Welcome Home.

One of the falls at weeping rock circuit.

27th January 2011.

The flight seemed fast, arriving in Sydney I had a pretty smooth walk through customs, I was asked what I was declaring and let through with a welcome.

On the way home on the train I notice there are a few ethnic groups I have not seem much of in the last 4 months, this provoked and unexpected feeling, I almost felt lost between worlds, was this home? I want to be here but at the same time I know I want to be somewhere else, at least this time I am happy to be back even if only to organise my things so I can go again, maybe for 6 months or possibly permanently. That decision relies on a few factors which will become clearer in the next moths I guess.

I start hearing the accent that we here in Australia are so famous for.ACDSee Pro 4
While away I had people ask where in Australia I was from and even one that asked what Sydney was like. I never realised our accent was so strong, until now, the accent around Sydney city was as thick as it is out in the western suburbs, or so it seemed.

Queens falls, Katoomba, NSW Australia.

I bumped into a mate while changing trains and had a quick chat. I am glad he recognised me as I must have been have asleep and walking on auto pilot and did not see him. I finally arrived home, there was something different, it had a lighter peaceful feel about it, my cats came and said hello in their normal cat way and did not seem to be angry that I was gone for so long, Something was different, either something or someone had changed.

Now to put into action everything I have started to work towards. This is going to be scary and challenging time on all levels. I think it is called exciting.


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Happy Australia Day!

Lake Nahuel Huapi, Barilochie, Argentina.

26th January 2011.

I managed a few deep hours of sleep but I woke up feeling a little like schist (that is a rock you know, hard and dense), is it lack of sleep or has my body realised I have ended this leg of the journey to follow the dream, stage 2 starts in a few hours. The cab arrived on time and we said high, we recognised each other from previous trips to the airport.  I had a good flight to (oops, I mean a good drive) to the airport, the driver was very efficient to say the least.

Ice at Cerro Tronador de Bariloche, Argentina.

Once I found my line I enjoyed a game of passenger ping pong, the QANTAS staff sent me to LAN who sent me back to QANTAS who sent me to LAN who sent me back. I finally had a nice staff member look at the tick carefully and let me in line, from then on the check in was nice and smooth. Staring out of the window I drift off into La la land remembering my journey the places I have been and the opportunities I have accepted along the way, I realise I am listening to the words of Robbie Williams, “does an angel contemplate my fate and do they know the places where we go“. I remember some of the beautiful people I have met along the path and how they have affected me in little ways, as I am sure I have affected them. Life will never be the same. I do not really want to go home but I know I must go to start step 2 of my journey to follow the dream.

Lake Nahuel Huapi, Barilochie, Argentina.

As the flight time gets closer, the QANTAS staff prepare the area and make it as secure as possible using a roped of area. They ask the passengers to go out of the area to have our luggage checked again. Don’t you think it is funny how people want to argue about these small inconveniences? I bet these are the same people that say the airlines did not do enough to stop a terror attack when it happens. Well to me this inconvenience may one day save their life. I guess they are angry at something, maybe because they are going home or they did not enjoy a game of passenger ping pong, I guess I will never know. People are funny creatures, you can’t live with them and you can’t live without them.





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One Day To Go.

Old chandelier.

25th January 2011.

It was a beautiful day in the city, it was hot and sunny and noisy as usual, (I think I may miss this when I leave). I made myself a gourmet breakfast, it was the best I could do with what was left over, fruit and hamburger patties, these are the best burgers I have ever had anywhere in the world, soft, juicy and felt like a good steak.

I went for a last coffee with a friend, we chatted about my holiday and the new job she was looking for, after an interview the day before she wasn’t sure how she would go, not even 5 minutes later she received a call from the employer offering her the job, needless to say she was happy. “You always get what you ask for, just not how you expect it”. I believe this fully, if you can think it, it is possible, so be careful of what you think. “Nothing is impossible, we just don’t know how yet”

We said goodbye and headed on our way. I went to town for the last time to buy some cologne that I like and can only buy in Argentina. I also looked for sheet music for my bandoneon, this is premature buy maybe a year or 10 but at least I will be prepared. After asking a few music shops I was told of one that stocked music so I went for a

Peek of Congress.

walk and looked around. Not only did they have sheet music they had 2 how to play bandoneon books, (I never thought of that, doh! silly me). I ended up buying one book of music and one how to play book. (I hope my primary school music lessons pay off).

