Next stop, Buenos Aires

Picture of Sallycat in Milan This weekend I went to visit Chuka, the Mongolian who got me dancing tango. His story is unique. Eighteen months ago he met a beautiful Italian who was visiting Mongolia on business. After an ‘against all the odds’ 21st century romance, conducted mainly via webcam, he finally married her in December in the Ulan Bator Wedding Palace.

I promised Chuka that if he made it to Italy, thus proving his fighting spirit and that dreams really can come true, I would be the first to visit him and his new wife, Annie. I am a woman of my word. On Friday night I was on a plane to Milan.

On the train from the airport Chuka and I could not stop smiling with amazement that we were in Italy. Six months ago we had not yet met. He was a tour guide struggling to obtain a visa to be with his fiancee and I was a somewhat distressed tourist about to visit his country for the first time. Chance threw us together but a mixture of determination, friendship and love put us both together in that train on Friday night.  

Milan took my breath away. The most stunning walk was through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele designed in 1861 and now housing high fashion boutiques, restaurants, and of course the one thing every city must have – ‘McDonalds’. The big surprise was that most shops had SALDI (sales). I could not afford Prada but I did manage to snap up a Brics (apparently a decent brand) handbag and a couple of pairs of bargain boots to add to my collection. All the shop assistants spoke English and Chuka and I had big laughs pretending that I was mega rich and he was my Japanese fashion advisor.

The downside to Milan is that tango seems to happen on every night other than Saturday. Maison Espana was offering Flamenco and Galleria Meravigli was offering Salsa so we did the only thing possible in such circumstances in an Italian city – eat some of the best food the world has to offer: buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, goats’ cheeses, bruschetta, grilled vegetables, baked lamb. I am sure I put on several pounds in a matter of hours.

The unexpected bonus of the trip was the information that Annie’s tango teacher is Rosanna Remon who was taught by Pedro ‘Tete’ Rusconi. This afternoon I tracked him down dancing the Tango Vals with his partner Silvia Ceriani, on You Tube.  He dances with effortless elegance and joy. If I get the chance to take a class with him while I am in Buenos Aires I will be ecstatic. Any man who can lead so beautifully with ‘no hands’ but with laughter must be special indeed.

On the flight home it struck me hard that the next time I step onto a plane it will be to Argentina in less than six weeks. I confess I felt a stab of doubt. I thought of the friends I will miss, my comfortable new apartment, my family. But the truth is that tango is tearing at my soul. My yearning to dance is dictating my life story. I want to be the best dancer I can possibly be. I have to get on that plane even if my heart cries for a while. It is part of my journey.

See pictures of me in Milan

Watch Pedro ‘Tete’ Rusconi dancing the Tango Vals

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2 Responses

  1. I always love the way you give names to your pictures. And I always wonder how can you get such nice pictures with your tiny Pentax dcam! And now I can see that a lady who has been working for IBM in the old times can really edit photos professionally. Thanks for giving THAT photo such a beautiful name. Yes, I love my wife and I love my best adventuristic English friend no lesser than that!

    PS:you didn’t get any pix of Will?

    crushing hugs

    Chuka

  2. You ARE what I call a “true” friend, Sally. It just makes me want to meet you more. I guess folks with similar tastes typically attract….*chuckle* I love that YouTube video. I was checking out that others… I think I’d like to learn how to do Vals Criollo…it looks like a cross between Argentine Vals and merengue…it’s very cool. 🙂

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