Planet Hiker
2005-06-12 Welcome to Buenos Aires, Argentina

The arrival of my parents was sudden, even though expected, and very much at the right time and in the right place. They flew into Buenos Aires - the city of tango, posh restaurants, and old architecture full of aristocratic sentiment which my parents always wanted to be a part of. The additional benefit of this place was that sophistication could be bought at a cheap price. Fancy meals go for a fraction of the cost when compared to the prices in the States. So we took advantage of that as much as possible, visiting famous eateries which, according to my Dad who is an expert when it comes to culinary trivia, were mentioned in one romantic novel or another. But surprisingly, we found little variation in Argentinian cuisine. There is lots of meet, including parts of the animal that I prefer not to know about, simple salads, fries and that's pretty much it... There are probably other dishes that we just didn't come across, but never the less, restaurants preferred to keep their menus simple.

Other than food there was, of course, tango. Dad didn't want to be a part of it, in spite of (or may be because of) my mother's forceful encouragement. But I did do my part and took them to a local "tangeria" where strangers young and old showed off their art, ignoring the late hours (these places get going at around midnight). Having been teased with their grace and elegance, we then put away our egos and went practicing at the "Academia de Tango" - a small joint where people go after work to learn a few new steps, for a modest admission fee of $1.50.

Since waiting till midnight just to see some dancing is a bit strenuous for the unaccustomed, the "portenos" would make things easier and have exhibition dancing at random corners of the town. Below are some photos taken by my Dad that illustrate a particular scene:

Here is Dad dancing tango with a local girl:

Well, OK, may be that wasn´t Dad...

Mom fully blending into the tourist appeal with the trendy backpack:

Dad specializes in noticing interesting characters. Here he found two:

Mom and Dad living it big at a local tangeria: