Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cumbia Me Chuchaqui

::Cumbia = Ecuadorian traditional dance; Chuchaqui = Ecuadorian slang 'hangover'::
In Colombia, I learned to Salsa.
In Ecuador, I learned to Cumbia.
Colombia, you won! Every time I try to Cumbia, I get really mad at my partner and say I just want to do Salsa. It’s basically a more boring version of Salsa.. with less excitement in my heart! Although, the main night I learned to Cumbia I had to go home early because my knee felt like it was 100 years old.. so maybe it is more difficult than I thought?

A Cumbia-fest of sorts happened in the quiet town of Manglaralto on our last night out as a CELTA group. Our students were ready to dance us farewell, and we had an absolute blast!! Manglaralto is a tiny little sleepy beach town that was a 5-minute walk South down the beach. The roads are basically dirt (well.. sand), wide, empty, yet filled with life when it wants to be. Everyone was dancing up a storm in the streets and kickin’ up that dust. I’ve never seen that many people in Manglaralto, I don’t know where they came from, but it was a crazy good time.

One of the nights we went there.. celebrating the 150th year of independence, I believe.. they were playing the ABSOLUTELY most awful music you’ve ever had to listen to and try not to look like you were in pain! We decided to go to the one bar in the town that looked like it might provide some good dancing fun.. and we found no one in there but the bartender drinking by himself and a DJ pumping the jams. The group of us were sober, so it made the event much more hilarious. All of a sudden, we look out the door and there are about 20 guys (mainly) just staring in, watching, observing.. pondering! We figured they must be underage because they sure did look like youngins! Then, a couple began to come in.. and all of a sudden there were about 30 guys in the place and 6 girls (not including us). The boys were dancing with the boys.. it was a bit awkward, and then we look out the door again and there are even more youngish kids looking in.. we decide this is just too awkward and strange, so we walked out. As we’re standing a bit away from the ruckus, deciding if we’re going to go home or not.. we look in, and everyone starts to leave.. after 2 minutes of us watching and hysterically laughing, the bar was empty again.

That’s my story. I know it doesn’t make since, I don’t think it’s supposed to!

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