Just give me 2 turntables…

And a microphone.

I’ve been hitting the night clubs for years and this ‘phase’ has yet to pass. Needing to take my love of clubs to another (read paid) level, I made the next and only logical decision.

Your guess: You bought a night club

Answer: I did not buy a nightclub. The next logical step is to become a DJ, silly!

Gettin’ in the mix

I bought the intro ‘Learn to be a DJ’ class, registered for the ‘Learn to be a DJ’ lesson, and packed a positive ‘Learn to be a DJ’ attitude to match. Check, check and check.


6 weeks drag by and then finally it’s here. Now, I’ve readied for this class by hitting as many bars/clubs and DJ hot spots as I could (I like to be prepared). But I almost forgot the most important prep work needed for the lesson. More important than counting beats, knowing popular music and being able to distinguish musical genres – I needed to get together the perfect ensemble:

  • Short skirt,
  • Knee high boots, & a
  • Deep V-neck tee (too cold for tank tops)

Check, check, check and check. I don’t know if we’ll be graded on our work in tonight’s class, but if I can’t get by on talent…

Getting by on love

Getting my ensemble , hair & makeup together took longer than I thought. Tonight’s class starts promptly @ 630pm.  Arriving @ 642pm, I rush into the studio and dive right into the lesson already in progress. Our professor – DJ Danny D, is already teaching the (pretty un-DJ looking, I might add) class about turntables, mics, headphones and area set-up. He continues by saying that techonolgy has advanced so far that its opened up the DJ world to just about anybody these days. (yay! I’m anybody!) What distinguishes people now as a good DJ is moreso their song selection and ability to market themselves than their actual DJ skills. He then goes on to explain something really important and one of the key things to learn in order to be a succesful DJ, blah, blah, blah. C’mon already. When do we get to play?!

Play on, playa

Finally! 40mins in we get a chance to put our hands on the turntables we could only stare at throughout our lesson. Our professor’s specialty is house music so our task for the remaining hour is to match up 2 songs – one playing on our left turntable to the second song playing on the right turntable.

I wanna touch you so badly..

Key things to remember:

  • Your audience can always hear something playing in the external speakers (either the left side or right side song on the turntable – depending on your selection)
  • You have an internal speaker (your headphones) and the power to control what the audience hears while at the same time cuing up the next song (the key to being a DJ)
  • As a beginner, you must get the next song to start playing on the down beat (the loudest beat I think)  or else it will sound like something that nobody wants to dance to (aka a bad DJ)
  • It may all sound simple but mastering the above can be immediate….or can take a person years to learn (what??)

Step up to the mic

It’s my turn at the main turntables and something weird happens. I get nervous. Like when your airplane suddenly dips in flight nervous.  I don’t want to fail at this. I’ve always loved music, admired DJs and wanted this chance for so, so long. With my love for numerous musical genres, I assume I should be a natural mix-master DJ.  With my classmates cheering me on, no matter what else happens, it’s very, very, VERY important that I don’t suck at this.

I totally suck at this

I can’t get song 2 to match up with song 1. Or even song 1 to match up with song 2. I worry that even if I tried to play them at the same time, I couldn’t match up song 1 with song 1. With everyone watching, I’m the worst wanna-be DJ in the class. The world even. No exaggeration.

On to the next

45 minutes later, I start to get it. I still can’t match song 2 to song 1 but I’m getting pretty damn close. Professor DJ Danny D is encouraging and reminds me that it took him a year to be able to intuitively match up the songs and now he does it on cue and with ease. With practice, he promises, I will get it in no time.

Ok, Ok. I’ll relax and breathe a little. I guess I can’t be perfect at everything…at first. If practice is what the pros recommend then practice is what it’ll take.  I’m hooked on DJ-ing and I must return. No matter the price (FYI the price starts at around $399 for 6-1hr sessions) I just wish I could be amazing now! I might have to take a class on patience…but who has the time for that?  Even worse, after all the anticipation of going to DJ class and the excitement of getting ready for DJ  class, I forgot about the most important part of becoming a DJ!

