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    Day 973 – The Salsa Trauma (UK)

    At 32 I feel entitled to a few liberties here and there. One of them was enacted last night at the local peña (live music dance club) here in Trujillo. I was already in my bed reading my book, when my room mate Jean-Baptiste (Canadian + French) and two younger girls asked if I wanted to join them to the peña. It was Saturday night, so why not give it a go.

    The place was packed with a refreshingly mature and very salsa/merengue/cumbia-happy audience. A quick look at my All Time Top 100 Albums might suggest that I’m not the salsa/merengue/cumbia-happy kind of guy. The music really doesn’t do anything to me, apart from bore me. It’s just not my thing.

    On par with being told to wait is being asked for a dance when salsa/merengue/cumbia is on the stereo. When I was younger and didn’t always have “NO” in my mouth I’d reluctantly end up on the dance floor with some way too salsa-happy girl who’d try to teach me the right moves and who’d repeat over and over how eaaaasy it all is while I’d awkwardly try just not to look too gawky. I didn’t (still don’t) find it easy and just wanted to get back to my beer, alternatively leave the place altogether.

    This salsa discomfort started on my first trip to Latin America in 1997/1998 and over the years it has turned into a mild (but nonetheless very unpleasant) trauma that kicks in every time I enter a dance club with grooving salsa hips galore.

    Back to last night. Jean-Baptiste and I were the only white boys in the club, and it didn’t take long before I was asked for a dance. Trauma time, Nicolai, I thought to myself. There was no way I was going to join the salsa hordes, and so I started blablah’ing about my disliking everything salsa and that if the solid rock would show up then I’d be happy to have a dance with the girl. It took me most of 5 minutes to convince the girl that I was serious about this (traumas are serious matters) and that I was (kind of) sorry about my lack of tact (and courage, but I didn’t tell her that). I took the liberty of turning down that young girl and thus breaking the unwritten rules of social dance club conduct, not because I was playing some hard-to-get thing but simply because of my traumatic salsa condition and, I guess, lack of balls…But hey, I really didn’t feel like dancing.

    Later, at the rest rooms, I tipped the toilet cleaner who obviously didn’t expect it (no tip box, no asking). For no other reason than he appeared to be a sensitive, old man, he looked like Bruce Springsteen, and I wanted to somehow make up for turning that girl down, on the global see-all karma balance we are all part of, believe it or not.

    So what else is new? Not too much. Have been hanging around Trujillo, a city that is slowly gaining on me. Not least because of the before-mentioned extremely cheap fresh fruits at the local market. I see absolutely no reason not to munch through a minimum of a kilo of mangos/strawberries/avocados a day + all the liquidized stuff from the fruit shake stalls.

    After a relaxing week in Trujillo and surroundings, I’ve finally found a (rather exclusive, but who cares) restaurant with wifi-connection and it works swimmingly. Unless the restaurant suddenly decides to close the business for the day, I hope to have a new WT-movie ready very soon.

    On this day..

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    7 Responses to “Day 973 – The Salsa Trauma (UK)”

    1. Liz Says:

      Nico i couldn’t help laughing haha ok ok i admit salsa isn’t that easy, i only know the basic steps but sooner or later you’ll have to face it ’cause Latin America isn’t Latin America without salsa. Here in Argentina people aren’t salsa lovers so after almost 3 years living here i found myself missing that particular and sticky rhythmn. I miss peñas ….. what can i say? it’s in my blood!
      And wait til you get to central america (now that’s what i call salsa).

      keep enjoying those yummy fruits (which i also miss)

      Liz

    2. Nicolai Says:

      Hi Liz…Yeah, we had a good chat about it this afternoon, right…Will think about the “face your trauma” thing, as promised… 🙂

      Nicolai – and now bring on the rock!

    3. Thomas J. Olesen Says:

      Well said my friend… I’m sure there’s a white boy (or 1000) out there who can relate to your salsa (and/or samba) trauma 🙂

    4. Nicolai Says:

      …yeah, Thomas, and the thing is that – honestly – I can´t really be arsed to start learned those vital/groovy moves. Must be age sneaking in…1976 is a long time ago, after all. 🙂

      – The Rock Dude

    5. Thomas J. Olesen Says:

      1976 is just a number my friend – but a magic one 🙂 … Remember we don’t stop playing because we get old… We get old, because we stop playing… No need to remind you – Mr. – Living out your dream Rock Dude – Bangsgaard 🙂 …

    6. Pensando Says:

      I can’t help thinking though, Nicolai, that in responding to the girl’s request for a dance or two, you would have been sharing something of yourself with the people among whom you travel.

      Just as you appreciate it when a local takes the time to point you in the right direction, or lends a helping hand, so too it is important to remember how important it is to give a little back.

      I once stayed with the hill tribes in Northern Thailnd, and a Swedish girl among our party had brought a football. Our band of travellers of many nationalities had a great time that evening playing football with the local kids, and when we left the children were absolutely delighted because the Swedish girl left them the ball. She had also given them some paper and colouring pencils. I was so impressed that she had thought of doing this, and slightly ashamed of myself that I hadn’t thought of giving anthing to the hill tribe people myself.

      Even if you had wobbled around like a jelly on acid, I’m sure it would have made her day/night/week/year… ? No doubt she would have told her grandchildren of the time when she taught ‘the handsome Dane with two left feet how to salsa’.
      Remember that even a joke or a smile from you Nicolai… will brighten up the day for someone.
      My advice, Nicolai would be; dance whenever you can.
      You’ll wish you had when your dancing days are done.

    7. Nicolai Says:

      Hi Thinking Pensando…

      I really appreciate your input here. Thanks a lot. I agree with you, totally.

      Will think about it next time the dancing opportunity’s there – and try to leave the ever-present self-conciousness/cautiousness at home.

      Thanks again for your delicate reply! 🙂

      – The To-Be Salsa King –

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