A hot one

Nuevo Chique was quiet today, I think perhaps the heat put people off. It didn’t stop us though. We arrived early and danced right through until seven. Everyone was struggling though with the low numbers. Every time I looked up one of my favorite ladies was staring at me, it was hard to avoid her and we danced together three times. I told her we would have to get married now.

Juan turned up again but he never danced with Viv. He did give me a long lecture on Pugliese and why I should dance to it. I am still not convinced though.

Even with the aircon going full blast the heat was draining and we had enough by seven. Time to go for a coffee and then head home.

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A new venue

Before this week I had never heard of La Milonga de Juan although I found out it has been running two years. It was a slow start for us as we know nobody here. One or two turned up later that we knew, but it was otherwise slim pickings.

There were considerably more men than women so at least Viv got plenty of dances. She also knew a couple of men from Ideal so she did well enough. Every time I managed to get a dance I got the same reaction “I didn’t know if you could dance” hopefully they will know for next time.

I don’t know why this place is not in Hoy Milonga, but it seems to keep it very local. The price is the lowest we have found and the drinks are cheaper as well. Apparently there is a show at seven as well, but after three and a half hours dancing we had enough. It is also one of the few places now where the organizer welcome you in and dances with the women.

Could not go without dancing with Maria and Graciela though. Graciela always makes a show of it, they can’t say they don’t know me here now.

Time to catch the subte home and grab some beer.

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A quiet couple of days

Shopping here is always an interesting experience, bulk buying seems to be something that they have never heard of. Take, for instance breakfast products, a big box is 500 grams. I want dried fruit for my porridge and 250grams seems to be the max. I found a shop selling 400gram packs but they worked out dearer. They do have shops here where they sell bulk products, they call them dietetica. They have oats in sacks and you can buy it by the half kilo. So I grab the sack, which contains just over a kilo and tell the girl I will have it all. Instead of weighing the whole sack she tries to put it in a tiny bag. It won’t go in there I tell her, so she puts it in two half kilo bags. I just wonder sometimes.

Sunday night was wet and despite the umbrella I managed to get rather damp by the time I reached Fulgor. Numbers were down, not sure if it is the time of year or the fact that it was raining. Still we had a good time and I managed a couple of dances with the old dears. There was no one for Viv though, she just had to make do with me. I always seem to get a free drink here when they have the sorteo, with not needing transport, it makes it a cheap night all in.

Viv insists that we have a rest day so Monday we stayed in. It is impossible to get any decent programs here, BBC, ITV, and channel 4 are all blocked,  so we watched old Frazier programs. I think I would rather be dancing.

Tuesday and we are back to Nuevo Chique, same old subte ride, tossed around like loose objects. Funny how the feel of a place can change on a daily basis, we both struggled today. Why this should be, I don’t know. There were too many women so you could understand Viv struggling, but you would think it would be easier for me. Still I did not do so bad, just sometimes had to wait a while.

An old friend turned up, Gloria Garcia. She was an organizer of old and it was a pleasure to dance with her again. A few old friends turned up today, it makes it more of a social event.

On our 151 home I managed to get tossed down the bus. Standing by the door ready to alight, the bus had all but stopped and as the driver let off the brakes it just threw me down the bus. Embarrassed I got off rather quickly.

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Return of the Shoe

Viv sent me out shopping again. Amongst other things she wanted risotto rice. Well they had quite a range in the dietetica but nothing that I recognized.

In the end I bought some boxed stuff from the Chino, it costs more but at least it was safe.

All the shopping done and it was time to get ready to go out again. The subte down was again one of the new ones. I cannot say I enjoy the feeling of rattling around in a box, still it’s a shorter journey today. You feel a bit like a rabbit coming out of a hole when you leave the underground and my memory has faded so we came out the wrong side if the road. I will have to remember next time.

El Arranque is very quiet when we arrive, but we are greeted by the waiter who still remembers our drinks. There are one or two old faces so we are both soon dancing. As the numbers increase so do our opportunities and again we dance for three and a half hours without break. (apart from the cumbia, but that is another story)

Maria and Graciela arrive like queens to their reserved table and I am treated to more hugs and kisses. We even managed a few new dances as well, Viv is enjoying this new popularity but soon it is time to leave, we are just not fit enough to keep going at this rate.

We stopped off at Imaginario for some food and beer. We got this sussed now, we order beer first and get some nuts with it, only afterwards do we order the food. We feel too tired to walk over to Canning, but go we must. When we got there they soon found the missing shoe, so now, at last, we can stop this constant trek.


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Easy day

A trip out to easy is on the cards today. I need some screws and other bits for repairs around the place. I had a very successful run the only thing I did not find was a small drill set. I have a few individual drill bits but in a small place like this a set would be handy, but not a massive set with holesaws  screwdriver bits and all sorts of other accoutrements.