Picking a DJ name! 😮

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Any suggestions? Send them to Nelleytimes@gmail.com. See the top choices in a future post! 😉

photo source
DJ classes and more available @: School of Remix
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Happy 365!

What a short, interesting trip it’s been

A year already. It’s a continuous theme in my blog posts: time flies. Now is the time to seize the day, carpe noctem, et cetera and on & on and so on and so forth.

Perhaps you’re a little confused, but in case you haven’t been paying attention (and in your defence, I haven’t been either):

HAPPY ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY!

Now THAT's an anniversary cake!

It’s been one year since I started this blog and today’s post is the first post of year two. Woo!  So technically I missed the anniversary date (September 27th) but just like in my relationships, I’m not one to pay particular attention to big dates (We’ve been together a year already? Are you sure?)  and this one-year mark is another milestone date that came by surprise.

I looked back at my first and still favourite post: the 3-way conundrum; which openly mocked the aftermath of the dissolution of a relationship. This took me more than 3 weeks to compose; it went through several different edits and rewrites and it had no accompanying photos (to protect the guilty). I had the simple goals at the time of keeping it simple, clever, clean and under 500 words (official word count: 512). Reading it again for the first time in over a year, I still like it for its brevity, hilarity, and clarity. It even had its corresponding facebook promotional post:

Going to lunch with an ex. I need to wear something that says ‘I’ve moved on”, “I’m happy with my life right now”, and “Your new girlfriend is probably a whore.” Hmmmm. I’m thinking something in a pattern perhaps? 😉

I’ll admit it’s slightly petty (and over a year later, I’m still totally okay with that), but it was also liberating at the time. It was writing therapy and I suggest you try it sometime (shake out those dusty skeletons).

Moving on, I moved on from there to write about anything, everything and all the fun little in-between activities that came along.

In the beginning

I had no real goal or direction. ‘Living’ is pretty general (just requires breathing – artificial or not) and could relate to many things. Whatever whim, activity or invitation came my way, I would quickly RSVP Y-E-S.  I may have only showed up to about half the events and arrived late to the rest of them (more fashionable that way, of course) but I have accomplished, experienced and been a part of the most random sampling of ‘living’ this side of the hereafter:

– There was my continuous, internal struggle for my love of food men manly food.

– Followed by my deep, outwardly struggle against the battle of the bulge (here’s a hint, I kicked its ASS!)

– A reason to settle for Mr. Right Now: Be my anti-valentine

– Reasons why you shouldn’t (or maybe I shouldn’t) drink and shop

Free booze + shopping =$60 cheap "gold" earrings

– How the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics took over my life. Then a second time. Then again.

-I’m telling the world: What really happens in Vegas

My second home

– Would you like to go salsa dancing with me? Great. Be ready @ 3AM to go.

– Spilling the beans on a great girl’s night out

– My limited number of good deeds (unfortunately just wanting to be good doesn’t count. Humph) Maybe giving up my car counts?

– How I joined the polar bear club (kind of like the mile high club but totally different)

– The time I became a degenerate gambler (bet you 5 to 1 and my right kidney that it won’t happen again!)

…etc, and on & on and so on and so forth. 52 weeks and 52 posts and its getting more fun by the week. I’m even considering changing to a more than once a week format but I think that kind of radical thinking should be saved for year three (crazy hippie thinking!).

Where we go from here

Year one was about trying different activities, living through new experiences, taking part in unusual events and being open minded to everything (especially this).

In year two, I still want to try new things (so much to try, taste and do!) but I’ll be going to the people this time. Confused? Perfect. That’s how I like my audience – highly expectant and in the dark.

Curious? Great! That’s even better.

Stay tuned. 😉

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Ok fine, here are a couple hints:

  • Gastronomic Anomalies: with so much good food out there, why do people feel the need to make this stuff??
  • Happy Sexy You
  • How am I supposed to eat THAT?
  • The bartering system: the real oldest profession

Anniversary cake image

In Vegas

What a day!

