Elbows of fury


I was dancing with this gorgeous girl until… Bam!

Are you OK?

Yes, I’m OK… she said. Are you?

I’m fine. I’m fine. It’s fine. Don’t worry about it, happens all the time… I tried to reassure her. This was followed by an awkward pause as I looked at my hand after touching my face… I think I’m bleeding.

Oh, I was definitely bleeding. It’s hard to miss that fact if most of your hand is covered in red. However, nothing was hurting. I awkwardly walked towards the toilets to investigate the damage and clean myself up.

Nadya was a bit panicky as she walked beside me asking if I needed ice or something. I got to the restroom to have a look at the injury. There was an inch-wide streak of blood from my eye down my left cheek. I quickly commenced my washing operations. A chap next to me saw what I was doing and judging by his face which was best described as someone suppressing his gag-reflex, it looked bad. He was nice enough to offer to get some ice for me though. Another guy also had a look at the cut and rather authoritatively said “put ice on it NOW!”.

I’m not exactly sure what happened but I managed to do a spin right into Russia’s elbow. It happened within the first hour or two whilst out dancing. Her elbow hit right against the bone above my eye where the skin is really thin. It still puzzles me how a 20-something year old girl fits into the scene, but it happened.

Later as Nadya nurtured me – and she was absolutely stunning at it – I found out that she hurt her elbow too.

She was probably feeling very bad about the whole thing as she kept talking to me for at least 2 hours. Or at least it seemed that long. She actually made the experience quite pleasant – I guess every cloud DOES have a silver lining. As I was being pampered my friends got hold of the situation but didn’t exactly rush in to replace Russia… this was probably because of my big smile when my nurse held a piece of cloth soaked in rum to my beautiful face in attempt to disinfect. Anywho, she was wife material. 😀

Traveling back in time a few days… I landed in Barcelona around 8 PM on Thursday and had to get to Mataro for the ZoukDevils festival. I was very excited as I had an amazing experience there last year.

The kids were texting me as they wanted me to bring them warm clothes. They said the wind was cold at the beach bar. I found that hard to believe. This was Spain in July!!! All I packed were t-shirts and shorts… I had to improvise to find warm clothes. I took the big towels from the hotel and a jacket from Covanova’s suitcase after I had checked in to the hotel. I found the kids chillaxing at a restaurant near the beach party. We exchanged pleasantries and I managed to drink the worlds smallest cup of coffee.

The beach party was in full swing and we were able to dance a fair bit of zouk. The festival started on Friday with classes from 4 PM. I was fashionably late and did the last three hours of classes. I learned a few new moves and dancing concepts. After a bit of dinner, we danced the night away until 6:30 AM. I got to my hotel feeling as if I had just run a marathon… only to realize I had another 2 nights like that ahead of me. Bring it, I thought!!!

The next day I got fucked up by a Russian as you already know. I woke up with more than a cut near my eyebrow. My face was sore and it hurt to blink. The area under my eye was dark brown, almost black. I think the medical peeps would call it a bruise.

I felt quite sorry for myself and decided to go to Barcelona to suffer in solitude. I felt a bit shitty about it all. I didn’t need other people’s pity and wanted some alone time in a dark, cold and wet hole in the ground. To save my friends from me I decided to head out to Barcelona to do some sightseeing and soul searching.

I thought that I didn’t handle the previous night that well. Russia probably felt really bad and maybe it would’ve been better for her had I left immediately after the smashing incident. We will never know.

Anyway, I had a wander in Barcelona. There was no particular place I wanted to see. The city was just as beautiful as a year ago. I visited Sagrada Familia and Park Güell again. Everything was really nice and pleasant… I couldn’t help but to fantasize about moving to Barcelona. Maybe one day when I grow up…

My friends invited me to grab some dinner but I was too far away and declined… I don’t think I would’ve been very social anyway.

However, sooner or later I had to face reality. I got back to my hotel and made myself half decent to face the last night of dancing. I didn’t feel like going but decided to do it anyway.

