Journal 5 - December 22

buenos aires journalI am here back at the internet cafe kind of sleepy, but trying not to waste this beautiful sunny day!

We headed for the milonga at the park around 4:00. My feet was hurting very badly, being sore from all the dancing and walking in the city, and without having time to recover it, and with all the uncomfortable shoes that I had. The place where they have this is at this little round floor with a roof on top, kind of like a separated balcony...(?) When we got there, there were no people to be seen, except for one man setting up some music. He told us that there was a class from 4:30 until 6:00, then dancing. On another balcony (?) across the park, they have salsa, but from 7:30.

We decided to get something to drink at the cafe nearby, it was extremely hot! I ordered juice. Now, what I notice here as very interesting is that, you usually don't order simply orange juice, or simply grapefruit juice... When I do that, they say, "Solo Naranja?" or "Solo Pomelo?" as though I should blend different flavors. I noticed it when I ordered Helados too. If I tell them one flavor, they would ask if that's it? Then I would feel like it's better if I order other flavors...! I still can't figure out why? But Gabriel says, probably because it's a multi-culturaled country, they like a mix ;) !!

We headed back to the park, and we saw the class going on with 3 couples. We watched for a while, but not finding it entertaining, we left before 6 to head back to Cabildo to solve my feet problem! We stopped by a million of shoe stores (according to Gabriel who just had to tag along this long mission), I needed something comfortable, with some heels but not the pointy type, something that doesn't get hot for walking long hours in the summer, and something fashionable. So, this and that, not this, not that, after an hour and a half of just looking for shoes, I finally found something that was just perfect.

Tired already, we headed for Ernesto and Stella'a group class in Lavalle. Getting off the subway, we felt spots of rain coming down. The air was pretty moist and heavy. We got into the studio, Ernesto greeting us with a comical little dance and hand gesture at the top of the stairs. We warmed up and they showed some simple but subtle sequence, something very like their style. We got some advise on our posture, and also advised to dance more in front of each other and have our torsos face each other. Again, I was told to relax a bit more, and take the tension away from my legs, and have more of an embrace, and not to break off ... These are very slight things, but they give so much difference to this dance. So many things to work on!

buenos aires journalAfter class, we headed to the famous pizza place Guerrin at Corrientes. Here in BA, you would find pizza & empanada places on every block, as though it was the fashion to start off this business or something! But, I guess this pizza place is special...! Including Ernesto & Stella, and others from the class, we were a total of maybe 8 people. We got a table and started chatting and eating this yummy pizza! They use good cheese, and the crust is the right thickness and crunchy. I barely understood the conversations, but it was still fun!

For the night, we decided to go to La Portena with Ernesto & Stella. Alot of people come here late to dance, we got there early at around 12:30. There are 2 floors, but it was still pretty empty (they have salsa here on Mondays & Thursdays). We started dancing anyways. Having had some drinks at Guerrin, our dancing seemed to be more smoother, or did we maybe improve? We decided to try to dance with the people here, which requires quite a techinque. As I've mentioned, you don't go straight up to someone and ask them to dance. It's all eye contact and signaling each other. You have to look around the room, and if you can catch an eye, that may be the signal to dance. You see people popping out of their seats and walking towards the floor, meeting someone from the other side of the room, and the floor starts to fill up. At some point, I got the hang of it, catching someone's eyes between people already starting to dance. Funny thing, the first guy was someone from Australia, he asked me if he can speak English...! Then later on, someone that I was interested in dancing with happened to be standing near my seat looking around for someone to dance with, so I just turned my head to his way. The signal worked and we decided to dance, but.... as soon as we started to take a few steps in the music, I realized again, that this was Milonga!!! Argh! I tensed up thinking that it was my worst category again, with a guy that can dance well! But, that was the first song in the tanda, and you just have to keep on going. Trying to make myself relax as much as possible, and just focusing on following his slight, rhythmical lead, I found myself enjoying it! I know I made tons of mistakes, but it was still alot of fun! Thanks to learning the basics of the milonga! To my relief, he seemed to have enjoyed it, and later on we danced tango to a tanda of piazzolla, and some very nice vals. At the end of our night, Ernesto came up for a dance, which was so very pleasant! His lead is smooth and very gentle. He never forces a move, by knowing exactly where the ladies' point of position is. He leads as though he allows us to take each move. That was such a nice dance, it finished off my great night.

It was 4:30 when we got back to our apartment, the sky breaking with the lights of the morning sun.

It's a much cooler day today, after the rain yesterday. We plan to go to the art museum today and then dancing at night...