Monthly Archives: February 2007

To the North

I was unaware that there are two sides to Cyprus, the Greek and the Turkish. Now, the story of what happened back in the 70’s is vague, but one thing is clear now: there is a “green line” between them. Crossing the border was a little strange, a patch of road about a mile long, fenced on either side, topped with barbed wire. A small check stand on the side of the road was the gateway to the north, as we called it. After passing the checkpoint we were off to meet with a man who would take us to the tango class. After about 5 minutes of driving, listening to one version of the history, we pulled over to a car sitting in front of a sign that read, “Hidden Garden.” A man jumped from the car and rushed to our window, welcoming us and advising us to follow him to the studio. The road twisted the way they do in old cities, leaving little or no room for breathing, let alone the cars coming the other way. We pulled into the parking lot of the dance studio, parked, and made our way to the classroom. The group was very nice, a little quiet, but when there is a language difference, well, you know how that goes. After the class, back into the car and off to the milonga. Winding through the city, we ended up at what I thought was a castle. It turned out to be a mosque, which started out as a catholic church sometime back in the 13th century. Unfortunately, we did not end up dancing in the mosque, but in a Spanish restaurant next door. The fluorescent light threw off the feel a little, but the food was good. We danced away several hours into the night, letting the time pass. When the milonga ended, we were back into the car and off again to the border. Lucky for us, one of the men from the dance offered to take us there. Making it back to the house safe and sound, the conversation about tango went on into the night.

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To Cyprus: story

Sitting in the airport line…what should we do? Take some pictures!!!! And then standing in line to board the plane, Shalom, the man whom we are staying with in Cyprus, said goodbye. The flights where long, very long, 8 hours to Frankfurt. The food was almost food and the movie was not too bad. I did not watch it, but Sharna did and she did some laughing so it could not have been that bad. We got to Frankfurt and the inside clock said bedtime the outside clock said 6 in the am. The airport was nice, white and really clean, with no electrical outlets!! We found one next to the security office, not really the place I wanted to be. So we went to one of the cafes (it was more like a diner) in the middle of the terminal. I enjoyed a mineral water with fake minerals and Sharna had some peppermint tea. That only killed less than half an hour, so back to a bench we went, taking turns trying to get into an almost-sleeping position, but that only worked half way. Waking up to an airport now much busier and full of people, we made our way to the gate, then onto a bus that took us to the airbus 360 that was out on the runway. Four and a half hours later we were ready for a three and a half hour flight. I tried to sleep, using Sharna as a pillow, but it did not work out so well. I did seem to get a little shut-eye though. After we landed, Sharna went to the restroom and I went looking for the bags, only to be found by the very same Shalom who had bid us farewell in Boston, standing there with his bags and welcoming us to Cyprus. Strange, I thought, riding a bus from the runway to the terminal, but once we got to the house the lack of sleep from the three of us did not stimulate anything but putting food in the belly and going to bed.

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To Cyprus

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Tangophilia: the story

The weather started out warm then dropped to hover right above chilly for most of the weekend, setting a nice tone for the sore feet and lack of sleep. In a place known to the locals as “the triangle,” last minute touches where being placed for Tangophilia. In this small area, cornered off by three small university towns, volunteers scurried about picking up bread, coffee and people from the airport.

It was a Thursday, yes, a Thursday, a Thursday like any other, nothing so special or abnormal, just a Thursday to the passers by. However, to a small posse of out-of-towners, this Thursday was the beginning. After a bit to eat, the small posse made their way across a rocky parking lot. Di Sarli hummed sweetly through the air, inviting only the ones who could pick it out from the wind. Between two buildings and a wall of trees on the adjacent side, the posse found itself looking at a door. This door at the far end of the parking lot, unbeknown to our four adventurers, opened the last leg of the journey. On the other side of the door, a stairway stood staring down at the group. Not afraid, they took to the climb one after another. At the top all four members of the crew found themselves with an at-home feeling. The warm welcome from the people resting their feet made it known that the weekend would be a truly amazing event.

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Tangophilia

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