I went for a dance and enjoyed some farewells from new friends and acquaintances, I think I left an impression this time around, (No! not my foot prints on a ladies dance shoes. I hope it is a good memory and experience). I head home and pack, this should not take long, maybe 2 hours to throw out accumulated junk and 10 minutes to throw it in my bags.

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The Romanians Are a Fun Lot.

 

Golden heels

 

24th January 2011.

I had a good morning. I slept in again, I got up to chat to friends and have a late breakfast, a meat patty and salad sandwich. I worked on photos for a while but after about an hour or so I start to go cross eyed working on this little note book. I email an Aussie friend to confirm dinner plans we had for the night. I headed out for one of my last walks to take photos of the local area and signs. I also realise that I am going home in a few days so I will have to think seriously about my projects which I have planned. I have managed to do some work while on vacation but not as much as I had hoped to.

I have been questioning myself the last few weeks, can I do what I said I will, how will it happen? But I also know that these are the voices which want me to do what I always have so that I will not be harmed or overly challenged. I have a small chat to the voices and tell then nothing has changed and that I will do everything I have said and will also do more in the future that I have not thought of yet. The resistance from the subconscious gets stronger when it is out of its’ comfort zone, this is normal and quite human to not put ones’ self in jeopardy. It will learn to trust the conscious mind, we just have to be patient and work at it, breaking down the old beliefs that are there and replacing them with newer ones through experiences or other tools like hypnosis, kinesiology, timeline therapy, whatever works for you.
Later in the day I went to meet for dinner. We were going to have dinner with some old friends of mine that have just moved to Buenos Aires, I thought it would be nice for her to know other English and Spanish speakers just in case of emergency. We stopped along the way to buy some ice cream, (why not?), there were so many flavours to choose from, we ended up with 4 flavours, Lemon, Chocolate, Chocolate mint and Strawberry.

It was a nice afternoon for a walk to the friends, it was only about 12 blocks away in San Telmo, the streets were quiet and relatively safe, though don’t walk around here after it

 

'Tango Blue'

 

gets too dark. I introduced my friends to each other and we were given the grand tour of the new home. It was lovely, there was a nice view to the court yard and the roof was open and flat, a great place for a party. We ate a feast and chatted for hours, this was a lovely last super with friends whom I will not see for a little while.

I later went to a milonga and met another 10 or so Romanians, in my opinion they are all a little crazy in a very good way, (you don’t have to be crazy but it does make it fun to live in this world), they had a great sense of humour and loved dancing. I enjoyed many good dances with them this evening. I plan to someday visit them in Bucharest for a dance.


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The Romanians Have Arrived.

Old buildings in Buenos Aires.

23rd January 2011.

I woke up late today, I felt good but it was too warm to sleep. I checked emails and chatted to, “V” a friend in Romania, she told me the Romanians had landed and that I should see them tonight. I had a photo of one of the teachers so I hope to recognise her.

I went for a walk to San Telmo to the street markets to drop off a DVD of photos to the orchestra El Afronte. I also wanted to see the shoe horn I had been thinking about a few weeks earlier, I picked it up to have a closer look and the shop owner told me the same story as last time, (maybe it was true), so I asked how much and obviously not recognising me said 50 pesos, this was much better than the 80 pesos he had asked for a while back so I bought it. I now have my shoe horn and a new ‘Eria’ word. I was happy.

I went to a practica which I was invited to, it was a nice afternoon some chatting and drinks and for me that was it, I sat back and watched and enjoyed the afternoon. I need to get over this shyness. I relaxed for the afternoon chatting online for a while. I went to sleep until late, got up made myself ready and headed off to the milonga. I was given a corner table front row in a pretty good position, I was happy about this tonight. I had a few dances in the beginning of the night and sat around for a while. I was tapped on the shoulder and a man I had met that afternoon at a practica said hi. It was nice to see him; we spoke for a

More 'eria' words.

few minutes and continued looking for dances. A friend walked up and told me the Romanians were there and asked if I wanted to meet them, I said yes and walked over and was introduced to a few, most of them were jet lagged and sleeping, only the brave and crazy came out tonight. I did not complain, I had a few good dances with them and then called it a night.
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Am I At The Wrong End Of The Room?

