Tuesday, April 28, 2009

the Decameron

After a few days of Flu provoked hermit-like practices: working in a near empty office, coming home and staying home only to make a few quick dashes to the supermarket for essentials...

here is a little ode to the book that I have just started reading, and which is serving as a nice tonic at the end of days at the moment which are turning out to be riddled with bits of worry, strong winds, and, oh, just an eathquake here and there for good measure:

"The Enchantress of Florence" by Salman Rushdie. Talk about escaping to another world, to another time!! adventures and emperors and all sorts of wonders of story telling!

Perhaps not unlike the marvels of "The Decameron" written by Giovanni Boccaccio en 1351, at the time of the Black Plague - a book of 100 short tales that kept a group of young Italian people happily entertained while being cooped up indoors and warding off the plague... chuckling away at the smutty tales of the Decameron.

here is to chuckling and good humour in bleak times!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

salsa salsa salsa

This is what I would like to be doing this weekend. However we have a flu epidemic.

Here is a little salsa video that I particularly like. It is from a movie about a famous Puerto Rican salsa singer. I never knew that Marc Anthony could sing like this, I just thought he was J-Lo´s boyfriend.

This is a great video clip and very pumped, and of course la J-Lo looks nice in her red dress and with her salsa shoes. hehe.

A bit of harmless fun:

I would have to say that for me, salsa dancing is one of my most favourite things to do. There is nothing like going for a whirl on the dance floor and getting your legs and hips moving in time with a good dance partner. I can dance for hours with salsa - my tolerance for staying on the dance floor with salsa music far surpasses that of other genres. For me it is total diversion from everyday thoughts and it is just such wonderful, symmetrical, good clean fun!

Sisters´ visit and feeling inquieta

My sisters Mem and Hannah left Mexico 10 days ago now.

The trip was magnificent. Luck was on our side so we saw some stand-out cultural gems and we coincided with surreal Easter festivities.

We were also really fortunate to spend some great time with my friends here in Mexico. On their last night, I threw a party at my house. Being a thursday night I thought it would be a pretty chilled affair, but heaps of people turned up and it rocked on until 2am. We also visited my friend Melina in her small community high up in the mountains of Oaxaca, which was very special.

Sure, we had the usual travel things with a bit of tummy upsets and sick stuff for my sisters at some points ("Moctezuma´s revenge" as they say here), lots of movement and plans and such, as trips normally involve!

I have to say, in all the excitement and emotion that their trip provoked in me, I am left feeling afterwards in a little dip of energy. I feel that myself and Hannah and Mem are such headstrong, bold, complex women, that 2 weeks seemed like a short amount of time to be with them after such a long stretch without constant contact (besides my trip in December). I get sad when I think about our relationship at distances and the fact that we live in 3 different cities and know less about each other than when we used to live in the same house, share the same room, eat dinner together.
I wish I could grab all the fun moments we had in these two short weeks together in Mexico and keep them inside me:
Watching crazy fireworks being ignited off the heads of dancing women in Oaxaca; laughing with my sisters and mates on the boats in Xochimilco; even getting through car-sickness on a very windy road through the mountains. All of this. I don´t want these memories to just dissipate..

I have been feeling a little inquieta these days: Restless. It is almost May and I feel like the year is rolling along without me having changed my routine much. I promised myself last year that I would exercise more, do more creative things, stretch myself beyond purely work related things. In a sense, it has happened to some extent. I have started making earrings at times, learnt a bit of meditation and so on, as well as getting out of the city, which has always been an important part of my life. I am supposedly joining a basketball team, however with this bloody Influenza outbreak all sports activities are off!

I suppose in the end it is not my routine or work schedule or extra-curricular activities that are making me feel restless and in a bit of a funk. I think having my sisters here and then seeing them get on a plane and go back to Australia kind of gave me a gulp in my throat and made me realize how long I have been away from home, how far far away I am.

I could keep constructing great things in my life here in Mexico, and I am still learning a lot. There is my salsa to keep developing, my friendships here, my knowledge of mexican cooking could be enriched further, you name it. But there is also a whole life in Australia that is being put on stand by!
I miss the beach, I miss my dog Rudi, triple J on the radio, cricket on the TV, and the tranquility of Oz.
And I miss my parents, a lot!

I am cooped up in the house today with this flu alert going on and feeling a bit down, a bit alone, a bit deflated and out of motivation to be honest.

Oh well, here is a famous and spectacular song by Celia Cruz to lift the spirits:

"Life is a Carnaval, you´ve got to live it, and there are only bad moments, that all pass by"
"Everything can be overcome by singing"

If there were a hispanic salsa singing version of nina simone, celia cruz would be it. what a booming voice!!