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Approaching her dreaded thirtieth birthday, Marina Palmer suddenly found herself adrift in anxiety. A successful but bored advertising executive — on the therapist's couch thrice weekly and with no lasting love in her life — she longed for true passion and adventure. Then, on a whimsical vacation to South America, at a steamy two A.M. milonga, she found what she was looking for: tango! From her very first close-up glimpse of Argentina's signature dance she fell head over heels. She left everything behind — her ...
Approaching her dreaded thirtieth birthday, Marina Palmer suddenly found herself adrift in anxiety. A successful but bored advertising executive — on the therapist's couch thrice weekly and with no lasting love in her life — she longed for true passion and adventure. Then, on a whimsical vacation to South America, at a steamy two A.M. milonga, she found what she was looking for: tango! From her very first close-up glimpse of Argentina's signature dance she fell head over heels. She left everything behind — her fast-track career, her desperate search for "the One" — to pursue her new obsession in Buenos Aires, seeking a dancing partner, storybook love, and the tango lessons that might ultimately help her to earn a place on the professional circuit.
In Kiss & Tango, Marina Palmer chronicles in no-holds-barred diary-style confessions her exhilarating misadventures on the Argentine dance floor . . . and beyond. An inspiring, outrageous, and unforgettable true story bursting with passion, adventure, romance, heartbreak, and steamy sex, it is the ideal book for anyone who secretly dreams of taking that one sweet, impossible gamble of a lifetime.
Where am I going?
Luckily, I wasn't left to wonder for long, as Marty, our chief flight attendant, now welcomed us aboard American Airlines flight 845 from New York to Buenos Aires -- before informing us that our flying time would be ten hours and fifty minutes. Groan. I wish he hadn't done that. That's ten hours too long, if you ask me.
I tried to dispel the unpleasant news by sitting back and relaxing in my seat as he now suggested. As I did, the following thought cheered me up, somewhat: the longer the flight, the farther away it would take me from Young & Rubicam advertising agency. Unfortunately, the thought lasted for less than a split second (along with the comfort it had provided), since my mind couldn't help wandering back to the distraught call from my client, who had screamed at me only a couple of hours ago because the cost estimate for his commercial was twice that of the agreed-upon budget. There has got to be more to life. But what?
Now we were up, up, up, and away! As I leaned over the guy sitting next to me to get a glimpse out of the window, I heaved a sigh of relief. My imagination was finally free to soar high above reality and tofantasize about what lay ahead of me over the next couple of weeks. The thing I now realized is that it's difficult to fantasize about something when you have nothing to go on. Not the slightest little clue. (I decided on Buenos Aires only because my cousin Heleni and her husband, Jacques, happened to be doing a three-year stint there for his job with Paribas bank. Otherwise it would never have occurred to me as a holiday destination, it not being at the top of my places-to-visit list, like Africa, India, or China.)
As my fingers rummaged in the bag that was placed under the seat in front of me for a piece of gum, my mind rummaged around for any association at all with Argentina, but both my fingers and my mind came up with naught. Where the fuck did I put it?! Desperate for a piece of gum, I snuck a peek at my neighbor to see whether he was chewing. That's when I noticed for the first time that he was cute. Really cute. Was he a polo player? Bingo! I had just made my first Argentina-association.
How could it have slipped my mind? Argentina is the land of the fabulously handsome Polo Player, even I know that! I snuck a second peek at my neighbor, who was chewing as it turned out. He was far too goodlooking to be looked at directly, what with that arm that had swung a mallet or two -- if that rippling biceps under a checkered shirt sleeve was anything to go by. As for the three-day shadow around that square jaw of his, and the raven black hair that fell to his shoulders in waves, framing the most symmetrical face you ever saw ... Did I say he was cute? What I meant to say was that he was drop-dead gorgeous! How was I ever going to pluck up the courage to ask him for a piece of gum now? I searched for opening lines that did not involve the vulgar request of something to chew on: "Hello. Sorry to disturb you, but what is your handicap?" Nope. I simply could not bring myself to do it. Anyway, I rationalized, he appeared far too absorbed in thought -- he must be one of those narcissistic types.
Okay, so apart from polo, what else is there to do in Argentina? I asked myself in an attempt to still the deafening sound of my raging hormones. And that's when I made my second Argentina-association of the day and suddenly remembered the tango. I had no idea what it actually looked like since I'd never seen anyone do it, but I do love to dance, and when in Rome, or in this case, Buenos Aires ...
I was still lost in reverie when I was interrupted by my neighbor. But lest anyone get too excited, it wasn't to pick me up but to puke me up.
Personally, I can't say I was thrilled. He, on the other hand, did not seem to mind at all the sight of his puke floating in my lap. Indeed, after he was done erupting all over me, he spent the next ten hours treating me to his life story (which had nothing to do with polo and everything to do with boring) while I tried to avoid the domino effect of the smell of his sick.
My only hope was that this was an omen of good things to come. If it's good luck to step in dog shit and good luck to get crapped on by birds, then surely it must be good luck to get puked on by strangers in planes.
Excerpted from Kiss and Tango by Marina Palmer Copyright © 2006 by Marina Palmer. Excerpted by permission.
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