I read someone somewhere saying get the cheapest possible Canon or Nikon body and then spend your money on a good 50mm f1.8 lens.|
But I don't know anything about either Canon or Nikon bodies so I can't help you there.
Personally I want my camera to be as portable as possible so I've gone down the mirrorless route.
But I started out with a Panasonic LX3 and if you just want to try the waters and learn about exposure etc then getting a high end compact might be the best chioce.
Would all let you play around with aperture, shutter speeds and ISO settings. People would point and laugh at you if you took it to a photo class but you can learn all that on-line and then a year or so in the future when you know if this is something you really like you can get a "real" camera.
So, rather than help you I put more thoughts in your head.
If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.