IMGP5917 I won’t dance milonga with anyone else while you are away.  I promise. I will wait for you to come back!

That had me laughing as I made my reluctant loop around the tables to say farewell to my wonderful and treasured Monday afternoon partners. Every one of them hugged me as if I was their daughter (Anton, I ain’t including you in that matey ‘coz you’re only 21 I know) and made me promise to come back. They sent love to my parents. They spoke my name. Their eyes told me they’d miss me. Mine said, Me too.

My ‘Lunes boys’ only know me as Sali or Sale or something vaguely in the same ballpark as my name: they know that I love vals above all else; they know that on Monday afternoons I am theirs; they know that for eight weeks I will be gone. Today they asked me to return. When it was time for a final kiss blown back towards the marble columns and the smooth stone floor and the notes of D’Arienzo, I had to kick myself out into Suipacha…

It was mid evening dark in the street and the red neon Ideal TANGO light was lit. I crossed the road and looked up at it. Sal, I said,  Smile you idiot. How would you be feeling if you were leaving for good, for a year, for months and months? I thought for a second of all the girlfriends who have had to say that goodbye to Buenos Aires. I felt fortunate. Hey, I’ll be back in eight weeks my old friend, I said into the night, to the light.

After that I wandered into Diagonal Norte and zigzagged around crossing wide Avenidas a few times to avoid entering the Subte: didn’t want to say Chau to the beautiful Obelisco either. Sal, it’ll still be here. You’ll be walking towards it all the time… you could keep on going round the world right? Straight on, don’t stop, Obelisk always waiting. I chuckled at myself. I got on the subway.

An hour later I pushed open the door of  El Empujòn del Diablo (super place for a spot of locro and folk music), summoned my mental magnifying glass to try and recognise strangers I’ve only seen on their teeny Twitter photos… and within minutes I’d added fresh and fascinating faces to my Monday and to the future. I never get tired of the kind of meet ups or should I say in this case ‘tweet-ups’ that start with words like, Are you thefutureisred? to a sparkly-eyed woman with an angelic child on her knee and a gorgeous husband at her side.

By the time I left them and GoingLocalTravel, CasaSaltshaker and SilverStarCar at midnight, I was walking on cloud nine rather than Avenida Santa Fè. We’d talked over the surely Barbie-inspired generous and trusting world of CouchSurfing: how folk offer their couches to others on the move… think you can’t afford to travel? Think again. Lately I’ve been hearing the words Couch and Surfing in the same breath too many times to ignore them, and I’m starting to wish I actually had a couch that didn’t turn into my own bed every night… Welcoming strangers into your home? Strangers becoming friends? Friends returning the favour? It’s happening all over the planet apparently, and especially in Buenos Aires. Check it out.

Lying next to a warm C. later, as the storm (which is still raging this morning) broke over my home, I thought of the stranger I danced with in Ideal yesterday. How he sat alone at a table in an immaculate beige suit. How he danced only two or three tandas all afternoon. How he cabeceo-ed me for the vals. How he spun me in the magic that only the most Gandalf-like tango wizards can deliver. How I pulled away at the end unable to do anything but laugh with joy and ask, Please tell me how long you have been dancing? His eyes shone. He held up fingers – seven, then two. En serio? Seventy two? Then more fingers – eight, nine. Wow! The oldest person I have ever tango-embraced. And, in the strangest twist, his dance included an exquisite little step that only Carlos ever leads… no-one else ever, ever, ever: just mi gran amor, and now, my eighty-nine year old magician. The universe telling me that everything is exactly as it is meant to be.

I couldn’t sleep last night. Lightening. Thunder. Memories of Monday. Excitement about Viernes. Hugging my dream dancer of Hampshire at Terminal 5. Dancing at Negracha in London this Friday night. Seeing beloved tangueros and tangueras who have indeed each left Buenos Aires behind in their turn. Now it’s my turn to visit them. But when they are ready to come back, I’ll be here waiting. Just like Buenos Aires and my Monday milongueros will be here for me. Old friends. New friends. Always friends.

Yesterday was the ‘Dia del Amigo’ in Argentina, the ‘Day of the Friend’. It sure as hell turned out to be a day when I ended up thinking about mine. Yes, they may shift in and out of my sight, but my soul never, ever forgets. It’s always ready to reconnect.

