Journal 3 - December 19


buenos aires journalAfter my last journal, I left the internet cafe hot and thirsty (it's getting really hot here in BA!), we went to a Helado cafe The Helado (ice cream) is supposedly very yummy here. We ordered three flavors, bitter chocolate, chocolate with nuts, and Dulce de Leche. My idea of a diet is not working at all!! But irresistibly good! It was already 12 midnight by then, and sitting next to us was a family with young kids. I guess, it is normal for kids staying up late here. They were running around full of energy!

We walked home, kind of planning to go to a milonga afterwards, but we found out that our block had an electricity black out. We walked up the 14 flight of stairs to our apartment, and just decided to relax for a change. Get some sleep for a change!

Next morning, we woke up early or earlier.. to go sight seeing. We set forth to the well known La Boca area. La Boca meaning the mouth, there are two bridges (old and new) which are the landmarks. You may know the famous tango song -Caminito-, this is where it is. The caminito street is lined with those bright colored buildings, red, yellow, green, blue commonly seen in photos of BA. Unfortunately, it's kind of touristic, but with shops, cafes, and little painters' vending stands. We just strolled along on this really hot sunny day, stopping by the stores. At a small complex of artist ateliers, on the top floor we met a man singing and playing the bandoneon. He sang us -Caminito- -Cumparsita- and many many others. It was just beautiful listening to real live music in that small wooden room with the sunshine pouring in through the windows. It was a really nice cozy time. I felt very happy to be able to take part of the beautiful tango. We thanked the old man and we went to get some lunch. In one of the restaurants, they were doing a little tango show, which was kind of depressing! I would advise not to see the shows here, they are fake tango made for tourists, especially knowing the real ones in the milongas. So, we chose a quiet cafe in the corner, old fashioned and authentic, with an old couple at one of the tables, one singing, one playing the guitar. On the way back, I ended up getting a very nice modern graphic looking painting of a tango couple, at one of the painters' stands (Pablo Paez). This being my real souvenir! I love paintings...

We got on the bus again to head home, falling asleep as we had taken all that sun. On the way home, we stopped by to buy some Media-Lunas (croissants) for late tea.

buenos aires journalAfter getting home, we had our tea-time, then got ready to go take a group class of Nancy and Damian on Colorado street at some kind of soccer club building. We got there at 9 as their ad had said, but getting there, we found out that it was from 9:30. We waited in the room, where they were having a salsa class. My first time to see salsa here in BA! A cuban guy was teaching, cuban style salsa. They dance on very different beats, from LA On1 Style, or NY On2 Style...Very interesting... It was already past 9:30 when we found out that their last class of the year had been cancelled...

We left heading to Cannin for the first milonga of this night. Ernesto (Julio's brother) and Stella were going to be performing. The place was dead quiet when we got there at 10. The people don't show up until 11at the earliest, usually even past 1am... So we decided to get some light dinner. We found an Arabian Restaurant. We ordered and found out that there was a special magic show by the magicians' association here. It was quite interesting, but not understanding the language, it was not as entertaining. I guess I prefer the global entertainment, called dancing...!

We went back to the milonga past 11. Ernesto & Stella, Julio, Robert Duvall (from Assasination Tango) were in the house. We danced on the floor which was more spacier than last time. A very young guy signaled to dance with me from half way accross the room. I wasn't sure if it was me or not?! So I had to look around to realize it really was me!! So this is the way, people signal you....he just stood up and nodded his head at me as though to ask me -Would you like to?-. Excited to dance, I walked to the floor, then realizing it was a milonga, not a tango. Milonga is more of a quick stepped dance, playful and rhythmical AND my worst category!! I just had to go with it, finding he was an amazing milonga dancer, and not being able to follow at all!! It was pretty depressing, all the moresince, he invited me the first song of the tanda which is very rewarding, meaning that you usually dance all 4,5 songs of the tanda together! After that, I got to dance with a few more different people, starting to get a hang of the dancing here, but still more to know! There was an old couple dancing with the real essence of tango... they were just walking slowly accross the floor, using 4 times the speed of our step, creating such harmony and togetherness. That is something you only get, after you've danced and lived for many years and knowing the feelings and passions of life... After awhile, Ernesto and Stella started their performance doing 3 numbers. It was so beautiful and with smooth, soft lines of dancing. They had much sentiment and feel in it, they didn't do any stunning tricks, but just suttle and beautiful...

buenos aires journalAfter seeing the show, we rushed to the next milonga at Confiteria Ideal. Color Tango Orchestra was playing the night. By the time we got their on taxi, it was already almost 3am. The orchestra members were just leaving, too bad we missed them. We went in anyways not really feeling like dancing anymore. We sat down, at a table and ordered some drinks. The room was made with dark wooden floors mixed with mirror linings, ceilings with decorations, and tiled floor. I think this is the typical image of a milonga in BA. There were not that many people anymore but we started dancing after all. Someone who had danced for 8 years, asked me to dance, he lead very smoothly with simple patterns but with much feel. Then a young boy of 14, who was pretty good, and again making me surprised that he was up so late, even though his mother was there with him, we danced the last couple of songs for the night. Overall, I felt very satisfied, as I took a tiny step futher into the BA tango scene.

Today, getting off on a late start, we went for a short window shopping down on Cabildo St before going to a group class by Jorge. Again, the shops lurring me to get something! There are so many great things here! I tried on a beautiful original designed dress, not knowing whether I should get it or not, it's not on my shopping list... I will think about it...

We got on the Subte (Subway) to our class in Boedo. It's a small dance academy on the 2nd floor of a builiding with 2studio rooms. With only 6 other people in the class, we started off the semi private group class. It was a challenging sequence with back sacadas for the men, and ladies doing giros. Knowing that there is alot to work on, we barely got it down in the short 1.5hour class. After that we got some moments to chat with Jorge and Maria. (I might not say we, because I can hardly understand the conversation!) Jorge commented about me in Spanish, which I could hardly understand. It felt like he was a fortune teller, reading my future, scary and exciting. As Gabriel translated, some of the words were -I have a strong concept of tango (which is probably very true) and that he sees that I love it- -My whole body dances the tango- -And that this is the correct path-.... Wow!! Isn't this really encouraging to hear from a great maestro! It totally has made my day!

We left the building, but walking a mere 10 seconds, when we saw a couple from the class sitting at a table set outside of the Parilla (Argentine grill) restaurant next doors. They invited us, and being hungry with the great smell from the charbroil grill, we just happily sat down with them. We got to eat some delicious steak for just less than $2 US Dollars each...! They too were also a couple just focused on tangoing here in BA. Many people are here for that same reason, the place to be!

Now, I am at this contemporary designed internet caffe typing away. I ordered a margarita! We will be out dancing tonight for long hours, being the Friday...! Another new exciting night awaiting!