Last night was tango night. The ticket covered dinner and a demonstration of tango as well of other local dances. My ticket also stated that English was my preferred language.

I expected not very much from the food – and that was what I got – in three courses. And a choice of water, wine and coke. The appetizer was a chicken something with a sauce and shredded cabbage, white and red over the top. Of the 5 entrees I thought the most potentially tasty one might be the ravioli. And for dessert, I passed on the ubiquitous ice cream and went for the other choice which seemed to be a cake thing. The waiter who picked up my printed voucher (thanks to the desk staff at Smart Hotel) and managed to communicate that everything was included except the tip. I got that.

The room was vast, the crowd was not.

There were about 20 people there, perhaps 25. Just after this photo was taken a couple from Argentina joined me and that made the evening so more enjoyable – they both spoke English, an even greater treat. Monica and Gustavo Barros live now in Buenos Aires, but are moving to Montevideo in the next months. Gustavo is a MD. He was Monica’s family’s doctor for years. Monica is divorced. They are have been married for 5 years, after Gustavo’s wife died 7 years ago. Both families lived in BA as well as in Patagonia.

There was a terrific guitarist and singer who performed in the first two songs, unfortunately he disappeared after that, obviously a timed gig. Great. The Tango was a small part of the folk dance and song traditions on view. In the end the tango performance was not as vigorous as ones I had seen on the street corners on Buenos Aires. But I discovered the Candombe – a dance accompanied drums and a singer. This is from the Rio de la Plata. It is from the slaves surely.

Also it turned out that it was the first night of Carnival! The Gustavo and Monica were staying at the Raddison on Independencia Square which was ground zero for the Carnival parade. That asked me to come with them in their cab because I was two blocks away. Streets were blocked all over the area. But we got a taxi who got us as close as he could. Much color, much noise, but Gustavo do not want to stop to take photos so we scurried through to the other side where my street was. I thought about going back after they left me, but food it was almost 1 AM and decided to wait for another Carnival…

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