This could be one of my favorite billboards of all time. It contains two of my seemingly favorite things: food, and a dark, handsome, and completely unavailable man (in his case it’s because he’s made of paper).
I show you this photo not just because it’s hilariously campy, but because it reflects this portion of my journey which was about exploring Buenos Aires outside of tango.
Week four could be summed up with this word: funk. I needed to go hermit style and sort out all kinds of emotions that were emerging through the process of being in this crazy city, speaking a foreign language, learning new dance technique, and other male related inner drama. Whew. Fortunately, I emerged with a newfound ease about me and a desire to just have as much fun as possible. What was that phrase again? Oh yeah: Be. In. The. Moment.
Some highlights included:
- Seeing Jorge Drexler play, a pop-folk singer-songwriter who won an Oscar for his song in the Motorcycle Diaries. He makes my heart melt with his gentle, poetic, and upbeat sentiments and it was fun to see him play for his very enthusiastic home region fans (he’s from Uruguay).
- Somehow getting handed a flyer to attend a private, unpublicized Tanghetto (nuevo electronic tango) recital and party where they performed alongside hip-hop dancers, contortionists, tango dancers, and graffiti artists. I found a clip of it on YouTube: here.
- Strolling along the San Telmo antique and artisan market brimming with antiques, beautiful bohemian artisan clothing and jewelry, and live music.
- A roof top asado (barbeque) of mainly English speaking expats. While it was fun to bond with English speakers and hear stories of living life in Argentina as a gringo/a, my friend and I managed be drawn to the few Spanish speakers at the party.
- A trip across el Rio de Plata to Colonia, Uruguay to escape the city madness. It was quaint, quiet, tranquil, and the air was fresh (much unlike Buenos Aires). The best part though, was that I accidentally joined forces with a large group of friendly retirees. They were more than welcoming to this tall, young gringa and never questioned why I was hanging out with them. At the end of the day while we waiting for the ferry home, one of the women decided to put on a show for the others. The following went on for a solid 15 minutes or so. There are no words necessary except that I want to have this much fun when I grow up. (Sorry, I filmed it sideways.)
- And of course there is always food. They love their meat here. So much so that they have chicken flavored, pork and caramelized onion flavored, and beef flavored potato chips. I am a fan. I’ve also been loving pear infused water, and have been really addicted to alfajores made with puffed rice (instead of wheat). For those who don’t know: alfajores consist of two biscuits filled with dulce de leche (milk caramel), and are sometimes coated in chocolate. If I haven’t lost any weight with all the dancing I’ve done here blame it on all of the above.
I have also started going back out to milongas now that my time here is ending and I’m finally enjoying myself again. A lot. I started out loving milongas and then the experience took a nose dive and I had little interest in going for several weeks. Now that I have a newfound who-cares attitude, everything is flowing effortlessly, even my dancing.
Right now I am having so much freaking fun. I love my life. I love that I am here. I love that I can sometimes, just sometimes, get out of my own way and let life flow in the tremendously joyful way its meant to.
I’m off to take in the last 3, 2, 1 days left in this weird and beautiful place.
*My friend Pat Pitula (of Tango Life and News) came up with the phrase “tango-ed web” if I remember correctly so I wanted to give credit where its due.