The jungle. All day people lounge, too hot to work, too hot to walk. A temperature suited only to laughing with friends. As time passes they tire of the heat and sultry day drifts into balmy evening. The sound of cicadas fills the air, their only competition the squawk of birds racing to roost before the sun can complete its slide to the horizon.
Night arrives and the temperature drops, motion is restored to the village. The rickety terraces that front the shops become social centres, a place to watch the football in the square below, a wild shot sending the ball down the steep bank to the river beyond. When the rains arrive this whole area will flood, the shops abandoned, the entire village moved up the hill. For now the plain serves as a football pitch, basketball court, market and cinema according to the mood of the village.
Night moves on and the children disappear. The shops stay open a while, but trade slows and soon faded wooden doors are pulled shut. Now is the time of the discos.
The music of the amazon is salsa and merengue. Part of everyones life since childhood, they speak the dance moves like a first language. Feet effortlessly follow the 1-2-3-4-5-6 pattern that the music dictates, as the motion moves up the legs it transforms into snake like movement of the hips. The heat of the day is used to fire a furnace on the dancefloor, a furnace in which emotions are
smelted then used to forge passion.
I can do 1-2-3-4-5-6. I can hear the beat of the music calling me to the dancefloor. I can even approximate snaky hips. But when I try and combine them I look like a man with a particularly irritating fungal infection in his groin, and no hands to scratch it with. (I would like to point out that this is a simile and I don’t have a fungal infection in my groin). And what really annoys me is that I suspect I manage to look rather camp at the same time. It is at times like this that I resent being English, a country where one is forced to nourish their desire to dance with a diet of school discos powered by Bros and Whigfield.

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