Thursday, October 6, 2011

Neighbourhood



Perfect Buenos Aires spring morning - sunny, but not too hot.  We pass by the hotel reception desk.  The hotel clerks turns to say hello, and their face light up with big smiles when they see us.  In the breakfast room, we hug and kiss our friend Juan in charge of all the food, who is also very happy to see us again.

We wave hello to the sales clerks in the boutique next to the hotel.  On the corner, the ancient grizzled shoe shine guy Juan Jose gives us big hugs and his toothless grin goes from ear to ear.

Across the street and to La Madeleine.  We shake everyone's hand and hug the manager.  "Tango again?" he asks as he shows us to our table. On the way back to the hotel, we chat with Nicolas the street florist about his shipment of jasmines.

The mood must be infectious.  On the street, we pass by a concierge of a fancy apartment building - Man Yung has only danced at one milonga, but already his waistline is shrinking and he has to adjust his belt or his pants will fall down.    The concierge smiles at us when we catch him looking - "It's ok, I don't mind!"

We are waiting to cross the street.  In front of us are two beautiful portenas loaded with shopping bags, talking excitedly.  "Muchas compras," I say as they smile and look at us with our silly Tilley hats on.  "Si," says one.  She adds, "You like Buenos Aires?"

"Yes - muy lindo!" we replied, nodding, happy.

You could talk about traveling to Paris, Barcelona, New York, Tokyo, or Hong Kong... but I think that for us, there's no other place we'd rather than be than our beloved Buenos Aires.

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Alberto Dassieu

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