A quick trip to Cuba – 2 tasks 1 night…

My GBF (RW*) messaged me when he got back from Florida and asked if I was free over the weekend. Immediately I suggested we hit The Cuban (in Camden) as we both had so much fun there last time.

Due to my less than successful first week I’d told my flatmate CP* earlier that I absolutely HAD to do a task that night to redeem myself, and I already had in mind which one I wanted to do. Ask a guy to dance with me!

Our night didn’t get off to the greatest start. We decided to go for a pre-drink before hitting the Cuban. I chose Fifty Five bar as when we had been there previously the music was fun the cocktails were amazing and dare I say the bartenders were hot.

We got to Fifty Five and made our way straight to the bar where it took a few seconds to decide which drinks we were going to have- RW: a Negroni. Me: a cocktail called ‘Sorry About The Mess’ (Cachaca, vanilla, lemon juice, apple juice and passion fruit syrup). Sounds amazing doesn’t it? Unfortunately I never got to taste ‘the mess’ as although RW and I were snappy with our decision the bartender assigned to our part of the bar seemed to be suffering a major case of the ‘go slows’. It is important to note that I am not the most patient person but as it was busy I let him off, however what the bar tender did next filled me with such rage I couldn’t forgive him. Although myself and RW had been patiently waiting (for about 15 minutes at this point) seeing people at different sections of the bar arrive after us and get served before us, our own bartender decided to serve a group of girls who had arrived after us. Incensed and outraged I stormed out refusing to stay a second longer. In hindsight I probably should have stayed and said something.

Feeling a little disconcerted by the experience we then decided to go to the Grand Union. We arrived and pretty much as soon as we stepped to the bar we were asked what we wanted to drink RW: still a Negroni. Me: a Cosmopolitan. It was less busy than Fifty Five and we managed to snag a table right next to the DJ booth whose song selection took me back to my teenage years circa early noughties. With my Cosmopolitan in hand and the DJ killing me with his songs the night was finally back on track.

After 2 drinks and some dancing we headed over to The Cuban. Upon arrival we were filtered to the room upstairs as the main club room was heaving. I’m not a massive fan of the room upstairs as it’s small and not very well lit and always seems to be full of dating couples. At first glance I was concerned that this may have been the wrong place to attend to fulfill my challenge. After a drink we descended to the main bar downstairs and my previous assumption was proved completely wrong.

After squeezing through the crowd for a few seconds I was grabbed by a guy and made to feel like a spinning top while he merengue’d me across the floor (he did not literally merengue me across the floor, the bar is so full you can’t move more than a few inches from side to side). For those who have never been to the Cuban it is a Latin themed restaurant/bar (as you may have guessed) which plays a vast amount of reggaeton interspersed with one or two Pop songs. The bar is not overly large but it is always filled to capacity with a mainly Latino crowd and if you close your eyes you almost feel as if you have been transported to Havana (having never been to Cuba I’m afraid the only reference I have for what it is actually like is from Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights) especially on a warm night.

I danced with him and his friends who seemed to be in some silent competition about who could spin me round the fastest. I extricated myself from them a little dizzier and a lot more cheerful than I had been earlier. We fought through the crowd to stand by the stage and my eyes came to rest upon a Man in White (with dimples, what are the odds?) sexily swaying his hips to the Latin beats. Our eyes met and I smiled (you’ll be pleased to hear after my exploits I am now extremely adept at holding eye contact and smiling) and as if we were in a movie ‘Man in White’ reached out his hand with a twinkle in his eye. I took his hand as I glided onto the stage and we danced the forbidden dance, then lived happily ever after.

Ha! Really he spun me round much like the group of  3 and after the song was over I resolved to fulfill a task there and then. I reached into my purse and felt the rough edge of the cards I’d had made. (MM are you proud of me?) I pulled one out and hand trembling thrust my card into his hand in an awkward ungainly fashion, he looked at me with a question in his eyes and I quickly explained that it had my number on…and then…I ran away!

I know what you’re thinking but the tension was too much for me and give me some credit for actually doing it. I don’t think I’ll hear from him but it was empowering to be able to take the plunge and give a man my number unsought by him. After a quick trip to the loo (that one was for you RW) and a brief stop at the bar we battled our way to the tables at the back. We sat down and sipped our drinks when a bald man (again with dimples, what is going on?!) caught my eye, he turned round and again I held his gaze and smiled, he smiled back then turned back to face the crowd. I leaned into RW and stated with confidence. “I’m going to ask him to dance” with words of RW’s support ringing in my ears “get it girrrrl” I made my way over tapped ‘bald man with dimples’ on the shoulder and said simply “would you like to dance?”

After another 2 and a half minutes of spinning around (get out of my way…for all you Kylie fans out there) I thanked’ bald man with dimples’ for the dance and I have to say I felt elated. Completing 2 challenges in 1 night is a crazy achievement and I did actually consider getting a hat trick but another opportunity didn’t present itself.

My main learning from this night (and Shaka Zulu last week)…I think I need to spend more time in Camden as I seem to thrive there!!

Until next time…


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