I am feeling a bit guilty today, I sent a comment to Jantango which she misunderstood, fortunately we soon cleared that up, but also I think “he doth complain too much” about expats dinners. There was nothing really wrong, it was just not to my taste, and I think it is always best to be honest. I understand how difficult it can be to organise something to please every one so I do try not to complain. Trouble is now I have been asked to organise one myself. I am not really sure if I can, I do not know many places that can cater for that many and I doubt the strength of my spanish. Still it will be one further adventure. If I fail I will just not advertise it or hide away back in Wales, if I succeed no one will be as happy as me. It just goes to show you should be very careful what you write, when something is in print no one can see your body language.
Another day of getting things for the flat and trying to sort out the dodgy work surface. Other people spend their holidays lazing by a beach or buying souvenirs, we spend hours going around DIY stores and looking for crockery, but what I enjoy most is just knowing where I am in a city the other side of the world. We know where to buy wood, plumbing fittings, tiles, furniture, you name it and the best feeling in the world when a local says “donde es la calle Cordoba?” and I can point him in the right direction, it just makes my day.
Tonight we are off to El Pial courtesy of Janis and Adolfo, who is driving. Carlos Anzuate is there and it is his birthday. We were here for his birthday last year but I had to leave before the cake arrived, tonight I was determined to stay to the end. It surprised me how disappointed he looked when we left, as we had only just met. We met his dance partner in the foyer and were greeted as if we were family, and when Carlos arrived again the effusive greetings. I wonder if there is something special about us, that the locals seem to love us so, or are they like this with everyone?
Carlos, still mourning the loss of his wife, did not want to celebrate, but the club were determined to announce his birthday and they had laid on champagne (actually it is sparkling cider, but that is what they call it here) and a cake, he smiled and accepted graciously, but I could still see the dampness in his eye. Chiche and Carlos bickered (in a friendly way) all night and when he was not there she bombarded me with words, only a tenth of which I understood, but they were company without compare. Carlos proudly showed me the book he had been presented by the author (Janis will fill the gaps I have no doubt) which had a whole paragraph about his wonderful milonga style. More info here Carlos Alberto Anzuate from Janis.
Sally and her Carlos arrived as well, I was not expecting to see them tonight, they were sat with friends of their own but when Carlos asked Viv for a dance, I took the opportunity to dance with Sally again. Only fair of course that Carlos got to ask first as I had a few dances on my own with Sally on our last visit.
El Pial is one of the many Clubs de Barrio, which I have yet to discover. Many require multiple bus journeys or expensive taxi rides to find and the city taxistas get lost when out in the barrios. So I was glad of the chance to come here and see the locals having fun. This club seems to be popular with a younger crowd as well, perhaps because the size of the floor gives them room and typically they flooded the floor when there was tanda of Pugliese. It has a huge tiled floor which Viv loved, I was not so sure, yet thinking back, we moved well here and I never noticed anything about the floor once I was dancing, which I suppose is a good thing.
The range of music was astounding, from canyengue to condombe. The DJ had the ability to mix in traditional with modern without alienating anyone. Nothing was too radical and all was danceable and the time passed very quickly untill at three thirty when it was time to leave, I felt that the night was till young.
We had, of course, demos as usual. We were treated to a whole series of world champions, most though looked coreographed and one guy threw his woman arround in a way that must have required enormous strength, I do not doubt his skill or his abilities, but for me this is not tango, Chiche commented that tango is in the pauses, I guess she was not impressed. There were two couples who seemed to me to be listening and dancing to the music, wonderful footwork, precision and musicality, these I could watch all night. When in the end they were brought on together to do a sort of salon, these two actually changed partners, proving they were really dancing tango (well to me enyway).
When we left we waited in the foyer for the ladies, and Carlos, thinking we were waiting for a taxi, offered to take us in his Remis (Remis is a sort of private hire car) and he would have had to pay extra. He cannot have much money and can probably ill-afford the extra, it just goes to show the sort of people they are.