Journal 1 - Dec 21st

I'm back in BsAs! It's been 2 years. After a long 10.5 hours of a flight from Texas, I arrived here in BsAs. The airport once again, had that nostalgic musty smell. It takes me back few decades. My head is still in the clouds, but I try to find my way in this warm, summer, a bit humid air. I hear the very pleasant accents of castellano surrounding me. It's BsAs again. I feel, somewhat back at home in this foreign latin country.

My friend Fabian Peralta was here to pick me up. He had arrived with the driver which was Pancho's (another dancer) father since Fabian's car was in service. Nice to see a familiar face again, and he hadn't changed. "Hola!" with a big hug. Talking in some castellano (since I had been taking weekly classes while in LA) we head towards the car. Wow, it's pretty hot outside. We hop into the car and head into that crazy traffic. No lanes whatsoever. They just cut in and out, drive on the line... but I guess that's what they're used to driving in here, so I just sit back and relax. I listen in on the conversations and jump in here and there, when I'm prompted for an answer. No extra talking yet, relax my brain a bit more. The scenery passes by, a bit old, rumbled buildings, brownish and a sense of the financial difficulties of the country. But for me, I'm just still so glad to be back.

The apartment I'm staying in is a tango house or so called "casa de tango". It is the one on Corrientes y Juan B Justo, that Gaby Bortnik, Pancho, Leticia do. We go up to my room, simple but enough for a stay. Bed with covers, towels. The bathroom, kitchen, living room, laundry room are all shared. Fabian leaves having to teach a class. I was left alone, and free to go anywhere but sort of not free from my mental block of being in an unknown city. Although feeling back at home, once again I felt foreign.

Okay, I list up the things I need to do in my head. Go change my dollars, make few phone calls, buy calling cards, buy a guia (map of train, buses, roads, etc of BsAs)... Luckily, one of the guests at the tango house was there and gave me some information of where a bank is. I head out into the streets, a bit conscious of my foreigness. Listening to some piropos (comments, whistling from guys in the streets), meeting eyes with curious people, I walk along to find the bank. I pass one and keep on going, unsure if it was that one or not. I didn't see a sign that said "cambio".... hmmmm I didn't want to look lost, so I keep walking, then start to turn back. I guess it was that one. I enter, and am lost. I need to get a slip out of the machine to obtain my waiting number. The machine rejects me, so I end up asking the lady at the counter. Okay, with some help, I get a slip and go up to the counter to give my information, finding out that, yes, I need my passport. I had totally forgotten about that. So I had to leave and grab my passport and once again, back to the bank. By this time, it's already been an hour, including getting lost and having to wait. But, for some reason it doesn't bother me too much. Maybe because I don't have a schedule here? It reminds me of when I stayed here for 4 months. The way you feel time here is a bit different, life moves a bit slower, and it's fine.

I head home and make a call to my friend Vanessa. We get in touch and decide to meet in couple of hours. Exhausted and feeling like I need to circulate the blood that's been weighing my legs, I take a long 2 hour nap. I couldn't get to sleep right away feeling quite anxious about this exciting trip back to BsAs. Before I knew it, my alarm was ringing and I was still heavy with fatigue and a headache for having to wake up. Oh well! I shower and leave for my Vanessa's house. I catch a cab on the street and state my destination. It isn't too far, and back to that familiar apartment. I ring the doorbell and arrive at her room. There she is!! 2 years, except the color change of her hair, she looks the same, a happy and pretty girl. It's great to see each other and we spend 4, 5 hours talking about everything, sipping on mate and eating some facturas (sweets from the bakery). The tango scene is always drama, drama, drama, it seems. Who is doing what, who is with who, etc etc. We watch each other's performance videos and some other's. When I stayed here for 4 months, we would always go to each other's apartments or go to cafes and just chat for hours and hours and hours. Talking about life, tango, relations, and everything else we can think of. And we were back into that. Happy moments.

She and her mother were visiting family in Cordoba so they had to take off a few hours later. I will see them in a week. Too bad that I will be missing them during my limited stay, but it's wonderful just seeing them again.

My hunger was building up in my stomach. I realized I hadn't eaten real food after arriving. I remembered how I couldn't muster up courage to stop into eating places to get food in the beginning of my last stay here. I couldn't suffer from hunger this time, so I find myself some empanadas to go. 4.5 pesos in total for my dinner, which is about $1.50!! Now, I'm here in an internet cafe, and I've gulped down my 3 empanadas. I'll return to the apartment and wait to get in touch with Fabian, and head out to Nino Bien! My first night again to tango! I'll also be meeting up with my friend Bryce from the US... how exciting! I wonder how it will be....! A bit anxious but excited.

So, my night will be starting up soon! Slowly, I feel, I'm getting sucked back into this BsAs rhythm. Now for the tango part tonight.......!