Journal 4 - December 24th

It's Xmas eve!

It doesn't feel like that...

Day 4.

Last night, I went to Sunderland with Fabian and his potential partner Virginia. Sunderland is on the outskirts of BsAs and is a quite distinct milonga. Mostly older people, and people who dance the traditional milonguero styles, or more precisely, Villa Urquiza style. Usually, you would want to go with people you know, since people dance with the people they came with or their acquaintances only. It's hard to catch dances here.

So we arrive, and it's raining really hard!! It started up raining last night again. All the humidity must have invited the mosquitos out because I have at least 8 stings on both my feet. With the bruises I have from my new shoes and the stings, my feet look like red swollen beets or something? Anyways, we are walking in the rain with Virginia's umbrella. Thankfully, Fabian has his car so we don't have to wait in the rain to catch a taxi and we get there directly.

We get a table in this big basketball court. Yes, this milonga is held at the Sunderland Sports Club. The lighting is the usual gym lights, so it's no romantic place. The floor is tile? and we see basketball hoops on both ends of the court. I can feel people looking at me, since I'm an unusual face. Don't come here alone! Fabian dances with both Virginia and I. I also get a dance from a curly long haired man called Julio, mediocre. And then someone that's very milonguero and seems to be a regular at Sunderland. Actually, that's all the dances I got.

The only good thing about coming here, is that I got to see Fernando Galera and Vilma perform. They were my teachers when I was practicing for the salon competition in 2004. They aren't flashy, but they do really smooth, on the floor tango. They walk, through the floor, and it looks like they are just skating on the surface. I like the way, you could see how Vilma follows through Fernando's lead. I was happy to see them perform and also reminded me of the training that I got from them, which I think I might be slacking off on... hmmmm

We left around 3:30, I was yawning, we were all yawning, but we headed to La Viruta. There's definitely more people last night than Friday. I see more familiar faces! I see Gladys (sofia) who used to dance with Marcos Questas for a short time here in LA. She was sitting with the Cafe Tortoni crowd, with her boyfriend/partner Fabio and I also see small Pablo, I'm not sure what his last name is but he is also a dancer in shows. We get a seat and they were playing folkloric. Now, here at La Viruta, you can see some of the greatest folkloric dancers. Fabian is a very good folkloric dancer and Virginia also danced very gracefully. I see Roberto Reis and Tani Herrera, they are also professional tango dancers that are really great folkloric dancers. When you see good Chacarera (the folkloric dance) it is very graceful. The man has a very manly stance, and the women all look very beautiful. The two stand seperate but their postures and their slight tilt that gets created in their upper torsos because of their intentions towards their partners give that very flowy proud grace. Then zamba, which is a dance using handkerchiefs. They flirt using the handkerchief and this again is very graceful. One day, I hope I get a chance to learn these folkloric dances.

The night at la viruta was good. I got some nice dances but I still haven't gotten the punch yet... I wonder if I'll get any dances that will make my world flip during this trip? I started to realize that usually, it takes about 2 weeks or so, at least, to get people to know you and ask you to dance... Well, I'll keep my fingers crossed for it. 7am I get to bed again.

The morning, or should I say 2pm, when I wake up, it's very very hot.... There's no AC in the casa so it's retaining heat. I shower, and get ready to leave the house with no destination. It's the day before Xmas and a Sunday, so many places are closed. Michael, from NY comes out of his room, so we start chatting over a mate in the living room. He made some mate with sugar. Normally I like mate amargo without sugar, but since I was starving, it was a perfect energy booster. He's been in BA for some time and is thinking about staying here for as long as he can. Many dancers start thinking like that. We talk about the nuevo schools here, the Dana & Pablo studio, and the Tango Brujo studio. The tango brujo studio is few couples that broke off from the Dana/Pablo studio and now they have their own clique. They have a style and they have many followers. Michael was taking classes with Tango Brujo. We chatted for awhile and decided to go get something to eat.

We head out on Corrientes, and since many places are closed due to Xmas, we go to a run down kind of parilla. There's flies flying around and it's hot and sticky inside. On top of the parilla are some dry looking sort of burnt chunks of meat. I have a chori-pan (chorizo in bread, so sort of like a hot dog) and he has vacio with chorizo. The food, not so good. It wasn't the best on an empty stomach, it seemed, but my stomach is still okay. No salad, nothing more.

I decide to head to Palermo, a neighborhood where they have cute boutiques and kind of hip cafes etc. Michael was going to visit a friend's house in the neighborhood, so we taxi together, and go on our own ways. I stroll along, and at the Plaza Serrano, there's some art feria. Some paintings and art stands, kind of like at Recoleta but on a smaller scale. All the art stands didn't enchant me too much, as I did alot of shopping yesterday at Recoleta already, but I came across some very nice art pieces. Sofia Pirosanto is the artist. It was all on white canvas with keys, or maps, as the subject. Very finess design and it seemed to talk to me. I love art, and many times, I resonate with things especially on trips. I talk to her and she explained to me that the keys are for when she searches within herself, and the map of when she had a wonderful amor with someone in a different country... Whatever the story was, I still really felt an attraction to the paintings. I didn't have enough cash on me to get it then, but I got her contact and I'm sure to get these 2 pieces during my stay. It just made me very happy for this encounter. I can't wait...!

I walk around more, looking at things here and there, shops, and walk... Palermo is a pretty decent walk to go around all the streets, I always end up getting lost. I get pretty tired and felt like getting some helados. I call up Dom, since we had been planning on going to the Glorietta which was an outdoor milonga in a park. But, I found out this morning that it was not on due to Xmas eve. I call him and invite him to go to an helado place. We decide on a place called Venzela or something?? hmmm I've forgotten the name. I walk pretty much 20 blocks, I didn't think it was going to be so far!

My feet felt hot and swollen when I arrived. Nonetheless, I was so happy! I ordered a quart of ice cream :) 3 flavors, dulce de leche with hazelnut, chocolate venezia (which had chunks of chocolate inside), and crema something (with dulce de leche, cookie, and chocolate bits). Mmmmmm yummmyyyyyyyyyy...! I finished the big thing, no problem. The ice cream here in BsAs is the best!! Dom and I chat about tango, musicality, and life with tango. A never ending topic that just starts to make your head hurt when you think about it too much. What is this addicting and poisoning thing called tango??

Now, I am back in my neighborhood typing away. A mosquito has gotten a sting in my left foot small toe again. Darn... that's one of the most itchy places to get stung. It's almost 11. I'm wondering whether to go to Fabian's place and join in Xmas parilla with him and his brother. Or just take it easy alone, maybe even skip dinner and then head to La Viruta... It's actually Xmas eve, but I just don't get that feel here. There's no elaborate Xmas lighting or decorations like the US or Japan, and it's so hot!

Well, merry Xmas all!