ay, ven, bailalo
ay, ven, gozalo
que la rumba esta buena
y contigo, morena
pa' santo domingo
es que me voy yo"
- angel y khriz
from what limited experiences i've had in latin american countries, it seems that there are two things you can't escape here: the music and dancing. i really don't mind the former, but the latter is something of an anathema to me. i am honestly a very, very bad dancer. bachata, salsa, merengue, rumba, compa... i can neither tell them apart nor, if even i could, i am not able to figure out the rhythm with which i'm supposed to move my clumsy feet. not to mention moving the hips and turns and what-have-you-not.
in the sunny caribbean as much as in freezing patagonia, in ill-lit port-side taverns and in kitschy tourist cafes, in front of bottle stores and in colonial-era parks, i have had the same conversation as in front of a local colmado (sort of kiosk/mini-market) last night:
local young woman: come, i'll show you how to dance the bachata!
me: ummm.... no gracias....
local young woman: mira, its real simple: 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3...
me (sweating blood and tears): umm... well... no, mira, i honestly can't dance...
local young woman: oye, it's 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3... what could be simpler?!
well, the result was, as expected, a complete disaster. even the fact that i had additional encouragement from a somewhat drunk portly elderly lady behind me who was pinching my ass and telling me to "shake it, shake it!" didn't help me find the right rhythm...