Back in Buenos Aires
It’s been almost 2 weeks now that I have been back in Buenos Aires, and it’s been a real mix of emotions. Joy, sadness, happiness, anxiety, relief, exhilaration, frustration. Buenos Aires tends to amplify everything. The highs are ecstatic, the lows devastating… but one thing’s for sure, you know you’re alive.
I have been out dancing every night except for one. This too has been a mixed bag. One milonga I went to I was snobbed off all night by snotty little porteñas’ who think their excrement smells oh so sweet, and wouldn’t even condescend to look at a gringo, let alone dance with one, even though their tango isn’t all that great, and spent most of the night dancing with beginners. Fortunately not all porteñas are like that, and I have had some magic moments. The second night I was here, I was taken out to a milonga way out of town, that doesn’t even appear in any of the tango magazines. It was a donation milonga (i.e. no official entrance charge but you are asked to give a donation), and I had the most awesome time. I was reminded of why we tango dancers insist on coming to Buenos Aires, every single dance was pure heaven. The connection with the music blows you away, the presence in the dance, just perfect.
I had forgotten just how difficult life is here. Not so much for me, I know how privileged I am, and even though getting certain things done can be challenging at times, I know I have it pretty easy here. Life for the people who live and work here; the lower classes, and even the struggling middle class, have it very tough. Let alone those who have no job or home. Just taking a ride on the subte (underground) brings it home. hardly anyone smiles, and if you look close enough you can see a deep weariness chiselled into most of the faces, and a resigned frustration in their eyes. Having said that, if you engage most people, they can soon become jovial and animated if they like you.