For an Irish man, Colombia might best be described as a half-way house in this regard. In terms of similarities, both countries are former colonies, predominantly Catholic – in name anyway – and have a significant but ailing threat from ‘leftish’ paramilitaries – it counts. On a lighter note, alcohol plays a pretty ‘healthy’ role in most celebratory occasions in the two nations – something you won’t find in many countries in the Orient for example.
Of course there are big differences – the language being perhaps the most glaringly obvious. Also, as mentioned, while Colombia and Ireland might have a similar relaxed attitude to booze, how both populations ‘enjoy’ themselves with said alcohol in-hand is quite different.
|Smooth operator - practice makes perfect.|
What we refer to here, first and foremost, is the dancing. For most Irish people – the men anyway – this is seen as an annoying, needless distraction while enjoying a few drinks. Nightclubs are a necessary evil in order to continue drinking after you get ‘turfed’ out of the pub. However for Colombians – and this holds true for the men just as much as the women – dancing is an essential part of any night out. Not to ‘get on the floor’ is criminal in their eyes.
Now we’re not on about the ‘jumping around’ lunatic style dancing that we can all just about manage when we’re sufficiently ‘well-oiled’. Yes, that exists here too, but to ‘mix-it’ with the locals in these parts what you need are the skills of up-tempo salsa. For somebody from the western extremes of Europe, that can be quite difficult to acquire.
We must point-out at this stage that the aforementioned standoffish romantic approach is far from an arrogant trait as some people think it is. In fact, it is quite the opposite. But developing a bit more of an offensive style, as much out of character as it may be, is a must in these parts – or perhaps anywhere. As a learned comrade put it, do you expect the ladies to jump on top of you? Well, it would be nice – in most cases.
|Why bother with salsa when you can do this?|
Being more aggressive is something we can achieve – as long as we don’t go too over-the-top. We’re not ready to be deported from Colombia just yet. The salsa on the other hand, we’re not too sure about that one.
We can improvise though. So how about bringing ‘Riverdance’*, Wrong Way Corrigan style to the Colombian masses? South America’s ‘Lord of the Dance’ if you will. The rewards will surely be endless, right?