Tango lesson and show in Buenos Aires [YQrtw Day 65 Jun 11]

complejo tango sign

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

[This is Part II of Jun 11. In Part I, I went to La Boca.]

The receptionist at the hostel convinced me to go to a tango lesson and show as it was “cheap Tuesday”.

Everything was A$320 (~S$80), including transportation to and from the hostel, one lesson, a 3-course meal, unlimited drinks and a good show.

My heart did bleed a little when I handed over my A$320. That’s one third of the maximum amount I can withdraw from the ATM at a go. This meant that I will probably need to visit the ATM soon.

My classmate C joined the lesson + show as well, signing up with my hostel. She heard that her hostel was selling a similar package but at A$500.

Pick up to Complejo Tango

My receptionist said the shuttle bus would come at 6:45pm to pick us up. It wasn’t until well past 7pm that the bus actually came.

The bus was half full with very excited girls. Where are all the boys?? [I overheard in my dorm the next day that the guys went to a lesson/show with more guys than girls. Maybe I should have signed up for that.]

When we reached Complejo Tango, we were all sheparded onto a narrow staircase and went one floor up to reach the medium-sized dance studio.

Complejo Tango dance studio
Complejo Tango dance studio

It took a while for the rest of the people to come and for the class to start. Our instructor was Alejandro, a name I will never forget because of Lady Gaga.

Since there were more females than males, some girls had to go to the boy’s side to learn their steps. I manage to hide away at the girl’s side because the boy’s supposed to lead.

Our lesson was short and sweet with lots of footwork. In between, we had to find partners to dance and it was rather awkward. Still, it was a nice break from all the sightseeing and Spanish learning.

Food

Complejo Tango stage
Complejo Tango stage

After our class, it was dinner time. Our tables were set in a hall that had a stage in the center, against the wall.

I shared a table with my classmates, dorm mates and a lady from Sydney. Our table wasn’t very near the stage but it was a nice distance.

For my three-course meal, I chose empanada for appetizer, steak cooked raw for my main and a creme caramel for dessert.

Since it was a all-you-can-drink, the waitress plonked down three bottles of wine to be shared about the five of us.

The meal was good, although my steak could use a bit more searing to get the fat crispy. (Oh, crispy fat on steak…)

The show started after the main and before dessert…

The show must go on

Surprisingly, there were storylines to the show. In the first one, a man–our instructor Alejandro–kept stabbing the wall where his shadow was. Then his pals came out.

The three of them did a “manly” tango that reminded me of a VideoJug instructional video.

The ladies did come out in the end and that’s when the show got exciting. One of the ladies looked very much like Melisandre with the same sexy red dress but hair that is more copper than red.

El tango
El tango

In between the storylined dances, an elderly man would pop up and sing. He would then disappear and appear in the storyline as The Elderly Gentleman with Great Seduction Skills, or something like that.

The length of the show was great. It didn’t feel too long or too short.

Around the end, some of the girls were drunk on their all-you-can-drink and were very boisterous. They continued being happily loud on the shuttle bus back.

I would recommend going for tango lesson + show as this if you don’t dance. It’s a great way to learn a bit about the dance and you get a certificate at the end.

Have you seen a tango show? Which part did you like best?

Visit to the colorful La Boca [YQrtw Day 65 Jun 11]

La Boca Buenos Aires

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

This morning, I had my first taste of dulce de leche. I had been avoiding it because it came in a box that didn’t look very sanitary.

But I decided to give it a try after Macarena said a restaurant serves very good dulce de leche pasty.

Dulce de leche is a jam-like substance that is muddy brown but tastes of milky caramel. It’s quite nice as a bread spread but between you and I, kaya is much better.

After breakfast, off to Spanish school I went.

Class went well, we learned how to talk about the weather which is very useful as small talk.

La Boca

Same as yesterday, there was an after-school activity. Today’s event was a trip to La Boca.

La Boca, Buenos Aires

Our guide was still Macarena. This time, we were given a sheet of paper with explanation of different important sites in La Boca. The whole sheet was in Spanish. Gulp.

Macarena was around to help with deciphering the sheet. It’s good that I didn’t visit La Boca on my own because I wouldn’t have known the significance of important buildings.

We started at the pier. The water was muddy and didn’t smell so good. On the pavement, there were chalk-drawn games.

One of the games was this box jumping game. Back in Malaysia, we call it 跳飞机(Translation: Jumping from [or is it on] airplanes).

跳飞机

There was also a gigantic tic tac toe which requires people to stand in the little circles. It reminded me of Hogwart’s gigantic chess pieces.

Our tour involved walking into one small lane, being stopped by touts to go sit in their coffee shops, looking at tango shows for tourists and lots of listening.

One surprising thing was that one of the coffee place touts managed to figure out where I was from. It started out with the usual calls of “Ni hao. Annyeong hasseyo” which I ignore.

Suddenly, the guy said, “Malaysia.” I stopped in my tracks, turned to him to give him a thumbs up and a “Muy bien!”

He proceeded to explain why he said Malaysia. “No ‘ni hao’. No ‘annyeong’. No ‘konnichiwa’. Is Malaysia.”

OK. That’s a good deduction, I suppose.

Bit of history of La Boca

La Boca

I’m terrible at recounting history so if you want a proper version, Wikitravel La Boca will be great help.

La Boca used to be the living area of immigrants who found work at the shipyard. They built their houses using left over materials from the boats. The colorful walls were the result of using leftover paint from ship.

Writers and painted moved to La Boca, probably because it was rustic, and the place became a bohemian place.

From what I saw now, La Boca is mainly touristic. It’s a nice place to take photos that say, “Hey, I’ve been to Buenos Aires!”

La Boca Caminito

La Boca's colorful buildings

La Boca's colorful buildings

La Boca's colorful buildings

La Boca's colorful buildings

After La Boca, we took a bus back to the main city area.

At night, I went to a tango show. I’ll tell you more in a separate post.

Would you paint the walls of your house like how they do in La Boca?