After Salsa class last night at Club Mambo, several of us went to a nearby restaurant to hang out, have a beer—or in the case of most of us, a Coke—and get a little grub. On the right in back is Henry, the Salsa instructor (one of several I have), and in between him and me is his dance partner, Soledad. On the left is Adrian, one of the first people I met at La Salsera, the other dance studio. Next to him is Carlito, or "little Carlos." I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but he's not that little. He's about my height (that would be 5' 7") but is flippin' buff. He lifts weights. He relayed a story of two crooks who held him up. One of them stuck a gun to his head. He proceeded to knock the guys arm away—it's all about the muzzle—and pummel him in the face. His accomplice ran. I shook his hand and congratulated him. The world would be a better place if more people kicked the asses of crooks. Behind Carlito is Santiago.
Soledad, being surrounded by guys, posed a question: what is the quality in a woman that you most want? The answers were (in no particular order): has to be beautiful (of course), honest, sincere, and have a positive attitude. Doesn't matter where you are; relationships and desirable qualities don't change.
For some reason, stimulated by the topic at hand, perhaps, I mentioned loathing when a dance partner tells me how to dance the pattern or the move, or tries to lead. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, the way dancing works—at least the kind I'm doing—is that the guy (the lead) decides what moves to dance. He directs the woman (the follower), and she responds by moving in the way he communicates. So, when the woman tells the guy he's doing something wrong or when she, herself, tries to lead, something is out of whack. The others agreed, and added that this kind of behavior is probably an indication of the way that woman is in all areas of her life. Soledad added that when you come across that kind of woman, you should run. We all chuckled in agreement.
These kinds of times will be the jewels I remember most fondly about my trip. Just hanging out with the locals, talking about normal stuff. I'm almost beginning to feel like a Porteño.