Saturday, April 11, 2009


I’ve noticed a number of changes this time. There seem to be boarded up shop fronts and a number of stores that I remember are no longer open. I went to La Boca yesterday, partly in quest of a replacement for the shawl I lost in the airport the last time, and partly to take photos. I’d forgotten it was Good Friday and wondered if anything would even be open, but instead there were tour buses, bodies and some kind of festival in progress. But the one place I kind of remember wasn’t there. There don’t appear to be any shawls like I remember this time around—of course maybe I just don’t remember it accurately.

On my second day here, I walked along Sarmiento from Abasto. Two years ago, there were blocks and blocks of lingerie shops. This year, there are only a few. I’ve noticed that other places as well.

It might be the season. It is fall now, so maybe traditionally the tourist industry drops at this time of year. And it could be that it is post CITA. I remember taxi rides last time were a daunting experience with so many vehicles jockeying for position in limited space, but haven’t had that so much this time. Although they still love to drive fast, at least this time they aren’t trying to drive faster than the next guy.

Prices have also increased from the last time I was here. I remember buying a large steak for anywhere from twelve pesos up. Now, it would be impossible to find one for less than twenty pesos. Sigh.

It does surprise me to go a milonga and find it almost deserted though. That is something else that has changed from last time. I don’t remember there ever being a time that one was less well attended than home. But so far three have had poor attendance. I also wonder if this is a post CITA lull. Unlike last time, I’ve only danced with milongeros so maybe some of those milongas that were crowded previously were mostly tourists.

And the dancing has changed for me. But that is a good thing. Now the cabaceo works easily and well, I’m getting dances until my feet almost feel like they might die, the men are trying (sometimes without success) to tell me where to find them minana. Tonight, I'll try Club Leonesa. Maybe that will be the right one. Not like last night.