26 June 2008


The journeys on the underground trains are always entertaining. Sometimes you can be entertained by a singer with guitar or other times by the sellers that pass throught the carraiges. The sellers try to flog you anything from a pen with a light on it to bus timetables and knitted strawberries. As you can see from the photo I just couldn't resist the knitted strawberry, although we have no idea what it is for.

24 June 2008

Bad Spanish

Don't let Johanna order pizza for you, especially not if you are hungry. Trying out her new Spanish skills she went to reception of the hostel to ask them to phone for a pizza. 45 minutes later I went down to check if it arrived and the guy said that she has not ordered anything she had just come down and talked about pizzas then went back to the room. The guy must have thought she was very lonely or bored with my company that she has to start pizza conversations with complete strangers. I shouldn't have laughed so much because the next day I thought I had ordered salad and potatoes only for the waiter to bring me pork chops :(
Johanna meanwhile ordered rump steak, mashed potatoes and salad - if you look closely at the picture you might just be able to see her salad. Quote of the day Simon: "I am a Vegetarian" Waiter: "Then why did you order pork chops?"

Shop till you Drop

More CD's and shoes. Johanna is winning the shoe buying competition by 10 pairs to Simon's 6 (2 tango 4 sneakers). But Simon is miles ahead when it comes to music now adding Tanturi, Di Sarli, D'arienzo, Calo, Canaro and D'angelis to his previous purchases from last week. The latest shop to be bought out by Johanna was Minassian at Cordoba 1190 a dance shoe store, stocking jazz shoes, run by a friendly old guy who was born in Greece in 1935 and came to Argentina in the 50s. Not only do you get good service here you also get the life story thrown in for free.

No More Kisses

El Beso is closed until further notice, apparently due to fire regulations. So no more The Kiss, no more cabeceo to find your dance partner, no more 4 song tandas where it takes you almost the entire first song of a tanda to find and meet your partner in the mass of closely spaced tables, no more only moving one metre forward for each song, no more of the very traditional Sunday milonguero milonga. Buenos Aires is a poorer place this week...

22 June 2008

Lost and Found

After a full day wandering the streets of Buenos Aires, there was still no sign of Johanna so I returned home and was just about to ring the authorities and report her missing when I noticed a lump under the covers on her bed - there she was - she had been asleep aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall day.

Cafe Tortoni

An absolute must on a visit to BsAs is coffee at Cafe Tortoni, people have been telling me this ages - but until today I have not been there. Now I know what all the fuss is about, this place is amazing it is not only the oldest confiteria in Buenos Aires but it also the most well-preserved. Small rooms at the back add to the quaint atmosphere along with two olde-wordly theatres and what has to be the plushest smokers-room I have every seen. Thank you Cinthya and Pablo for taking me to the world's most beautiful cafe. Ps I have been told by Cecilia to thank her too as she has told me to visit the place but I never listened to her

La Boca and San Telmo

I finally managed to catch up with Cinthya and Pablo and spent Sunday afternoon doing the obligatory sightseeing stops of La Boca, San Telmo market and Cafe Tortini. Johanna was strangely missing this day...

20 June 2008


A week has flown by all ready and we have fitted loads in, here is an update...

Milongas: Visited so far in chronological order: La Confiteria Ideal, El Beso, La Viruta, La Milonguita; La Viruta, Villa Malcolm, Canning, Practica X, La Catedral, Villa Malcolm, La Viruta, ??(forgot to set the alarm and slept all night)??, Canning.

Lessons: We have had 8 private lessons with Carolina Calas as a couple. Next week we will start some individual private lessons, Johanna will have some with Humberto and some with Carolina.

Food: Simon has eaten two carrots one whole lettuce, 5 tomatoes, 7 peas and 10 kilos of alfojores. Johanna has eaten a whole cattle farm, they are running out of beef in Argentina.


Here we are on Midsummers Eve.
Wet feet, umbrellas blowing in the wind.
No we are not in Sweden - it does actually rain in other parts of the world as well at Midsummer. The only think we missed was the snaps otherwise it could have been traditional, so we made up for it with a bottle of Malbec from Mendoza. Glad Midsummer Skål!!!


WE found the Havanna coffee bar, espresso and alfajores a perfect pick-me-up before the tour of the tango shoe shops. As you can see the photo was taken before Johanna had her dose of espresso, she woke up soon afterwards and bought 6 pair of shoes in just 2 hours.

La Catedral

La Catedral remains one of the strangest but 'must visit' milongas in Buenos Aires just around the corner from Practica X it is a perfect finish to a Tuesday night. With an uneven floor, beer crates for chairs and a huge plastic heart hanging from the ceiling it is definitely a dress-down place - pity noone told Mariano :)

16 June 2008

Weak at the knees

Johanna has a weakness for the Argentinien men but there is one particular kind that makes her go weak at the knees - the taxi-drivers. I don't mean the so-called Tango taxi drivers(the men that hire themselves out for the evening to dance with the ladies), I mean the real taxi drivers who sit behind the wheel in their black and yellow fiats. Here is one of her favourites!


