For the love. This city is so amazing. How did I never know this before? It’s like Paris met Madrid and moved to South America. Plus with the added bonus of Uruguay (and Jose Ignacio aka the Hamptons) so close, it’s like heaven. The people are so cool, the place so laid back, 11pm is normal dinner time (I’m talking on a Monday and Tuesday, people)… and on top of it all it’s HOT, in the 90s since we arrived, even at night. Tonight Anthony found tango lessons for us (mom, be proud) so that we could see what it’s all about. We arrived around 8:30 to a nondescript building in the Almagro neighborhood and for a hot second I thought he’d gotten it wrong – like maybe he googled tango in Buenos Aires on February 24 but didn’t specify the correct year. There was no sign and all I could see were random businesses that were closed for the night, plus a few apartment building entrances. What little faith I had. When we pulled up, we looked completely lost, and our cab driver guessed what we were doing, pointed out two yellow lights in the front and told us to enter thru that door. We did and walked upstairs where we found a cute bar and some tables where people were being served food, as well as two dance salas. We were one of the first ones there, despite an 8pm call time (I’ve realized the starting times in BA are really more of when you should start to think about taking a shower to go out – another reason this city is for me). Had drinks — fernet and Coke is a thing here so I tried it and actually really liked. The whole bar/restaurant thing inside the dance space is different from any I’ve been to in the States, and there were newspaper articles on the wall about how this little place, called Sr. Duncan, is transforming the face of tango yet again. As we were about to begin I realized most people knew each other and had been there before, so I said to the instructor en espanol, “Hi. This is our first class. My husband doesn’t speak Spanish. I speak Spanish a little. Is this ok? Should we leave?? What do you think???” He laughed at my panic, hung his head and said, “Let’s see how it goes. I think it will be great.” And it was. We were the only people there who didn’t live in BA, which was so nice, and most everyone was in their 20s and 30s. After two hours of the class, dancing with each other and different partners (this is normal for dance lessons; Anthony was not aware and looked panicked the first time we switched, saying, “I can’t speak their language!!” To which I replied, “speak the international language of dance, man,” and made him a peace sign out of hemp), everyone took a break for drinks and most ordered some dinner (apparently it’s stellar but we drank our meal to gain courage for the next round of bailando), then two guitarists and a singer played live tango music. We danced with the portenos and listened to the songs until the band finished for the night. Afterwards we went to a bar near our hotel. It’s called Floreria, and you enter through a door in the back of a flower shop that leads you downstairs (I couldn’t let Anthony show me up with the only secret place of the night). Cute space, fun drinks, stayed for an hour or so then we decided to walk home the 8 blocks to our hotel. On the way we passed a bar called Kook and saw a cop talking to an older gent outside who worked there. The worker asked if we wanted to go in and we both said sure, then he asked me again in Spanish if I knew this place. I said no but let’s give it a try. He opened the door for us and all I saw when we walked down the stairs were asses in thongs gyrating on poles on a bar. Inside, the very nice owner wanted to make sure we understood the minimum charge for each person (150 pesos, or about $20 US) and how much it would cost if we wanted a girl to dance for us (my eyes had glazed over already at this point he spoke so long). I found myself telling this sweet older man that no we did not want a lap dance from any of his chicas nor did we want one on our table – we just wanted to have a drink. Which I’m sure is what every single person says when they walk in. Finally it was all very complicated so we said we’ll try again another night and completed our nice walk home. As we fell asleep we turned on the TV for the first time since we’ve been on this trip and came across the Kardashians in the Hamptons, with Spanish subtitles. Anthony knew who Scott Disick was, to which K sister he’s married and who has kids with whom (surprisingly enough I don’t know any of this). It’s been amazing the things I’ve learned about my husband in the past few weeks. Almost as amazing as when we walked out of the strip club earlier, and I said, “Those girls were so hot! Are you sure you don’t want to stay??” and he replied, “yea, they WERE hot… I mean I didn’t really see them… but I’m just saying I’d bet they were beautiful… if I had to guess.”
More on this mecca of awesomeness later.