Day 4: Recoleta Feria, Tango lesson, Tango music
Trip Start Dec 02, 2008
33Trip End Dec 26, 2008
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Where I stayed
Art Suites, Saturday, December 6th
On our BA possibilities today (written before leaving home), we have the Recoleta fair, Recoleta cemetery, walk around Recoleta neighborhood & shopping and visiting the Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore. After our city tour with Eternautas, I revise the possibilities and over breakfast I offer the following to Harvey: Museum of Decorative Arts to see the building interior, walk around Palermo Vieja, MALBA museum and the outdoor market at Recoleta, where I believe there will be music. After last night's late night, we're dragging. We're glad that we moved breakfast to 9:30! Our barometers this morning: physical condition is fair - tired, not really functioning well and emotional/spiritual is fair
Harvey plays Tango in Sky by Roland Dyens, a French composer, on this guitar. I take a shower and wash some of our dirty laundry.
We walk over to the feria at Recoleta on this beautiful sunny warm morning. It is late morning and the booths are set up, but no major crowds of people. Thank goodness! The offerings are somewhat similar to the artisan fair yesterday. Some photographs catch our attention and we browse through the collection. It is interesting that many of the photos use out-of-focus or blur creatively to imply motion of dancers or musicians. As I look at these photos, I realize that I need to do an attitude change with regard to my point and shoot camera. I usually travel with an SLR that has a fast shutter speed and low light capability; it takes great pictures. For security reasons, I did not want to scream "tourist" and am walking around with a little point and shoot camera instead. It takes good pictures when there is bright light and the subject is still. Unfortunately those are limitations and I've not been happy with a number of photos because of camera shake, either because of low light or my ability to keep the camera still
We find a bench under a large rubber tree and just watch people come and go. There are lots of tourists, but also portenos that have come from church and are all dressed up. We listen to an accordian player dressed as a clown and an old man who is setting up his guitar, but not playing. We blend into the scenery. After some time, we have lunch at a small café a block or so away from the feria. I am under the impression that there was to be live music at the feria, so after lunch, about 2 PM, we stroll back to see if there is any. We don't hear any, and we decide to go back to our apartment to rest.
A luscious nap! We dress for our tango lesson, wearing our shoes that have leather soles that can slide. For both Harvey & I, the shoes feel tight. We found these shoes buried deep in our closets at home and had packed them with the anticipation of a tango dance lesson. We're glad that we have them!
We walk into Centro Cultural Torquato Tasso at 6:30 PM and there are already four students with two instructors
The male instructor immediately demonstrates a sliding, gliding walk which we practice. He is so graceful, fluid, and swaying. The idea is to just relax. Over the hour we learn a few steps and fortunately I don't step on Harvey's toes too many times. It's just hard to remember the forward, back, side...no it's to the left again! Harvey is better at this than I, and fortunately in tango the man leads. Before the class ends, our instructors perform a dance for us. It is so beautiful to watch! For 15 pesos per person the dance class was really fun and enjoyable. We are so glad that we did this! www.torquatotasso.com.ar
Other students brought their regular shoes with them and changed when the class was over. We, however, walk outside on the cobblestone streets, and I am barely able to walk in these not-quite-the-right-size old shoes
It's time to go back to Torquato Tasso, and we note a rather long line of people queing for entry, which we join. We meet some Argentines that tell us about other areas of Argentina, particularly the Salta area and the color of the mountains; they are going there next week for vacation. They talk about the beauty of the mountains at Calafate and the Perito Moreno glacier. Another trip! As we continue to wait in line, Harvey says "tengo hombre" and he wonders why people seem to be moving away from him
Evidently, there is a problem with the sound system, so more and more people are waiting outside and we learn that tonight's performers have quite a reputation. With much anticipation, the doors are finally opened. We pay our 160 pesos for the show and are shown to our table. Another couple is at the table and it is immediately clear that they expect the table to be just for them. We gather this by their body language and tone of voice, although we don't understand what they are saying. They talk to the waitress and the greeter and are told that this is how it is. We sit down and don't say anything. The coldness feels like Antarctica. I finally say to the man, in the best Spanish that I can muster, that I'm sorry but we are sitting here; he taps me on the shoulder and indicates that it will be OK, the problem isn't us, but the management. Or that's what I think he said. Our four chairs are around a very small table and all their dinner drinks and plates are spread out over the table. I wonder how we are going to fit our dinner plates and drinks! Finally, Harvey & I decide to talk with them in a friendly sort of way
The tango music tonight is of an equally high quality to the previous evening. We listen to a bandolin, saxophone, and two guitars in a jazz style. The total for tonight is 170 pesos, including the show admission, salad and beef steak that we share. A really enjoyable evening!