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Salsa without Music is like Nachos without Salsa

Written by 29 October 2009 No Comment


I’ve always felt like a stranger at home. Ever since I went to Argentina for the first time, I had decided that deep in my heart, I am a porteña (that’s the name for the girls here). At home in Berlin most people think I’m crazy because I’m always smiling, I dance in the supermarket and sing with my eyes closed.
Average stuff in Buenos Aires.

After a typical Argentinean lunch in the sun (drinking beer like water, beef bigger than one of Michael Jordan’s shoes, and yes, the best meat in the world), I had my first private Salsa lesson. It was held at a strange-looking place, but I made it in and out in one piece.

Thank god I am a woman. I have the body of a real woman (serves as an excuse of course for being 15 pounds overweight), so naturally I’ve got that hidden talent and dance Salsa like a professional within 10 mintes. Shaking my butt and shoulders – easy breezy, done that many times. For a little additional motivation the instructor told me “from the way you dance Salsa, I can tell how good you are in bed” – honey, I can dance salsa all night long….
As soon as I was ready to dance my heart out, reality kicked in – no electricity. Sure enough that also meant no music. Salsa without Music is like Nachos without Salsa.
My brawny, fifty-year-old teacher Ray and his beautiful assistant needed half the lesson to fix that problem. After 30 minutes – halleluja – electricity was back up and running and I was ready to wiggle my hips so hard it would have made Shakira jealous.

5 minutes into the lesson, sweat ran all over my purple silk dress (next time I’ll just wear leggings) and for the very first time in my life I felt…German. Like a stone, no, worse: like those drunk tourists that you find in those hotels all along Mallorca’s main beach.

This time I was deeply grateful when electricity broke down again soon after. And I realized that it takes a lot more than a big ass heart to be a latina.
So right now my entire body aches and I have given up hope to turn into a better version of Baby from Dirty Dancing.

My next stop will be Columbia. And instead of throwing on my backpack and shouting lets go!, I’ll carefully search the internet for a safe (!!!) hotel. Instead of checking for the ultimate Columbian fiesta, I am much more interested in the number of security guards protecting me from outside the hotel or in how close the next police stations is. I mean, didn’t you hear that story about the two backpackers getting shot in the head? Or the other one where one got stabbed? ‘Urban legends’ you may think but I say ‘Safety first’! Mum would be proud.

Errrr…now wait a minute… Zoe? Is that still you? The same person who flew across the atlantic because she wanted adventure and excitement? Stop thinking and just go with the flow..
And I will. Right after I’ll have figured out how far that hotel is from the nearest police station.


*post written by Anna-Zoe Schmidt

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