“So we kept wanting to go to small local clubs, where there were real bands and people really danced salsa, but they kept taking us to these large expensive clubs- and we simply had to pour out pesos for everything, toilet paper, getting in, coming out, and there was no real salsa music or dancing, and those clubs, I would say 70 or eighty percent were prostitutes, not just people, no definitely prostitutes, I could tell, the girls stood in lines against the wall with their boobs all thrust out, looking pretty and beautiful, flicking their eyes over everybody who came in, desperate to hook up with tourists, and there were men prostitutes too, men and women prostitutes.”
Here my companion paused in the narrative of her travels to Cuba- not exactly on par with Graham Greene’s Travel with My Aunt, but I am sure my Gentle Reader will agree that it was not lacking colour and charm of its own, took a few more gulps of her drink, thought a bit, and continued. “And you know, I didn’t find that exactly pleasant.”
She fell silent. I made my own philosophical contribution to what had been a very one-sided travelogue. “Isn’t it ironic, that you probably have more chances of decent salsa-dancing here in Halifax than in Cuba?”
She widened her eyes and sputtered on her drink, such was the force of her agreement. “You know, that was exactly what I was thinking! As I was getting off the plane in Halifax, I was so happy, and I was thinking, yes, finally, I can get back to proper salsa-dancing!”
Yes, I too know that mad happiness which flood your being, when you get off the plane and step into wide cool windy space of Halifax.
My companion, however, was not done with Cuba. “And you know, one night we went to this club, and everybody was saying they have real salsa there, and there were no prostitutes there, at least not so I noticed, and I was so excited, but then they played reggaetone! Can you imagine? reggaetone!” She drained her drink, put down her glass, and stood up. “Well, I must be off. There’s a salsa-dancing night in the bar next door with “Mary-Kate” teaching beginners- she’s an amazing teacher! You must come some time! It’s a great atmosphere- no hooking up or anything like that. Well, I imagine people do hook up, but not so as you’d notice. Not prostitutes.”
Good to know. Good to know the unpleasant Cuban prostitutes have not yet penetrated the Haligonian salsa dance scene. We will keep them out. The cool unobtrusive purity of Canadian salsa-dancers will be preserved.