Justice Rocks in the beautiful open fields of Strathcona park and the Latin Festival situated at picturesque Trout Lake nearby. Also on the agenda– the Salsa Fest in downtown Vancouver, the Blueberry Festival and the Chariot Parade Festival of India a few cities over. From 11 am to 11pm – my Sunday was planned!

Shame about the sleeping in part though. I’ve learned that you can’t plan for 11am events and stay out way past 3am the night before. No matter how good the music is and no matter how much fun the people are and especially ESPECIALLY no matter how freely the drinks are flowing. 11am will still come @ 11am. Sigh. Waking up at the crack of 1:37pm, I eventually headed out to seize the day at around 3pm (after stopping for a coffee first).

Bring on the day! First up, Justice Rocks:

Justice Rocks: Featuring live music shows, interactive social justice presentations and festival fun. A park shakedown in the sunshine

As penance for my previous night’s overindulgences, Justice Rocks was the perfect place to go. Although touted as a fun summer event, its various booths and presentations stirred your emotions from shame to guilt, and from passion for change to anger -not what I’d call ‘fun Sunday feelings’ (if I wanted to feel guilt, shame and remorse on a Sunday, I’d still go to church!).

The two issues that caught my eye the most were homelessness and poverty.  I liked that each booth directed you to do something if you wanted to assist the organization. Whether it was to simply sign a petition to be sent to the powers that be (Santa?) or donating to their cause and joining and supporting their action group, they had something for everyone to do at any level.

Most surprising to me – an amnesty international booth that showcased a small, 10 by 10 shack (or smaller!) which serves as a home for several people in poorer nations. These shacks lack electricity and plumbing and any other basic necessities.


Funny enough, if this shack were placed in Yaletown (an upscale area in downtown Vancouver) it would go for $800! So what this all really means is location, location, location.

with a little paint...

My Solution: Simply move these shacks to upscale neighbourhoods and their values will increase exponentially!

Amnesty’s Solution: Housing is a right. Donate, join or take action today

Next, walking past the Redtents.org booth, I was immediately taken aback by their banner:  Ending homelessness would save Canada more than 2 Billion per year. As a business major, this definitely caught my eye and I searched further for proof of their claims.

Red Tent is national campaign that invites the participation of all persons and organizations wishing to end homelessness in Canada.

From the RedTent.org website, we learn how they get to the $2billion amount: According to a 2001 study, the combined service and shelter costs for an average homeless person in Canada are $10,000 higher than the combined service and housing costs for an average housed person.

Thus,

$10,000 per homeless person per year
X                 200,000 homeless in Canada (very low estimate)
=$2 billion spent needlessly per year

Hmmm. Interesting theory. It would be cool if we had a couple billion dollars hanging around and could just make it happen. Homes for everyone! I’ll take a Yaletown shack please. I hear they’re very popular in other countries…

Latin Summer Fest: To Promote Latin Culture in a one-day outdoor festival, through its colourful spirit, arts, culture and food

As a reward for my previous night’s overindulgences, the Latin Festival was the perfect place to go. Walking up to it from several blocks away, I could already hear the staccato beats of Spanish music in the air. This festival featured 2 stages and 2 dance floors because they know their audience well – we like to dance.  Unfortunately it was so hot out that the dance floors, which were poorly located in the hot, hot sun, remained vacant. People were still dancing of course – just from under the cool shade of nearby trees or under the awnings of various food vendors.

After checking out the many booths (clothing, jewelery, knick knacks, etc.) I finally got into the spirit by ingesting as much Latin food as possible: corn tortillas, chips and salsa, tacos, carne asada, pupusas, quesadillas, churros, and of course the always popular and well known Latin dessert – fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Mmmmm.

pupusas!

Belly full, we waddled to the presentation stage where Mexican dancers performed the traditional hat dance. Their dancing was great but I was more impressed by their ability to do it in full Mexican dress and in 26+degree weather. Ay dios mio.

muy caliente!

