I am home,
how many times was I deeply moved in Argentina.
I am portena,
I can zap around the Subte lines quite happily and even chance
the buses which are packed, standing room only and at any time
day or night. Buenos Aires never sleeps.
They are reckless drivers as we brush within an inch of other,
everyone seems to merge in an instant, they are community.
I now know all roads change names at Av Rivadivia and that
mysterious Maipu in the city becomes Chacabuco near San Telmo.
they are joined,
and most roads are one way.
I am Plaza Dorrego and Defensa on Sundays, at one with the
huge street markets and dancing from 8pm (early) in the open
square, and balmy nights, before going on to Tassos or Peru 571
or Practica X or La Catedral Bohemian Sarmiento, Canning or
Villa Malcolm on another night.
I am Milonga (tango) starting at mid night every night of the week,
with dinner around 11pm as a norm. I completely change my
diet and eating habits. 7 hours sleep for me is enough and
dance classes never start before 11am anyway.
I love the people, their warmth and their passion. They clap
the buskers/beggars on the trenes, the legless singer
at Arie Klok's exhibition opening, his thrill at being presented a
picture that had been sketched of him,
& being told that it would be framed and sent to his home
(I can't even begin to imagine what that might be) on the side of the tracks
where 50% of Bs As people live in abject poverty.
He is so very grateful and touched. He smokes on his raised cushion, then
sings tango. We sit around on boxes in the small patio between the once proud
now crumbling San Telmo shops, drinking mate or wine and eating empanadas,
served on a silver tray, listening to his every word as he blazes his guitar.
No one stole my bag. I fitted in. I am like them physically,
everyday people approached me asking me directions in Spanish,
making jokes, being kind, never pushing, sharing the tragedy of the strike,
the boom bust cycle and zero food in the shops.
Don't cry for me Argentina
the truth is I have never left you