The wonderful Step Up trilogy could do well from a sequel in Buenos Aires! Tango is alive and well here and we’ve experienced a slice of it over the past week on top of all the fun and games Spanish school and all the extra-curricular activities have had to offer! One of the first activities we did was mate (“mat-ay”) tasting, a green tea type drink that is drunk by most in Argentina, using a special cup and straw.
We’re settled into our routine of school in the morning, lunch with school friends (always yummy empanadas -small, delicious pasties) and activities in the afternoon and evening. Expanish school (http://www.expanish.com) is really good for arranging group activities which we’ve taken advantage of as you’ll see from the pictures.
The Spanish lessons are also great although Chris’ teacher is a lot more laid back than mine. Alfonso listens to his ipod while the class get on with work whereas Gabriella makes special games up to test the class and gives lots of homework! The one potential hazard of learning spanish in Buenos Aires is that the language is spoken quite differently to the rest of the Spanish speaking countries for example one of the past tenses isn’t used at all in Buenos Aires and the pronounciation of the “ll” is “Sh” instead of “y”. More details if youre interested in the below article:
We got to know some of our classmates better over the weekend with a bike trip up the river to Tigre (which is now flooded due to the recent downpours- I hope it’s raining in London too!). A stray dog ran with our bikes for over an hour, had lunch with us, followed us back to the train station and then boarded the train, getting off with us back in Buenos Aires- and then disappeared- weird. We named him Forrest for the day.
As well as the bike trip, the imfamous Buenos Aires Pubcrawl was embarked upon, and we got to know our classmates a little bit more. Of the 7 of us that started only 3 made it to the club (pacha- pronounced Pa-CHa). We did make it- but like the oldies that we are, we drank water in the club. Despite this we still didn’t surface until 3.30pm the next day!
On to the dancing. Our Spanish school has also organised Tango classes for us, so we’ve had 4 classes so far and the last 2 are this week. So far it’s nothing like the traditional head-flicking, rose-biting affair that you see on TV but more of a eyes closed waltz where you slide your feet more than step. Our teacher, Giselle, personifies sunshine and always turning our mistakes into “great improvisation”. As part of our tango experience we also went to a Tango show in the most historic cafe in Buenos Aires- Cafe Tortoni. The show was a combination of singing, musical performance and tango dancing which was very inspiring.
Our flat is a 25 mintues Subte (tube) ride from school and is in a great place for restaurants and bars situated in Palermo. We’ve also been very lucky to have such a great flat mate Justyna from poland (although we did think she was from Italy initially- mishearing Polonia for Bologna!). Justyna’s let us crash her holiday plans around the South of Argentina next week, so more of that to come!