Sonia invited me to surf her couch in Buenos Aires – where we spent two days chatting about life, love and food. She was lovely enough to share her coffee and chocolate breaks with me and was the first person to suggest that I try dancing tango, to which end she brought me along to La Viruta one night to take a tango lesson. Sonia is an English teacher and ex-gynmast and combines her work with regular trips around South America. She is soon to be found working on her Portuguese and dodging charming gentlemen in the tropical north of beautiful Brazil.
How has being Argentinian left its mark on you?
I guess it’s more how being porteño (name for those born and bred in Buenos Aires capital) has left its mark. The biggest thing is the language, as it’s not the same as it is in Spain. And then of course there’s now important family is for us…we’re much more attached to our families than they seem to be in other places.
What would your 13-year-old self think about you if they met you?
I always thought that when I was an adult, I’d dress like a secretary! She’d be surprised that I’m an English teacher and that I’m not doing any more sport. I’d be happy and a little surprised too to see that my parents are healthy and doing well.
If you could meet your 13-year-old self, what would you say to her?
Don’t stop doing gymnastics! (smiles) I’m not sure I’d tell her anything…oh, but to protect herself from the sun, that I would say!
How do you make decisions?
It depends on how important it is. If it’s a little thing I choose without thinking, but if something’s at stake I measure the pros and cons, I ask for advice.
Do you think you’re on the right path? How do you know?
I think so. It always seems normal, what you do. When you think about what others do, you wonder if you could possibly do something else…but you can’t possibly live all paths at once. You have to choose something and I feel happy with my life. I think if I wanted to live in another place or do something else, I would.
How do you feel when you think about your future?
Old! (laughs) I don’t think much about the future…but I do see myself travelling, always busy. Working…even if only just a bit.
What fascinates you about Argentina?
That we have so many different landscapes in one country: There’s just so much variety; glaciers, pampa, mountains, lakes, waterfalls…
People’s abilities and special skills. How people are able to fight to achieve something.
Nothing particularly fascinates me! I like what I do, my work and my hobbies but I don’t think there’s anything really fascinating about me.
What scares you about people, Argentina and yourself?
Uncertainly is what scares me about each of the three. Financial uncertainty, where are we going to be ad what are we going to do? When you meet someone, how might they react? Uncertainty is the spice of life too, of course…not knowing what’s going to happen each day.