Weekend @ El Corte

I came back from a city called Nijmegen in Holland this evening.

I never knew it existed before I moved to Cologne.
My ignorance.
Now I know  that this little Dutch city is famous for two things: its university and the tango.
There is a tango salon called El Corte there.
I never knew it existed before I moved to Cologne.
My ignorance.
Tango dancers from as far as New Zealand, South Korea, Urugay.. all knew about this place.
They come there to dance.
I had been lucky to go there with some friends for the very first time, as otherwise I have had never found the place.
It is just a door, on some backstreet, close to the main train station.
I would have never thought it is a place where you would go to dance.
With tango I  always expect some ‘salon’ as they call it.
Some elegant place with wooden floor, chandeliers, bistro tables…
Nothing like that.
You open the door, walk in, and all what you see is big a table, some sofa, a kitchen – bar on the left hand side, and somewhere back there is the dance floor. It is just a room. Could have been your living room.
When I first saw it, I thought, hmm so this is the salon that is what they say is world famous…
After 3 years, I know why it is so famous, and it so much deserves it.
It is about the the place and it is about the people.
All these people, from all over the world come there for their passion. Yes, they are passionate about tango.
And it is so international and this ‘salon’…the way it is makes you feel so much like you are at home.
Yes, as if you were at home, you had invited your friends from the rest of the world for coffee, you speak all sorts of different languages, and a common one: tango.
No entrance fees, just caring hosts who make sure you feel well. They serve you coffee, food, they clean and tidy up all the time, they play wonderful music and they smile. If you went there a few times, they know you by name..They want to know where you come from, they pay attention to the detail.
I remember the first Friday evening I had gone there, after a long work day. I arrived there finally and asked about the entrance fee. They told me: “there is no entrance fee, you came a long way, it is late and you are tired. now just come in and relax…”
Once there, it is amazing how the time passes..I realize how late it is only when I get hungry 🙂 That is usually around 8 pm. So from 1 pm to 8 pm I have been dancing to the wonderful music, or at least listening to it if my feet could no longer carry me dancing, I have been chatting with old and new tango friends from wherever in whatever language.
This time I had wonderful dances with tangueros from France, Latvia, Britain, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Scotland, Slovenia, …I am back home but I still have the music in my ears, and and the things we told each other without having used the words.
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