Thursday, February 12, 2009


325 days ago

After spending 12 wonderful days with my unbelievably intelligent, funny, sensitive and playful mother, after counting 8 rainy days that won’t let the Carnival get to its end, it finally ended. I went a few more times to Teatro de Verano, laughed hard listening to the murga songs and I anxiously waited for the results with the Araca la Cana members, in the Club Universal, drinking cheap “clarete” rosé wine. Araca got 14th out of 15, Agarrate Catalina got the first prize. So it ended. I think Catalina missed a little the satyre and playfulness that go with Carnival. It was the best show, complete and professional but from my point of view it has to do more with theater than with Carnival.

During the last two weeks I went every day to the National Library that survives in pitiful conditions, although the staff is charming and helpful. It it also the noisiest library I’ve ever seen. I also paid a visit to the City Hall (Intendencia) looking for the murga lyrics, Curtidores de Hongos and La Margarita, winners of the 2nd and 3rd prizes, never answered my e-mails. It was hard to find the Tourism and Celebrations office and to get off the elevator on the 3rd floor (it kept going up and down and stopping everywhere).

Meanwhile I also visited the Pisano winery and wine cellar – quite impressive, including the family story (Italian and Basque roots). We got the best treatment: a delicious “picada” (homemade jamon crudo, salami, parmesan and Colonia cheese) and five bottles of wine: pink champagne, rosé Cabernet Franc/Syrah, Pinot Noir, Pisano Arretxea (a perfect red cépage) and a sweet dessert wine. I went out with two bottles of Pisano Arretxea, I couldn’t resist the temptation, although it wasn’t cheap. The Tannat grapes make a heavy wine I absolutely love, typical for Uruguay.

Before flying to Brazil I went to a small milonga: El Farolito, and I got to dance a bit. I also met a tango teacher and decided to invest in private classes. I like the rioplatense tango culture, the way the men embrace you for a 3-4 minutes eternity. It’s like a speechless conversation that we both know it it would last as long as the song.

Than time has come to embark for Salvador, located in the Bahia de Tudos os Santos, in the north-east of Brasil. An old dream of mine, feeded by the Jorge Amado novels.

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