By this hour there was no time (or desire) to visit any other festivals/events/causes for the day.  The two festivals I did get to attend were interesting in their own rights but complete opposites. Where one focused on social issues and empowerment, the other focused on food and fun. Justice Rocks tried to create a light mood within a summer festival atmosphere but no matter how hard you try, it’s hard to make homelessness and poverty fun…

Even in a great location.

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Pupusas Images: http://www.wpclipart.com

Turkish Delight

It all began with a theory.

My theory that you can buy skill, bypass experience and excel at most things simply provided you have the right equipment. With no artistic ability, no previous lessons and no experience whatsoever, I want to prove that anyone with a pricey enough camera can be a ‘photographer’. Armed with a ‘photographer’ friend’s $3000 Canon SLR 12MP digital camera with a high zoom lens coupled with cautions of not scratching then lens and promises of if I break it I bought it (ya, ya, ya just give it to me already!), I had enough purchased ability in hand to take a full day’s worth of photos to launch my world class, world renowned, world famous photo exhibit the following week.

Easy.

To the Fest!

First subject: The 1st annual Turkish Festival in Vancouver. Saturday, July 24th marked the day for all Turkish Canadians and curious non-Turkish Canadians alike to gather on the front steps of the downtown Vancouver Art Gallery. Steps usually reserved for liberal pot heads were now graced by conservative Turks showcasing folk dances, traditional Turkish cuisine and of course, the traditional bouncy house for the kids (I think it’s in the back of the Qur’an somewhere – “you must have house of bounce”).

No pot heads today!

The Turkish Festival was scheduled to kick off at 10am and would run until 8pm. With strict plans to get to the fest before noon that day, I arrive promptly @ 2:45pm.

I’m immediately approached by a handsome young man (yay!), who turns out to be one of the organizers (oh.), who simply wanted to welcome me to the event and encourage me to check out all the booths (how nice!). Prioritizing the important things first, my first stop was to check out the food menu:

Next, time to check out the event menu (AKA the itinerary). It looked like I was just in time for Turkish folk music.  Reviewing the full schedule, I saw that anytime was the perfect time to arrive if you wanted to hear Turkish folk music (my 2nd favourite kind!).

Walking around the small venue, a quick glance at the few booths covered all I needed to see: Purses, silver dog tags, jewelry, artwork, calligraphy, books, etc. Nice to look at but I wasn’t in the market for any Turkish paraphernalia. Food, drink and entertainment were what brought me here and were the kinds of Turkish souvenirs I wanted.

Not understanding why the Turkish coffee was $5 for an espresso sized cup, the owner explained the individual process to make each batch (boiled with sugar, in a special saucer over a burner) and served in a decorative cup and saucer.  Later, it was further explained to me that the buyer can also keep the cup & saucer which was why it cost $5 (ohhhh).

Erm...no thanks, but thanks!

Buzzing on caffeine (damn that was good coffee), I almost zoom by the Turkish pancake booth but am stopped short by the delicious aroma. I’m told the Turkish pancakes are filled with beef or blue cheese and are made fresh on site.  Mmmmm.

rollin dough, pan grilling it then filling em up!

Not sure what to try next (not how much, just in which order), I hovered around the food area and was able to try several items free of charge (such generous people!) including baklava, dolmades, spring rolls, sweet bread, Turkish coffee and if I wasn’t already stuffed from the Turkish pancake and the cheese-filled flaky pastry, I would have tried the Turkish Delight too.

Belly full, it’s time for the entertainment:

Folk dancers & Folk music

The crowd really enjoyed him:

Done with the festival for now (belly full, remember?), I decide to take off and take some artistic shots while travelling around the city. Gotta get ready for the big exhibit, after all.

Admire my $3,000 talent

When it’s all said and done…

Overall, the festival was good times and I really enjoyed the food and drink (now I just need to locate a Turkish restaurant in Vancouver). Also loved the friendly organizers/volunteers in the light blue shirts – so handy.  With the architectural backdrop of the Art Gallery behind and water fountain in front, it was a beautiful location for a downtown fete. Most importantly – the food lines moved quickly with plenty of samples for the festival goers to try before committing to a whole dish.

