Tag Archives: couchsurfing

Tango Classes at Tango Brujo

I should begin by pointing out that I don’t know how to dance tango. I think it’s amazing though and I’d love to learn. So when my mom and niece were coming to visit, I decided it was time to take a couple of classes with people who know as little as I do and with whom I have no problem looking like a fool.

Trying to decide where to take tango classes in Buenos Aires is about is no easy task. I asked everyone I know who’s in the tango world and there was no consensus. A lot of people recommended La Viruta, the massive milonga in Palermo, but I had heard the classes at La Viruta were very crowded and I also knew that it attracts a younger group of people. Worried my mom might feel out of place and that we wouldn’t get any one-on-one attention from the instructors, I looked for something smaller. Tango Brujo was recommended in a discussion on Couchsurfing. And since I think the crowd over at Couchsurfers is pretty cool (read an earlier post about this project here), it sounded right for us, too. 

 Tango Brujo Shop

Tango Brujo is housed in a beautifully renovated building on Esmeralda in downtown Buenos Aires. There’s a gorgeous shop on the ground floor. The shoes and clothes are enough to make anyone want to become a tango aficionado. Unbelievably cool stuff! Head upstairs for the cozy dance studio. 

 Tango - Mom and Jordan

They offer classes for all levels and throughout the week, which makes planning a lot easier. We took two: Introduction to Tango, and the Beginners and Intermediate. What I liked about our classes at Tango Brujo was that there weren’t too many people and yet there were enough of us to change partners and get in a good bit of practice. 

 Tango Brujo - Instruction

The classes were in English and Spanish and the instructors were excellent. They were great at figuring out how quickly they could move on to the next step, who needed a bit of individualized attention, and making sure everyone was dancing even though there were more women than men and pairing people up was sometimes hard to do. 

Tango is as hard as I’ve always heard it was to learn. The problem for my mom, my niece and me was that in Louisiana we dance to Cajun or Zydeco music. It’s fast and loose. Hips move and bodies swing in Louisiana. By the end of the class, we’d learned to keep our hips still and wait for the guy to let us know what was coming. But sometimes it felt like I had to wait for an eternity and then I realized… that’s it. It’s that longing and resistance between the two that creates the mood.

An ex-boyfriend once told me I’d never be able to learn tango because I wouldn’t be able to let the guy lead (he was pretty mad at me when he said that). He may have been right, but now that I saw how that anticipation of the guy’s lead is how the couple manages to feel each other and know what’s coming without having to look at their feet or even at each other’s eyes and without their bodies even touching, I’m much more interested in trying to follow.

Here’s a short video of our first instructors, Pablo and Anita, at the end of the class showing us the steps we learned.

The classes cost 15 pesos per person. There’s a complete schedule on the beautiful Tango Brujo website.

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Filed under argentina, buenos aires, tango, tourism, travel

CouchSurfing and a Shopping List

CouchSurfing is a social networking site for travelers (i.e. Facebook or MySpace for travelers). Members can connect with people traveling to or living in the places they plan to visit.

Couchsurfing

The main focus of the project is to help die-hard travelers cuts costs by finding a place to stay and avoiding high hotel prices or not-so-pleasant hostels. Whether or not you think you’d like the couchsurfing idea (staying with others or having others stay with you), the site is a great place to make connections with interesting travelers.  I’ve had a couple of couchsurfers stay with me in my loft. It’s a legitimate site with plenty of opportunities to verify who’s asking to surf your couch before you open your door or to verify whose couch you’ll be surfing before you drop off your bags. One guy has been traveling around the world for a year and a half and has almost always stayed with a fellow couchsurfer. Oh, how the stories make me want to hit the road again. But for now, I’ll stay put.

When you join CouchSurfing, you can find groups that interest you and interact with people in the forums. I joined the Buenos Aires group, the BA Cultural Events group, and a Photography group. Posts on CouchSurfing are generally friendly and funny. Travel lovers have a good sense of humor and are typically interested in meeting and helping out other travelers.

Here’s one from the Buenos Aires group in response to a question about how much money one would need while traveling here in Buenos Aires. Some of the prices, which are all in pesos, are a bit low, but it’s pretty accurate and funny, too.

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OK first of all if you have a place to live. You will be needing like 30 pesos a day to eat if you buy your stuff in a supermarket, maybe less. Depends on how much meat you are use to eat.

If you go out to eat, you will spend like 30 pesos a head for a proper meal in a Restaurant, and maybe 15 if you do a sandwich or something simple in a Bar.

Some prices that can make your life easy and give you an idea :

Tuna Can : from 3 to 5 pesos

2 Ltrs Coke : 5

Ravioli : 5 ( one serving )

4 Hamburgers : 7

Bread : 3 /kilo ( Depends on the kind )

Grapes : 1/2 Kilo : 2 to 3

Cokies : 2

Dulce De LEche : 1 kg 4 pesos

Mozzarella : 300 gm , 5 pesos.


Ticket to la Bomba : 10

Mint ( Disco a go go ) : 30 +

Sahara ( Disco a Go ) : 20 +

Movie : 16

Pop Corn + Soda : 8

Beer in a pub : 5 pesos

Latte in a pub : 5 pesos

Medialuna : 1 to 1.5

Condoms : 3 units , 3 pesos if you wanna be safe.

My mother : probably priceless, or very expensive

Sisters : I don’t have

Fede’s Sister : Your Life 😛

Rent a Movie : 5

Melon : 7

Not So Cheap Wine : 8

Very Cheap Wine : 2

Antibiotics : 10

Psychologist : 50 to 100 for a good one.

Dress Shirt : 70 to 140

Denim Trousers : 70 to 120

Leather Jacket : 550 to 750

Decent Computer : 2500

Mac ( Not so decent ): 3500

Broadband conection : 24 to 80 /month

 

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Filed under argentina, buenos aires