I’d very much like to dance with you.
That’s how you ended one of your letters–I’d very much like to dance with you.
When will it be? Two years, three, four or ten years from now? Maybe more. Celine and Jessie in Before Sunset meet again after ten years. It might take longer for us. I’d bring my daughter along with me. Her name will be Vita, because I like the name. And you, you would come with your wife.
Here is what you said of salsa. You said that it makes you feel the joy of being where you are, that it is about thinking seriously of the woman in front of you whom you may have only a momentary connection with. You said that if you’re doing it right, you would feel like you have known her for a long time…
Last Sat night was a night of salsa, Mexican food, tango-watching, and…another round of salsa!
Sat, 11st June, we started our salsa night at W XYZ Bar (aLoft Bangkok Hotel). There’re two dancing instructors hosting the event. Lovely as a couple. I like the way he danced, Alex. That’s his name. He’s one of the teachers. I even asked him whether he gives lesson anywhere. He said he only does private lesson for now. It costs 1,500 Baht per hour. He only teaches on 1.
That night I met this nice Japanese guy. I told him that I am a beginner and I dance on 2. It turned out that he dances both on 1 and on 2. And he was just so nice. His lead was clear. He didn’t go where I haven’t been. So many right turns and cross body leads in the beginning. After a while I told him maybe we can try a new move as I felt more comfortable dancing. And yes, there was a new move or two that I learned with him. How nice. No stress. Very relaxing. Very fun. We danced again at La Rueda, another place where we had another round of salsa that night.
Also at W XYZ Bar, there’s another guy who seemed pretty much a skillful dancer. He was also patient with me and was willing to teach. He smiled an understanding smile when I made mistakes and tried to teach me how to do things right. Again, how nice.
After W XYZ Bar, we headed to this place. At first we were trying to find a place for one more shot of salsa, but the only place for Saturday night is at La Rueda, which started very late, at 10 p.m. So we decided to go to this restaurant to, at least, listen to live salsa music.
Welcome to Mexicano, a Mexican restaurant at Rembrandt Hotel.
Love at First Bite
- Enchiladas de Espinacas y Hongos (แป้งตอติญ่าไส้ผักโขม และเห็นเสิร์ฟกับมะเขือเทศอบพร้อมซัลซ่าพริกฮาลาปิโป), 295 Baht
- Tacos ไส้ Chorizo (ไส้กรอกโซริโซ่), 295 Baht
- Frijoles Fritos Pintos (ถั่วพินโตบด), 100 Baht
It started with Enchiladas de Espinacas y Hongos. It was love at first bite. Normally I don’t like food that is non-Asian, or anything other than rice and noodle, except Vietnamese Naem Nueng (แหนมเนือง). But this was so nice. Full-flavoured. Perfect combination. Just so… right. I wish I know more adjective to retell how nice the dish was. English is not my mother tongue alas.
Then came the second love of the night: Pinto Frijoles. Salty, but not too salty. Go great with the texture. It’s the texture of beans. After I learned it’s bean in there, I love it even more. Because I know it’s healthy : )
The last dish: Tacos Chorizo. Delicious. I liked the flour (corn tortilla). The tacos filled my stomach with its heavy chopped sausages. I was not hungry again for the rest of the night.
Describe Me the Taste of Thy Food
I now understand why some writers write obsessively about food. Eating is an art. Food is an art in its edible form. I should learn more of English adjective so I can describe them more accurately and vividly. More besides: nice, nice, nice, hmm very nice.
Here an article: 150 Words to Describe the Taste of Food, suggested by hybridrastamama.com
First 120 suggestions to get your started:
36. Gamey (refers to the flavor or strong odor of game, like Elk or Deer.
102. Sugary or sweet
Plus another 30 alternative ways if you really cannot get away from the “good or bad” phrasing:
13. Finger Licking
15. Lip Smacking
I like this word: luscious.
1. (Of food or drink) having a pleasingly rich, sweet taste:
E.g. a luscious and fragrant dessert wine
1.1 Appealing strongly to the senses; pleasingly rich:
1.2 (Of a woman) very sexually attractive:
–Oxford Online Dictionary
It reminds me of the words: lust.
Origin of the word:
Late Middle English: perhaps an alteration of obsolete licious, shortened form of delicious.
Delicious from Middle English:
This comes from late Latin deliciosus, from Latin deliciae ‘delight, pleasure’. Luscious (Late Middle English) may be an alteration of delicious.
At Mexicano, there was live music. The band didn’t play loud, energetic songs that moved your feet. What they played was more like a bossa nova. Chill out music. So we asked for a salsa song. And my friends–C, the only guy in our group, and K., went to the floor. They danced prettily. How I wish I were upgraded to that level. It is nice to dance salsa with live band playing some time, instead of just dancing to the sound that comes from CD players.
A Peep at Tango
There were couples dancing tango in the restaurant next to Mexicano, same hotel. Salsa to the left, tango to the right. I was torn between two lovers. I stood in front of Red Pepper Restaurant for awhile watching people dancing before joining my friends, of course, to the left.
This Saturday milonga is held every Saturday, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on the 1st floor, Rembrandt Hotel.
La Rueda, another round of salsa
We ended the night at La Rueda. It’s my, and also some of my friends’, first time there. There they only dance on 1, I was told. But I did danced on 2 with three guys that night. One with this nice Japanese guy I danced with previously at W XYZ. Another was C. who came with us. Third was with uncle Frankie. I also danced on 2 with another set of three guys. I did managed to follow pretty alright with the first gentleman. It did alright too with the second and the third. The latter were travelers. One from San Francisco. I don’t know where the other one was from.
How fun it is–couple dancing. This is something totally new to me. I have always enjoyed dancing by myself, be it aerobic dance or any workout. But couple dancing is something new. Need a lot of practice. Need to go social dancing more to learn to interpret signals, and learn how my body should response to them. Here’s a passage from Travel on the Dance Floor: one’s man journey to the heart of salsa written by Grevel Lindop, which reminds me of this important element in salsa social dance–the connection.
“[…] once beyond the most elementary practice steps, the sequence of moves in salsa is unpredictable. There’s no fixed order, and ultimately no definable repertoire of turns, spins, slides, dips, breaks or whatever. The man decides what’s going to happen, and he leads the lady. His obligation is to lead clearly, firmly and decisively; hers is to pay attention to his signals so that she’s ready to go, in a split second, just the way he’s sending her. All this requires constant alertness. You can’t go of into a daze or a daydream. Salsa is a continual process of two-way communication.”
– Travel on the Dance Floor, Grevel Lindop. I was reading the book in Feb 2016, weeks before my first salsa class started, weeks after I was back from Buenos Aires and carried with me craze about everything Latin American.
I like the paragraphs. Very interesting, and so true. The connection is what I need to learn the most. Though it frustrates me a little, every time I come to think that these days, women take the lead too, yet on the dance floor she has to be the follower–always. Most of the time I don’t like to be passive. What if I want a spin, what if I don’t want to turn yet? Even now, I know I would enjoy being a leader more. But it’s a lot prettier to be a lady follower, isn’t it? Those spins, arms wrapping, they give you such feminine look.
While I was toying with the idea of me dancing salsa, and the thought of us dancing together, I was thinking that maybe, I don’t mind if you would lead me. I wonder where you will take us to. Maybe I want to be passive in your hands.
My favourite song of the night: Corazon Expinado.
- Look at Mexicano Restaurante’s menu. The restaurant is on the 1st floor, Rembrandt Hotel (Sukhumvit soi 18, BTS Asoke)
- Want to know where to dance salsa in Bangkok? Check this out.