As for my theory and upcoming photo exhibit, there might be a slight delay in that grand opening. What’s stopping me from being a world-class, world renowned and world famous  photographer is very obvious:

I needed a $4,000 camera.

Photo credits – all me, baby. Ask about pricing! 😉

It all began with my theory.

A theory that u can buy skill, fake experience and excel with the right equipment.
With no previous lessons, no artistic ability and no experience whatsoever, I want to prove that anyone with a camera can be a ‘photographer’. Armed with a ‘photographer’ friend’s $3000 SLR Canon 10MP digital camera with its high zoom lens and promises of if I break it I bought it (ya, ya, ya- gimme gimme!) I had enough purchased ability in hand to take a full day of photos to launch my world class, world renowned, natch, photo exhibit the following week. Easy.

First subject: The 1st annual Turkish Festival in Vancouver. Saturday, July 25th marked the day for all Turkish Canadians and curious non-Turkish Canadians alike to gather on the front steps of the downtown Vancouver Art Gallery. Steps usually reserved for liberal pot heads, were now graced by conservative Turks with folk dances, traditional Turkish food and of course, the traditional bouncy house for the kids (I think it’s in the back of the Koran somewhere – “thou shalt have the house of bounce”).

The Turkish Festival was scheduled to kick off around 10am and would run until 8pm. With strict plans to get to the fest before noon that day, I arrive promptly @ 2:45pm.

I’m immediately approached by a handsome young man (yay!), who turned out to be one of the organizers (oh.), who simply wanted to welcome me to the event and encourage me to check out all the booths (how nice!). Prioritizing the important things first, my first stop was to check out the food menu.

Then it was time to check out the event menu (aka the itinerary). It looked like I was just in time for Turkish folk music. Looking @ the full schedule, I saw that anytime was the perfect time to arrive if you wanted to hear Turkish folk music (my 2nd favourite kind!).

Walking around the small venue, a quick glance at the few booths covered it all.
Purses, silver dog tags, jewelry, artwork, books, etc. Nice to look at but I wasn’t in the market for any paraphernalia. Food, drink and entertainment were what brought me here so with the standard booths taken care of, it was on to the next.

I hovered around the food area and was able to try several dishes free of charge (such generous people!) Including backlava, green onion fries, sweet bread, turkish coffee and if I wasn’t already stuffed from the pancake and xx, I would have tried the Turkish Delight too.

Not understanding why the coffee was $5 for an espresso sized cup, the owner explained the individual process to make each batch (boiled with, sugar, in a special saucer over a burner) and served in a decorative cup and saucer. Later, it was explained to me that the buyer can keep the cup & saucer which explained the $5 cost (ohhhh).

Buzzing on caffeine, I almost zoom by the pancake booth but am stopped short by the delicious aroma. I’m told the pancakes are filled with beef or blue cheese and are made fresh on site. I take a few shots of the chefs working hard on the shells for this homemade operation and decide to order one. Mmmmm.

Belly full, it’s time for the entertainment:

The crowd really enjoyed him:

Oh kids. Apparently you’re not supposed to say anything negative about them so I’ll say nothing of their ‘performance’.

Done with the festival for now (belly full, remember?), I decide to take off and take some artistic shots while travelling around the city. Gotta get ready for the exhibit, after all.

I had fun at the festival and it was interesting to see representation of The art gallery was a great location for the festival as it caught all the traffic heading to downtown to walk around as well as anyone on the way to the beach. Plus all the organizers in blue shirts were helpful It was a great location for the festival As for my photo exhibit, there might be a slight delay in that grand opening. Although it may not be clear to you, its pretty clear to me. What stopped me from being a world-class photographer is obvious:

I needed a $4,000 camera.