 

More 'eria; words.

 

22nd January 2011. I woke up late, around lunch time; I felt much better today the long sleep seems to have helped me. I had a few things to do today; I wanted to go for a walk to the city and see San Telmo, there were a few things I wanted to do and I wanted to see the bandoneon shop, I wasn’t sure if I could go in but at least I would know where it was and it was a beautiful day for a walk. I also had photos of El Afronte from the Wednesday night but that would have to wait until tomorrow when they are playing at the markets. I went for a ride on the subway to Moreno, the last time I was there I saw some new words for me to photograph. I was feeling a little tired so I returned to my room to relax, checked my mail and chatted online. I stayed there for the afternoon relaxing before the milonga. I went to Cachirulo, it was another milonga in the city centre, I had been there a week ago and had a challenging night, I was curious to see if I would have a good night as I had bad night the last time. I was shown to my table, it was all mine it had 1 seat, backed up against the wall and was 3 rows back from the dance floor and to make it interesting it was the women side if the room, (next time I will tie my hair back). OK this will be a nice challenge,

 

Old buildings in Buenos Aires.

 

I looked around the room and was happy to get the attention of one lady who gladly accepted my invitation, and we danced for the tanda and sat down. I ordered a drink and looked around for more dances, I was hard to see in my little dark spot, it was a while before I had another dance but I managed to get 3 great dances for the night. It was getting late and decided to go home, maybe I should get there earlier next time, I do know that next time I do not want that seat.
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Just Another Lazy Day.

 

Old buildings in Buenos Aires.

 

21st January 2011.

I had a great sleep this morning I woke up feeling almost perfect except for the sore throat. I decided I was going to relax and do very little, I think I needed to slow down and let my body recuperate, I have been out late lots in the last few weeks, (I’m a bad boy, ha-ha). I had some breakfast, a cup of warm tea and Oreos should the trick. I sat at the computer and typed a little looked for somewhere I could buy some music for the bandoneon from, not that I knew how to play yet but like any old fashioned boy scout I wanted to be prepared, who knows I could be a prodigy, (well!! Someone has to believe in me, you should try it, it helps).

I chatted to “K” a while, I was hoping to get some sympathy for my poor throat but as any smart mother knows it is self-inflicted and no pity was deserved. (She was too smart for me), the laughter at my attempts almost made me feel better for making her day comical, (I would have succeeded if we were face to face;

 

Julio and Luiza performing.

 

looking into my poor puss in boots eyes would have made her soft. Nah, who am I kidding?). I checked emails while I was dying of a sore throat that was limiting my air intake and causing me to gasp for air, (Oh! Not working on you either)? I was told about a troop of Romanians coming to visit the milongas and that I should meet them; sure why not? The more people to dance with the better, I like variety. That was it for me, I laid down to sleep for most of the day, I figured I may as well take care of myself because I could not con anyone else to do it for me. I went to a El Gardel de Medellin milonga as a guest to deliver some photos I had taken of 2 performers who happened to be the organisers. It was a nice relaxing night, I had the pleasure of taking photos of another performance; it was fun, full of energy, humourous and the crowd loved it.

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I Am A Tour Guide Once Again.

Old building in Buenos Aires.

20th January 2011.

I woke up with a slightly scratchy  throat, I think I need to slow down a little and take care of myself, (a beautiful woman would be nice, any takers?), I checked emails, I had a message from the Canadians to confirm the details for tonight, where to and meet what time. They did not want to do a lesson, just go to the milonga and observe the culture, “N” & I fascinated them by the way we spoke about the tango scene and that we seemed so close but had only met a week earlier.

I slept for most of the day then got up and chatted to “K”, we spoke about normal things and my night to be as a tour guide, it is nice to introduce people to something you enjoy doing. I then got ready for the milonga and headed off.

I arrived at the venue a little earlier and waited outside, they had offered to pay for my entry tonight, (I definitely can get used to this). We entered and were given a good seat near the edge of the floor. The Canadians ordered some drinks and started to ask many questions about the milonga, how do you ask people to dance, the general etiquette of the tango scene, they asked my opinion of what was good and bad and many more questions, I had passed the comment to the wife that most women dance for the shoes and she laughed and the husband gave the agreeing shake of the head, I also told the husband that men dance to see the ladies legs and pointed out the well formed calves, his wife agreed and smiled. Then the husband says, ‘O.K you do it, show us how it’s done’, so I used the cabeceo and got up to dance, I did this a few times and I was asked different questions after each dance. The husband was impressed he actually said he could imagine himself dancing Argentine tango, it was funny to see the wife’s face, she said this was the first time he had ever sounded interested in dancing. I felt happy for them as they said they may consider it when they return home.  They called it a night and said bye and thanked me for a great night out.

