Day 15: Lunch, Taxi Dancers and Back to Minnesota
Trip Start Nov 03, 2008
26Trip End Nov 18, 2008
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Our last day in Buenos Aires! High of 86 degrees and beautiful sunny weather will be missed when we arrive in the United States tomorrow afternoon.
We packed up our belongings and Cesar picked up Katerina and me for lunch. We ate at a "Taberna" a very authentic Argentine eatery frequented by Portenos (locals). He treated us to a wonderful lunch that consisted of a different cut of meat called entrails. This is not the entrails we know in the United States. It was a very tender, but fatty, cut of beef. A great salad, wine and papas fritas (fried potatoes) completed the dinner. We topped it off with two spectacular desserts: flan with dulce de leche (a special caramel sauce) and crema (real whipped cream) and some kind of a fruit crepe smothered with a rum sauce that the waiter prepared/served flambé style. It was a grand meal and we talked and laughed a lot. But you have to understand that we don't speak Spanish and he doesn't speak English so we look words up in the English/Spanish dictionary, draw pictures and make lots of gestures with our hands to communicate.
I have to say that Cesar is such a kind gentleman and a good friend. He has been a fabulous dance partner during my stay in Buenos Aires. He also was so respectful and danced with all of "the five women" at the milongas.
Cesar gave Katerina and me a ride to Bertie's to pick up our custom made shoes. I am extremely happy with mine. Katerina's one shoe did not fit perfectly, so they fixed it and delivered it to her apartment. See the photo of our new shoes. We went home on the subte to complete our packing.
We had to stop at the grocery store to buy some "mate." This is a strong tea that is sipped through a special straw/strainer/spoon. We have not tried it yet, but we will at home. Supposedly it is a medicinal tea and used for therapeutic purposes.
The owner of the apartment checked me out of the apartment and was appreciative of the blog and delighted that her photo was posted. We had some extra time before my ride to the airport arrived so I showed her some pictures. Even though we don't speak the same language we were able to communicate well.
Our driver, Dante, picked me up and headed to Katerina's apartment. I told you I would tell you about taxi dancers. Now is the time. Dante is both a taxi driver and a taxi dancer. What is the difference, you ask! A taxi driver in Argentina is the same as in the U.S. However, a taxi dancer is a dancer for hire. A woman can hire a taxi dancer for the evening so that she has the opportunity to dance all night. An individual woman will sometimes go to a milonga and have difficulty getting dances. It is easier for her to get dances if the Argentine men see that she is able to dance well. By hiring a taxi dancer, she is guaranteed some beginning dances and then she may choose how much she wants to dance with the taxi dancer vs. other Argentines. Dante has been hired to help women practice their cabeceo (tango eyes), practice dancing, to get some beginning dances on the floor or dance all evening.
FYI: We hired Dante as a taxi driver, not a taxi dancer. (He does not drive one of the Radio Taxis as he has his own service.) However, we all danced with Dante occasionally throughout the week when he was not taxi driving or dancing. He is a great person, great dancer and if you are going to BsAs, please consider him for either service. He also speaks excellent English and Spanish. See photo of Katerina and me with Dante. If you would like to contact him, his website is:
(5411) 4867-5517 (home)
(54 9 11) 5620-6129 (cell)
Skype user: dante.proano
We checked in at the Buenos Aires airport for our 11:50 p.m. flight. We arrived in Houston at 6:15 a.m. 11 hours later (4 hour time difference).
More to come...