Archive for November, 2010

TangoCynic strikes again

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

I’ve read a few blog posts about tangueras’ tango shoes in the last year or so. Now TangoCynic has weighed in with another in their cracking series of animated tango videos on YouTube. In two weeks the mystery TangoCynic has posted eight superb videos. I know some people are afraid they might discourage new or potential new tangueros and tangueras. I think the people most likely to watch the videos have been dancing tango long enough to recognise both the truth and humour in them and are already too committed to be so easily put off. And having recently seen an entire wardrobe full of tango shoes I can’t resist sharing this one.

I’m not going to link or embed all of TangoCynic’s videos but I do suggest you visit their YouTube page and watch them all.

Fog, traffic, tango – part 4

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Last weekend I went to Turkey for the Istanbul tango ritual, staying with a tanguera friend I met in Buenos Aires. This is the story of the final day of my visit.


Cigdem, my hostess for the weekend had to leave for work at 6:30 on Monday morning. At 6:25 I dragged myself out of bed to thank her for her hospitality and to say goodbye. After she left I went straight back to bed and slept for a few more hours. An airport shuttle collected me at 11am and whisked me through the sunshine – yes, the fog had finally given up – and almost no traffic to Sabiha Gökcen airport.

Squeezyjet did a fine job of getting me back to the UK, just as they had done a fine job of getting me to Turkey on Friday. The return flight was longer than the outbound due to a headwind and the battery on my Kindle gave up an hour into the flight. So much for ten days on one charge; I think I got more like ten hours. Emerging from the cloud at 400′ the pilot made one of the smoothest landings I’ve ever experienced. Fifteen minutes later I was stood outside Luton airport waiting for my taxi. It was cold – only 5 Celsius (41 Farenheit), windy and raining and generally horrible. The temptation to walk back inside to the ticket desks and buy a one-way ticket to anywhere hot and sunny where they dance tango and/or west coast swing was very strong. I hear Buenos Aires is nice at this time of year…

Fog, traffic, tango – part 3

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

I’m in Turkey for the Istanbul tango ritual, staying with a tanguera friend I met in Buenos Aires. This is the story of the third day of my visit.


Today I wake at least an hour later than on Saturday. Again no classes or seminars for us. The fog is really only mist today and there is no need for multiple bridge crossings so the sightseeing should be better. But after a long leisurely breakfast and faffing about we don’t actually set off for the European side of the city until about 3:30pm. Given it’ll be dark in about 2 hours that doesn’t leave a lot of daylight for sightseeing. Oh well, I’ll have to come back another time.

The traffic is the lightest I’ve seen it and we park up in the Fatih district close to the Spice Bazaar and the Yeni Mosque. We wander fairly purposefully around the outside of the mosque and through the bazaar. Cigdem buys more green tea since I’ve drunk most of what she had left when I arrived. We stop at a bakery and I sample (pistachio) baklava for the first time. It’s delicious and I learn that the Turks, like the porteños, all have a sweet tooth. We move the car closer to the evening milonga venue – the Armada Hotel – and resume the sightseeing just as dusk settles over the city. We walk past the Sultan Ahmet (Blue) Mosque and then around Hagia Sophia in the dark before stopping to eat in a renowned traditional Turkish restaurant. The walls are decorated with letters of thanks and commendations from the rich and famous of the last 90 years. I play safe and stick to Turkish meatballs which for some reason aren’t round but rectangular. Apparently there are all sorts of conditions that will be imposed on Turkish restaurants  by the Brussels bureaucrats if they join the European Union. Whether their meatballs will have to become round I don’t know.

Over dinner we both decide that actually we’re pretty tired and don’t need to dance tonight. The milonga won’t start for another hour anyway. So no tango for me today making for a pretty lightweight festival performance.  We head home past the Armada Hotel and across the Bosphorus for my last time. It’s still misty, and the traffic is pretty minimal. Tomorrow I’ll be flying back to Blighty.