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Beach Dancing

Katie, Marco and I were stuffed into his tiny green Fiat, blasting Jamiriquoi as we sped along the dark roads towards the sea, to a club called Buenaventura. This club was where all of the local kids from Lecce would end up every Saturday night, dancing and drinking until the sun came up. Situated on the beach, Buenaventura greeted its guests with a long wooden plank leading to the main dance area and the two bars where you could get the Italian versions of your favorite American cocktails. `Sex on the Beach` was our personal favorite, and as we sipped from the tiny plastic cups we grooved to a blend of classic rock, soul, alternative and punk, thanks to Tobia, the resident DJ.

When you wanted a break from dancing there were dozens of beach chairs set up along the sand where couples could catch a few private moments under the canopies, or those who had drunk too much could sleep it off before returning to the party. If I needed a break from the often-packed club, I would wander alone to one of these lounging chairs and stare up at the stars, they seemed closer and much brighter here on the Mediterranean coast.

On this particular night, Katie and I had spent two hours at dinner, gossiping and laughing until our faces hurt, which meant we knew we were in for a fantastic evening. After we had arrived, and Marco parked his car down the road a bit, we walked into Buenaventura, greeting friends with a tiny kiss on each cheek, followed by a cheery, Come stai?, or `how are you?`
Katie and I were a staple on the dance floor and stayed there for hours, taking minor breaks to grab a refill on our drinks, or gab with friends who had just arrived. By about three in the morning we were exhausted, but still full of energy somehow. We made the executive decision to stay until the sun came up, and informed Marco he would be staying as well, since he was our ride. Alba, or sunrise, came as we were wading in the warm and shallow waters of the Mediterranean, with us laughing and splashing around. Finally we found our way to the empty lounge chairs and relaxed into the moment, waiting for someone to suggest the inevitable stop at the pasticceria for a nutella filled cornetto (croissant), just out of the oven and still warm.

Marco dropped us at our respective houses around seven in the morning and Katie and I agreed to meet later in the day to recount the previous night’s event, something we did every Sunday. As I turned on my fan in anticipation of a warm morning, I smiled at the pleasant randomness Italy could provide if only you’d let it.