Weather report from Buenos Ares. Glorious weather, well almost, colourful leaves adorn the pavements, the city is cooling down but the sky is still blue and the sun hasn't gone into hibernation, yet! Temperature around 9 - 12 degrees with a light south-westerly wind. Yesterday was apparently exceptionally nice for the time of year - but we missed it as our nocturnal habits meant that we never saw the light of day.

Dinner quiz

Can you guess who ate the carrot salad and who ate the medium-rare Argentinien steak?

Clue - maybe it will help if you look at the faces
Answers on a postcard to Geronimo Primero, Nicaragua 5765.

15 June 2008

Zoega's Presso

Don't you just hate 'those people' that can't travel abroad with their precious tube of Kalles caviar,'knäckebröd' and especially Swedish coffee. I mean do these people think that coffee doesn't exist outside Sweden? After all it comes from Brazil or Colombia and is only brought to Sweden to be roasted. HEEEEEEEEEEEEELP...now I have become one of 'those people' taking South American coffee from Europe back to South America - but thank God I did, there is nothing like Zoegas ;) especially when the B & B serves 'lagrimas'.

REENCUENTR0 3 milongas 1 day

The first day was long and just got better and better as it went on. The afternoon matinee milonga was made to the obligatory salon of Confiteria Ideal, the place is steeped in history and tradition and even though the dancers there are nothing to write home about a trip to BsAs cannot be made without dancing there at least once. The quote of the day came from a guy who tapped me on the shoulder and said "I'm 80 years-old and still dancing", when I told him my age he dismissed me and said I am double you and when I said Johanna's age he just laughed. The long-awaited dinner at the parrilla Reencuentro lived up to its standard of the past. I had 3 provaletas and salad (a strange choice for a place famous for its meat), while Johanna ate half a cow and was heard muttering, between mouthfuls, "This is how meat should taste". El Beso was the first evening dance. Johanna was not impressed at all why and was heard to say " Why did I travel all this way to dance with dancers at this level" it was not the best night at El Beso, Sunday is usually a lot better. La Viruta saved the day, say what you like about this place, they play crappy music at times, people can be drunk, chaos on the dance floor, not the best dance surface, dingy, tacky, like a basement nightclub but the dances here can be as good as anywhere else. Now Johanna's mood had changed and she now new why she had travelled so far and is quoted as saying "The best dances...ever".

Salsa queen

0615 Johanna caught in the act, strutting her stuff to the tones of salsa at La viruta and she wasn't even drunk! While she discovered a talent she didn't know she had with one of her new found Argentine admirers Simon was left to entertain himself in other ways

Milonga De Los Morochas

Milonga De Los Morochas - El Beso - the brunettes milonga - lucky for me that I had two with me otherwise they probably wouldn't have let the blond guy in.

Krishna - food of the gods

And so it was back to Krishna for food blessed from the gods. Last time I was here they closed for the holidays before I had managed to eat my way through the menu, so I started where I left off - empanadas with soja meat, tofu steaks - food to die for! Vishnu my hare krishna cat would love this place - I think he is thinking of opening a franchise in Sweden.

Gay Vodka

The search for a typical Swedish present contunued at the airport, I had just run out of ideas and was becoming a bit desperate when I saw an unusual colourfully designed bottle of Absolut vodka - perfect I thought! So I bought the present and Proudly carried the bottle in its sealed plastic bag through the airports onto 3 planes and all the way to Argentina. It was only when I got to Buenos Aires and read the writing on the bottle that I realised that I had been PROUDLY flaunting Gay vodka from one side of the continent to the other. The bottle was a special Gay Pride festival edition and the colourful design was the rainbow flag - now I know why the steward paid special attention to me on the flight and served my food with an extra flirty smile.

14 June 2008

Events on the way!

The long journey from Copenhagen to Paris to Rome to Buenos Aires was nothing short of eventful. The first fright was when we couldn't check in at Copenhagen because our booked flight with Alitalia didn't exist, our agent had forgotten to rebook us with Air France. Once one the flight the next incident was when a a passenger kept pointing at me and then stood up shouting at the top of her voice in French - it turned out that she had taken offence to me taking off my shoes. Maybe time to buy some new insoles :)The steward asked me politely if I could put my shoes back on to avoid troubling her. Finally arrived at the B&B only to be locked out the girl on duty had fallen asleep a few phone calls later we finally got in just in time for breakfast, but when we asked for breakfast she told us " Not today" . The pictures are of us enjoying an espresso in Rome (well at the airport at least).

12 June 2008

Midwinter soon

Final packing before the trip to the other side of the hemisphere, swapping the Swedish midsummer for the Argentine midwinter, one question I keep asking myself is Why? Those of you who dance know the answer, for those who don't dance start dancing or it wil remain a mystery forever.
We are staying at Cecilia's cousin's B & B 'Geronimo' in Palermo Hollywood
just a stone's throw (if you have a catapult) from Canning, Malcolm, La Viruta and not to far from Estudio Calas for the private lessons with Carolina - this is Buenos Aires so everything is relative, close here means a taxi ride in Sweden.
Tickets...check...I pod...check...tango shoes...check...camera...check...Passport...ch...where the hell is it....