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Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The little things... and of course Salsa!

Shutting down my laptop signaled the end to my work day. Tired in its most effective form, couldn't remotely begin to describe how I felt, my eyelids felt like lead. I briefly contemplated heading straight home, but I had plans! Tonight I had planned to lose my ‘Salsa-virgin’ status…

My resolve to try new things must have been way bigger than me, I thought, as I stepped into the weird mix of people and eccentricity that Farringdon was filled with. Looking around, I smiled and knew, beyond all reasonable doubt; exactly why I lived in London.

I dutifully followed instructions the ‘station guy’ had given me and headed to Clerkenwell road, my eyes carefully seeking 102/108. The TFL website had approximated a 9 minute trek, but somehow it felt like I’d been walking for all of half an hour already.

I looked for a sign, anything, that could give even the slightest hint as to where I was… nothing! (Just so you know the buildings in Farringdon as you head up to King’s Cross do not have numbers on them… aarrrgghh!). Walking into the ‘Costa’ on my left, my eyes locked onto animated bloggers furiously typing away, I envied them. Oh! The sweet thrill of writing away in oblivion as the aroma of roast coffee beans filled the air. Orgasmic! (my very vivid imagination, indulge me please!)

‘Do you have any idea where 102 Clerkenwell road is please?’ I  desperately asked the closest barista. The blank look she returned quickly informed me that she was as clueless as me…

A few thoughts back, I’d walked past him, ( the mere fact that it was a face that had embedded its self in my mind's eye forced me to name him, to me he was 'big Joe'!), He had looked at me, his eyes silently offering help as I struggled to find door numbers where there were none. I was clearly lost, aaarggh! The snob in me had initially ignored him, defiant, as though his intimidating frame could even be remotely overlooked. (psssh! I had no idea where i was going).

'Big Joe' looked like he knew the streets, in a black t-shirt and a black suit jacket, he was sat on a wooden stool at the front of a pretty impressive bar. The dark green sign above his head read ‘The Griffin’. I composed myself adequately and shamefully retraced my steps so that I now stood face to face with ‘Big Joe’s’ big frame, he sat, I stood ‘tall’, very tall, and still fell a few notches short of eye level. It was only then I noticed the masked gash under his left eye. (hmmm, I fleetingly wondered how it got there)
This time I knew I could ask for a name rather than a number, for 'Big Joe' really did look like he knew the streets.

‘Hiya! Do you have any idea where ‘Murphis is please?’. His eyes showed the slightest hint of a smile. (He would have beat Tyra in teaching her most treasured skill; ‘smizing’). And then he answered in the softest of voices, it sounded like as though someone else was speaking the words; ‘You’re going in the complete wrong direction'. 

a moment later...
Armed with directions and a determination to at least go for one salsa class in my life time, I smiled thankfully at ‘Big Joe’. If ever I had met an angel, it was him. As I crossed to the other side of Clerkenwell road, I gently filed the memory of my angel in ‘safekeep’.

8 minutes later…
I walked down the steep steps to the bar basement, a weird, almost stale smell welcomed me. I considered turning around and heading for the door.  I was in King’s Cross afterall (rumoured world of streetwalkers and drug induced minions). A daunting fear gripped me, what if I got down there and all I met were toothless beings snorting weird white powder? My ignorance stunned me,‘Don’t be silly, it’s Salsa for chrissakes, the company’s online it must be decent and you can always run if you need to’. I inched closer.

It was definitely an experience, a beautiful variety of Asians, Caucasians and me, once again, the token black girl. I got lost in it all, it was fantastic… slightly unsteady on my feet at first (I joined late, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), I quickly got into rhythm. It was amazing, encouraging and so much fun as we swapped partners, helped the even ‘unsteadier’ get into the flow and counted our steps. The syncretised dance form and Cuban sounds took me to a different world, a new sphere. Was this the revered meeting point for African and European cultures? Divine! not to mention, the very ‘hot’ instructor.
I must have given my name out at least 20 times. More than once I admired the healthy mix of students, real estate developers, gorgeous eye candy and city types in all shapes, ages and sizes,all with one predominant goal - fun. I smiled through it… and knew i'd be back!


3 hrs later…Another smile lit my face as I pulled the covers snugly over my tired self, showered and in bed, I reflected lightly…
Paulo Coelho (pictured below) had once said: ‘Getting rid of certain memories means making some room for new experiences’…














Life was indeed good!

Tonight I’m taking Freaksho’s advice and going to see ‘inception’ with T, a dear,dear friend!!! Yaaay!!!

8 comments:

RaShelle said...

Glad you had your salsa experience AND I'm glad "Big Joe" was there to help.

LaPenseuse said...

I LOVE salsa dancing!!! Alas, I suck at being led, my last salsa partner can testify with his bruised toes hehehehe... you sound like you grasped it and had fun. Was this a one time thing or are you going to continue??? Fun!!! LOL at the hot instructor... I bet he had a pliant dancers waist (ahahahaha... I'll stop now) :D

My world said...

I hear salsa is good therapy...glad you had fun :)

TheFish said...

I took Freaksho's advice already and all I can say is...INCEPTION is INCEPTION.
Hope you enjoyed Salsa.tc!

inStilettos said...

hmmm where did my comment go! I left one I promise...
@rashelle - thanks I luv;d it and I'm glad I had big joe too
@LaPenseuse - I was a bit clumsy at first and must confess it wasn't easy being led! I'm definitely going next week. Very hot instructor:)... your comment really made me smile! magic!
@My World: also hear Salsa is great for confidence and it is great therapy! I testify... love your blog! Thanks
@ Fish! oh inception was great! unfortunately we cant blog about it yet! ... till everyone on blogsville's seen it :)... thanks for coming through!

T.Notes said...

My 1st, Only and LAST salsa experience, i looked like a fish trying to stay alive on hot scorching sand. Fluttering all over the place n ruining her poor shoes!!!
No-Go area for me!I adore my self pride!

T.Notes said...

Give a black man instead, some mellow jazz or subtle rap. You know the kind where all we gotta do is apply some swaggs n bob our heads gently in slow rhythm! Yayyyy,thats dance n its ok for T.NOTES!!!LOL!!!

inStilettos said...

@T-notes... lol! hey! don't give up , might have been your partner's fault... hang on! you should have been leading :)