Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Late Summer in Buenos Aires

Whilst at Flor de Milonga, the bohemian tango event run by my friends Lucia and Gerry, I felt it. The tall doors were open leading to balconies above the busy street of Independencia, and the fans stirred the air; yet there was a weight that came from the heat and humidity. Dancers drifted from the milonga pista towards the night air to catch the last remnants of a breeze. The energy that was Buenos Aires at night seemed to soften. Then, during the night came the rain, heavy, almost unbearably as it cut through the hot humidity, first fizzing on the broken pavements, then washing them in rivulets and streams. Now, as I sit and write, the morning light is grey and the cloud low. This does not portend well for Placido Domingo's open air concert at Obelisco tonight. Preparations started over two weeks ago, with huge stands, barriers and rows of folding chairs set out over four acres of Avendia 9 de Julio, the 20 lane road that disects the Capital Federal. I suspect that they will remain empty whilst the set will be like a grounded ship in a sea of puddles.

Over the last two weeks Buenos Aires has been sumptuous in sunshine, crystal light and positive energy. It is hard to imagine that late March means the approach of autumn. But across the city, the Jacaranda trees have started to float in pools of blossom as the flowers fell to the ground, mirroring the bright pink canopy. This should have been the sign, and probably was to the Portenos of Buenos Aires. A further sign was the need to pull the thin cotton sheet from the foot of the bed to give comfort as the cool night air breathed through the shutters here in El Sol.

So the season matures and prepares to pass. I sense my last three weeks have started to carry me to my return to Europe. Now, as I listen to the falling rain and the colectivos splashing past, England seems not so distant. Olivia has just passed my door wearing a large plastic sack that sticks to her long, slim, shapely legs, but does not distract from her winning smile as she calls to me. El Sol's roof patio is deserted, save for Delphine preparing breakfast and slipping quickly back to her room. We are like the Jacaranda flowers, still blooming but preparing for the fall back to another reality and our navigation in a world of change.

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