Before making the decision to sing in front of the Obelisk, Ámbar Ayelén Imoberdoff put on her figure suit. He thought about the costume he would wear, the repertoire he would sing and the exact location in which he would stand next to his stroller, his speaker and his microphone.
Since Ámbar did not convince her, she also looked for a stage name for her character. She chose Julia, simply, without a last name. She also thought of a poster so that her audience, in addition to hearing her sing, would get to know her better.
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“Hello, I'm Julia. I am 72 years old and retired. “I sing to make ends meet,” the woman wrote on a white poster, stuck on a piece of cardboard. Julia, true to her personality, added two smiling faces to the message.
“I have been singing here for a year and a half, in this place that is very beautiful and where the people are peaceful. They get hooked on everything I do. “This is my happiness,” she expressed to TN.
Julia sings next to a sign on which she places a bag so that they can leave her the money (Photo: Nicolás González).
Julia lives in the Buenos Aires city of Guernica and from Thursday to Monday, between 7 and 9 p.m., she is located on the corner of Avenida 9 de Julio and Avenida Corrientes and performs a series of songs: “I have many health problems and I need the silver”.
“I am from Entre Ríos and I came to Buenos Aires very young. I arrived with the dream of singing or being a famous stylist, but everything stopped because I had to start working. I did it from a very young age in a hotel and then I started studying to be a chef,” Julia said.
“That was the best thing of my life, cooking. Make delicious food in restaurants. I worked for almost 40 years, but I had to retire with less because I was robbed. I discovered many years later that my employers did not deposit the contributions and gave me fake pay stubs. They only recognized me 25 and another 5 of moratorium, so I collect the minimum retirement,” said the singer.
The Enterrian worked for 40 years as a chef in different restaurants (Photo: Facebook Ambar Imoberdoff).
His routine begins in his house in Guernica, the one he bought with his partner of 28 years. “He hasn't been here for six years, he was older than he was. So we were able to buy a house and renovate it,” she said.
Julia leaves at 4:00 p.m. to take the train and arrives downtown at 6:30 p.m. She takes a bus to the train station so she can load the cart with the speaker. She then arrives at Constitución and gets on the bus that leaves her at the Obelisk.
“I'm there from 7 to 9 p.m. because then I have to take the last train to get home. On Saturdays I do two shows, I leave at 3 in the morning. I eat at McDonald's, which is the cheapest, then I take the bus and at 4:20 I'm in Constitución to wait for the train,” he continued.
Julia chooses the tracks on her cell phone and sings over them (Photo: Nicolás González).
The retiree stated that last month she earned $105,000 and a $55,000 bonus that she spent in three days to buy “meat, chicken and other things.”
“People here are very generous, thank God. During a weekend I can earn $60,000. I earn more doing this. I don't come on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays because I rest. I have my dogs and I'm always doing some paperwork,” Julia said.
The woman stressed that she made the decision to start singing on that corner after finding herself unable to buy an essential medicine for her health: “It costs $35,000, but luckily I'm doing well and today I can have it.”
The woman assured that she collects close to $60,000 per weekend (Photo: Nicolás González).
The woman from Entre Ríos stated that as a girl she won various singing competitions in her province. Neighborhood competitions that led her to lose her shyness, to the point that when she grew up she dared to leave the kitchen to sing to the diners in the middle of the restaurant.
“Singing not only helped me but freed me. I didn't keep all the emotion I felt in my life, I brought it out through singing. That is why at 72 years old I dance and tap, because I am grateful for life,” she said.
Julia loads the speaker on a cart and travels by train to Constitución (Photo: Nicolás González).
Through a support he holds the cell phone on which he plays the tracks from YouTube. “I like everything that has rhythm. Also romantic songs. But what people like is cumbia, beautiful dances are put together here,” she narrated.
Julia completed: “I couldn't sing in a theater, but this is my theater. These are my people. I feel honored to sing here and to be allowed, which is the main thing. Therefore, this is my theater and I feel happy.”
Video and editing: Nicolás González.