Three boxes, a concert, and a bowl of soup
How many personalities does it take to eat chocolate volcan?

Another day, another night...

Mira asks me if we can please find some milongas with people less than 90 years old.  That was before she went to Canning and the Canning experience of being banged into on the dance floor.  I did not participate in this excellent adventure.  I tell her that on Sunday we will go look for younger, kinder milongas.

We spend the first part of Sunday hanging out on my balcony.  I am rather proud of my balcony.  It is not as big as my deck that I had in California, but I have managed get lots of plants and flowers onto it.  I have a great view and with the spectacular weather, it is nice to read the paper and have coffee.  Mira is reading Spanish grammar (ugh) and I am reading the Sunday paper.Balcony

Patrick calls.  He is from San Francisco.  He was referred by friends.  I unfortunately had no room for him, but told him to call me so he could hang out with us.  I tell him Mira and I plan to go shopping in Plaza Serrano.  He surprises me when he says he would like to come with us.  Brave man.  Shopping with two women.

He comes to my apartment, and we head off to Plaza Serrano.  Mira and I are in shopping heaven.  I love Plaza Serrano.  I can buy clothes here that are different.  I have my favorite designers.  I bring a pair of shoes that I have been unable to find a dress for.  I am hoping that Nancy has something.

Mira and I drag Patrick from stall to stall.  We look at the bright colored clothing. This is cute, this is not.  This is ugly. This is adorable.  So far nothing good enough to try.  Patrick is enthralled by the scene.  Restaurants that become clothing markets on the weekend.  Only in Buenos Aires.

Finally we get to Nancy's stall.  "¡Que flaca sos!"   She says to me as she grabs me in a hug.  I laugh.  I have not seen her in awhile.  I look over her dresses and I see it.  One that I think will go with the shoes.  I pull it out, a beautiful orange and gold dress.  I pull out my shoes.  Leo made these shoes for me over two years ago.  They were to be for an exhibition I was going to dance.  It never happened.  Antonio spent two years remaking the shoes so I could wear them now.  They are an odd color of orange with gold and this dress if it fits, will be perfect. 

I disappear into the dressing rooms.  Nancy follows me.  She still cannot believe how much weight I have lost.  Actually I am back to where I was before the accident.  But she never knew me this way. I put on the dress.  It fits perfect.  I slip the shoes on. Nancy adjusts the ties.  "¿Que piensas?"  I ask her.  "¡Divina!"  But then she wants to sell a dress.  I go out and ask Patrick and Mira.  They love it.  Even with my black bra hanging out of it. Sold!

Mira picks up a pair of pants.  It's really too hot and too crowded to shop.  We decide to go back and take our stuff to the apartment.  We count our change and head for San Telmo.  I point out places of interest before we land near the plaza.  We walk a little down Defensa.  I tell them how the Mayor who owns a concrete company would like to pave over the cobblestones, turn Defensa into a pedestrian mall and build a 5 star hotel.  Hasn't anyone ever told the non-existent city planners here that there is a world crisis and tourism is down?

When we get to the Plaza El Indio is dancing.  Patrick and Mira watch him.  After I go to say hello to Miradeby him.  I have known him for what seems like forever.  He is surprised to see me and teases me "Cada vez sos mas Porteña".  He asks me if I am happy, how every thing is.  He is a good guy.  

We run into my friend Fabio.  We decide until there are more people in the plaza to go have a coffee and maybe a snack.  I end up the translator.  I am glad Mira speaks some Spanish.  Mostly I translate between Fabio and Patrick.  It is a lively cross cultural conversation.  There is a natural curiosity on both sides about cultural differences.

Plaza After we go back to the plaza.  Fabio dances with Mira several tandas.  Then there is a folkloric lessons.  We sit it out and talk.  When this is over they dance a few more tandas. Fabio needs to go. We decide to go back, change, and head for El Beso.

Once dressed for El Beso we have to take a taxi.  None of have any change.  The moneda situation this weekend seems to be crucial. There is no change anywhere.  Signs have been posted alerting people. Even the taxi driver has no change.

Once inside Mira is enchanted with the place. "Wow" she says to me.  "I like this place."  Patrick too, agrees that El Beso has a certain cachet. It looks crowded and I advise them we probably won't get a table.  I wait for the organizer to come over.  She greets me and demands to know where I have been. She wants to give Mira and I front table, but I do not want to leave Patrick alone.  I explain that to her.  She is impressed that I do not try to make her life miserable and accept a back row table with no complaints.

Mira is immediately swept away by a young man.  She is a gorgeous young woman and has no problem getting dances.  I go to greet my friends. Pibe Avellaneda hands me a glass of champagne.   I am surprised to see so many people here.  I have always liked this milonga.

I dance several tandas and as I am trying to maneuver through the room a man recognizes me from my blog.  He is from Canada.  I stop to talk to him and then we dance.  He is so sweet.  I meet his girlfriend who had been emailing to me.

I finally get back to the table.  Patrick and I have a great conversation while Mira comes to rest in between her numerous dances.  She is floating.  The men here are less than 90 and she has had many good dances.  My friend Tony a handsome young man asks about her and invites her to dance.  She is very happy.

I try to get Patrick to dance but he is shy.  I don't push him  I ask him how he can be so shy in his line of work.  He tells me that he is a gemini.  I tell him I am too.  He tells me that he has virgo rising.  "WOW!! ME TOO!!  I laugh.  "Wen is your birthday?"  I ask him.  "May 24th" he says to me. My eyes go huge, "No way!!! Mine too!  You are too cool birthday man!"  I tell him.  I cannot believe it.  Someone other than Queen Victoria who has the same birthday as me.  (OK and Bob Dylan too.)

"What a great day"  I say to Mira, when she comes back to the table, "I found birthday man." She gives me that look when I know I need to explain myself, so I do. Then I add, and I found my dress too.  And you found men under 90 who can dance.  She looks around.  "I like this place." 

It's 3:00 am and almost everyone has left.  We go out to the street to catch a taxi.  Another day. Another night.


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Un artículo sobre extranjeros:

"Extranjero de acá

Todos en Buenos Aires tienen un extranjero en su mesa. “Ma…dru…gada”, qué es eso pregunta James, que lee la palabra en un cartel. Está repleto de ellos. Porque no sólo son turistas, vienen a vacacionar largamente por el país, o a estudiar cine o teatro, o a hacer una tesis sobre Borges o el “nuevo cine argentino” o las economías latinoamericanas, o a dar clases de inglés o danés mientras mejoran su español, y otras razones que en el fondo indican que el país les gusta porque es barato, culturalmente rico y ahora ofrece una capital diversa y abierta al mundo como otras grandes capitales.

Como nadie dice nada arriesgo: “Early morning”, “2, 3, 4 de la mañana” acota impulsivamente otra comensal. Estamos en la plaza de San Telmo, el ruido es mucho y todavía no es madrugada. James, otro James, que también está en la mesa, es traductor, así que lo participo de lo que ha preguntado su coterráneo y homónimo, que él no ha llegado a escuchar. “No”, dice, “no hay una única palabra que designe exactamente en inglés madrugada”.

Salvador es extranjero en Bolivia..."

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