Sunday, 1 March 2009

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant

Phew it's been a little while.

I'm finding that after all perhaps I'm not able to continue translating away as usual while attending classes during the day and trying not to forget my zadanie domowe.

The past two weeks have seen me at the computer well into the evening most days, and it seems I can't do the one without affecting the other: silly errors creep into my work and I blabber out the wrong verb ending in grammar classes. Of course neither of these indicate the end of the world - but my feeling that I only exist to work and no longer have any time to do the things that make me an independent human being does. It is time to get organised.

But first, I have a confession to make.

In my first week back in Kraków, I went on a Big Adventure: I followed my flatmate to her salsa class and sat on the bench watching. All those couples, lined up around the room, rocking back and forth to the rhythm of the music*... before long I was tapping my feet and swaying along with them.

Three weeks later and I've (full of nervous excitement) signed up for a class myself.

Not the same one as my flatmate of course, she's on poziom 3, while I'm only 'podstawowe'. We do have one thing in common though: both of us dread that moment immediately after the warm-up and initial solo work, when everyone pairs up and the dance instructor's voice rings out with the hated words:

Kto nie ma partnera??

Then we look at the floor, or up at the ceiling, or at something very interesting on the far wall of the dance studio, or - when I'm feeling brave - at the other one or two ladies who happen to be unaccompanied on that particular evening.

Yes, I'm afraid it's true. The social depravity of your humble author knows no bounds. Not only does she engage in the highly inappropriate practice of Speaking Polish with other Foreigners**, oh no, worse still! On a regular basis she breaches the golden benchmark of social good taste:

Being a single woman at a salsa class.

Think about it. What normal guy goes to dance classes, except under duress and on the end of a short lead pulled by his girlfriend? For a girl to show up on her own at a dance class and knock the numbers out of shape is not only inappropriate, why, it's just plain rude!
Fortunately the whole process works on the basis of rotacja. There's no point learning to dance with just one person, in the same way that you have to learn to play on different pianos, work with different interpreting systems and change your socks from time to time. Every few bars the guys move on to the next girl and I get hazy flashbacks to alcohol-fuelled university ceilidhs (or perhaps the Ukrainian Man-snatching dance)

Effectively this means that I spend two evenings a week dancing with Other People's Boyfriends.

They usually look more nervous than I do about the whole endeavour.

Anyway, it's going well, and I can do three steps now (two of which involve turning around). I practice in front of the kitchen window in the dark, while the cat dashes itself against the table legs in excitement.

Some day I hope to take my new-found skills to a dance club... but not until I've finished my Polish homework.

*generally a bizarre Latino version of Coldplay's Clocks
**when the other linguistic options are Japanese, Hungarian or American, I think you can see my point.

No comments: