Maybe you’ve recently danced tango with a grey-haired gentleman called Patrick? Happens he’s the Secretary of State for Transport on a mission to study milonga ‘driving’ etiquette and see what could be applied on the road.

We’ve just got our hand on some of the latest milonga-inspired Driving Test questions. Have a look; it’s quite surprising.


Driving test set-up

You’re driving on the M25, thinking about the weekend. The driver ahead of you drives a red Vauxhall slightly below the speed limit. The driver in the blue Ford in the next lane stays slightly behind you at constant speed.


Situation 1

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The driver in the red Vauxhall MAKES A SUDDEN U-TURN and faces you – hood against hood. You somehow manage to brake and stop about 2 yards from him. You’re sweating and swearing. In your heart, you are happy you have wasted your youth on a racing video game (but will never ever tell your son): you still have damn good reflexes.


You are about to start insulting him when you realise there’s no time for that. HE IS STARTING TO DRIVE TOWARDS YOU!!!! As far as you can tell, he is looking at his feet and not at the road ahead. Maybe he lost his contact lenses and can’t tell he is going in the wrong direction?

What do you do?

1- Go into reverse and drive backwards on the M25 too.
2- Stay put and pray he stop before he hits you.
3- Jump out of your car and run.


Situation 2

Argentine tango London | Driving milonga test


The driver in his red Vauxhall doesn’t U-turn on you but instead, HE CANNOT DECIDE WHETHER HE IS THE HARE OR THE TORTOISE from the tale.

Hare: he speeds up at 90mph and you instantly lose sight of him.

Tortoise: his speed drops to a sluggish 30 mph, forcing you to slam on the brakes to avoid him.

Hare: off he goes again. Where to? Who knows?

What do you do?
1- Follow his driving pattern, hoping no one hits you from behind.
2- Overtake as a gentleman on the left.
3- Open your window, shout at him, zigzag around him and then put your foot down to get rid of him.


Situation 3

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Now te driver next to you seems to have got the hiccups or a bee in his bonnet or something. HE STARTS TO ZIGZAG between lanes. Sometimes, he is next to you, sometimes he’s behind you, sometimes, he’s in between you and the red Vauxhall. His car has turned into a stealth vehicle; you simply can’t tell where he’s going to be next. Maybe there is a slalom competition on the M25. Was it advertised anywhere?

What do you do:
1- Zigzag around him too.
2- Put your foot down and try and lose him behind.
3- Drive backwards as one does.


Situation 4

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Are you dreaming? You must be? The car next to you has transformed into A WAR WEAPON FROM HELL. It is like…. a metal porcupine? It’s all spikes and pointy protuberances and it looks like it is trying to get you. You cannot believe it: is it really throwing spear-like spikes at you!

What do you do:
1- You are happy you always drive with your snow tyres on anyway. Come spikes, come spears, it doesn’t matter to you.
2- You too know how to turn into a gladiator charriot. They will soon wish they had not started this.
3- You put the music louder and focus on your plans for the weekend. Ignorance is bliss.


I think I would have failed the new driving test…

I sure am glad I have already passed my driving test (although I am a paper driver) because I am not sure how I would have answered these new milonga-inspired questions…. Tango dancers walking against the line of dance… or charging on the dancefloor and then stopping abruptly… High flying boleos, wraps and ganchos… Scary thought!

To make sure this doesn’t happen to them, the porteños are smart… The most famous Buenos Aires milongas have some of the best tango floorcraft in the world, as tango dancers follow simple rules:

Argentine tango London | Milonga Los Angelitos spacer_small • They commit to one lane on the dancefloor.
• They allow enough space so that the leader ahead of them can take at least one step backwards.
• They keep the same distance with the couple ahead of them – if they move, they move too. If they stop, they stop too. Tango bliss!
• They do not overtake.
• They dance in a straight line and mark corners with a 90-degree turn.


Oh, and ladies have a role to play as well. In a busy milonga, followers can help everyone have a good time by dancing tango al piso, as the Argentines say: feet on the floor. Low boleos do look good too (much more than a bruise caused by a flying heel).

Apparently, the Ministry had had some time on their hand, so they drew the impressively beautiful diagrams below after attending some tango evenings – but using their usual car driving terminology of course:

Tango Classes London | Milonga etiquette | Drawings

See you soon on the dancefloor!

Abrazo, Nati y Bruno

PS: Of course the Secretary of State for Transport didn’t come to study tango dance patterns in a milonga, we just thought it was a fun analogy.