Sunday, 9 February 2014

First impressions

I have been in Buenos Aires more than a month. I did not expect it to pass by so fast - and at the same time it feels as if I have been here for much longer. I feel at home, despite intellectually knowing it must be quite different to actually live here, as opposed to travelling here for tango.

Buenos Aires is often loud and dirty, but the regular rainstorms that have been sweeping through the city every ten days or so wash most of the filth away. People have generally been nice and helpful, despite a few less pleasant experience - like the taxi driver who 'forgot' the adress. Thankfully we knew exactly where we were when he took a 'wrong turn,' so we said stop, thank you, and walked the rest of the way.

Oh, and there was that guy who tried to rob us with a screwdriver. He wasn't terribly frightening, to be honest - we probably could have hurt him much worse than he could have hurt us, as there were three of us and one of him, but it really wasn't worth it as he ended up taking off with a grand total of 0.75 pesos... While he was counting the coins, we left and flagged a taxi a street further.

Tango here is awesome - there are evenings where it feels all your dreams are coming true, you are on a cloud and literally everything is possible. Others, magic just isn't meant to be. Mostly though, it's a nice mix of patience, smiles, lingering glances, and invitations - nothing is quite like cabeceo to sift through your dancers - especially if you haven't seen them dancing yet. Just because you are in Buenos Aires doesn't make all the locals tango gods.

Clothes and tango shoes are... less than half, sometimes three quarters less expensive than in Europe. With the dollar at 11 or 12 pesos as it is lately, Comme il Faut are worth around 90 euros - 1060 pesos - and some other brands are around 800 pesos. The difference is simply ridiculous.

A lot of people in the milongas here are brilliant. Mostly, Argentinians will dance with you, sure, but they socialise with other Argentinians, probably because they see so many tourists come and go every year. The international crowd is more friendly in that regard  - and most of them are definitely worth those 12 minutes of investment.

Buenos Aires is so large and diverse I could go on for pages.

- Mia

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