Tuesday, July 23, 2013

We go to La Boca to look for our Title Background


We opened our blog website yesterday to discover that our blog had mysteriously "lost" the background image to the title.

We were not happy at this turn of events.  We should have know better than to have trusted Google in the first place - being an evil, giant, "Take over the entire Universe" kind of Corporation.

"What shall we do?  We got that photo in 2005 from our Toronto Milonguera friend - a wobbly blurry souvenir of her first ever trip to Buenos Aires.  It had a nice, modern, "Mark Rothko" like vibe to it - and the only copy we had we saved on the blog!  Help!!!" we said, clutching our heads and screaming at the heavens.

We will have to time-travel to La Boca and find it again!

Our taxi dropped us off steps away from the dirty stinky river.  It was a bright sunny day - local and foreign tourists were out in full force, enjoying the spring weather and sights and sounds of La Boca.

"Multi-coloured buildings everywhere - looks pretty hopeful," said Man Yung.  "I'm sure we will find the photo somewhere here.  I bet that it's somewhere along Caminito - it's the busiest section and that's where EVERYONE who visits La Boca will go."

We walk along the street.  There are restaurants every ten steps - and in front of every restaurant there is some kind of Tango performance going on.

"Look, they serve the same food at every restaurant!"  We look at the tourists eating al fresco under the shades of the umbrellas at the tourist traps. "They even serve the same kind of Tango!"  And indeed, the cheesiest versions of Tango's greatest hits play incessantly in the background while bored sweaty performers in Tango "costumes" wreck their knees on the very rough makeshift stage floors.

Men handing out flyers try to lure us into the restaurants by speaking to us in Japanese.  "Are you Japanese?  Konnichi-wa!  Konban-wa!"  We try our best not to engage.  We are on a mission!

Caminito isn't very long - you don't have to look very far to see the whole street was pretty much all the same.

We duck into a promising-looking passageway - surely we would find our photo here, there are many colourful walls:

"Nope, that building doesn't look like what we had on our title background.  There's some guy selling Tango CDs though!" I said.   Not only Tango CDs - but Tango hats, Tango maté paraphernalia, Tango t-shirts, Tango knick-knacks....

We fail to take photos of the tacky Tango souvenir shops, but cannot refrain from taking a photo of this tacky asian tourist in front of the most colourfully exploding La Bocaesque wall.

We can't find our photo in Caminito - so we continue to wander deeper into La Boca.

These appears to be railway tracks.  No train though.  Not so many tourists here.

We hear someone playing Angel Vargas singing a vals in the distance and we head there.

"I think it is coming from that balcony," I said.  The music gets louder.

"Hey doggie, are you playing that music?"

Not only is the doggie not playing the music, he is pretty bored with Tango and with Tango gawkers too!

Everywhere we look, there are colourful buildings - but not OUR colourful building.  We follow the train tracks back into the main tourist area.  We figured that our friend the Toronto Milonguera wouldn't venture too far from the tourist places all by herself.

In the daytime, La Boca is relatively safe, especially in the tourist area - but at night, everyone says that it is a rough neighbourhood.

We go to the part of La Boca that has been photographed a million times for picture postcards and travel brochures.  Maybe we'll find what we are looking for if we look over the fences?

We actually stand on a platform and look over the fence - no luck.  And no naked orgy either.

And then we go and photograph "The Most Photographed Part of Caminito" ourselves - no use hiding the fact that we are unapologetically touristy.

We wander back into the main square.  Tourists can either take photos of themselves in tango poses by putting their heads through the cut out areas in the plywood Tango paintings...or they can pose with the "Real Live" Tango dancer.  You can even put on a Tango jacket and hat (that everyone's been wearing under this hot sun - ewwwww) for more 'authenticity'.  Guess which option will cost you more money?

We are too embarrassed to get a good shot of this fun La Boca activity.  Maybe we feel bad for the girl who has to pose with her legs up in the clutches of strange men, showing her panties?  You will only get to see the back of the baggy,  ill fitting Tango jacket on this tourist guy.

We try another street.  It seems like we aren't getting closer to what we are looking for.  "Perhaps you misremembered - our friend the Toronto Milonguera took the photo in San Telmo?" asked Man Yung.

Here's a local greeting another local in the tourist shop.

We eventually ended up by the river again.  

"Where could our photo be?  We have walked through all the possible tourist areas in La Boca and nothing remotely resembles the scene that our friend photographed," said Man Yung.  

"We have been too aimless - we should have analyzed this better before walking all around willy-nilly." I said.  "Let's look at the known facts:

1.  Our friend said that she took the photo in La Boca.
2.  She explained that the photo was blurry because she had to take it from a MOVING TAXI.

Now, most of the places we went to are closed off to traffic.  Of course we weren't going to find our photo there.  She must have taken the photo on her way in or out of La Boca.  We have already travelled the way 'in' - and we saw nothing on that route.  Now we have to look sharp on our way 'out'."

We were all tired out by the touristy-ness but we tried one last street - a completely quiet one on the other side of La Boca that seemed a likely escape route.  No-one was walking about and there were even some "normal" houses.

We go down half a block.  "Maybe this is a dead end too," said Man Yung, wanting to turn back.

I spot something a few houses down. "Don't turn back yet - I think it's there!"

And whadyaknow?  There it was!

"THIS IS WHERE OUR PHOTO WAS TAKEN!" I said.  "Urrrr - it doesn't look so good close up though."

It had that 'grubby peeling paint and general decay' look going on.

Man Yung nodded.  "It looked so much better blurry!"

Don't worry, we eventually found our blurry Title Background photo in Google photos.   Ta-da! However, we soon discovered that not only did Google lose our photo, it also lost our blog template...now everything on the blog looks screwy!   FRICKIN' GOD DAMN GOOGLE!


Tangocommuter said...

I logged in and went to look at my blog recently... and was told 'This blog has been deleted'! Logged in again and there it was, but it scared me. All four years of it gone, without an apology! So I've made a backup copy, but wonder about using Wordpress instead.

Extraordinary story about the cab driver, but if he wasn't running towards BsAs for love, he might well have been running away from something elsewhere.

Enjoy your visit! (I assume you're there now.)

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Tangocommuter,

We are still going through our blog and finding "Surprises!" - all sorts of things wonky or missing. Thanks for reminding us to make a backup!

No, in fact we are not in Buenos Aires but still in Toronto! The photos are from 2010 - and believe it or not, we went to La Boca just to find where our friend took the photo - it's a true story! The photos and records of this visit to La Boca came in quite handy when the photo actually disappeared off our blog.

Thanks for your comment,

Irene and Man Yung

Martha said...

Well. I'm really glad it's back! It looks good.
Best regards, Martha

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