Posts Tagged ‘Spanish’

ColorTango

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Last night (Wednesday) ColorTango played at “La Garufa” milonga in Konex, close to the Abasto shopping mall. I have heard people rave about them and I thought they were very good indeed. It was really nice to dance to a live orchestra. There are a handful of photos over at Flickr. It was a nice bonus to bump into Sonya, an Australian girl I met here in December. We danced a couple of tandas and she said my dancing has improved.

I went to La Garufa with Isabelle after a we pigged out at a restaurant in Palermo. Isabelle had bife de chorizo and a huge salad, I had bife de lomo and a mountain of chips. The food was plentiful but nothing special. We talked mostly in Spanish which I thought would be good practice for tonight’s Spanglish event. She’s flying home on Saturday – volcano permitting. Her Spanish is far better than mine and I was pleased to understand and be understood. I didn’t expect it to be so easy tonight.

Spanglish? More of a shambles really and very few native Spanish speakers. I didn’t bother to stay. Maybe I’ll look in again next week, maybe I won’t.

My private lesson this afternoon with Maya was much more productive. The list of technique things for me to practice and improve is getting longer. It’s a good job I’m here for a while!

Earlier in the week, on Monday afternoon I did a couple of touristy things: visited El Ateneo and the Galerias Santa Fe shopping centre. El Ateneo is a bookshop which was originally a theatre. It’s a rather more interesting building to look at than most bookshops as you can see in the photos over at Flickr. The attraction at Galerias Santa Fe is not the shopping (it’s only a small mall with nondescript shops) but the ceilings. There are a few photos in my Flickr steam (the colour has been enhanced a bit because the flash on the camera wasn’t powerful enough to illuminate the ceiling properly). You could sit in the comfy chairs in El Ateneo, or in the cafe section and soak up the surroundings for half an hour quite easily. Galerias Sante Fe might hold your attention for 5 minutes.

Monday night at Salon Canning was disappointing. It may not be the “best” milonga for me but it’s very convenient – only a 10-15 minute walk along Scalabrini Ortiz from where I’m staying. If you’re interested in what it looks like, there’s a picture of it early in the night, before the floor gets crowded in the Flickr photostream. Vals is not my favourite form but I was determined to try. Unfortunately I made the mistake of starting the night with a vals and compounded it by dancing with a rather short Argentinian girl. It certainly wasn’t a good first dance but it wasn’t that bad. Her assessment was less favourable; she thanked me after the first track of the tanda and walked off.

It’s a good job I’m not a local; I’d have had to fall on my sword. Confidence dented I sat out for a bit and the floor got busier. I carefully avoided the vals and milonga tandas for the rest of the night. I danced some tango tandas with other people later which went better.

On Tuesday night after Maya’s group class at Caseron Porteno I went to Practica X (pictures at Flickr). It was rather less crowded than on my visit in December. Although all the dancers were a really high standard, they seemed not quite as good as on my previous visit. Maybe they’d gone somewhere else this week.

Tonight it’s not too late to go dancing. Perhaps Nino Bien. And for the weekend, well more dancing obviously!

Thanks for reading. Have a good weekend. If you’ve been affected by the travel disruption caused by the Icelandic volcano and you’re travelling this weekend then I hope it goes smoothly for you. If you’re dancing somewhere, have fun :-) And if you have something special planned and want to share the details, I’d love to hear them.

(If you post a comment but don’t want me to publish it, just say so.)

Slowing down

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

“Remember, slow down” were Amiee’s parting words as she turned and walked away on Friday afternoon. I walked back into Jardin Botanico, which you can see here from my balcony, and did just that. Sat on the benches, meandered round the paths, stroked some of the cats and took a few more photos (you can see some of them at Flickr).

At Los Consagrados last night, Cherie said something similar, along the lines of “forget the Anglo-Saxon rush, rush, rush. In tango there is time. Take it slowly”. I danced some not-too-shabby tandas after that.

Settling in to the “manana manana” mindset is not easy, at least on the tango front. Since my private lesson on Thursday I’ve done another group class and been to three more milongas. Soho Tango at Villa Malcolm on Thursday, Parakultural at Salon Canning on Friday, and Los Consagrados again last night.

I’m being much more South American about the other objectives I set myself! Still no regular exercise program, still no Spanish learned. And I haven’t bothered to do a blog post about the irritations of life here (which admittedly are pretty trivial). But I will still go to Spanglish on Thursday.

For the rest of this afternoon I’m going across the road to sit in Jardin Botanico. I’ll take the Spanish books with me, just in case. And tonight more tango at La Glorieta.

How was your weekend, what have you been doing? Have you been rushing around in an Anglo-Saxon way, or taking it easy in a South American way?

Faffing around

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

It’s been a very lazy week for me so far. Monday night was Lunes de Tango at Club Gricel, Tuesday evening I did Maya‘s group class at Caseron Porteno, and last night tried TangoLab at Club Villa Malcolm. So it sounds like I have been busy, but I’ve been frittering the days away with reading blogs, daydreaming, facebooking and other non-productive stuff.

I can’t spend 6 months (well, I could!) doing basically nothing; I need some more specific goals, ones to be done during the days. The 2 main reasons for being here are to dance and improve my tango, and learn Spanish. Group classes, private lessons and lots of milongas will help with the tango. The learning Spanish needs more work!

So here are some publicly stated goals for the Spanish –

  1. Attend Spanglish next Thursday.
  2. Publish a blog post entirely in Spanish in 1 month, 3 months and 6 months time.
  3. Achieve at least an 1800 word vocabulary by October.

Another objective is to get back into a regular exercise regime. Tango is not exercise! I’ve made a start on this but need to do more. It’s going to have to be outdoor exercise, there’s not enough money in my budget to go to a gym.

Last week the weather here was great, mid 20s, sunny, blue skies – very nice indeed. The last couple of days have been a different story. Still quite warm but lots of rain – not exactly encouraging for outdoor exercise. We’re back to dry today with showers possible and a forecast of 22 degrees and sunny again tomorrow. Well I am a Brit, we can’t help but talk about the weather!

I’ve got a private lesson with Maya this afternoon and tonight I’ll probably go to Nino Bien at Centro Region Leonesa.

Now, to all those folks at home (especially the non-facebook ones) who wanted to hear about my “adventures” – what have you been up to, what are your goals for the next 6 months?