Obsessed with Tango

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
AP31 through www. apartmentsba.com

Flag of Argentina  ,
Monday, May 26, 2008

The pass over the Andes has been closed due to the snow and they expect snow all week. John, Jim and I decided the only way over was to fly. So that's exactly what we did. We bought 3 one way tickets to Buenos Aires. That meant we had to skip the wine region of Mendoza and our 16 hour full cama bus ride to Buenos Aires. From what others have told me, there's not much to see on the trip from Mendoza to BA; just pampas and flat dry land. Unfortunately, due to the cloud coverage we didn't get to view the Andes from the plane.
We arrived in Buenos Aires around 8pm. We didn't have enough time to book a hotel prior to our flight so upon arriving, we dove into our guidebook and found one for the night. Our taxi ride into the city was a colorful one. Luiz was our taxi driver who loved, loved, and loved Buenos Aires! He ranted and raved about the city, food, and women and of course, the meat. We told him John was a vegetarian and he almost had a heart attack. He couldn't believe a person would not eat meant. He even disagreed with vegetables! It was hilarious!
The next day we found an apartment to rent and spent most of the day doing the check in process though www.apartmentsba.com. The process was quite lengthy and Jim and I could see the possibility of them using the new software Jim's developing. It would save so much time and hassle! We rented a 2 bedroom apartment and it was quite modern and nice. It was located in Recoleta, a nice upscale area of the city full of old European and Parisian style buildings. It was beautiful! Buenos Aires is a bustling city, full of taxi, traffic, noise, shopping and tango. We loved it! On one day I went shopping while Jim worked. On Suipucha street I found tango shops galore! These tango shoe stores where a tourist attraction in themselves. Storefronts dressed in black, red, and gold colors enticed visitors inside with its mysterious tango passion. Shoes, shoes and more shoes draw the buyer in as if to say "Look how beautiful I am, buy me!". In the back of the store craftspeople make shoes and to the left, a small studio sits where one can take tango lessons, which is what I did. The teacher, a white haired older man in his 60's taught tango in Spanish. He was so good and danced so beautifully. That day, I fell in love with tango. The next day I brought Jim and John back for a lesson. We all enjoyed it, even with the fact that we stepped on each others feet. I finally have someone to dance with!
The next couple days, I frequented these shops, not quite deciding which tango shoes I wanted. More than that, I just couldn't take myself out of the stores. They were intoxicating to me. The energy of passion and art and history of the people that came in and out of these stores was oozing. I wanted more!
On May 24th we walked down May 25 Ave. The street had been closed off (due to the fact that it was almost May 25 which I think was Independence Day the next day). The city had set up stages throughout the avenue and musicians were playing tango music. On each block people were tangoing in the streets and the air was filled with excitement. We came upon Café Tortoni, the oldest and most famous café in Buenos Aires. We were able to catch the tango show without a reservation. The Café was filled with people and old memorabilia covered the walls. Stain glass windows were on the ceiling. It was beautiful! The tango show in the basement was amazing! The dancers were so skilled and the choreography was perfect. After the show Jim and I tangoed in the street and then ran into the dancers who where in the show. I struck up a conversation with 2 of them asked if they taught. One said yes and we arranged for a private tango lesson for the three of us on Monday.
We took a taxi to San Cristobal, a barrio of BA and met Rolando and Michelle, two of the dancers from the show. Michelle was a petite young woman of 23. She had the perfect body and was beautiful. Rolando was a scruffy faced, thin man in his mid twenties I think. They were friendly and moved so fluidly.  They were amazing dancers and gave us a really good lesson. Jim and I are getting better!
John left on Monday back to the states. He spent three weeks with us. It was good to have him along, though stressful at times. He is really on this healthy, raw foods lifestyle which is great, but we found that most of our time was spent talking about food or looking for healthy restaurants for him to eat at. It got a bit tiring. Jim and I were also exhausted since it was the end of our trip and we were not quite our happy, go lucky selves. OK, "I" wasn't my happy go lucky self.
We befriended a local guy named Facuno. He is 22 years old and in law school. He's a true indigo child, wanting to change the politics of his country and tired of the corruption. Jim did what he does best and gave him some great advice. Facundo took us to San Telmo where we took him to lunch and then he drove us to the airport to catch our flight to San Diego.  I will miss Buenos Aires. I hope to return to intensively learn tango.
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