Argentina: The World of Tango

Then there is tango. Oh tango. The result of different cultures coming together speaking the one universal language that unifies us all, music. Tango is known for the passionate dance, but surprisingly the music is usually about sorrow, sadness and anger. Music of the poor during times of hardship. Definitely a music about expression of strong emotions.

And that was exactly what I got when I went to Confiteria Ideal to listen to some tango music. I thought there will be a live band playing, instead I was treated to a bunch of performances and free dancing by anyone. And by anyone, I mean anyone who actually can dance a little tango and not look like idiots in a club trying to impress a girl with “the moves”.

I was soon approached by an old man who of course started spouting spanish to me. And as usual, I give my clueless face, go “No hablo espanol…” and try to smile. He kept pointing at the chair beside me, so i assumed he was asking whether the seat was occupied. Instead of going something like asianto no occupado, I said my usual word, “si”, knowing perfectly that might mean yes the seat is taken, or yes the seat is free… but i took my chances and kept nodding and smiling. Eventually he got what I was saying and thanked me… I was like geez people here are polite… No need to thank me… It’s not like i own the table.. So anyway a old lady joined me, all dolled up. She found out I can’t speak spanish, and what do you know! She started speaking english!

Apparently, she has grandsons living in New York City. What are the odds… And that was the beginning of an awesome night. She would occasionally dance with the old man, wrapping her arms around him and following him around the dance floor gracefully. When the music stop, they look like they are arguing. Every time she goes back to her seat, he will come over, take a sip of beer and start spouting spanish loudly at her at the speed of raphael cheung x 10. (Raphael is my best friend who has the problem of speaking too fast.)

She later told me he is one grumpy man, but he dances so well, she is sooo attracted to him. She knows they won’t work, but the music, the passion, the connection they have when they dance – it’s undeniable. Oh old people… They make me laugh. But it was definitely enjoyable watching them dance and bicker the night away. I can only imagine what goes on.

“Why are you so late? We were suppose to meet at hour ago!”

“Well, I had to put on my make up and a nice dress! Do you think I am like you, coming in here with just a regular shirt and pants! Not to mention the heels!”

“Who are you trying to get anyway?! You are so old!”

“Old?! At least I still look damn good. I can’t say the same for you!”

*Music starts*

“Oh shut up, woman. Just dance.”

“You are such an ass. Lead!”

“Woo your hair smells good.”

“I like the smell of your laundry clean shirt. Press me closer.”

“I love you, woman”

“I love you too…”

Will not be surprised if that is actually what went on…

And then sometime during the night, a gorgeous looking couple took the whole dance floor. Professionals apparently. And man were they good. They danced with their eyes closed, with so much emotion in every move. The dance was soooo sizzling hot, that I wanted to shout “OMG GET A ROOM ALREADY!” It was absolutely fabulous.

I think I can really get into this tango thing. It was nice to see that the table side me were filled with kids around my age, sitting together, enjoying drinks and each other’s company. And every now and then, they would get up and dance on the floor. They weren’t professionals, but they were decent, and they were having a great time.

And as I sat there, I imagined myself in the culture, sitting there with my friends, having the occasional dance with Titi who inspired me to come Buenos Aires in the first place, drinking malbec and toasting to friendship that will last forever. This beats being at a club dancing randomly and getting wasted to terrible cocktails…

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