We intended going to a late milonga today so a lazy day was in order, but then Viv gets cabin fever so we did a bit of shopping. Then we walked down to the Abasto Centre. We never really do much here, not into shopping centres so we circumnavigated and  then wandered down Gardel. I was a bit disappointed in the statues. The Troilo statue has lost its microphone and they have not yet put one up for Alberto Podesta.

Some how our day passed with little happening. We walked to Canning, but were told that because Wednesday is another organizer we would have to come back tomorrow. We bumped into Pauline and Geoff who were here for a class with Gustavo and Maria, but we were not for stopping. Seems that they are not ready  to stop to the wee small hours either.

So we set off for a beer and another earl night.



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Only one shoe

As we were just mooching and thinking about the day ahead, Viv suddenly discovered that she has only one shoe. We Know a song about that, don’t we Johnny? Anyway it appears she left one in Canning last night. We are unable to recover it now but it looks like our venue for tomorrow is decided.

The trip down to Nuevo Chique was on one of the new trains. Who knows what they were thinking when they bought these, a minimum of seats and no hanging straps. Everyone looking for some corner to lean into and tossed around at every station. I have not travelled on one of these at rush hour, I’ll bet it’s a nightmare.

We arrived a little later today, but still the crowds have not arrived so we still got our places. It’s funny, but Thursdays have a totally different feel to a Tuesday. We both still get plenty of dances but there is the odd missed tanda. Not that I am complaining, the temperature today was 33deg, so I needed a rest occasionally. I actually sat out the first milonga just to let my shirt dry out.

Maria when she arrived sat with Viv, it was fun to watch. Maria is Swedish and speaks no English, but she does speak Machine gun Spanish.  Viv just looked baffled most of the time.

There are almost no other turistas at the moment, so although a different crowd today, I managed to meet many new porteñas. One was particularly impressed that I knew Alberto Podesta, we were both fans of D’Sarli. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z17dDqNXpYE

He (Alberto Podesta) is the only artist from the great years that I ever met and as such will never forget.

Anyway, I digress. We stopped off for coffee again on our way home, the waiter for some reason was insistent we could not pay by card. I don’t know what had got into his head, but we had no intention.

Back to another early night again. So much for living the high life, we have not yet been up at midnight.

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Expensas day

Well this is the day I was dreading, flying solo at Banco Santander. The first time I get to pay the expensas, in the bank, on my own. What could possibly go wrong?,

I arrived and, of course, there was a huge queue. After maybe fifteen minutes I had turned the corner and was heading back towards the machine. By now, of course, there was a queue behind me as well. Now, the machines for Santander customers do not have queues so people were drawing money and doing other things and then passing through us. One guy however was having trouble, getting frustrated at the machine, dropping his money and then finally kicking the pillar by us. One chap behind us was highly amused by this, and I thought “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. You really do not want to be behind me in this queue”

Eventually my time came, now, the machines had changed since Philippe had shown me how to do this, but hay, how hard can it be? I had a choice of “Card Identificacion” “Numero de Identificacion” or “Sin Identificacion”. Well that bit was easy, but from there on it all went horribly wrong. After crashing out three times I asked the guy behind me “Puedes ayudarme?” Blank face. Oh well you are just going to have to wait then.

Then the security guard came, he tried giving me help as you would to someone local. (Ie, paranoid about security) I would have been happier had he leaned on my shoulder. Then I put the wrong amount of money in, he must have thought I was a right idiot, but for once I stayed calm and with his help finally got my “Ticket” but when I turned to thank him he was gone.

Salon Canning was never going to be as good as Nuevo Chique yesterday, but never the less we were looking forward to seeing some old faces again. The place has had a total makeover and not just the usual lick of paint. The entrance foyer is filled with large Monteleone photographs and looks much brighter. inside the walls have been painted grey and the old carpet has gone, but the biggest transformation is the dancefloor. The old one was tired and broken, but now they have replaced the whole thing with a brand new one with wood imported from Brazil. It is a joy to dance on.

Even the toilets have been refurbished, to a standard way beyond what is normally seen here. I was thrown by this though as where the entrance was is now a blank wall, I did wonder whether I would have to run through it, Harry Potter style. The girl selling tickets saved me from this by telling me the gents is now with the ladies, inside.

As I said dancing was not as good, but we did ok. Viv, as ever insisted she only had a few dances, but I was sat behind her and know I missed as many as she did.  The trouble with the room is it’s very size, it is difficult to see to the opposite corner and often by the time you are looking at someone the floor is full. Still this is our first time and soon people will remember us and life will get so much easier.



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