When other salsa-holics go on holiday they seek out salsa clubs to feed their habit. But, no, not me – I disappear off into an alternate holiday universe, switch the salsa music off in my head and replace it, just for a week or two, with the high pitched hum of cicadas, the gentle lapping of the waves, and whatever the local lingo is for “another mimosa, please”.
But it’s still there, in my subconscious, making me break into a mambo as I amble along a beach, do a bit of wiggling and shaking in front of the make up-mirror or throw a bit of styling in when I hail a passing waiter.
Let me set the scene – it is May, and I am on holiday in Paphos. The world has narrowed to my lovely hotel, its pool, palm trees, and the bit of deep blue sea it is attached to; I also throw in visits into town for eating, drinking, ambling and atmosphere.
And obvioulsy I have to revisit the authentic Cypriot music and Dancing Restaurant i had visited the year before , for the authentic dancing, exhuberant show, and the fire……
Firstly, there’s the dancing, which is fabulous – it really is, and very, sort of, macho, really. Then there’s the bit with the glass, and the bit where they get people on the stage with the fire, then there’s more dancing, and the bit with the glasses and beer mats – basically the audience balances glasses and beer mats on a dancers head until it is many storeys high, whilst he undertakes body rolls, chair kicking and a bit of dancing…
I ineveitably end up on the stage, and whilst waiting for my turn to stand on a chair and place my glass and beer mat on said man’s head, the Mel Gibson Dancer Look-A-Like, gives me a little turn to pass the time. Unfortunately, I am unable to just turn, I SPIN. Mel Gibson realises this and spins me again, then again, then several times, shouting above the authentic Cypriot music – Are You A Dancer??? Yes, I squeal, continuing my spinning, whilst he shouts at his partner, the George Clooney Look-A Like (alright, I had partaken of some Cypriot wine…), “She’s a Dancer. Loook” And I spin and scream and make a spectacle of myself, just like any other Friday night at home, really.
Except I am in Cyprus in a restaurant.
I then have to be helped onto the chair to participate in the show, and weave off the stage, slightly dizzy, amazed that i have managed to slip some salsa into an Authentic Cypriot Music and Dancing Show…
But there’s no time to think, as the tower of glasses gets higher, other victims have to climb on a ladder, including the bride – did I mention there was a wedding reception there as well…then we’re conga-ing around the room, into another restaurant, then setting fire to the pavement…no, i was not participating in a riot…its all part of the show, honestly, officer….
Then, its back into the restaurant to calm down a bit, which is understandably a tad difficult
So that’s my Friday night in Cyprus – meze, “cullture”, and i’ve had a five minute salsa fix even if its to Zorba the Greek.
The moral of this story is – sometimes you can let the salsa come to you.
And some Cypriot dancers are very, very fit.