Today’s blog post is brought to you by the letter A for AMAZING, and the number 0, as in 0la, Bitches.
In fact it was so amazing (bitches), I’m going to have to do it in sections. Ola!
1. When Sharon walks 16 blocks, she gets rewards
So, this morning I had to walk 16 blocks to multiple banks to find just ONE that accepted my ATM card and also changed USD over. Moneyless, there I am scurrying around hoards of fashion shops. Looking for a bank. It was like all my nightmares culminated there and then. Reward upon finding bank and acquiring money? My first pair of Brazilian shoes. Ola Bitches.
2. Brazil has schools that put ours to shame
Today we visited one of the most truly bilingual school I’ve ever been in – with students taught in full immersion of English, and Portugese introduced at a later age, and students reaching full proficiency in both by Grade 4, plus are of a standard to attend international schools everywhere in all subjects. The level of intricacies in this pedagogy is amazing. The students also eat a full Brazilian lunch every day (ola, bitches, we got lunch today and it was muyto delicioso). So impressive. Australia, a third world nation is beating us in education stakes. And I truly rediscovered linguistics. Ola, Bitches.
3. The Brazil counterparts of me, they teacheth, well!
Tonight by absolute chance (one of the teachers at the elementary school was a salsa dancer and took me), I was able to pop in to a class of the Brazilian counterparts of me – a school run by the Brazil Salsa Champs. They were not only lovely, they were great teachers (some thoughts to take home for me! love being inspired!), and also all their students were amazing dancers to boot! And I didn’t even have to pay to take the class. Ola, Bitches.
4. KaduyLarissa make me status-full
So the guys from part 3 knew K & L – extremely well! And then the Samba Rock teachers also did! And then turns out the contact that K gave me for Brazil is this guy’s cousin! Wow. Small world. And good to feel like I have peers and el mundo is getting muyto pequeno due to my growing err, self. I am feeling all important. Ola, Bitches.
5. And then the world gets smaller, in the not so good way
So there’s a congress in the south of brazil starting tomorrow, and everyone starts shrieking about how they should’ve been told i was coming, they would’ve had me there, wailing, hand gesturing, and multiple “it’s not too late” moments. and then whilst trying to decipher the increasingly hysterical portugese, I hear a name. And ask, hesitantly, “Did you say…. Sh@ka?” And he’s like “XI! Sh@ka es en congreso!” So bitches, Sh@ka is in Brazil, he is not only in Brazil, he is at salsa. AND Brazilians talk, clearly. By the time the night was over, I receive an email from Sh@ka himself, “So i hear you’re in Brazil, I’m in Rio next week, want to catch up?”. Ola, Bitches.
6. Going dancing in da ghetto
ok, I know this is sounding increasingly like the tales I wrote from DC but you’ll have to bear with me. The salsa/zouky club y’all, is in da ghetto. Not a favela, but ghetto-y enough that when you park your car, some random guy comes to direct your parking. Because, he “owns” that street. And for 10 bucks, non negotiable, he will GUARD your car till 4am. PS, if you don’t pay, you die. And it is rampant! i am amazed.
7. And then the world it becomes tiny
So we walk into this place styled like a Havana Club of sorts – cigar bar, huge bar with mosaic tiles, spanish balconies, and a small dancing space. I’m having a few dances and becoming known as that “nudge nudge you HAVE to go dance with her” girl amongst all the instructor. The salsa mafia of Sao Paulo are out in full force tonight and lemme tell you, they are PLEASED to meet me. Then this jolly looking man comes up to me, and hugs me, going, OH HAI! DO YOU REMEMBER ME? He is Yoshi’s best friend. Whom I met at LA congress 2003 and in Japan in 2003 and also in Sydney 2005, and now he lives in China and is ALSO holidaying in Brazil. Good lord. In 2 hours, I have met people and known of people i know a little bit too much. Ola, Bitches.
8. Brazilian men – awesome form.
Michelle (my host) and I divided all the men who hit on me into a few categories. There are “I need to practice my English” men where we actively counted the number of sentences they could get through – ten was the winner. then there are “let’s have a dance! oh wait… you actually can dance… let’s walk away” men, then there are “mafioso dressed in suit” men (whom i was not allowed to even turn around to talk to), then there was one of the advanced dancers, a wee 19 year old who had a crush on me and told Michelle in portugese that he wouldn’t sleep for nights now after dancing with me and holding me in his arms. I am officially a pedophile. Ola, Bitches.
9. My Brazilian Soulmate
Is Rodriquez. So – towards 2am, a couple walk in. He is dapper, gorgeous, dressed like an Armani model. At this stage I have been wowing the floor for the while – all the male instructors are taking turns and it is just fabulous. He asks me for a dance. I know something amazing is going to happen when ALL the male instructors CLEAR the dance floor, holding hands, making a circle for us to dance in. He takes me for the fastest song known to mankind. and bitches, this man, he can move. and he could make ME move. oh my god. like gasps of breath from the locals who had previously watched me but acted unfazed. like, moves i didn’t know could be executed so smoothly, so breathtakingly seamlessly, so damn silky. you know how fast and smooth i can move? he was ten times that at every moment both in lead and styling. and effortlessly. Top ten leads in the world. Definitely. For me. He was at once nowhere and everywhere, his hands were all over my body but with bareness of touch, and
The best part? Him and his partner turn out, in post dance breathless and orgasmic conversation, to be Kadu’s friends that he recommended I call!!!! The world, it is now officially the size of a thimble. Ola, Bitches.
10. Zouky Zouky
SO y’all, Rodriguez and Karina are also top zouk teachers. and zouky (as they call it here) was played along with Gafiera, Forro and Samba in between salsa. And Rodriguez takes me for a zouky. And guys, i knew the basics right? Now i am officially a zouk master. Uh huh. really. it had nothing to do with his phenomenal lead. i have never felt so beautiful doing that damn dance. Ola, Bitches.
All in all, probably one of the best salsa/latin dance nights I’ve ever had without being a congress/festival. No alcohol whatsoever, just good hard 4.5 hours of dancing as a girl with some of the best dancers and men that knew how to MOVE and body roll, in a salsa club that appropriately (and i have missed this from older days) wafted oodles of cigar smoke around you like a light fog, and also Rodriguez. And i survived the ghetto. And am home safe.
Missing all of you. Having some experiences and conversations that are making me contemplate several things. Having to make big decisions. It’s all a bit bewildering in the cocoon of a holiday that I’m in.
And y’all? I seriously think I was secretly Brazilian in my past life.