I went there for the Liverpool Salsa Fest on the 13th -16th March. I had never been to anything like this before but I really wanted to improve my salsa skills.
Liverpool is known as the European Captial of Culture and you can see it on the map just there.
I guess I have to take it day by day, I will just give you the low/highlights
Fresh faced and slightly excitied we arrived into Liverpool on Friday afternoon. We had planned it so that we get into the hotel, check in, eat in the resturant and then go out to the welcome party. The hotel reception had told us how to get there so when we stepped of the bus we were pretty surprised to find that we were standing outside a pub.
Pub = Public house and for anyone who is UK based, it was like standing outside the Queen Vic based in a ghetto.
"is this it?" I asked my friend "you booked us into a pub?"
"I'm not sure this is the place?" she replied, quite puzzled.
In the doorway a drunken man was standing smoking a ciggarette.
"is this the hotel?" We asked him
"YEAH…this is it!" he said VERY excitied to see us
So we walked in with dismay. There was no reception, just a slightly deaf woman serving pints to the customers. However she lead us to our room.
Four flights up some stinky stairs and through a door it was like a different world. A clean refurbished landing with around six, clean wooden floored rooms off it. We were happy and I breathed a sigh of relif, when we got in the room we had a beautiful view of the river and we danced around a bit all happy until I noticed that the room didn’t have a toielt or shower. We quickly discovered that we had to share the bathroom with all the other guests. Yuck! I had a quick peep and saw the dirty toilet and the hairy shower and felt like crying.
Obviously there wasn’t going to be any dinner in the resturant, there wasn’t a resturant, but the old lady advised us that there was a local 'chippy' (Fish & Chip Shop) just down the street. So we got a takeaway.
Suddenly I was homesick.
By the time we had checked in and eaten. It was now time to get ready for the salsa welcome party which would be in town. Just as we were leaving and we walked through the pub, I heard some wailing and turned around to see a Kareoke! You know I couldn’t resist so I asked if I could sing.
Where we were staying was a predominately white area and it was all white people in the pub. I wasn’t really sure what reception they would give me, however when I got up and sung 'My Boy Lolipop' they all started dancing and saying how amazing I was. Lol
We left and went onto the Salsa welcome party which was in a nightclub called Europa and I felt much better. It was great and when we got back to the pub at something am, they were all still in there having what UK people call 'a lock in' it was really noisy but four flights up you couldn’t hear a thing.
I slept quite pecefully in the clean bed and that was that.
I learnt on Fun Friday that you should never let your friends choose the hotel lol lol
On waking I realised that this shower thing was gonna be a problem, luckily I had waterproof slippers that I kept on at all times but the whole thing was nasty. I was tramatised but realised I needed to keep clean. I had to use a hover technique using the toliet and I just kept promising myself that I would never do this to myself again.
Saturday was a day of lessons hourly from 9.30-6pm then a Grand Salsa Ball in the evening.
It said on our programme that there would be nowhere to buy food and we would have to bring packed lunch and we were annoyed! 'How can you bring packed lunch when you are in a hotel?' Nothing was open in the morning to buy stuff so we said that we would just cope and buy things from the vending machine that was there to keep us going until the evening.
When were were there we got chit chatting to people that we had seen at the welcome party and we met this couple called John and Jill. They actually live in Liverpool and were quite old. Anyway we asked if they knew where to buy food and they said 'guys don’t worry at all, come to our house we live just around the corner'
I was shocked! In London you would never invite strangers to your house. I was also paranoid becuase lets face it, do you have strangers in your house? Perhaps when we got there something would be awaiting us, but I realised that they had invited a couple more people back so I relaxed a bit
Jill was so extra! She left the lessons early to go home and prepare a full spread. Trust me this involved Curry and Rice!! I tell you what I was humbled and amazed at the level of kindness. It really got me thinking about the way the world is, so full of mistrust and fear, when was the last time you did something that amazing for a stranger?
I bet in the past people could do this kind of thing all the time and no one battered an eyelid. What do you think?
That was the best part of the day and I must remember to send them a Thank You Card.
So what lessons did I do? It went something like:
10-11 Yoga for Dancers
11-12 Spinning Techniques
12-1 Salsa NY Style
Lunch at Jill and Johns
3-4 Ladies Styling
At the ladies styling I asked her if she could just show me again...here have a look (Selah, do Practice girl)
Then we left and went back to the hotel to get ready as although there were more classes we were knackerd!
In the evening I was forced to use the nasty shower again then we got ready for the Grand Salsa Ball.
Guys it was amazing, they had shows from some of the top world Salsa Champions, I wish I had taken my camera after this we danced the night away! until something am.
I learnt on Salsa Saturday many different moves and also that you can be kind to strangers
We were tired on Sunday and although there was going to be another full day of lessons we decided to skip that and go and see some of Liverpool. This was one of the only days I remembered my camera.
So we headed into town and visited Albert Dock where I sat on a big one and salsed with Elvis
lol no seriously Albert Dock is where you can get the ferry from and see many different musueums.
We had planned to go and see many things but our first stop was the International Slavery Museum.
What can I say about this place, I can say it was a bit of an emotional journey for me, the way they have done it, they dont hide a thing, it was so moving and sad that we didnt go and see anything else.
It started from Africa and brought you all the way to todays slavery, with alot of things that really made you think, on thing that stuck in my mind was there was a guy speaking who said
"do you really think you can buy things as simple as chocolate for so cheap in your local store without some form of slavery going on?" that was awakening for me.
After this we ate lunch and looked around a little but then went back to the hotel.
There was another party on Sunday evening, the farewell event. By now I was feeling really confident and I once again danced the night away.
I learnt on Sightseeing Sunday that Slavery still exisits today so we need to find ways of working out how we end it.
We woke up in time to check out feeling pretty tired, thus we were a little moody.
We slept most of the way home but all in all it was a good weekend.
Right im open for questions....