Our boat tour took off from
Rose, who’s terrible at keeping track of direction, likes to look at the map and figure out where we are. When she had problems identify the beaches she asked one of the crew members. The young man told her, “you don’t need a map, the captain is knows where we are going.” Relax, this is the place to chill.
Our lunch consisted of assorted snack-sized pockets filled meats and cheese inside. We washed them down with fresh tropical fruit and sugarcane juices. Everything was delicious.
The afternoon was spent napping on
Buzio during the day and Buzio by night are two completely different places. The sunny afternoons calls out lazy beach town but once the sunsets it becomes romantic and intimate. We had the most pleasant evening walking along the chain of beaches near centro, passing by many nice shops and restaurants. At one point we sat for a long time on the bench facing the ocean, listening to the songs from a guitar player. When we finally pulled ourselves away from the lovely music, we cleared our wallets at Vila D’Este, a super nice boutique hotel. $15 for a virgin pina colada is a bit excessive but there is always a premium for the unbeatable view. The quiet little restaurant on top of the hill over looking the bay is perhaps the one most romantic setting ever. Forget about the men in our lives, we just have to enjoy the moment by ourselves and with each other. It was a night perfect like a dream.
I had a good night of sleep in our perfect little room in the perfect big empty guess house. Everything works under the honor system here. Instead of real windows and doors, we have hanging Brazilian flags for privacy. There is a list hanging on the fridge for people to mark how many beers, sodas, waters they take in order to pay upon checkout. The narrow alleyway in front of our guess house is too cute for pictures. The kitchen on the top level also has dinning tables on the patio. I made some scrambled eggs while Rose brought rolls, ham and cheese onto the table. We had a lovely breakfast with fresh fruits on the rooftop before catching bus 128 to the Novo Real bus station where a separate bus will take us to Buzio.
Can you say that you’re at exactly where you want to be? Well, I can and I am!!! This is happiness, being able to enjoy the moment. I can honestly say that tonight, there are no better places to be than here in
After a quick wash up and change we were once again on a bus to Lapa. We were so proud of ourselves for traveling on bus 433 like the rest of the locals. The restaurant was packed with mostly tourists. The band was already playing but it was early so only few dancers occupied the floor. We got our table in the room adjacent to the band and the dancers. Little did we know we were in for an amazing night. The food was good enough to die for. The raviolis with pear and nuts filling in a rich creams sauce was easily the best raviolis I’ve ever had. Who would have thought that pear, nuts and blue cheese would make such good filling! Rose said with enough observation perhaps I could make the same dish myself. If I ever figure that out I would have to be very careful who I cook for. I might end up with more marriage proposals than a single girl could handle. My filet mignon with mushroom sauce was better than anything I’ve ever had, even in
While waiting for the bus back we had few friendly encounters. A homeless guy came to bother us for some money at the bus stop. Luckily, an older lady stared him down and told him to leave us alone. She didn’t speak anymore English than we did Spanish but nevertheless she inquired about our travels and told us to be very careful here as tourists. Few minutes later a young man joined our little conversation as well. He asked nicely: “what are girls like you doing here in Lapa?” We just laughed and told him we were here for the live music. We couldn’t believe how friendly people are here in
“So Jan, what are you going to do after you go back to
“Feel sorry for myself.”
I guess it’s almost flattering that some people would be envious of me. Although a regular member of the frequent flyer miles, Jan has a house in
Jan always sound surprised when I tell him I haven’t been dancing much since coming here. The truth is that I love milongas, but I love
Rose and I picked up our visas for
See you in Rio de Janeiro!
