.
After Salsa was over, Jess and I decided to stay for Rock and Roll even though Ted and Rebecca dipped out. So what is Rock and Roll exactly? I was wondering myself. Its essentially Swing dancing. After a short intro dance off type thing led by this crazy guy we split off into beginner and intermediate while expert couples stayed on the floor. I, dripping with sweat, picked up quickly what I have been kind of doing anyway for years at dances. It occurred to me as I danced and twirled with an older man with longish dark curly hair, a tight grey t-shirt, large pectorals, and an annoyed look on his face aimed at the number of times he had to turn me, that I had come to Argentina to learn not one, but two dances not native to the country and one which was actually from my own. You may want to know why I am not taking Tango classes. Let's just say Tango is not what the kids are into these days. I felt increasingly silly learning how to Swing dance in the country of Tango as a Christmas song came on and I think Jess and I were the only one's who knew we were dancing to a US Christmas song in March. We left early again so we could sprint to the GIANT Coto supermarket near the class and spent way to long there wandering around, and getting yelled at of course.
At this amazing Coto there is a large table of empanadas and yummy stuff. The empandas are only $AR 1.99. We had to have one, and we couldn't wait. We went to the woman who weighs empanadas and puts the price sticker on it and we asked her if we could eat it right away. She said that once the sticker goes on we could do what we wanted! Gleefully we skipped over to the microwave and heated our prospective treats. They were tasty.
Afterwards were were wandering around wondering where in tarnation the canned good section was, and a security guard motioned to Jessica to follow him. We tried to explain that a woman told us we could eat it and that we were going to pay for everything. He would not speak a word, and every word we spoke would cause him to turn around and motion at us again with his hand. I honestly thought Jess was going to get kicked out. But no, he simply insisted that we pay for our eagerly eaten empanadas immediately. Afterwards he dragged us somewhere else and at this point I was sure we were both being kicked out. But no, he just wanted to hand us our empty Styrofoam (yes Styrofoam is still all the rage here) plates in a plastic bag so we wouldn't miss out on having them. Oh Argentina, me encantas.