More signs.

I stayed and moved to a table with friends and danced with many people tonight, I even met a young lady that had only ever been to 4 lessons a few days earlier and came to her first milonga, considering the experience she was good and I say she is brave; I think she has more courage than I do. It was a great night with lots of good dances and many laughs with friends.

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I Have A Job Offer.

El Afronte playing at Maldita, San Telmo, Buenos Aires.

19th January 2011.

It was a beautiful wet rainy and thundering morning in Buenos Aires. I didn’t feel like doing too much outside, some of the potholes are a little dangerous. (some are so big and deep that they should have a pool fence installed). I jumped onto the laptop to check emails, I had an email from the Canadians I met at Mendoza, they had arrived in Buenos Aires yesterday afternoon and wanted to know if I had time to show them around, I replied and after a few email exchanges we organised a time to meet up and show them tango. The wife said she never expects to see her husband dance but he is interested in watching.

I had another email offering me a job as a success coach, the only challenge is that the meeting they wanted was for tonight in Sydney Australia, (beam me up Scotty). I replied to say I would contact them after I return later next week.

I was going to a milonga that I have never been to before to see the orchestra El Afronte, I

El Afronte playing at Maldita, San Telmo, Buenos Aires.

have seen them play at San Telmo markets on the weekends, this would be the first time I have seen them at a milonga. I met a friend from Perth Australia before the night started for a coffee, we chatted about her stay in Buenos Aires and my journey to follow the dream I have. We went to the milonga and found a seat, (after about 15 minutes and bumping into friends who donated theirs to us). It was a busy night, lots of dancing a nice mixture of traditional and Nuevo tango, the floor was well respected and flowing well with no noticeable accidents. El Afronte came on, they started to play, the smoke and light show started and the audience listened for the first song, (not dancing for the first song is a sign of respect). The performance was amazing; I had a great time enjoying the music. This was a nice photo opportunity, my friend and I both had a good time.


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Last Tango In Buenos Aires.

Cordoba y Florida by night.

18th January 2011.

I had a good sleep last night, (don’t you love holidays?), I wish that was it, I was exhausted, ha-ha. I got organised, I had to get my laundry done today, look for more signs and shop for groceries. I started my day with the laundry being dropped off, buying groceries on the way back to my room, gathering my camera bag and a chat to “K” a little before I went out, things were good in Mexico, work as usual the city was still a little quiet because of the Christmas holidays and it was cold, winter is not my favourite season.

I just did the usual, looked at the signs and photographed the new words I find, I enjoyed this, I see lots of buildings that I would normally not take much notice of. The simple things like the craftsmanship, the decorative door knobs and knockers, the brick and stone work, fancy windows and I found that I loved the way the steeples were designed, something I have not really seen except for churches. It is a shame society has lost that pride, the finer points in the structures that gave it character and depth. The older buildings were works of art and had curves, (maybe it is a man thing, curves are nice, or just my thing) and a kind of ruggedness about them. Newer buildings have fewer curves and bumps, different, shallower character with a few exceptions, flat clean and sterile, maybe a reflection of those in power.

I went for a dance, I was feeling good about tonight, other than the class I hadn’t danced in 2 days, (I don’t know if can handle this, what will I do?). I was there a little early and was given a good seat second row back at the centre of the floor. I met a man at my table that had many stories to share, I had good dances. Near the end of the night I saw a woman gesturing to me to “come here” at first I thought who does she want? I curiously went

A few more signs.

over, I sort of recognised the face but could not put it to a situation, she asked if I had been to Mexico and I realised it was the milonga organiser from Milonga Malena, we chatted for a few minutes, she told me it was her last night in Buenos Aires and was going back to Mexico tomorrow, we danced the last tanda, it was a lovely dance, a great way to end the night, her last tango in Buenos Aires. (sounds like a good name for a movie).

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