Sunday, 21 June 2009

They think it's all over...

... it is now.

Wednesday - exams finished, final school trip cancelled, remnants of more than a couple of wsiekłe psy still dancing around the old bloodstream bearing witness to the past 24 hours of post-exam release.

Back to the old freelancer life - a full day's work without stepping out of the front door (or changing out of my pyjamas), at least six dirty tea mugs in the sink, a leisurely jog before lunch, an afternoon trip to Alma for expensive pickled things in jars and stinky foreign cheese, rounded off by a relaxing evening at salsa class.

Or so I thought.

With about fifteen minutes to go before the end of the lesson, our instructor called a halt and started to explain to us that we'd reached the end of the beginner courses and it was now time to move on to the next level, the 'Open' class.

Fair enough. We'd spent the whole evening trying to learn a particularly complicated figure involving two spins and a 'butterfly' (it took me a long time to work out that the names of these moves are actually English). It had been a long week and my head was reeling, with Polish grammar, Polish vodka and French translation.

But wait... what was he saying now?
- I'll dance with the girls, and Ola will test the guys.
I caught the word 'egzamin'
- Excuse me, but do we have an exam tonight?!
It would seem so.
- But... I didn't know! I haven't studied!!

The hall rang with the by now oh-so-familiar sound of Polish laughter.

- Spoko, nie stresuj się!
(these are the two most ominous phrases in the Polish language. With the possible exception of 'Ale... wie Pani co...?)

Of course the instructor danced with me first. He spoke very fast, the music was loud.

It went a little something like this:
raz, dwa, trzy... pięć, sześć, siedem...

- Put your elbows down! You're going to do some damage to some poor guy!
music, raz, dwa, trzy...
Keep the turns neat and quick!
more music
- Try to dance in a straight line!
pięć sześć, siedem...
- You know what... maybe the Open class would be a bit hard for you. I think you should repeat level 3.

Guess what? I've learnt something. Polish grammar is easy. Polish vocabulary is not too hard either. Polish exams... a piece of cake.

But salsa? Now that's really tough.

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