Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bulletins From BA #44

Bulletins From BA #44
18 junio 2015

Photo Update Alert:

¡Hola! there… Rodger French here.

Things have gotten pretty real with this whole moving business. Our swell apartment is now devoid of our furnishings, and 125 boxes packed with our stuff are… well, we don’t know exactly where, but they’re on their way… although we don’t know exactly when, to Myanmar (Burma). Best hope is they will catch up with us six to eight weeks after we arrive in Yangon (Rangoon). We do have transit insurance and that is some comfort, although it’s monsoon season and local storage facilities… we try not to think too much about it.

Meanwhile, we’re getting in our last days in Buenos Aires. This past Saturday, I presented "Un pequeño concierto de Tango" at Museo Anconetani del Acordeón and it came off surprisingly well. We had a small (pardon me, intimate) audience that filled the space very nicely. Only four gringos; the rest were Argentine amigos as well as several accordion players (and their children) invited by our host. It was a lovely evening. Downright cinematic, in fact.

The saddest thing for me this week has been saying adios to Rodolfo Mederos, my Tango teacher. It has been a singularly fortunate experience for me to study with a musician so knowledgeable, accomplished, and passionate. Rodolfo has been very supportive and complimentary about my playing and I can only begin to express what that means to me. Best of all, we’ve had a good time together. And, with the aid of translations by “Señor Google,” we should manage to stay in touch.

In addition to bidding farewell to our Argentine friends, Anne and I are sad to be leaving Buenos Aires, a city for which we have developed a genuine affection. Granted, our excellent living arrangements make it easier to romanticize the place; still, there is something about BsAs that seeps into your system. I doubt that we will ever again reside in such a large, colorful, and, for all its shortcomings, livable city.

[Metropolitan Sidebar - It seems inevitable that once in Yangon, we will again, of necessity, have to become automobile owners; preferably a vehicle with high clearance, the better to navigate flooded streets. After three years living gratefully unencumbered by a car, I find my enthusiasm for the prospect somewhat lacking.]

Finally, since no recap is complete without a list, here’s mine - what I will (Sí) and won’t (No) miss about living here. Just a few, just for fun:

- The nearly constant breezes (literally “buenos aires”); 24/7 Tango TV; Torquato Tasso, the best tango listening room in town; amigos de USA y Argentina; our excellent landlord and building staff; dogs (everywhere); taxis (ditto); corner cafés (also, ditto); 2-for-1 kilos of Italian ice cream.

The Southern Cross, viewed from our balcony.

No - 30+ percent annual inflation; excruciating theatre seats; dog poop; wildcat job walkouts.

So then… assuming no repeat of the recent transportation strike, we will leave Buenos Aires late on Friday, 19 June, fly to Miami International Airport (Official Motto: “Where your expensive instrument might not get trashed”) and then on to DC (and VA/NC/KY/AL/GA) for two months of official consultations, visits with family/friends, and shopping forays for essentials not easily found on the other side of the world. Postings will be sporadic, but I plan to resume what passes for regular communication (presupposing a functioning Internet connection) once we get settled in Yangon.

[Publications Sidebar - Expect “Bulletins From BA” to appear in book form later this year. In the interim, stay tuned for “Messages From Myanmar.”]

Nuestros mejores deseos (our best wishes), mil abrazos (a thousand hugs) y ¡Adelante!


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