Happiness as Anarchy #131: Afternoon tango

An afternoon spent learning to tango, then actually tangoing in a big old room in the centre of Buenos Aires, the home of tango. The old tango orchestras made beautiful music and the old recordings have a little crackle on the edge, which is quite charming. The music is endlessly fascinating, crisp, and full of melancholy, and a total joy to dance to. Some delightful Argentinian gents were kind enough to dance with me, despite my beginner state, and thus I feel I learned a lot. Definitely the best fun I’ve had with $5 in an awfully long time.

Happiness as Anarchy #130: Pretty taps

Buenos Aires has all the architecture of a city once rich, but she is now in decline. Thus buildings are still impressive but they’re tired and run down. The apartment I’m staying in would have once been stunning, but sadly no longer. It’s currently a share house (the other residents are four boys in their 20s – a strange revisiting of my uni days in Melbourne) with its quirks – there’s no hot water in the kitchen, the doors are sticky, the furniture is functional not beautiful second hand – but also its beauty – the wrought iron handrails in the stairwell, the hardwood floorboards, and the taps and tiling in the bathrooms are very pretty (which makes cleaning my teeth so much nicer than plain white!).


Happiness as Anarchy #129: Interesting Taxi Drivers

I did the grown up thing and caught a taxi from the airport to my accommodation in Buenos Aires. It was worth the extra dollars for the ease and speed after a long haul flight, particularly because my driver, Martín, was so nice. He was happy for me to converse in my very rusty Spanish and pointed out interesting things on the way. We managed quite a chat, and it transpired that he is really a journalist, but since the economic crisis in Argentina (one of many that have plagued the country for most of the last hundred years) has been driving the taxi to and from the airport ad infinitum.

Happiness as Anarchy #128: Airport Champagne

Walking through the international double doors in Melbourne Airport always makes me grin like a cheshire cat. Once you’re through there’s no going back – whatever you packed is it, whatever you forgot to organise at home has to take care of itself, and the adventure has begun. The cherry on the top, however, is when you walk through duty free at 10:30am and Veuve Clicquot has the tasting cart out. Hello Holidays!

veuve rosé

Happiness as Anarchy #126: One month holiday

Five weeks off work would make anyone happy, and I’m no exception. An adventure across the Pacific awaits with tango shoes and a foreign language. Sleeping in, dancing late, discovering a new city with its food, culture and songs, meeting people, having time to think, create, wonder and wander. See you Friday, Buenos Aires!



Happiness as Anarchy #125: Richard Galliano, accordionist

I was blown away by the music of Argentinian legend Astor Piazzolla at a concert in 2012 by French accordionist Richard Galliano. He was joined by the Piazzolla Forever Septet and it was an incredible concert, like a fire on stage. With all the depth and variety of the slow burn, the crazy roaring fire, beautiful flickering flames and everything in between. The recital centre auditorium was only half full, and most of us were sitting in the cheaper seats towards the back, but they gave what was, for me, probably the best concert I’ve ever seen, and three encores. I’m very excited to be heading off to hear that music in its birthplace.

Happiness as Anarchy #124: Instant finds amongst the mess

I confess that I do often lose things in my house (and in moving have found things I’ve been trying to locate for years). On the other hand, I also have a sixth sense for where certain items are, despite the piles of boxes yet to be unpacked and stacks of books. Take, for example, a volume of Latin American Stories that I haven’t read for over a decade, but I thought it would be nice to read a couple this week. Somehow I knew exactly which pile it was on and found it in less than three seconds. It may be a mess, but it is certainly not chaos.

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Happiness as Anarchy #123: Long haul inflight entertainment

It may seem strange to say that I like a long haul flight. I see it as a fabulous opportunity to do nothing for a day, without having to think of anything more than which movie to watch. It just dawned on my that I can drink G&Ts and binge watch movies all the way to Argentina on Friday. I’ll be starting with Rocketman, followed by Bohemian Rhapsody, Vita & Virginia …

This photo is Air New Zealand’s first flight attendant crew in 1940.

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Happiness as Anarchy #122: A letter that’s not a bill

A letter arrives in the mailbox with the logo of your energy company on the front. Tired of paying an endless stream of bills, you leave it sitting on the bench for several days before opening. You’re sure that it is another bill inside. When pragmatism beats procrastination you open the letter to find a delightful surprise: it is not a bill at all! Just a little letter to say that you are on the best plan for the amount of electricity you use. Aaah, happy days!