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Should you have been avidly following our blogs along with the rest of the trendy Spanish student population of Buenos Aires, you may have picked up on the continuous food theme. It’s popular out here. And not always in the most healthy of varieties or quantities. As a rule it tends to be either fried, stuffed with cheese or covered in dulce de leche and consequently, I am of course a picture of health. I present the Pancho, a hotdog consisting of sausage, bun and stuffed full of chips for good measure; I once had the audacity to ask for mine “sin papas” and received a look that has subsequently lead me to keep my unwelcome health-conscious feelings to  myself. Another discovery is a variation on the typical Argentine dish the milanesa. This piece of meat, beaten into a road-kill kind of display, is battered and then fried or baked depending on how long you want to delay your visit to the hypertension clinic. This I was excited about. They didn’t seem too large and whilst clearly not a regular feature in Kate Moss’s diet, it seemed this would be a meal for which I would not need to be checked into post-dinner rehab.  However, the reality was the meat described posing incognito as a pizza base covered in an assortment of bacon and tomatoes and smothered in cheese…

It was as I was being rolled out the restaurant door having once again enjoyed myself too much that I began to wonder how on earth anyone can stay in shape whilst studying Spanish in Buenos Aires without needing to book an extra seat for the flight home. Particularly as the summer approaches.  It may bring in more tourists, but being mistaken for a whale on the beaches of Mar del Plata is not on my Argentine “to do” list.

It was fortunate therefore, that this week Expanish offered its students a free Tango class. This smooth, sensual and passionate dance originated here, in the barrios of Buenos Aires, in the late 1800’s and has become an integral and valued part of the culture. I mention this impeccably timed activity because it seems to have presented the answer to working off all those over-indulgences. Though it is not too complex a dance, at least not at first, it certainly provides a good work out and what better way to combine exercise, being with friends and learning about Argentine culture? After just an hour of politely and ever so apologetically shredding each other’s toes we did actually begin to formulate something that vaguely resembled something like the dance intended. Some had become so involved they had even acquired the characteristic mournful facial expression, though this may well have been on account of the continuous onslaught taking place between our increasingly unhappy feet. Perhaps a few more lessons are necessary but take confidence, if I can do it you can!

So having found a new hobby, I left school feeling pleased, a little exhausted and went to buy another empanada…

Check my blog next week to here more Expanish news.