Among the Porteños

Buen dia mis amigos y amigas. BA is beginning to capture my heart. It’s more fun, of course, to have company while discovering the city. Last Sunday I wandered the San Telmo flea market with a fellow traveller I met at the English meet up group. The flea market happens every Sunday in the San Telmo neighbourhood. The street is closed to traffic – including buses! – and you can walk and shop for miles. The place is crawling with tourists (like me), but also filled with Porteños (Buenos Aires locals – so named because they live in a port city). There are the usual stalls of second-hand junk as well as many kiosks of works by artisans. The people watching is great fun. It was a scorching hot day, which most in high summer here are, so the key is to have plenty of water, or stop at one of the many cafés for a snack and a cold beverage. 

Of course, because it’s Argentina, there is a proliferation of tango. This couple was dancing in the square. Clearly they are much more accustomed to the 30+ temperatures than this Northerner.

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Completely by happenstance, we stumbled upon this tango band just starting up along the way. They were incredible!
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The singer handed out fliers to onlookers that advertised a particular milonga (tango bar) where they play regularly on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Needless to say, my new-found fellow traveller and I immediately decided to make a visit to La Maldita the following Wednesday. If you go at 9, like we did, you get an hour’s worth of tango class before the regulars start showing up to dance. The band then came on to perform for the dancers at 11:30. It did not disappoint. So now I’ve had my first tango lesson, and inquired about taking private lessons with the instructors from the club. Who knows, I might pass for a Porteño yet! I will require a few more lessons before I can join the other dancers on the floor, but even just watching them was breathtaking. There are many styles and levels of accomplishment. The band finished playing at 12:30, but the dancers continued to recorded music. They were still going strong when my companions and I left at 1:30. No wonder everything opens so late in the day here

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So, on that note everyone, feliz san valentin. haste pronto.

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