After, what feels like a whirlwind of an arrival, we are already at the end of day 4 in BA.
We arrived on Friday morning to very long lines in EZE (the airport), so long that our luggage was already off the carousel by the time we went through customs/immigration! AND torrential down pours. We crammed all of our luggage and the 4 of us into my uncle’s car, typical Argentine style with luggage in between and on top of each of us! and made it into Buenos Aires to our lovely home for the next 3 weeks.
My star ASU student, Tyler, is on a first major adventure with his brand new first ever passport and his tango sneakers, armed with very little Spanish, he is here, participating in milongas and Leader’s Tango Week with some very fine tango leaders, already eating pasta and empanadas like a local!
It is strange to find myself here without a tour to guide but nice that several ASU students are here for their exchange programs and Tyler, here to dance and experience tango to the fullest. Love having some of “my kids” close by.
Already I have seen my maestra, taken a private lesson with her, been to 3 milongas, and saw “old” friends who I either see traveling or in Buenos Aires! And tonite I will connect with more family.
The weather is chilly – especially for our thinned out Arizona blood! Our housemates have colds and we are fending that off with Vitamin C and Chinese herbs, thanks to J from Flagstaff. So far – so good.
We are staying in a lovely tango house near Congreso – which is just a few blocks away from some great milongas and the Congress Building. Of course, we have not seen any of the weather that is in this picture!
I had heard enough about inflation prior to coming here but now being here we are seeing and feeling the impact first hand. The peso has 2 rates, the bank rate and the black market rate, of which there’s plenty of opportunity to purchase the latter. And that is significantly higher than the bank rate, of course. The cost of food is higher, taxis, buses, subways, everything, milongas, shoes – all of it, is higher. Even with the higher exchange rate it seems almost ridiculous to pay so much for that which was so much cheaper even a year ago and even markedly cheaper 5 years ago. It is common to pay between 12 – 14 pesos for a soda or bottled water at a milonga. At the bank rate, that’s $3. The milongas are between 30 – 45 pesos. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot of money but it’s almost normal prices for someone coming from the US. In other words, it’s not a cheap vacation anymore. (12 pesos for a dozen eggs.) It used to cost around 25 pesos to travel almost anywhere in the city by taxi, now it’s double that. From Congreso to Palermo it has been 45 pesos. Those were the milongas we chose for the last few nights.
Today in my class I was reminded – intention before stepping. So I leave you with that idea as well. Where is your intention when you take your steps both as a leader and a follower? Are you taking a step and then arriving where you want to be? Consider the inverse, “I want to be there” and then step there.