Contrary to common misconception from non-tango dancers, the ideal dance for a lady is not with a guapo young man with fancy foot works, but someone with the most sensitive musicality and non-common chivalry. Sometimes tango is a dance of trust and to gain that in the first three minutes you met someone is no small feat. Tango has spoiled me for life. Although not often, I know what it feels to be with a men of that multitude. I’m like a little kid who once discovered dessert after a meal now wants to have it all the time. Whatever happened to old-world romance like in Nat King Cole songs? I hate the whole cliché of associating tango with sex. I know parts of the dance originated in the bordel, but sex is not why real dancers are so obsessed with it nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, there are meat-markets like La Viruta and tourist filled salons with middle-aged men and Sally-Potter look-like women. I don’t go to the milonga in search of my next fling. Sure, I once or twice have started relationships from tango that I developed further outside of the milonga. But it’s not fair to credit that entirely to the dance. It’s natural that you would meet people of interest if you spend enough time at any social gatherings. Last night, while in the Buenos Aires Club at 571
The weather is a bit cooler today with overcastted sky and a light breeze. It was a perfect afternoon to take a walk through the parks of
I couldn’t think of a better way to spend Thanksgiving evening than to share it with my friend Rose in the city we love. We met up around 9 at 251
It’s my third night here and each one keeps toping off the other. I still can’t believe how perfect the first night went with all the dancing and best seating at Canning for Narcotango. The band started playing just as we putted on our tango shoes. I’ve never danced so much in one night, not even on my last trip. The second night was lovelier than ever and now the best Thanksgiving eve. Having stopped enjoying holidays since I moved away from my big family in
Halleluiah! After four attempts at the Consulado General del Brasil, three months of bank statements, two applications forms and a trip to the bank to submit $331.25 pesos, Rose and I finally got the receipts to pick our visas on Monday afternoon between 4-5pm. It’s a short window of opportunity but I think we’ll make it. While waiting for Rose to print out her statements at the locutorio I also got my cell phone to work! And the day is only half over! I guess the key here is don’t expect things to work on the first or even the forth try, but as long as you keep your faith, things will eventually work out.
The days are starting to get very warm here in
When I was walking to the Consulado General del Brasil this morning I ran into Monica near her home on
Rose and I needed to get visas for
After the visa fiasco I stopped by CTI mobile to buy a new SIM card. It took half hour to get the thing even though I was the only one in the store. The guy who spoke English told me I have to wait for an hour for the SIM card to activate. I was famished. Having been craving good food since I left in March, I took a brisk walk down Ave. de Mayo to one of my favorite restaurants, Status, for lunch. Located on Virrey Cerallos 178, near Congresso, Status is a family owned Peruvian restaurant with great food and one friendly waiter. Yes, it must be family owned because I can’t imagine them finding anyone else to do the job for 5 waiters: taking care 20-25 tables at a time during lunch hour. I have never seen a harder working guy anywhere. Since I went there religiously on a weekly basis during my last stay, the waiter immediately recognized me today. As always, he was either too busy or shy to smile, so he gave me a quick friendly nod and signaled me to a small table at center of the room. This is like my favorite Thai restaurant, Mamasans, in
To top off great Peruvian food for lunch I had equally scrumptious Chinese takeout for dinner. Sometimes I think the Chinese food here is even better than the ones you actually get in
The apartment is very charming and cozy (that’s code word for small). It is conveniently located near downtown on Viamonte and Rodriguez Pena. There is a small Dia grocery store and a locutorio, where I can make long distance phone calls, across the street. The big COTO supermarket is only one block away. There are few restaurants close by for a quick meal. The apartment owners recommended Parrilla Pena around the corner, which offers the popular Argentine grilled meats I’m dying to try! Best of all, I get free wifi here so I can update my blog often and stay connected with the rest of the world. It’s amazing how much I depend on the internet nowadays. I feel completely lost without it.
After two naps and a short trip to the grocery store I was more than ready to hit my first dance at Practica X, a young and hip joint with black and while tiled floor and almost no ceiling or any kind of ventilation system. It is not listed on any guide books and seems to be under constant construction. Tonight it appeared to be in even worse condition than I remembered back in March. Still, this is the place where the best neuvo dancers in town gather to practice their techniques and showing off new moves. The practica is filled with energy and good mix of music. I have been there before but not often since it’s not the most dancing-friendly place for new comers. Dancers of certain level often get increasingly picky on their partners so average dancers are less likely to be asked to dance. Still, I was excited to give it a try and to meet up with Rose. I took the red line subway to Carlos Gardel and arrived at the practica just before 10pm. It’s still early so the floor was half empty. I unhurriedly putted on my tango shoes and sat back to check out the dancers on the floor. I was surprised when a young man in white shirt signaled me to join him as he walked towards me from the opposite end of the room. Robert turned out to be a very good dancer from
As the night went on I met up with Rose and ran into Ian from
Oh, almost forgot. I saw Willem Dafoe at Practica X tonight! What the heck, I didn’t see anyone famous while in Vegas for two months and the first night in BA I run into Willem Dafoe. I just saw him in Mr. Bean’s
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune--I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road.
