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A night on the ran tan tango...

Away from the city now we are enjoying the Estancia

I’ve been imagining my night at the Tango show night since I booked this trip and it didn’t disappoint, Far from it in fact it would have to have been the best live show and dinner I have had the pleasure of attending for a long time.

It was wow from the minute we walked in for me. The place oozed atmosphere and everybody had donned their good gears to enjoy something that turned out to be rather magical.

The building itself was quirky, with internal walls of red brick morphing into a curved ceiling, complemented by low hung lightshades and relics of times gone by adorning the walls. The waiters were all done up as flash as a chow on a bike, smartly dressed in their number 1’s with their black pinstripes , crisp white shirts and black and white leather shoes. They darted swiftly between the tables facing a draped stage that were laden with silver utensils and glass of all sorts, placed on crisp damask tablecloths. Opening one of those highly starched napkins always gives me a little thrill as I shake it onto my lap as it reminds me of the fine things in life that are to be enjoyed.

It was a three-course set menu with a number of choices for each course and included a complimentary bottle of wine. I have no idea how much the evening’s entertainment cost as the ticket was prepurchased in NZ through my good friend and NZ Travelbroker Peta-Maire. (You outdid yourself here girlfriend.) The meal was delicious, and I had the most amazing grilled chicken on a bed of sauté vegetables followed by Malbec pears that were devine. The complimentary bottle of Pinot Gris was unexpected. I don’t normally drink white wine after 4pm because it keeps me up at night but it would have been a shame to waste it so I did manage to force myself to finish it it by the end of the evening . Once the meal was finished, the velvet curtains opened and I sat glued to the stage watching the three couples dancing to the live music of the 6 piece band. The music was fantastic, the all-male ensemble were obviously very good at their craft.

The routines were polished and professional. The men wore slicked back hair and clean shaven poker faces while their beautifully made up partners dripping in diamantes worked figure hugging velvet frocks with low backs, fishnet stockings and splits that in another situation would have been nearly indecent. The steamy moves had us all fixated in the chairs and the staunch male frames coupled with great athletism showed by the ladies had all eyes facing the stage for sure. The greatest moment for me was when the beautiful soloist dressing in a glittering gold evening gown stood alone against a back drop of moving Eva Peron images and sung the most powerful rendition of “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” in Spanish. It was such a special performance and took me back to a time years ago when full of gin , a fellow showjumper who loved to sing as much as I do tried to do the same thing following the National showjumping champs at 1am in the morning hoping to create a show for those still loitering at that time of night in the Ashburton showgrounds. In hindsight we failed miserably!

Memories also came flooding back when three men dressed as poncho wearing Gauchos came on to the stage playing the theme music to the High Chaparral. It was truly magic and the crowd all joined in clapping and encouraging the trio to keep going.

Caught up in it all and half full of the wine that Penny wasn’t drinking, I had a “carpe deim “moment and ordered a large martini just to enjoy the whole atmosphere to the fullest. I think that’s what put the nail in my coffin so to speak! At the end of the evening when the waiters came to collect the money for the three non-complimentary drinks we had drunk between us while the show was going (2 large mojitos and the martini) it came to a total of 1200 pesos. In a moment of confusion, I acted more like one of those ditsy Bond girls instead of the James Bond I thought I was and handed over $150 USD. The guy took the money off to the till looking ever so pleased and arrived back with a $50 USD. It is customary to tip in Argentina and generosity overwhelmed me in the moment thinking about the great show, so I motioned for the waiter to take the money as a tip. He looked rather shocked at me but eventually did scurry away clutching the note. It was minutes after when I got back into my wallet that I realised I had removed my emergency stash and paid with the wrong currency. I didn’t have the heart to go to the staff and admit the mistake – they were dealing with some disgruntled dutch folk who were grumpy as hell about being ripped off so I slunk out the door slightly bewildered.

I haven’t had the courage until now to work out how much that was in NZ dollars. I did get a pleasant surprise when I have just worked it out and found it was only $222.00NZ – much better than the $300 I thought it would be.

I was smarting the next day to be truthful though, both in my back pocket where the money had gone from and in an area just above the temporal lobes on my head! Lol I tell my kids when they are cross or needing to make a decision “give it the 48hr rule.” I am so glad the 48hr rule has worked in this case, as today I am chuckling to myself about another tale of woe in the life of a Backpacking Cougar!

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