First night in Venezuela.
After going out for coffee and chocolates, Ana, her friend and myself headed to a small restaurant to meet up with a big group of couchsurfers who were having a monthly “hang out and chat” event. It started out pretty slow, and I was actually starting to get a little depressed, since everyone was speaking Spanish. See… I know a little bit, enough to direct a taxi or order food, but not enough to have a legit conversation with someone, especially when theres another person next to us who DOES speak their language. And I thrive on talking and chatting with people, so it was starting to get a little rough for me.
Luckily about 30min into the event about 10 people showed up, most of whom speak very good English, and wanted to practice speaking it more. I got to talk to people from Germany, Chile, a few hosts from Caracas, and even a group of three from Liverpool who’re studying in Caracas’s main university. It definitely got me out of the short slump I was in, and was a really awesome chance to get to learn about other peoples traveling experiences.
As the night went on we hopped between a few bars, and finally found ourselves in a Salsa Club downtown. Yep… Ben Hutt went salsa dancing with girls. And did pretty well, if they’re to be believed. Which I don’t think they are… while they said I was dancing well and learning quickly (they were teaching me), the amount of giggling coming from their mouths SEEMS to suggest that I wasn’t doing as well as I thought. Meh. The whole point of traveling is to try new things, and Salsa dancing is clearly one of those things 🙂
Around 11:30 or so I decided it was time to head back to the Hostel, since it closes its doors at 01:00 in the morning. Unfortunately my plan to take the Metro back was sunk by the fact that it closes at 11:00 most nights… but luckily one of the girls who had been teaching me to dance helped me out by calling a cabby over, and helping me direct him close to the hostel. I took over directions at the end (I learned that I need to know how to say “U-Turn”. All I could say was “Left, then another left!”), and after a bit of trouble I finally found myself back with my backpack and laptop, getting ready to do some writing.
Luckily, the nights adventures weren’t over, and I ended up chatting with an Argentinian rock climber for nearly an hour before heading to bed. He couldn’t speak too much English but with our poor knowledge of each others languages, combined with lots of hand gestures and universal climbing terms, we actually talked about a lot, from adventures he’s had climbing in Brazil to my trip out to Joshua Tree last year. I finally headed to bed around 01:30, though it did take me a little while to fall asleep… I think my body’s pumping more than a bit too much adrenaline into my system these last few days, though I can’t really blame it 😛