Hasta Luego Argentina

IMGP8257 In 24 hours I will have checked in online with British Airways. In 48 hours I will be in the air somewhere over the Atlantic. Argentina, Buenos Aires and my beloved Argentine will be many miles behind me. I cannot even picture it. It feels impossible, like it will be someone else, that I will still be here: getting on the 15 bus; drinking coffee in a sun drenched street; dancing in La Viruta in the arms of my love. Truly I can’t believe that even after nearly 12 months, I don’t really want to leave. I think as I sit on the plane my soul will still be in Buenos Aires. But I know, with the miles, my head will start to help my heart to deal with the shock of being back in England. I will start thinking of mum and dad, bacon sandwiches, Heinz baked beans on toast, the BBC, Galaxy chocolate, my tiny blue Fiat Panda, my flat with two bedrooms: how will I deal with all that SPACE?

And, in the deep vase of  my being, helping me to cope until I see Carlos again (on 14th March he will arrive at Gatwick, and I will be there to race towards him ‘Love Actually style’ ), will be my precious memories of Argentina. I will always be able to get them out when I need them, and remind myself how lucky I am that I shall return:

The moment in the Cultural Centre Borges when I took crazy pictures of Gabriella posing amongst the art, when no security guards were looking. In that moment I knew my new life had begun, that I was free, and that I had found my first true friend in my new world.

The moment I knew I was in love with an Argentine. Carlos and me stood outside La Viruta at about 4 one morning. I looked at him, and I wanted to reach out and touch his strong, black and silver Argentine hair. In that moment I knew I could love again.

The moment I watched a man stuff $59000 dollars of my money into his jacket pockets as I picked up the keys to my flat, from the table in Banco Piano. I had achieved what I thought was the impossible. In that moment I knew that I had a home and that it was in Argentina.

The moment I danced with Carlos to Los Reyes del Tango in La Baldosa and I just couldn’t pull apart from him afterwards. The music and the connection overwhelmed me. In that moment I realised I could DANCE  tango.

The moment a few weeks ago when I sat in Lo de Celia for the first time, watching the tango world with all its peculiarities, personalities, and Argentines. In that moment I knew that I am part of that fascinating world that is tango, that is Buenos Aires, that is Argentina. I felt proud. I came here to find myself. And I have. And whether I am in a Milonga I have never been to before, or explaining my broadband billing problems in the Fibertel office, or helping an Argentine decide which bus to catch, I feel easy now. I can fit in anywhere in this city.

When I arrived here I wanted to dance great tango, learn to speak Spanish, live in a new culture. I had no expectations of how things would turn out. On Saturday I will arrive in England, with all of those dreams in my past, present and future. Plus I have things I never expected to find: love, a home, my beloved blog, countless new friends all over the world, and a rich and full life that I want to come back to. Today, I am smiling.

In my first ever post on this blog I wrote about my forthcoming trip to Argentina:

In my ‘warrior’ moments I am a free spirit, a courageous adventurer and will stay in Argentina forever, maybe popping back after three months to rent out my flat and dance a few perfect tangos at Archers Road. When I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep, I know I’ll never once get asked to dance at a Buenos Aires Milonga and I’ll be back here within a month, with less dancing confidence than I have now. I guess the truth is somewhere in between.

Ah well, it only goes to prove that your worst fears rarely come true. Sometimes you just have to work bloody hard to overcome them. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’m still here, I’ve survived my dark times, and I’m going to be dancing across English soil, into the arms of my beloved family with a joyful heart.

NOW my worst fear is that when I get to Ezeiza on 5th April the Argentines won’t let me back in… 

…pero bueno. Por ahora, voy a creer, y voy a decir,

“Hasta luego. Hasta pronto. Hasta Abril, mi Argentina!”


10 Responses

  1. Chica,

    You’re one heck of an amazing woman. I’m so proud of you, and humbled by your incredible achievements this year. The fearlessness with which you speak your truth is beautiful and inspiring. Writer, adventurer, and tango dancer. My hero.

    I can’t wait to see you on Saturday!

    All love. Fly safely!

    Shaun xxx

  2. Shaun

    Well, you know only too well the part you played.
    You know how high the mountain was, you have picked me up when I have fallen on its rocky paths, you have cheered with me when I have flown over its highest peaks.
    And so now it is fitting that you will meet me at Heathrow, and be the first to welcome me back to England.
    I will be happy to see you again.
    Until very soon, un abrazo muy fuerte.


  3. Hey ! Safe flight and welcome back ! Hope to meet you in a London milonga 🙂

  4. Thank you Elisa
    Hope to meet you soon!

  5. Have a fantastic and safe trip back home!!

  6. Dear Sallycat,

    Wherever you are in the world, we will want to know of your adventures. Have a safe and good flight and when your Love Actually moment comes, I’ll be so happy for you.

    Safe travels and enjoy yourself in England,


  7. Christine and tangobaby
    Thanks for your happy wishes for my travels.
    I just rode home in the bus from one side of Buenos Aires to the other, stared at the city and hugged it in my heart.
    Now I’m going to hug my Argentine all night, and in a few days I’ll be hugging my family and English friends.
    How wonderful is that?
    And I’ll be writing for sure, wherever I am!


  8. Sally! Have a good, safe flight and know that Buenos Aires is here waiting for you. You are still here. 🙂

    Reading this post I am made aware of the incredible superwoman I had lunch with the other day (um, that would be you dear), and I feel lucky that I have gotten to know you.

    Ah, who knows. Maybe I will still be here when you get back. 🙂 We never know, we never know.

    Ciao bella! Suerte!

  9. You’re nice. But honestly reading you I feel a lil bit like I’ve seen this movie myself, in my own life. The problem is, you are STILL too much in love to see it. Live in Argentina for longer and you’ll hate it to death. Not too much longer. Just about another year or two. I don’t need to say anything. Argentines will do the trick. They do it everyday, they think they are sooooooo smart. I just wish you good luck, since another huge crisis after the non-recovering from the last one is around the corner.

  10. Yeah well, life is painful. And believe me, maybe I am nice, but I’ve had my fair share of pain over the years. So I will enjoy the happy times while they exist, and face the tougher times when they come. Good luck to you too. SC

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