It’s funny how it’s the simple things these days that give me the most pleasure. That’s not to say that I won’t appreciate the week I will be spending in BsAs. It will be my own personal version of Eat, Dance, Sleep. The intensive Tango tour that I booked last month via the Internet promised to look after every detail.
For once, I thought, I will allow myself to be spoiled without the residual feelings of guilt that normally accompanies anything I do that either feels or looks the least bit selfish on the surface. So I ask myself, is it selfishness or self-preservation? The answer to that question is: enough of the guilt already. Oy vey!
A steady diet of international business travel had finally taken its toll; I practically ran to the airport to make the trip. That in itself is an amazing thing because normally I don’t get on a plane unless I’m paid to do so. But I am so bone tired in body and soul that the only way I knew to catch my breath was to get away unencumbered.
And I was able to do that with a little help from my friends in our IT Department. Funny, it is only in retrospect just two days later that I now realize how much I appreciate those IT guys taking their time with my laptop and not turning it around in time for this trip. Their missing the FedEx cutoff for my shipment would normally have had me narrowing my eyes and sending short breaths out of my nostrils. However, this time I took a deep breath shrugged my shoulders, let it go and got myself gone.
Locals, when they hear about my tour, tell me I’ve paid too much. And it’s probably true. But for someone who had no resources on the ground before she arrived, it was the best I could do. And so rather than fret about it I am revelling in the fact that for the first time in years I am on a vacation that I didn’t have to plan. I’m not the social director; I didn’t have to choose the restaurants, the sites or the milongas. All I had to do was show up.
I am used to orchestrating my own departures, arrivals, accommodations and transport in-between. I am used to schlepping luggage, running for shuttles, fighting with stubborn ticket vending machines and dealing with surly information desk people. (Sometimes I am tempted to ask them if they enjoy their job, but then I if you ever saw me in route you’d probably wonder the same thing.) This time when I arrived at the gate in BsAs there was a sign with my name on it. Attached to that sign was the smiling face of a young woman who was there to escort me to my hotel.
What a treat. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve landed at an overseas airport and wished for just such a sign on the other side of the arrivals gate. Actually I can tell you the number of times – it’s every time. But it has never happened.
What happens is that I square my shoulders, take a deep breath and cross the threshold into a teaming throng of people waiting for friends, associates, clients and loved ones. I steel myself to run the gauntlet of arriving ditherers and guppies. Guppies, my own classification, are people who stand blocking the exit with their mouths opening and closing, while we the weary pile up behind them, as they try and get their bearings and I try and get into the rhythm of a long road trip ahead. This is how every trip begins.
Well almost every trip.