After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Milonga Codes: Respecting Others

Ruben and I had a great time last night in our favorite milonga, Los Consagrados. There were more than 20 people at our big table, and it was a joy to be with so many good friends.

But. And oh how I hate to write this. There were a couple of problems that made us anxious. What we want most on these Saturday nights, is for everyone to have a wonderful evening. Sometimes, however, it's out of our control, yet we feel responsible.

No biggie. But while we've more or less "trained" our friends to tell us in advance that they would like to come and sit with us so that we can save them space so that everyone is comfortable, and while they've learned to pay for their own drinks and snacks (however much we'd like to treat everybody), still there can be glitches when people aren't aware of the milonga codigos or possible problems. (I realize however that the ones who offend are not likely to read blogs like this one.)

Ruben always calls Enrique, the organizer, the day before to tell him how large our party will be. And then he goes early on Saturday to make sure there are enough of the new chairs at our table, because the old ones snag clothes and stockings. We both want all of our friends to be comfortable and have fun.

Nevertheless, there are things that people need to remember:

It's not possible to sit wherever you wish. If people have made advance reservations, and then friends of friends are invited to join the group at the table at the last minute, then the people who have "reserved" don't have a space.

If you have reserved and come late, then you can't choose your seat. Last night someone just plopped herself down in a friend's seat and refused to move.

Ruben and I feel SO bad if everyone at our table doesn't have a good time. Again, we feel responsible. Most of the time it's foreigners who don't know anything about the milonga codigos. In other countries people can act however they want to in a milonga. But in Buenos Aires it's different. Codes must be respected, at least in the conservative milongas that we like to attend.


Margo Romero said...

Amazing... I didn't really know there were Milonga codes until I started reading your blog a month ago. I just had to tell you and thank you. =)

Abrazos de Chile!

tangocherie said...

Hola Margo,
Thanks for reading and for your comment. Please let us know when you're coming to Buenos Aires!