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The Argentine Connection

May 13, 2015

Long Way Home – The Argentinians





Atins, Brazil.  31 August 2014


The thumbnail of my Long Way Home video features Martin, the hero of my travels. Because of him I became the special guest of an Argentinian superstar everywhere I went.  We met in a Brazilian desert so remote that you needed to climb a tree to get phone reception. I have a map of the tree if you ever find yourself there.  Incidentally the map is that piece of paper flying in the video.






Buenos Aires, Argentina.  23 September 2014


Martin introduced me to Hernan, his ex bandmate, when I arrived in his hometown, Buenos Aires. I had asked Martin if he knew another guitarist as cool as him there.  He was right. Hernan was awesome.  Probably the city’s best tango guitarist.  Not only did he give me an impromptu recital but he also took me to a lifetime award ceremony of a tango legend where I sat next to other tango superstars.  Hernan is the guy playing the guitar with a beret.  He appears twice in the video.






Buenos Aires, Argentina 21 September 2014


And then I decided to push my luck and see if Hernan knew any tango dancers as awesome as him. Of course he did. Enter the marvelous Vivi who took me to the coolest place I’ll ever find myself, where I watched her and Carlos, another mesmerizing dancer (stop being awesome, Argentinians) pour magic on the floor of medrano y sarmiento.  Also before this, we were in a hole in the wall bar and I was shooting an old man singing an opera when Vivi whispered to me that the singer was… a drug lord. I’d like to stay alive so he’s not in the video.  But here’s the magnificent Vivi and Carlos.  Smouldering.





20 July 2015.  Singapore


At my “One Year Without A Job” anniversary I made a video about my long way home. When Vivi saw it she immediately connected me with Tomas (yet another annoyingly beautiful dancer) who was in Singapore teaching tango.  And that’s how I found myself whisked back 9872 miles by a new friend sandwiching my paez alpargatas. And it feels like I was at home, still travelling the world.  Through all of you.  


Even though I got to know Hernan first, I actually met Vivi before him.  He was on a concert tour in Mendoza when I caught up with Vivi.  Mendoza is famous for their wine and by the time we met, we were both half awake even though it was way past noon.  He was trying to wake up from a hangover and me, from Vivi.  We both agreed – it was definitely worth it.


2 years later, reading what Vivi wrote me, made me feel like I'm right back in the alley at 3am.


Viviana Parra August 5, 2015

I remember every thing just like you describe it, but what you don’t know is how i felt when we put you into the taxi and i see your face, mix of happiness, tired, and lost in this big crazy and beautiful city of Buenos Aires, i felt like is not good…. it is not good to meet such an amazing human soul, a factory of smiles! and I had to let you go. I wish we live a block away once in a wile. That was the last time i saw you. Till…. the magic video come out! and here we are together again! and with Tomi, Again! Thanks to all !!! Thanks for taking the decision and the risk to go as far as you did. We are never the same after we make new friends in a second . 🙂



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© Mandy Tay 

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