jeudi 27 juin 2013

Buenos Aires - 9. Tangos and Swimming Pools

Calle Corrientes in Buenos Aires is the ‘Broadway’ of Argentina, and there are many, many theatres, shows, “Tangos” going on all the time. 
Even while we were visiting in the Winter months, it was difficult to ignore the sheer amount of entertainment options available all down the avenue and beyond. In fact, the arts are so alive in Buenos Aires, that when a historic theatre closes down, the country’s leading book chain, El Ateneo (Argentina’s Chapters), buys it and restores it for literary lovers. You could spend all day in one of Buenos Aires’ gorgeous book shops just gazing at the murals (or I could anyway.)

    The Tango, a dance originated in Buenos Aires, is actually recognized as a “UN World Heritage Site”, even though it is a dance and not a physical site; it is a sight. Ha H
ha, or we were a sight anyway when we tried a lesson one night with a group before the theatre’s main show. It is amazing how many variations of the Tango there actually are, and any number of shows use this diverse dance form to illustrate the story they are expressing. We only learned the simple 8-step move, but they gave us a little certificate anyway; movement is always worthwhile fun.

Besides dancing and walking to get our exercise, we tried to go swimming, but swimming and working out in a gym is tightly controlled by the ministry of health in Argentina, and unless you are a citizen with a doctor’s note, you cannot visit a public pool. That’s how medically important as a treatment swimming is in Buenos Aires – you need a prescription to go! We laughed at this at first, and thought perhaps it was another language mishap, but no, we had this confirmed by a very competent English-Spanish speaker: “you cannot go swimming or to the gym anywhere; you are not a citizen, and cannot get a note.” Okay, that’s clear. So if you want to swim in Winter in Buenos Aires, stay at the Hilton.

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