People here love to stay out late. And they love to dance. Tango.
Before I got here, I thought these were generalizations or stereotypes. But they're not -- they're absolutely true.
I didn't understand how Argentines are notorious for staying out till 6 a.m. How was it possible? Now I understand -- EVERYONE is out, restaurants are open, old people, families, babes in arms and strollers are out -- it doesn't FEEL like it's midnight. If octogenarians and newborns can hang, I surely can!
I love strolling around our neighborhood. Several blocks from our house is a park -- remember how I said Argentines LOVE their parks? -- with a gazebo in it. I've gone by there in the evening after work and there are always lots of people out, walking their dogs, sitting on blankets, enjoying their summer. And there is tango in the gazebo. Hip, young dancers. Middle-aged people, enjoying getting dressed up to dance. Old people, still perfecting their moves, holding on to one another.
It's so beautiful. Some people like me stand and watch them. Argentines aren't all about personal space. Strangers share small benches. I saw a teenage couple, talking and kissing on a bench by the tango gazebo, and beside them was an old lady, watching the dancers. I wish I would've taken a picture, but that would've been weird!
After dinner Friday night, all our friends went their separate ways and Neil and I found ourselves walking home past the tango gazebo park. And they were having a dance! They had an outdoor projection screen playing old black and white film of tango musicians performing, and a stage with a professional couple dancing.
When the performance was over, everyone was invited to dance and they played waltz music and then more tango. It was so amazing!!!
I took these pictures at 11:30 p.m. Friday night. I am of course still learning about the culture here, but I just know that in the States, you would never, never, see such a variety of people, especially older people, dancing in a park at midnight.