Lise calls out for Buenos Aires - Copenhagen 2006

A lot of people ask what made me play the bandoneon. It’s a pretty good question as there are no obvious reasons for that to happened, you know, no grand parent who left an instrument behind and no need for finding my identity in something truly Argentine.

A place to start could be with my dear friend 
Lise. I met her on a summer day out side the Municipal Hospital, where the Faculty of Social Sciences in Copenhagen is placed. We were there for some kind of intro thing for new students of Anthropology. She was dressed all in black (always at that time) and had en henna colored beautiful long hair. (I'm really sorry but I don't have a single photo of her from that time so the picture is taken her birthday this year. The henna is out and pastel colors are in.) 

She caught my attention immediately and we became study partners right away. We were part of a bigger group of in my eyes amazing young women (my guess is that moment 90 % of all the anthropology students were women at that time) and everything was extremely exciting and challenging at the same time. I thought my friends were super cool and they represented to a certain extent the cosmopolitan life I have dreamt of since my parents started telling me stories about their exotic youth in the capital of Denmark.

The next year and a half we were very close and I didn’t find it strange, when she asked if we should take the fourth semester in Argentina. It was a bit to early to join the normal exchange program, but Lise insisted on the timing. She was very persistent and managed to do all the necessary paperwork and of we went together with another person who was to become very special to me, Anne Sofie and two of her friends. The two friends were from Zealand (the rest of us are from Jutland, the Peninsula) and they talked a lot more and louder than us, they laughed a lot more and louder than us and were - and still are - just excellent company.

I remember arriving to Buenos Aires without having prepared anything at all. I was pretty much in an examen fog and just going to university in general had me in a bubble, adding that I was also pretty much in love; the result was that I hadn’t opened a single book about Argentina before stepping put of the airplane. (Yes, I know you are thinking so what, and there is all the information on the internet anyway, but this was earlier guys, or at least books still had a lot of power and my luggage was in fact full of them). Well, you don’t know me so well yet, but the thing about not being prepared... it made me feel guilty, lazy, spoiled and I thought about all the children starving to death in Africa. I had already been damaged by my studies and believed that anthropology could save the world, but only with genuine interest and hard work. My failure was a fact. 

And just for fun, what did I know about tango at that point? 

1) You are not suppose to look at your partner 
2) The face should have an angry expression 
3) The head is to move really fast together with the stiff movements of the body
4) The cherry on the top: it just really makes it authentic if you have a rose in your mouth. 

To be continued...


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