shoes aside

I’m leaving the stories of the great shoe hunt to friend Jane who has a great way with words (probably because she’s a writer). Meanwhile I’ve been wandering into some reading about Argentina and the dirty war.

I was in Greece first in 1977 shortly after the fall of the junta. I realised how little I knew about it and what effect it had had on people. People in my village had been involved -for and against- and I was aware of the remains of antagonisms and stresses, as well as the pride evinced by the actions of the Polytechnic students who helped end the terrible times. I read Oriana Fallaci’s “A man” and was impressed and dismayed at the passion and obsession with which he fought and the evil of the men he fought against. Along with all Greeks I relished the music of Theodorakis.

So my ears pricked up with delight as, wandering the streets of San Telmo in BA I heard his music played on a guitar. San Telmo is the real touristy area, and while it’s crowded with these people (clearly this excluded me), it is also home to the lovely open air milonga in Plaza De Reggio where we had our first dances in BA. (I was the first to be asked by the way!!!!!A situation not always repeated at subsequent milongas, but I digress).

The connection of Theodorakis’ music with events in BA was hard to ignore. Like Greece, Argentina has seen many a junta and right wing government but I suspect that in Argentina it was a little worse. I have just finished reading Andrew Graham-Yooll’s book about the dirty war and am struck by the kind of terror that existed as people disappeared and the terror of unmarked cars cruising the streets. I still can’t completely work out what it was all about but it makes a kind of sense of how people are in BA, and how much effort it must take to leave behind the terrors and move on to face a new decade or two.

Breakfast at Cafe Tortoni.

No significant insights. Just appreciation for the street names, the plaza names and the significance of cafes, like La Briela, where we sat innocently on a sunny autumn day before our trip around the Recoleta cemetery and the dutiful visit to Eva’s tomb.


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