What lies beneath

You would never know from looking at this non-descript building on a busy street in a lesser known part of Vancouver that beneath the tacky nylon sign out front and next to the even tackier low-end hotel is a perfectly recreated Spanish bistro complete with mustached Latinos, curvy senoritas and fueled by a Latin beat.

Make no mistake.  This is the location of an exclusive club. By no means on purpose, but certainly by default:

  • It’s located far from the city’s main weekend nightlife hot spots
  • Although the club opens @ 10PM, the party really starts around 2. That’s 2AM. Yes, the 2am in the morning
  • Finally, you only find out about this place from a friend of a friend of a friend. It’s not properly advertised or well known amongst the general public. It’s like the wives’ tale of late night hangouts

You can try to search for it online but that won’t get you far. Even calling the hotel and asking  for details about the salsa night will only provide you with a few ‘Huh’s’ and a couple ‘What’s?’ from the hotel staff (It’s like you can feel the blank stares over the phone lines). This is the most popular club you’ve never heard of.

Welcome to good old-fashioned after hours entertainment in Vancouver. You know, the kind that doesn’t involve poles, tassels, pasties or a visit to the medical clinic the next day.

12:47am- Enter the hotel

There’s no designated front booth and certainly no coat check. When you enter, a woman in the front with a stamp pad looks at you sceptically until you bring out your admission money. Smiles follow.

12:50am- Follow the music

Slipping down the stairs into the darkness below, we’re greeted by leftover Christmas decorations (green and red tinsel), strobe lights, unnecessary laser beams flashing across the room, ‘ Happy Birthday’ banners on the back walls for some reason and a large, empty dance floor.

12:51am- I need a drink…

And please make it a double. It’s almost 1 in the morning and the party hasn’t started yet. The bar is poorly stocked and after making 4 low cal drink requests that were subsequently denied I’m informed they carry 3 mixes –coke, sprite and cranberry juice and 5 types of hard liquor. I’m one of the first people to order a drink but due to a lack of glassware, my double crown and sprite is served to me in a wine glass. With a straw.

As for fellow guests, besides an energetic man playing the drums in accompaniment to the blaring loud Latin music, I can literally count the number of people in the bar. Including the DJ – 16. However, I also notice  the guy/girl ratio here is 4 to 1. Sweet.

I am mentally pushing my snowboarding plans for the next day from 9am to 10am.

12: 58am- First dance

Everyone dances with everyone else and the overall vibe is friendly. People are here to salsa, mingle and have a good time. My friend and I sit restlessly on the sidelines and are ready to move our feet. As if on cue, the drum player and his friend approach us and pull us to the dance floor.

After initial greetings, I warn my new Spanish friend that I can’t dance and that he’ll have to teach me. He laughs jovially and proceeds to hold me around the waist and leads me to the music. He’s large and round but surprisingly light on his feet. I am spun and twirled then snapped back to his side like a pro.  He loves the music and happily starts to sing along to the lyrics as I laugh good-heartedly by his side.

Mentally, snowboarding will now commence @ 11am.

1:45am – Salsa v Meringue

I’m now dancing with Saul from Mexico. I coyly tell him I’m bad at the salsa and he’ll have to teach me. He tells me he needs lessons too and that the Salsa is more Cuban than Mexican. Ohhhh. That explains his stunted dancing and unfocused rhythm and why we’re dancing in circles. He’s very friendly as we dance and in the time it takes 2 Spanish songs to play, he has suggested we take salsa lessons together, invited me to join him at his favourite Spanish restaurant this week, check out another salsa venue the following week and invited my friend and I over to his house in warmer weather for some ‘carne asada’ (My friend later explained that ‘carne asada’ means BBQ in Spanish. Ohhhh and a sigh of relief because I already agreed to it).  Very friendly indeed. I think had we danced for another song or two he may have asked me to marry him (#5 in total for those keeping track) and/or to bare his children (not a chance for those wondering).

2:30am – Get the party started

Everybody Salsa!

