salsa and the bumblebee

refusing to do any of those traditional city tours anymore (not that i did any, really), i have discovered more about KL’s nightlife than about the city’s shopping opportunities.

that friday night, i went with some locals in a club named “little havana” in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC). the bar downstairs were flocked with tourists that night, mostly caucasians. the scene happening upstairs was totally different.

after paying RM10/pax and twenty stair steps later, i came face to face with the locals dancing salsa. and boy, do they do it superbly. i thought about chico (dani) and how he would have loved being there with me. the locals i was with that night were avid salsa dancers. in fact, to quote a former colleague, all they ever think of is dancing.

i watched more or less 50 pairs of bodies salsa-dancing to the spanish music and got transported back into PI two years or so ago in a bar at the Podium and Dani recounting his experience with salsa dancing in one bar in South America.

“it was almost like watching people have sex.” he commented with a silly grin on his face.

it was almost like watching people do foreplay. i thought as i watched them move to the rhythm and the beat. i admitted right there and then that i was so jealous; because they can do it and they look so good and i couldn’t dance it. if i must say it, i only dance when i am drunk and when my companions are drunk before me. it is the only way i can get away with it the morning after: nobody remembering how terrible it was.

i cannot dance. and my burning desire to be able to know how to dance properly cannot even help me with that. where did this start? i can blame it to the gay dance instructor in high school who embarrassed me in front of the entire sophomore class by taking me out of the main group at the front and smacking me in the middle of the general formation at the back. but then, that wouldn’t have sounded right. he was forced to do so because i was ruining the gracefulness of the main frontal group. he didn’t quite say it that way but hey, what other reason could there be?

we all have our hang-ups. for me, dancing is something like the person one is so smitten about but cannot have, no matter how authentic and sincere the desire is. i still dance. but only when i am drunk and wasted. because when i am drunk and wasted, i turned into a bumblebee.

the music was so good. i can feel my feet tapping, my stares fixed to one particular couple on the dance floor. my colleague told me they have been attending local dancing competitions and has won a number. they look so good not even sean connery offering me martini (shaken not stirred) right at that moment can take my eyes off the floor.

“it was almost like watching people have sex.” i heard dani’s voice inside my head again. god, what is dani doing at that particular moment, i wonder?

my feet was tapping like crazy, my body started to sway. i shook my head and spoke up, “i’m just going downstairs.” i told the one who wasn’t dancing. “i will see you guys later. i am just going to have a drink.”

the bar downstairs was oblivious to the passion brewing upstairs. the caucasians were too drunk to either know or care what they were missing while the asians were having the time of their lives just 20 stair steps from them. “one margarita, please.” i told Posh, the bartender.

you know that story about the bumblebee? following the philosophy of physics, the wings of the bumblebee are too tiny for its body to allow it to fly. it is not supposed to fly. but the bumblebee doesn’t know that fact and so it flies anyway.

when i am drunk and wasted, i turn into a bumblebee. and you know what? the margarita always helps.


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