Day 50 - Salsa!

Brazilian Side
May 28th, 2015

I awoke today to find Yuzu sitting in the living room on her cell phone. Apparently she had been doing this for 4 hours because she couldn’t access her stuff, which was in my room. She probably didn’t want to be rude, but I had left the door unlocked because I figured she would need it at some point. I made her a grilled cheese - her first ever. She had made me a bracelet, but thought it was too small, and was currently wearing its as an anklet. Let me repeat: she was able to fit it over her foot but didn’t think it would fit over my hand. It did, in fact, fit, but she had been wearing it for two weeks and wanted to make me a new one instead of giving me the ‘dirty’ one.

We both left the house about the same time, me to the gym and her to visit her friend in the hospital. The friend had been in a car accident and broke her back, but was otherwise in fine condition and, thankfully, without significant nerve damage. I returned home to find the landlord there, collecting rent. Paid her, showered, then Columbian Ricardo and I received a ride to the grocery store from French Alex. Well, 99% of the way there. His car ran out of gas just before we made it, but we pushed it to somewhere safe. Alex quested in search of a jerry can while Ricardo and I foraged for groceries.

Salsa Side
After stopping to get gas, we returned home, unloaded, and I left to meet with Laurens to get the $5 burger/pint deal. Yuzu was supposed to meet me there, but had been dropped off at the share house from another friend who was visiting the hospital. I got a second order of the deal to make sure she had a burger to eat, and drank the second pint. Inside, we ran into Reunionese Paco with a couple of his French friends. Highlight: an Irish woman threatened to steal Yuzu’s burger while I waited for it to be ready.

Hostel staff was also appeared at the bar after Paco and crew went to play pool, so we called them over. It had been 15 minutes since Yuzu had been at the share house, so I excused myself to bring her the burger. I almost walked right by her at the front door, stopping only when I recognized her winter hat, and grabbed her on the way out. We walked home to meet Ricardo, who had planned to go to The Game for Brazilian/Salsa night. Should be fun!

The Promised Burger
After drinking the rest of my beer (2), we went to the game. It’s about 15C at night and I was wearing a t-shirt, which seemed to shock and amaze! The bar was electric, reminding me constantly that I can’t actually do any structured dancing. Yuzu doesn’t dance, she says, so I taught her the (close, but incorrect) basic step for salsa. I asked someone to dance, but that quickly fell apart because she had no patience for an incompetent dance partner. Oh well! At that time, an old man had whisked Yuzu away to learn some salsa from him, an obviously superior teacher. This entire time Ricardo is saying hello to all the South Americans he apparently knows, and dancing salsa like the pro that he is.

After a little bit, I see a woman who is being completely ignored for… really no reason that I could see. I went to talk to her, but she didn’t speak any English. My Spanish goes as far as “dos cerveca por favor” and “no hablo ingles,” the second of which was great to confuse her/make me look like an idiot. Since there was a language barrier and she was keen to dance, I went along with it and learned some new moves. We danced for a few songs, then returned and spoke through Google translate. Her friend was fluent in English and knew Ricardo, so the four of us ended up talking. By talking, however, I meant the three of them spoke Spanish and I got lost in the flow of it. I also saw a chick who looked like Liz Lemon, and told her so. No hablo ingles.

The recognizable hat
Shortly after, Ricardo said he was heading home. I went with him. We talked about the night, however short, and how we both had fun. Tonight, since I couldn’t really speak to too many people, I tried to resist the influence of the environment despite it being very strong with all the energy and latin music. The environment tends to impact your emotions, and then your emotions your actions. However, it is a loop where you can hijack it by controlling the only thing you can - your actions. Again, the stoic in me comes out. I extended the theory based on body language; we sit in a way that reflects out inner world. If we’re defensive, we tend to cross our arms, if we are feeling intimidated or powerless, we tend to take up as little space as possible through submissive positioning. I had this theory, which was later validated by research, that you can change your body language to hijack the process. Your outer world reflects your inner world reflects you outer world. So, instead of combatting the inner world through will, it’s easier to just force yourself to take a position that is closer to your desired state. So far it’s working out for me; try it for yourself and let me know how it works for you!

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