...y todo a media luz*
- Boooooluuuuudooooo!!, ¿pero como manejás?!!! Shouted like I was crazy, poking my head out of the car window. Another car overtaking us on our left side in the roundabout began to cut us off. My friend Jorge was the driver, and certainly surprised, pointed out:
- What the hell are you doing cursing as a porteño?
Jorge himself was a real porteño, born in Buenos Aires, but he spend a pair of years living and studying in Barcelona. One year later he returned to Buenos Aires to start a business. When I was cursing in the roundabout we were heading towards Palermo street with the avenue of the Libertador. We were going to a party somewhere in the University district in the city. I don’t remind which one, any technical, engineering or architecture, likely. He introduced me to some friends there, meanwhile I insisted to talk using my fake argentinian accent trying to pass unnoticed. But obviously they noticed something strange.
- You’re not exactly porteño, don’t you? You’ve got an accent from…
- From Córdoba. I’m from Córdoba!
- Viste. I told you were not from the same Plata!
Parties in Buenos Aires were excessive. When it was over in the University we followed in same dark nightclub in Recoleta, in the heart of the city. I hardly remember the pools, some girls and several drinks. Finally I found out my hotel at Tucuman street, about half past seven that early morning. I ask to the desk man to wake me up at eight o’clock. I’m still seeing the face of the pal.
- At eight o’clock? But it’s…
- Yeah, I know. In half an hour.
Half an hour later I’ve already got sleep fifteen minutes, had a shower, and with all the journalists crew we drove to the Argentinian Congress. Felipe González, then Spanish prime minister, along Argentine President Raul Alfonsin were speaking to the deputies. Just one hour left since we drain the glasses in the last club we finished to set up the video camera and arranged the audio jacks. I pressed the shooter button and closed my left eyelid to look through the viewfinder with the right eye. A few minutes later I’ve got both closed.
Buenos Aires was stunning for a first visit. In the colourful La Boca quarter, to perceive the absent presence of Gardel, Alfredo La Pera and other tango creators is unavoidable, as well as his own pensamiento triste que se baila, the sad thought that is danced, in the words of the composer Enrique Santos Discépolo. This is the essence, the soul of the neighbourhood itself and it’s present in the stands along Caminito street, where it’s possible to find out any kind of paraphernalia relating tango: vinyl, movie posters, books, accordions and sheet music
In the early twentieth century tango was considered by the Vatican, through the newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, one of those which can not in any way to keep any chance even with decency. Because, if in all other dances is in danger near the morale of the dancers, in the tango decency is located in the disaster.
348 Corrientes street is a little bit off the corner of Almirante Brown with Pedro Mendoza crossroad. Not even for a while I though about to press second floor ring.
If there’s something to enjoy in the city of the Plata river is just a nice, solid, tasty and tender piece of beef in any of its asadores, grill specialized restaurants. Cook holds in his claws a one pound and a half bifé de chorizo, a kind of rib-eye steak. A good size to be started in the pleasures of grilled argentinian beef. He is willing to deposit it on the grill directly over the coals with parsimony and a studied professional staging. Less than a second before it touches the iron someone yells:
- Stop! Enough! Enough, that’s the point!
The cook turns back surprised. When he asked the next guest about the point of the meat the answer was:
-Still alive, please!
Seriously, beef was delicious and the point excellent.
The President's entourage boarded the plane. Next stop would be a milonga.
* At low light, 1924 Tango by Carlos Lenzi and Edgardo Donato