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Two to Tango in Buenos Aires

Argentina, Buenos Aires

tango show, Buenos Aires

When my friend Chris asked me if I would take her to my native Argentina so she could learn Spanish, I think she was surprised when I answered with a heartfelt “YES!”

Trips to Argentina for me had always involved simply visiting Tucumán, where the bulk of my family lives. We sit around, eat great food, drink mate tea, and perhaps go visit a few haunts. I knew that taking a friend would make my itinerary a bit more complex than with which cousin I was eating which day, so I set off to book a side trip to the capitol city of Buenos Aires. I had only visited on layovers so it was as much an adventure for her as it was for me.

My cousin found us a 4 star hotel right on Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world. We could see the Obelisque out our window and explored as much as our limited budgets could allow.

The hotel’s concierge wound up being our best resource for information on what to visit and where to trek. One day, as we walked out to go have breakfast, he called us over and told us about a tango spectacular. These tango shows are very tourist oriented and so I had been shying away from them. Besides, they were not quite in our budget.

The concierge told us that this particular show was the best and most authentic in town. Whether or not he had been paid to say so is beyond me, but the thought of live tango in the birthplace of this forbidden dance piqued my interest. That interest disappeared when I saw the price tag. “Disculpe,” I said. “We can’t afford it.”

Savvy as he was, he knew how to keep us. He offered to sell us two tickets for the price of one. Sold! Then he told us where to go to buy less-expensive clothes that were appropriate for the black tie event. Since we were living out of backpacks, everything we owned was wrinkled and, well, ugly.

We found and purchased proper attire, ran back to the hotel to get ready. As we came down the grand staircase at the hotel, I remember feeling like Julia Roberts getting off the elevator in her new evening gown. We even had our own Hector Elizondo standing at the base of the stairs to gasp and tell us how lovely we were.

The tango show was magnificent. There was a live orchestra in the background, a tango singer who wandered around, and dancers on the stage. Dinner was included in the price of the ticket. The steak was beyond description. Chris mentioned that she may die of a heart attack if she ate the whole steak, due to its size. I noticed, however, that she didn’t make another comment after actually biting into it, and managed to finish the whole meal without cardiac arrest.

Four hours later, still savoring the meal and humming “El Choclo,” we walked back in to our hotel. There was our friend, the concierge. We thanked him profusely. He told us that it was simply his job to make sure patrons were happy.

He had done his job well.


Further Information

Must see/do at this place: La Boca

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By AP Call
I came to the states as a baby and grew up in a very Argentine household. I am strongly religious and have a great love of learning. I'm a SAHM...
28 Jun 2007

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