I was watching the people dancing and prancing for a bit until The Savage One asked me for a dance. Otherwise, I would’ve been there standing for ages. My confidence was a bit low. I must admit I was a bit paranoid during the next couple of dances and was always on the lookout for elbows. Luckily I was able to dodge any further injuries.

I actually thought that the eye and bruise looked so bad that a lot of people would avoid me. However, that was not the case at all. Instead, girls were coming up to me for a dance – I’m that good. 😀 They didn’t exactly form a queue but walked up expectantly to get a dance out of me. The chicas were so nice! Faith in humanity restored! Not long after that I was the usual lean mean dancing machine again. It was epic!

I left Mataro and Spain with a big smile: the chicas, the music, the dancing was spectacular and I was there with an amazing bunch of friends. This was the best holiday I’ve ever had.


Ivar the Salacious


Drinking margaritas and dancing senoritas


Running at 15 km/h on the treadmill is probably the same as 12 km/h in the real world. That’s what it felt like. The original idea was to chill at the hotel’s spa because of the rain. Unfortunately the spa was closed at the time. So I decided to cease the day and use the gym instead – conveniently it was right next to the spa entrance. Twenty minutes and five kilometers later, I left the treadmill drenched with what appeared to be the sweat of a thousand scrotums. Mhm, that bad! I went upstairs and knocked on Chinatown’s door to join the tribe.

“Can I use your shower?” I asked as the kids were enjoying their hotel room lunch. They probably enjoyed it a lot less after I joined – I think Mr Fox passed out as he couldn’t handle the smell… or the visual.

All showered up, I realized this was not my best look as my nasty sunburn was on display and I continued sweating. After a bit of chit-chat I had to go back to my AirBnB place to change clothes and have a second shower (my sweat glands didn’t get the memo that I was done running). Hey, it’s warm in Spain!

Neither one of my AirBnB hosts – Christina and Victoria – spoke much English. Consequently we didn’t talk that much as my Spanish is buenos nachos assessino caracas!

Two days earlier, I arrived in Barcelona and spent some time sightseeing. I checked out the Sagrada Familia (it’s the pointy tower building which shows up when you Google images about Barcelona), I checked out a few parks and a castle etc. There was a lot to see.

My first impression of Barcelona was: Wow!

It was so beautiful. I was falling in love with every other girl I saw. They are gorgeous!!! This place was heaven! I’m never coming back to London I thought. I will cherish that day forever and ever.

On Thursday, they had a beach party before the zouk festival. A few of my dancing friends showed up that day in Mataro as well (it’s an hour train ride away from Barclona). The plan was to go to the beach party together and get a cab.

I was told they’d pick me up in two minutes. My feet took me downstairs and across the street so the cab could pick me up. The problem was that the cab never arrived or stopped. I waited a full 10-15 minutes but no dice. So I decided to walk it instead (in all honesty it was only a 10-15 minute walk anyway).

Here’s what happened. Chinatown, The Girl from a Swiss Cottage, Mr and Mrs Fox and the Little Dinosaur hired a cab. They only had room for six people and told another girl at their hotel that she can’t share the ride as one spot was reserved for me. The cab got in front of my place but there was no place to stop, so the cab driver just drove past. They all tried calling/messaging me but I had no reception nor internet on my phone (I actually left my phone at ‘home’ anyway as I thought it’s rather useless here).

The taxi driver was a bit cranky I was told and he didn’t seem too eager to look around to find a spot to pull over. It doesn’t seem that he knew where the beach bar was and ended up stopping way past the actual place – all the kids had to walk quite a bit back.

The way I see it, nobody won that day. I got screwed over as I was left waiting for a cab which never arrived, the sixth girl got screwed over as she couldn’t join the taxi at the hotel, the cab driver was annoyed, the ride cost a lot more than it should’ve and all the kids had to walk back about a kilometer from where the cab stopped. It was a disaster.

One thing is sure I will never let Italians organize a cab again. Ever!

