My feet touch the ground and I leave the Amtrak train. I see Jeff as I leave the station. Mary Lynne is in the car. Jeff as usual has a plan. We are going to a Japanese market. Jeff lived in Japan when he was in the Navy. He learned to speak some Japanese. He should meet Gigi. She lived there too.
The area we go to is like a small Japan town. The market is beautiful. I want wasabi chips. Jeff insists I first walk the market. He points out many things to me. Some were things I knew, but others were new to me. He told me about a tea that becomes a beautiful flower when you put it in water. He and Mary Lynne had experienced it on one of their trips. They have it in this market and he shows me the tin. He secretly buys one for me.
I decide to buy real green tea as it is very expensive in Buenos AIres. Except when I see the prices here, I am astounded! $17 or more! The prices in Buenos Aires really are not that bad. I convert everything to pesos. I know that this sounds funny. But sometimes something that might be a good price in dollars is not that good a price in pesos. I can buy it cheaper in Argentina.
Jeff points out some less expensive brands of tea. We go to find my wasabi chips. I go overboard. I love wasabi chips. I but several different types. Why am I buying so much junk food? I never eat like this. We go up and down the isles looking at all the different things. Japanese packaging is pretty cool you have to admit. It screams "Buy me I am so cute."
After our brief tour of the Japanese market we go to some other shopping areas. Tonight I am having dinner with my fiend Ken. We are going to go dance in Seattle at China Harbor. I am excited. I have never actually met Ken. He is one of my blog readers and a friend of many of my friends. Jeff and Mary Lynne are a little rattled that I go out with men from the Internet this way. It is hard to explain "El Mundo del Tango."
When I get home I ask Jeff what he did with my suitcase. He looks at me blankly. "Don't you remember I gave it to you?" I tell him. He goes out to check the car. We think about it. I actually have him convinced that I gave it to him. The fact is that I left it on the Amtrak train. Visions of Federal Express stream through my brain with my suitcase ending up in Peoria or Tallahassee.
We call Amtrak. I brace for the worse after my Federal Express experience. The woman asks for the ticket locator number and then apologizes as she puts me on hold. She comes back, tells me my suitcase is on the train in Portland, they will put it on the train to Seattle and I will have that night at 9:45. My, Federal Express, take a lesson in Customer Service. Hopefully it will be there. Jeff says he will go get it while I am at the milonga.
Then reality hits. I HAVE NO MAKE UP or PLANCHEADOR: (I don't know what you call it in English) What am I going to do? In a way it is sort of funny. It would be horrifying if I was in Buenos AIres. But here in the states it almost makes no difference. Jeff offers me some of Mary Lynne's makeup. I make due with what I have. The fresh look I suppose. Not my normal vamp look.
It is nice to finally meet Ken. I love meeting my blog readers. We have mutual friends. It is sort of funny. He comes on time like an American and ends up in the living room with Jeff, who acts like my dad and gets to approve. I like an Argentine am late and come in well, like I do, talking.
Ken thought we would go to dinner at Ivar's but it was a long wait. So we set off to find a restaurant close to the milonga. On our hunt we pass a mysterious looking building. Ken decides we should go there and check it out. The place is called Pasta Freska .
We walked in. It looked OK. People were eating. A slim Indian woman in jeans was running around dishing out food with a spatula. She smiled at us and waved us to a table. "The chef will be with you in a moment." she said. "The chef?" I thought. "OK". We watched as the woman continued to dish out food from bowls and plates at each of the tables. It was a little strange. Ken and I watched.
In a few minutes came The Chef, Mike. He asked us what we didn't like to eat. I told him no beef or pork, Ken told him no anchovies. He asked a few more questions. He told us that the menu was a surprise. That it would be 6 courses.
A surprise it was! We were never allowed to ask what was coming. The food was incredible. I ate everything. More bad great food. I had a wonderful tortellini in hot pepper cream sauce. Ken had penne pasta with meatballs, I had a halibut baked with spices and vegetables, Ken had a seared shark, there was chicken marsala stuffed, the food was amazing, and it didn't stop coming. The chef Mike and the young woman were very attentive. While it was a very strange dining experience it was well worth it and fun.
Now overly full it was time to go dance. I had heard great things about this milonga. It is in the banquet room of a Chinese restaurant overlooking the lake. I sit and watch. I am content to do this. Most people dance the same pattern. They dance it well, but the same. I listen to the music.
A young Mexican man asks me to dance. He is a beginner. It is a disaster. I am kind. I sit him down after the first song. He wants to talk. I am kind. He wants lessons. I tell him I am leaving on Wednesday. Mostly I watch. I am not used to asking men to dance or being forward. I am used to using the cabaceo. They do not do that here.
I use it on one man. He is very nice. He wants to come to Buenos AIres. I tell him about my Bed and Breakfast. He is sorry I am leaving on Wednesday. I meet several very nice men when I am dancing. I find the dancers in Seattle to be very nice. I dance with my friend "Arturo" who spends half the year in Buenos Aires.
A woman comes up to me. "Are you Howard Bisgeir's cousin?" she asks me. I am a little shocked. I laugh, "Yes," I tell her, "How did you know, we don't exactly look alike." She laughs and says "You are on his Facebook." Ahhh if it isn't on Facebook, it doesn't exist. She tells me she used to work with my cousin and what a sweet guy he is. I think I know this. He is my cousin. What a small world. Facebook and Tango.
I dance a few more tandas. I like Seattle. The people are nice here. It is not Buenos Aires, but it is nice. I wish I could have stayed a little longer, but my "dad and mom" are waiting for me outside in the car, hopefully with my suitcase.