Saturday, September 29, 2007

Trying Tango Again

A few years ago, with utter ganas of getting back into a dance class, I went to a tango lesson.

As a salsa dancer who had a salsa instructor as a boyfriend and taught with him for a significant period, I don't have the patience to go to a salsa class anymore, I also find it below my dignity now. Yes, give me a black star for having said that out loud. Unless it's a super-advance class where you have guys who are actually advance dancers, you learn nothing and you feel like an idiot. For those who didn't realize, all the advance dancers are on the dance floor, not in an academy; so that's where you need to be to get better if you are a seasoned dancer.

Anyway, so in my first tango class a few years ago, I loved the dance. It had this profound seduction that took no time to win me over. But the problem was the music. I couldn't stand it, nor could I follow it. It annoyed me and stressed me out. I felt rigid and restricted. Also, the seriousness of the dance got the better of me, I couldn't handle it. I could never go back.

Recently something stirred in me and I decided to give it another try. And this time I loved it -- music, seriousness and all. To the extent that I have decided I want to learn all of it, and maybe even perform one day -- something that has not appealed to me in 4-years of dancing salsa. Perhaps it's because I'm older now. (?)

Tango is the complete opposite of salsa.

In salsa, all your energy is out there -- wild, fun and sexy. In tango, you have to contain all your energy inside you -- to feel powerful, intense, smooth and seductive. Your look alone should have the power to kill.

There is something very appealing about having the power to do that. About being able to channelize and balance all your energy in the centre of your body so as to be able to give-in gracefully to the man you are draped around while you are dancing.

My impatience wants me to conquer the art NOW. Will need a few months to begin with though. I'm excited.

I'm already imagining myself with a high-slit black dress and red stilettos circling the dance floor with all my energy centred for the man to take control of.

As someone who loves to be silly, I just need to learn how to keep a straight face when I have to give my partner that piercing gaze that kick starts the dance.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sometimes you just need a cry

I walked home this morning on a crisp and sunny autumn day in Madrid. I felt the cold and minty-fresh breeze on my face, and through my clothes. I had goosebumps. It was early, so it was still quiet and I could hear the fallen leaves crunch under my boots.

I was cold, I had a headache; yet I felt the day to be beautiful. The newspaper boy smiled to me as he handed me todays paper, the street musicians were tuning their instruments to begin earning a living, I smelled coffee and churros as I passed a few old-man cafes. And suddenly I realized how much has happened in my life over the last 8 months in Madrid.

I started getting flashes of all the good times, and all the down times; of all the wonderful people I have met and personal relationships I have made that I know will last me a lifetime; of how hard I have worked, of how little money I have earned, of how I'm lucky that I don't have to give a shit about my income at the moment.

Of family - deep gratefulness,love and longing to feel home; of lovers - ecstasy and heartbreak; of friends who have never let me feel alone, and of friends who have disappointed me.

Of how much I have achieved and grown personally in the last year. Of how much I love my life, yet of how much I still feel very alone sometimes, although I have no good reason to. Of how insecure I get, of how much I want to share, of how my walls stand higher than they ever have been.

I thought your life only flashed before you when you are dying.

Anticipation, excitement, fear, solitude, independence, happiness, disappointment, vulnerability -- I felt all this in the same instance.

Funny how a bad nights sleep and an early morning autumn walk can ruffle-up all this. I was abruptly overwhelmed so I sat down and started to cry.

Sometimes you just need a cry.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I'm in a travel-writing book!

Helen Leggatt from So Much World found me a while ago and asked me to write her something on being an aspiring travel-writer and my views on writing for free. I sent her some words, and the eBook (Writing About Travel For Fun And Profit) she was going to use it for is now out -- and I have a page dedicated to me (pg 59), photo and everything!

Other people quoted in the book are hot-shot travel writers who have worked for the likes of National Geographic and Conde Nast Traveller, so I was pretty kicked to share a book with them.

The book is a wonderful no-frills guide to making it as a travel-writer, so if you are even remotely interested in the idea, you can download it here for free.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Now I see it...

I seem to be having many a over-blogging and under-blogging phases these days.

Phases of being swamped, uninspired, hungover; phases of my eyes wanting to bleed from the number of hours glued to the screen; phases of sitting those number of hours and watching the best of YouTube leaving me tired and brain numb — an excuse not to write.

But with the ultimate goal of writing something worth being read, elation and oomph has occasionally overtaken and produced some work I am happy with...(read the rest here)

Cold Chicken and Computers

Cold grilled chicken (which actually tastes great by the way), coffee, Chinese food, Doritos, Cookie Crunch, coffee, diet Coke (which I only drink because I think normal Coke is way too sweet), beer, Martini rojo (which if you still haven't tried, you're a loser of the first degree), coffee, Chinese food, Doritos, Cookie Crunch, coffee, diet Coke...has been my staple diet over the last week or so.

I officially establish this as my never-filling-therefore-keep-eating writing diet that has shockingly served to be very productive. I have been writing heaps this last week, so come time to write my blog unless I have cold chicken left, it's not happening. I think it's the size of the cold chicken and it's utter feel good deliciousness has helped me stay glued to my computer until I finish the whole animal.

The ends justify the means. I still weigh the same so it's all good.

(Thought this was an important detail of my life that you'd like to know.)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Pet Planning

"Hey, do you like pets?," my flatmate asks me as she runs into my room, jumping up and down with the biggest smile on her face.

"Yeah, sure I do. Why do you ask?," I say.

"Well, we are planning on getting one for the house!!," she replies, still jumping up and down.

"Cool," I say, intrigued to figure out what she had in mind.

Her smile and grin gave me the idea that it wasn't going to be a 'normal' pet.

"What, a dog? A cat? A mouse? What do you want to get?" I ask with a straight face, knowing that it's definitely none of these.

"Noooo. Everyone has one of those, I was thinking about getting a turtle," she says.

I think, ok, not a monkey or a rabbit, a turtle - I can live with a turtle.

"Do you like turtles?"

"Not particularly," I say meekly. (It's a reptile!!!)

"But they are adorable! Small, slow, easy to maintain."

To which I say: "Fine, get one -- it'll have to live in a bucket of water though in one of our balconies, right?"

"Well, we are thinking of getting an earth turtle that doesn't need water, and we don't want it caged -- it will be allowed to walk freely in the house, and it's home will be your balcony."

"First of all who is "we", and what do you mean it can walk freely in the house!?"

"Everyone is fine with it, I just need you to be ok with it. Of course it will walk freely, why would we want a pet if we wanted to keep it in a cage? Do you have a problem with that?"


That's what I was thinking, but all I could muster was: "I'm scared of turtles. One walking around the house freely would freak me out."

So I was a party pooper, and because of me, no free-walking reptile in the house.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Writing for Vagabonding!

I read a book about two years ago that was key in changing my life to live the way I live now.

The book is Vagabonding -- An Uncommon Guide To The Art of Long Term Alternative Travel, by Rolf Potts.

And guess what! Today I have started blogging for Rolf at Vagablogging!

How often do you read something, get inspired by the writer, and then get to write for him!?

I'm thrilled!
Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening? Locations of visitors to this page