We had a bumpy start to the evening but it got better. A lot better. Picture this: a beautiful beach, with palm trees, warm weather, a light cooling summer breeze, surrounded with gorgeous chicas, good music and some amazing dancing at a beach bar. This is the place to be. It felt like a real holiday.

Next day, I had my first encounter with the local customer service at breakfast. It wasn’t great and my fellow breakfesteers thought the waitress came across as miserable. I couldn’t tell as I don’t speak Spanish and didn’t understand the conversation, The Girl from a Swiss Cottage did most of the talking. So I’ll have to take their word for it. Although I thought the service was OK.

I was impressed that the girl was able to memorize our orders. However, she charged us less than she should’ve and the bill was incorrect. This happened later that day too as the staff forgot to add my cherry beer to our bill. I guess they think throwing in a small freebie will keep customers happy or… they aren’t too fussed about doing things properly.

I did a few zouk classes that day as well and learned a move or two – nothing fancy. After grabbing some dinner we went all back for the social and did a bit of freestyling until 5 AM.

Green man

As you can see above, the green man is also dancing in Mataro!

The next day was a bit similar but this time me, Mr and Mrs Fox decided we’re too cool for school. We all skipped the first class, I did the second one and then a bit of the third until I quit. I walked out of the class because it felt like a lot of contemporary bullshit and I got really bored. Our alternative pastime was to head to the beach and drink some Sangria (red wine mixed with chopped fruit, something sweet and a small amount of brandy). I became best friends with Mr Sangria that day.

The social was way better on the second night. I thought I’d be too tired because of the previous day’s 5 AM finish… but no I actually felt much better this time around. I danced with the same amazing Swiss girl I wrote about in the post about Prague. Many times, you will meet the same people from previous zouk events (the world isn’t that big at all). I was also impressed by a German girl and most of the Spanish chicas.

I had another unicorn moment when I found out I was dancing with an Estonian girl. Man, she was out of this world. She was wild, she was young, she was chaotic, she was fun. Then I recommended Chinatown to have a dance with her to be part of the magic I encountered. He, however, said she was rubbish and completely out of tune and out of control. In her defense, she was a beginner but she moved like a pro. I guess what I’m trying to say is, she made a very positive impression. Disclaimer, this is a completely unbiased overview and has nothing to do with her sharing the same nationality with me.

I can’t leave out the London crowd and have to say they were entertaining to dance as well. The best, without question, was The Girl from a Swiss Cottage. I didn’t get to dance with Mrs Fox though but I saw all the kids show one fancy move after another one.

5 AM finish again. Next day, however, the sleep debt caught up with me and I spent the entire day sleeping and didn’t do any dancing whatsoever.

The day before leaving Spain, I was in Barcelona sightseeing. I checked out Park Güell and Castle Montjuic and other stuff. It was just as beautiful as my first day in Spain.

Park Guell

I took the train back to Mataro. A lot of teens joined me at the next station. They were loud and on their way to a big party (shower party or something). They couldn’t wait until the party started, so they were drinking their booze and smoking right there on the train. I’ve never seen something like this. It wasn’t just one kid smoking but more like 10-15. They also played loud music and were drumming loudly on the windows or train walls. It was quite a sight.

The next few stations we got extra people in to make sure the train was tightly packed with teens. Some guys were pushing other passengers off the train when they tried to board at later stations. It was wild, anarchy at its best.

Next morning I had to get to the airport and was greeted by a massive line of teenagers all the way out of the train station. Policemen were everywhere and during my wait I saw two or three kids being taken away by them. I was a bit worried that I might miss my flight.

It took me twenty minutes to get into the station and buy a ticket. Following this I was quite surprised that the train itself wasn’t packed at maximum capacity. There was plenty of room and I even managed to grab myself a seat. Not sure where the teens disappeared… they must’ve travelled in a different direction from me.

I’m very pleased with my first visit to Spain. It widely exceeded my expectations. I’ve always thought that travelling in Europe is a bit meh, but now I’m starting to realize that maybe it’s not that bad after all…

Yours truly,