So, my dear friends in the UK – those I’ve met and those I’ve not yet met, it seems that Me, and Barbie and VOD and C. and the beautiful touch of Buenos Aires in us all, are on our way…  and we are smiling about it, mucho. Inglaterra, you gorgeous green garden splashed with endless life giving rain, here we come!

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16 comments

  1. Arlene’s avatar

    Looking forward to seeing you this weekend! Finally! xxx
    .-= Arlene´s last blog ..Why People Leave Tango/Why People Love Tango =-.

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Yes! How exciting! Me and C. will be a bit bemused I expect on Friday night, after 15 hours on a plane… please come and give us a hug… and please do drag C. off to dance (if you want, of course!!!) ;)

      Until soooooooooooooon, SC

  2. Russell’s avatar

    Another beautifully evocative piece of writing. I shall continue to look forward to them. Where/when are you dancing in the UK?
    .-= Russell´s last blog ..More on tango teaching =-.

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Thank you Russell.

      Well so far I have Friday 24th Negracha, Sunday 26th Balham (both London), Saturday 1st Burley, Sunday 2nd Bramshaw (both Hampshire nr Southampton), Thursday 6th Shrewsbury (Shropshire). After that not sure: will be in Pembrokeshie, Warrington and Derby at some point in August and we leave 6th September from London… if you (or anyone else) can suggest anything near any of that lot, I’m all ears but without a car for some of the time so not sure what we will manage. Any tandas with British tango wizards will be gratefully received!

      Might you be anywhere close? SC

      1. guyzen@freeuk.com’s avatar

        Hi coming to Shrewsbury; oh the things i could tell you…

        Bordertangoman

        1. sallycat’s avatar

          Hi Bordertangoman… bit cryptic eh?

          SC

  3. Xiaosong’s avatar

    have a great trip back to England with C, Sal! I’ll be back in Baires in 8 weeks too! I’ve got a one-way ticket this time!!! Before then, to a Naadam in Mongolia and some breezy days in London! See you soon!

    Un fuerte abrazo,

    Xiaosong
    .-= Xiaosong ´s last blog ..Soulmate =-.

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Hey, well I’ll look forward to seeing you in September then! How marvellous.
      Mongolia! Give it a big kiss for me, and pleeeeeeease try the Gobi Sauna. It is an absolute MUST for tired travellers.
      http://www.nextstop.com/p/NMm8wezuKHg/gobi-sauna/?guide=dTWB4E-qX5M&card=Q_IL_9nJiCE

      Hasta pronto tanguera! SC

  4. tangobob’s avatar

    The crowd at The Lantern are all waiting, and me? I will be wriggling in anticipation. If Dave does not play us a milonga I will have to kill him. I soo look forward to a repeat, I have the picture of us in Fulgor on my desktop, it gives me a smile every time I log on.
    Hasta muy pronto Bob
    .-= tangobob´s last blog ..Teachers should dance too =-.

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Milonga it is my friend! In Shreeeeeeeeeewsbury! Bloody hell!
      So excited. Checked in. Seats chosen. Bags packed. And it’s freezing rain here…. pleeeeeeeeeeeease tell me it’s summer in England!
      See ya a week on Thursday chico. ;)

      SC (& C)

  5. Tangobob’s avatar

    Um
    It’s pouring with rain, blowing a gale, yep it’s summer in England. See you on thursday.
    .-= Tangobob´s last blog ..Teachers should dance too =-.

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Bloody hell!

      Thursday 6th. Date. Besitos xxx

  6. Leigh’s avatar

    It was just that kind of night, wasn’t it. Lovely!

    Have a wonderful trip to the UK and back. And remember, if you want another reader, my offer stands.

    Besitos!

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      It was. Lovely. Sooooooooo happy to know you chica.
      And thank you, thank you for your offer. I will be in touch on that…
      I’ve just printed the whole thing off to read through on the plane! Gotta make the most of the 15 hour flight tomorrow!

      Big hug, SC

  7. Still Life in South America’s avatar

    What timing, Sally. We’re in Buenos Aires until the 21 of August.

    Hope you and C are having a great time with your family and old friends. Maybe we’ll see each other in October. Would love to share a coffee at Ideal.

    Besos!
    .-= Still Life in South America´s last blog ..Buenos Aires Street Art =-.

    1. sallycat’s avatar

      Oh noooooooooo the timing!!! But sounds like you will be back again in October. Ideal? Coffee? Date!
      Me and C. loving the UK… trying to blog about it as we speak! Stay tuned… Huge hugs to you in BsAs, SC

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