Walt Whitman. Song of the
The problem with staying in one place at this stage of my life is the inevitable feeling of stagnation. It is detrimental for a traveler to loose the movementum one need to be constantly on the road exploring new things. It is human nature to seek consistency and order in life. When I stand still, even in the most hazardous conditions, I instinctively mold a comfort zone around me. Having lived in many places during my youth, I am adaptable to new surroundings.
Surely, not everything evolves around traveling and staying in one place. I suppose the feeling of stagnation would diminish proportional to progress in other subjects, such as job and personal life. At the moment it is easier to feel progress on the road. Every time I catch the right bus I feel a sense of accomplishment. Lately I have becoming increasingly aware to the fact that it’s the people that I meet on the road who truly fill me with sense of courage and optimism. I’m not rich or particularly high maintenance. I watch my spendings on the road and stay at local hostels whenever I can. I love to travel the way I do and encounter people of all types. Many of them are students and young professionals with normal jobs and obligations. Some times I run into couples and older travelers too. They prove the fact that traveling is not a luxury but a way of life. I was glad to have met a young couple in
The past two months hasn’t been easy for me but the bright side is that the end is near. Although things have seemed to be pretty static here, I’m exhausted as if I’m at the last quarter mile of the marathon. More than a change of environment, I need to be surrounded by positive individuals who truly enjoy life.
While waiting for my grande mocha at Starbucks this morning I picked up the newspaper and started to read through the obituary. Having never paid much attention to such section before I was surprised to see how extensive the obituaries are on the local paper. Some of them are as long as 300 words detailing significant events in the person’s live. As I scanned through the page, the name
So what would your obituary reads like? I guess the key is to write your own and live life that way.
To find a good restaurant in the city of entertainment might not sound like a big challenge but for me it has been like quest for the Holy Grail. I don’t consider myself all that picky. Despite the fact that I will eat just about everything, I have to admit that very few things really get me excited. After going to countless restaurants in the last two months, I have finally stumbled upon one that I’m considering returning to!
Ten more days until I leave for
My stress level has leveled out a bit since the audition. I’ve been making some more preparations for my three-month staying in Buenos Aires, including transferring money out of my IRA account and going to the gym everyday to strengthen my immune system and making sure I don’t put on weight from sitting around with the flu.
In order to keep myself busy for the next three months with teaching English, dancing tango and avoiding excessive shoe shopping, I also ordered study books for GMAT today to bring with me on the trip. Traveling and music is great but I suppose I need to get a MBA degree in the near future and work a real job someday like everyone else. My parents would have been thrilled to read this but thankfully for their sanity, they are blissfully unaware of my blog and few other small aspects of my life. After being out of school for almost a year I’m excited to be learning anything new. Petar had it right, it’s not exactly school I am missing, it is the sense of progress. I miss the finality of the school calendar: end of a semester and beginning of a brand new one. Real life is to me seems is like a endless blah with no real time markers except when you talk to someone and they say “wow, I can’t believe it has been 8 years since I’ve moved here” or “where did the past 10 years of my life go?” I suppose people with family can count their wedding anniversaries and kids’ birthdays but for an outsider that seems pretty depressing. So far this period of my life has been marked by places I’ve lived and traveled. It’s satisfying enough for now to believe that I’m taking time off from the real world to see the real real world so maybe when I do start counting my kids’ birthdays I’ll have something to talk to them about.
The audition went well this morning at UNLV (University of Nevada at Las Vegas). I was a little worried since I haven’t honestly invested enough time to prepare for it. Although my playing was solid in studio week before, there were few minor memory elapses in the fugue when I preformed last night. The good thing is that small problems like that arise often enough now that I have learned to focus on hearing the music. In this way even if my fingers are lost the music still plays perfectly in my mind so I can adjust my fingers accordingly to match up with what I hear. This also allows the mistakes to stay somewhat in rhythm making them less noticeable.
Other than the audition, I also had lunch with Nate at P.F. Changs, got a flu shot at Walgreens, worked out at the gym this afternoon and saved $100 bucks on my auto insurance by taking off collision for my three months visit to