The club is now full. Most of the downtown Vancouver clubs have closed for the night and the resulting outcasts are now streaming in. The dance floor is packed and the music moves between Latin favourites and top 40 beats. My friend and I dance to Shaggy’s ‘It wasn’t me’. I’m relieved that I can relax and at last dance to something I don’t need lessons for.

2:40am – Raoul

Yes! Regardless of the outcome, I still love Spanish names! This petite man fell over us as we rested our feet on the sidelines. Trying to avoid him, I made a beeline for my beverage. I tried to explain how thirsty I was when my friend (who is now my ex friend!) pushed me over to dance with him while she slipped away to dance with someone else. Left alone with ’10 hands Raoul’ I pushed him aside and kept the 3 feet rule intact as we danced. With hooded eyes, he drunkenly tells me I’m an amazing dancer. I agree and tell him I’m an expert salsa dancer and so good I should teach a class.

I cut an evil eye to my friend as she dances deftly with a tall, handsome Cuban man across the dance floor. Thankfully the song soon ends and I excuse myself graciously and take off quickly to the restrooms.

Paco??

2:46am – Paco

From Costa Rica! I’m hoping to meet a José later on. Maybe even a Jesus. On my way to the restrooms I am spun around and asked to dance by Paco.  A lovely gentleman who can move his hips smoothly and beautifully to the music.  Oh why wasn’t I born Spanish? I tell him apologetically that I’m a terrible salsa dancer and to please excuse me. He assures me I’m doing fine and tells me to follow his lead. I get twirled and spun around the dance floor and feel very light on my feet (or maybe just light headed?) Oh Paco!

I’m hoping to push snowboarding to noon. Noon’s kind of like the early morning, but way later.

3:47am – William, Heron, Saul, etc. but sadly,  no José.

I get the chance to dance with the man whose hips my friend and I have been staring at all night (Shakira was right, the hips don’t lie!). I’m having fun but my stomach is now starting to ache (damn you double crown whiskeys with a sprite finish, for you have forsaken me!) but I must press on.  After several spins I tell Heron to stop spinning me because my stomach hurts. He says okay and spins me around only half as much.  I may have to get my friend to translate this for us. Mercifully the song ends and I dash off to the bar to get a glass of water that’s now served to me in a martini glass.

4:38am – Time to go

The bartender informs me that closing time is 5am but that no one is ushered out until 5:30am. This is the cue to leave to catch a cab home before the rush. My 22-hour day is finally catching up with me and I may have fallen asleep for a second on the dance floor. Thank goodness it wasn’t with 5-foot Raoul as I might have squashed the little guy.

William, Heron and Paco ask me for one more dance as I pack up and head out to leave.  I forgot that Spanish men like curvier girls (read: no skinny chicks) and I regret not wielding this power more effectively throughout the night (read: free drinks and summertime Spanish retreats). I respectfully decline with promises for another time and slip out the front door and into the night.

Salsa dancing was a great idea and I’m glad I was dragged along. I had a lot of fun and it was a wonderful time. Despite the late start time, despite my friend’s aching feet (her black pumps came off early) and especially despite ‘lil Raoul, I’m definitely going back.

As I walk out onto the dry Vancouver street, I pray for rain to come. This would cancel out snowboarding completely, allowing me to siesta all day Sunday. Otherwise, I will be expecting a 9 am call from a friend I promised to go snowboarding with and who will be eager to hit the slopes. Checking the time, that leaves me less than 5 hours to sleep, wake up, get dressed and get ready for all day snowboarding…

Ay Dios mio!

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Salsa dancing anyone?

Spanish phrases you will need to know:

  • ¿Quieres bailar? – Do you want to dance?
  • Bailemos! – Let’s dance!
  • No bailemos. – Let’s not dance
  • Un cervesa, por favor – I would like a beer please
  • No tengo novio – I don’t have a boyfriend

And most importantly:

  • Para bailar la bamba/ se necesita/ una poca de gracia/ – To dance the “bamba” one needs to be graceful
Source: Everybody salsa, Salsa @ night, Paco??