Out on the town with the Sassy Librarian last week, I bumped into a citoyenne from my old Balkan dance troupe; yea verily, the Balkan dance troupe I unceremoniously dumped in a fit of thesis-writing self-absorption two years ago. "You should come along next week", said she. And instantly I was awash with nostalgia for those heady days, prancing up and down the Ultimo Community Centre hall with my hands in the air, toe-tapping to those good old fashioned Macedonian time signatures (which reminds me, why isn't there more 5/8 and 7/16 around these days? Eminem? Thom Yorke? Paul McCartney? Anybody?), spending the next two days crippled and groaning. Sigh. On the other hand, do I really want to give up all that time? Time that could be spent watching Australian Princess. Or looking up hedgehogs on the internet.
Yargh. It's back to the pro/anti list, the preferred problem-solving device of philosophers and teenage girls' magazines the world over.
Pro: it'd be good preparation for Melborneo. They're notoriously shifty down there; I want to be light on my toes.
Anti: the Balkan bagpipe consists of an eviscerated goat, with some indifferently lengthed wooden tubes stuck into each orifice ( and not to get all bagpipe snooty on Eastern Europe, but there's something to be said for being in tune).
Pro: it'd develop my cultural sympathies with Nikolai, my fictitious Romanian paramour (don't worry, Nikolai; I say fictitious, but you're real to me, and yes, I agree, _Dracula_ is culturally insensitive and orientalist).
Anti: once I'm in the Balkan dance zone I start bouncing up and down at the bus-stop in 7/16 time and humming to myself through my nostrils. There are only so many times I can tell strangers I've had too much pseudoephedrine before they start suspecting I'm (a) lying, (b) in dire need of prayer and detox.
Pro: ok, this one may well clinch matters ...
Was ever there chocolate more wholesome? (No need to answer this one, mesdames; I have personally researched every species of chocolate known to western civilisation.) I met this particular bar at Mitzi & AJ's place a couple of months ago, and I've been emitting an inner glow ever since. In fact, I've started to look increasingly like this child, the old rosy-cheeked, soccer-playing, handy-with-a-chess-board look. If that's what Balkan chocolate can do for you, fancy the effects of a Bulgarian foxtrot.