Wednesday, March 04, 2015
dancing in the dark
My Spanish embarrasses me.
Well, it would if anything I did embarrassed me -- which never happens. But it should. At least, the Spanish.
I always feel better when I run into Mexican signs similar to this. When we were in Vera Cruz, we drove past a dance studio advertising all sorts of dances by their Spanish names. The largest letters, though, were devoted to: "Pole Dance." I am quite certain they were not teaching the mazurka under that rubric.
There have been several moments recently in Mexico when I have experienced one of the thrills of foreign language conversation -- not knowing if I heard my interlocutor speaking English or Spanish. They are very rare moments. Usually where I scripted the entire conversation in my head -- and the scene plays out as if Orson Welles were shouting directions.
But seeing an obvious English term in a flow of Spanish terms is still a bit jarring to me. Unless, of course, "Pole Dance" (similar to "OK") is a term of art imported by foreign experts. It makes you wonder if you sign up for 10 waltz lessons, perhaps you get two pole dance lessons gratis.
What struck me as funny was the presence of a "Learn to Speak English" business next door to the dance studio. And me with my camera ensconced deep in my backpack. At least, Dan and Patty are witnesses to both the signs -- and my folly.
But that sign is no more humorous than the sign I pass almost every day on Álvaro Obregón in Villa Obregón. An avenue indelicately referred to as "Whorehouse Street" -- for obvious reasons.
There she is, we are to assume, in an almost natural state splayed on a pole, inviting guests to enter the bar. The problem (and you are all far ahead of me on this one because you are a smart crowd) is the figure and the words do not add up to the same product. Not that they are contradictory. But it strikes as odd that a pole dancer would get a table dance come-on.
Even better is the surveillance camera at the left top of the photograph. Now, that is contradictory.
I guess it is nice to know that The Wife can have a souvenir glossy of hubby's late night visit to the establishment -- whose defense may well be that he was there to investigate the philosophical and grammatical contradictions of a dance that can simultaneously be modified by both a table and a pole. What might be called the Professor Higgins defense.
And, for all of you who have been wondering if I discovered whether table or pole dancing is on offer beyond that door, we will have to leave that to others who have actually passed through the portal.
The world's worst transvestite show is offered next door. I doubt anyone is staying up late at the Bolshoi in fear of our local competition.