Friday, March 14, 2014

Salsa And Stuff

Last evening I decided to attend one of the cultural activities being offered by the school so I headed to a salsa class.

I was all excited about dancing and I was enjoying the music as I checked out the steps that the students were learning. The steps were pretty basic so I was waiting for when the class would be broken up into different levels of advancement and I would head to the advanced section. As the class got broken up, the instructor shifted his attention to me and started heading toward me looking all serious and a bit intimidating.

He pulled me aside to test my dancing skills and to cut a long story short, he only teaches LA style of dancing and dismissed my style of dancing entirely. C'mon, as a salsa teacher aren't you supposed to know the different styles of salsa and not dismiss one style just because you don't dance or teach it? what makes LA style of salsa the ultimate judge of whether you know how to dance salsa or not? I don't get it.

Last picture before sneaking out of the class.

I just ended up leaving the place after like ten minutes. On my way to the guest house I passed by this bar & restaurant that I hardly ever notice and this guy who works there started chatting me up. Before I knew it I was being invited to go salsa dancing with his friends after work. 

We ended up at this "hole in the wall" type of club that had the best salsa music ever. It was so much fun and to make matters better they all thought i was a pretty good dancer. Ego restored! hehehehe actually at first I was hesitant to go on the dance floor but once we started dancing I realized that they danced the same style I did. They are Dominicans and they were telling me that their style is different from what they have seen in Panama. 

Very cool and friendly people not to mention good dance partners.

We danced and listened to music until 3 am then everyone headed to their respective homes. The club is within walking distance to my place so It was very convenient. We are going out again tonight so I am excited, I love it when I end up making friends with people that live locally because then I get to discover places that tourists would normally not know about. 

Here is to new Dominican-Panamanian friends:)

Random Thoughts of The Day:

I got to practice my Spanish with the Dominicans I met last night and I am proud to say that i could understand quite a bit of what they were saying if they spoke slowly in Spanish. The conversation part on my end is a big challenge but the best way to improve is to practice without feeling self conscious.

I find that I am less intimidated to go to a store to buy something if there are less customers around because then i don't feel this intense pressure to express my self fast and not hold any line up.

Sometimes you have to stop listening to outside voices trying to dismiss your travel style or choices. I don't know why some people think that just because you chose not to rough it on your travels then that means you haven't earned some badge of honor or something. It is not a competition so no thank you, I will not rough it if I don't want to. Thank you very much.

I really don't understand why some people insist on talking to me about: genocide, poverty, dictatorship and war when I tell them that my nationality is Kenyan. Yes I grew up in Kenya, East Africa and no I did not experience all those negatives things you have watched on TV about Africa. I had a normal childhood, sorry to disappoint you. 

My face appears to be breaking out because of the heat and I think i am getting heat rash or something, my poor skin. Speaking of skin and heat, while i am sweating like a pig outside and constantly trying to control my shiny face, Panamanians are walking around looking so fresh and don't seem to even break a sweat. 

I love talking to taxi drivers. I always sit in the front with them and strike a conversation showing my interest in knowing about their work and what they think of the city they work in. I usually end up getting very good tips and some will even extend their generosity by showing me around the city and pointing out what I should watch out for and which places to check out. I have learnt a lot from those taxi drivers. 

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