singapore – oddly … Jerusalema

I love this Jerusalema dance challenge that’s going round right now. It’s one of those things that shrinks the world. But the problem is that I can’t dance. My highest aspirations would be to achieve “Dad dancing”. And that would be a tough one… for me.

You see it all started (and finished ) when I was 14 years old. I was spending a summer in Singapore with a school friend and his family. His Mum busted me for smoking on the train up to Penang for their family holiday. She also let us swim in a typhoon in the sea and I learnt what it was like to be inside a salty washing machine having your swimming trunks and ears filled with sand as you tumbled, battered by a great weight of water from all directions. Still, I enjoyed the ride on the funicular up the mountain in Penang: it wasn’t all typhoon.

There was a disco at the German Club back in Singapore and it was the first time I had ever danced in public. My friend’s sister, afterwards, told me that I looked like I was running when I danced. And that was the start, and finish, of my dancing career. Fourteen-year-old boys are very sensitive, you know. I have never danced since that day.

So then recently, when I was 57 years-old, my boss decided that all staff could be given the “opportunity” to do the Jerusalema dance challenge as a team-building exercise to combat the stress we are all under because of the Covid 19 pandemic (he had recently visited South Africa). It was my worst nightmare. So I took the option not to participate and offered my services as the official cameraman for the event. I didn’t tell them about my lifelong hang-up. Afterwards (knowing that I play guitar and had a language degree), he challenged me to learn the song in the Zulu language. It is, to be fair, not very good. But believe me, it is a lot better than my dancing….

If you want to see the full video of the boss leading the staff in the Jerusalema dance, it is here:

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