Miss Fuzzy Fotos at it again. It's on purpose!
I secure a press invitation for a tango workshop. The locals really do enjoy themselves. Astronomy and star gazing meetings, village fairs, parties, picnics, rallies, jumble-sales, and now tango. In my opinion, they are in a hurry to make the most of it before winter.
I hardly know the village where the event takes place, and nearly got lost in a maze of pitch dark medieval alleys and courtyards, extremely authentic. How come a movie producer has not snapped this location for a musqueteers mini-fiction or drama? Give me a sword, a munk robe, and I feel the part.
I finally locate my destination, a genuine medieval vault reconverted as a bar, where the lady of the house welcomes me. She is an authentic Latin-American political refugee, who introduced the cornfields population to argentinian tango. Behind the bar, local artists and political activists volunteer as barmen. Tango workshops and african music concerts are only a sample of their summer activities.
Couples glide earnestly on the stone floor to the sound of taped tango classics. Dzoum and dzim and dzoum. I notice that they try not to slip on a glass port-hole sealed in the ground. And what do I see, through the port-hole? An underground "oubliette" (prison cell), like the ones you can see in medieval fortress from dear old crusades times. They have disposed of the skulls and bones at the bottom. Its clean, well lit, but still, a very crude medieval prison cell. By golly, where are we? Very simple.
The village was the private property of one cruel French king, Louis the 11th. He stayed in town for a while when his mother died, around 1450 AC, to claim his inheritance from greedy noble cousins. Now, this Louis the XIth is the inventor of the "fillette", a child-size cage where political opponents were litteraly stuffed in to meditate on their future. Louis the XIth soon went back to Paris, as everyone does eventually, to finetune his torture crafts on larger crowds, but his spell at his mother's village left a deep print on the local tastes in matters like architecture and lifestyle.
The tango, Louis the XIth, the underground medieval cell, the South American political refugee... Plus a variety of amateur tango dancers, many of them hairdressers, all left me with a confusing and strange impression. When I walked back to my car through the dark maze of back lanes, I didn't know what to make of my evening out. Tango workshops can be too much.