Journal 2 - December 17

buenos aires journalLast night, we had dinner with Gabriel's mom at a chinese restaurant nearby. Not quite chinese food, serving us bread on the table, but decent and healthy. We headed for the milonga at Nino Bien. It was a special night to celebrate the start of a new milonga.

Now this milonga was another different atmosphere. More settled and more like what I had imagined. The people were seated under reservations, and the orchestra "Los Reyes de Tango" (I think this is the name...?) were playing. Jorge and Maria did a tango performance, then his daughter Geraldine and Havier performed a milonga. Both very impressive and lively. The crowd loved them, as they are also probably the loved figures here. Gabriel and I danced a couple of tandas. Still for me, quite not feeling it there. I guess I am too used to the LA style tango, all big and flashy (like it is in salsa too). But still, I know I want to feel this and earn the experience. In the end, a man at the next table said some unknown long thing to me in Spanish mixed with 2 words I picked up "Bailamos" and "Tanguito". I kind of figured he was asking me to dance, but being unsure, I had to ask Gabriel to translate....!!! What a pity! Then, unfortunately, they started playing milonga for the next tanda...! So we had to wait another, kind of uncomfortable 4 songs, trying to communicate something. Finally, we got to the tango and started. His embrace was so different from what you would learn in a class. Holding me up high and very tight, almost suffocating me, and then, putting his left hand against his shoulder very close. I had to just pull myself up on my toes, which made me unable to take my regular size steps. So, this is the way you would naturally dance if you were just a milonga dancer and not really haven taken classes. It had quite a different feel, but I realized that it was pretty nice, and I felt myself get used to it. Interesting, my first dance with someone here. A big progress, someone asked me to dance, even though I didn't understand it and the fact that he was sitting right next to me...! hehe (in the milongas here, you would see some people, meeting in the beginning of a song, with someone from totally accross the whole room... it makes you wonder, how they signal each other to do that, but I hear it happens...)

Again leaving around 4:00. Another late night of Buenos Aires.

buenos aires journalThis morning, again lunch, woke up with bright sunny skies. It is alot warmer today. We walked up to the street Cabildo, so I can exchange my currencies. The street is lined with mostly clothing shops, all in bright colors, realizing that they are in much cheaper prices...mmmmm tempting, my feet would automatically stop a couple of times, but having Gabriel there, made me move on. Empanada and pizza stores, banks, a shop called "Japan Lips"(?), and many people walking.

Something interesting I saw, a professional dog walker. There are people who work by walking dogs. You see them with 10 dogs on leashes, just walking down those streets. The dogs are well behaved.

Again, we took the collectivo (bus) to Gabriel's mom's house again just to practice. Gabriel cooked some pancakes for breakfast, pretty good...! And had our regular Yerba Mate tea, which I just love! We then went up to the same roof floor to practice. We stretched and warmed up, started dancing setting chairs around us to pretend we're in a crowded milonga, occassionaly hitting a chair... ;) Then practiced our little new sequence, breaking down each part, today mostly boleos. We started a heated conversation about the lines (vectors) of tango dancing and the geometrical relation between the two dancers, very interesting...

After a good 3 hour practice, we left for home, picking up some Empanadas. Yum, yum! I stuffed them all down, and here I am now at the internet cafe. Gabriel is with his Dad at the moment. Hopefully we get to go to the milonga tonight at the Confiteria Ideal. Another late night?

One thing I wish, that I could speak and understand more Spanish... I realize how little I know now...!