When we were in Buenos Aires we often felt very conflicted about seeing dancers we knew from Toronto. Let us rephrase that: We weren’t really conflicted, but we didn’t want to offend anyone.
Let K preface by saying that she has lived abroad. K originally went to teach children English in Finland for a year, but then met Jorge and moved back there for another 3.5 years. During her first year, she was invited by a foreign student to befriend all the other foreign students, as had her predecessor. Although very thankful, K had no interest in this. Had she really traveled all that way to hang out with other foreigners? No. Instead, she befriended Jorge and spent all her free time with him and his family, and she immersed herself in the Finnish culture.
That said, we hoped that anyone we saw from the homeland would be of the same mindset as us. Which was: We went to Buenos Aires to experience the culture. Let us say hello, possibly go for coffee, and then be on our separate ways. We certainly didn’t spend all that hard-earned money to see and spend time with the same people we see back home.
In all honesty though, we did meet some lovely Asians who were wonderful people and who danced the “same kind of Tango” we danced (perfectly said by one of these new friends). Although we did spend a lot of time with these gringos, the positive was that they were gringos of a different culture than ours.
“Those who visit foreign nations, but associate only with their own country-men, change their climate, but not their customs. They see new meridians, but the same men; and with heads as empty as their pockets, return home with traveled bodies, but untravelled minds.”
– Caleb Colton