Last week was Leonardo's birthday. We got all dressed up and went to Kiss, a club that I had not yet been to. It felt like a little slice of Vegas.
They played trance music for a while, which was a little painful, but later in the night they switched to a gaucho band. This also makes me want to hide. Everyone always couples off and has a great time dancing the steps they have been rehearsing since they were six. Needless to say, it is nail-bitingly intimidating, standing there waiting for a guy to inevitably walk up and insist you join him for a dance. It is nearly impossible for them to remember a time when they didn't know how to move to this style of music, and I think they assume that everyone is just born with a sertanejo beat pulsing. And once a boy gets me on the dancefloor and realizes that "wow, this girl is a gringo," the music is usually so loud that there is no use in trying to win him over with my wit and armory of good jokes. He can't hear anything I say. And probably couldn't understand my thick accent, anyway.
I was cringing in the corner when a couple of guys from school found me. They had a lot of fun explaining to me in very simple dialect which one of them was the more dangerous scoundrel.
"He has many, many women."
"No, no, he does. And he is too old for you."
How old, I ask.
Yes, I agree. Far too old.
Eventually, though, the 'old' guy, who doesn't speak squat in English, drags me to the dancefloor and I get the best lesson yet in gaucho dancing. Just perfect. He doesn't say anything, just makes me move around the way a good gaucho girl is supposed to move on the dancefloor, and doesn't accept any of my shy, white sloppiness. He doesn't hesitate to stop mid-step and say, "No. Your arm. Like this." "No. I go first. I am teacher." And I got it! And I advanced to harder stuff! I'm saved. I can dance here and not feel like a fool anymore.
For some reason, pictures aren't loading right now. Maybe I'll try to get them later.
In other news, this is my mango tree.
Tomorrow, we are heading out on a class field trip. We are taking a bus to a town two hours away and (from what I understand) staying out all night dancing, crashing in a hotel for a couple of hours and then hitting the soil profiles around noon. And this is required for my class. I asked if it was optional, honestly thinking I would stay home and study, but the lab assistant looked at me like I was trying to sneak out of an assignment.
He assured me that it is for a grade.
I'll let you know how it goes.