1984 Big Brother is watching you.

The way we are now watched is becoming scary as these story’s will illustrate:

Our fridge has had a dodgy door for some time. Walter had packed it with washers because there was a gap at the top. I had also done the same. It was obvious this was not fixing the problem, so I decided to have a better look. I had intended to do something with the bottom hinge mount, but when I took the door off I noticed that the bottom of the door was broken.  The hinge pin was not actually in the cup and there was an ever-increasing hole in the bottom of the door.

I am limited here with tools and materials so after much thought I found a plastic spatula that would fit the bill. I routed out the hole with my knife until the hinge cup would fit. Then I trimmed the handle so that it did not stick out beyond the door. There was little left to stick it to, but the length of it gave the joint some strength. I used an awful lot of Araldite to give the corner some strength and made sure it was stuck along its full length. Once it was together I added more Araldite to the corner and waited for it to set.

An application of Vaseline to the once redundant hinge cup and then I reassembled the fridge. It looks and works well enough now, but I still have my doubts, only time will tell.

Now the scary bit: I turned on Facebook and the first thing I saw was an advert for a small fridge. How do they know? Nobody has small fridges here they all have those big American things. Not only how do they know I may need a fridge but also what type.

On a Wednesday we call for a meal after Salon Canning. The waiter said something about rain and we were dodging big drops as we left. Not wanting to get caught out we decided to get nearer to home before we stopped. We found a place on Cordoba and Figueroa called Lautrec. They had no internet so I could not check in so I just put my phone away. The chicken was a bit dry and just a plate of chips, although they did give us a very nice pizza slice as a free starter. They had block beer but it was more expensive, so when we had finished we retired to El Imaginario for another beer.

When we got there it took a while to get their internet and check in. Once I had done this I got another message “You just visited Lautrec would you like to give feedback?” Once again they are watching me.

I can understand how they tracked me to Lautrec, maybe with GPS, but the fridge is a total mystery.

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Expensas Finally.

Today I must pay my expensas. After all my previous attempts I now fear the ATM more than being mugged on the street, still it must be done. I did the morning shopping first, hoping to miss the morning rush. Then I went to the shoe repairers with Viv’s Shoes. I had been practicing all the way “Dos aguajeros”. (two holes, in the straps). I must have got it well as the guy was quite chatty. He did not get Wales though, Europa was as close as he was getting. Gareth Bale, Shirley Bassey, Siez Naciones, nothing worked. He underst0od when I told him I do not like the cold though.

I had delayed long enough, time for the bank. I had written the instructions down, but the one thing I had neglected; there are two types of machine: Caja Automatico and Auto Servicio.  I elected to go to the Caja Automatico, but all the time in the queue I kept thinking I was at the wrong one, and queues do tend to be long and slow here. I decided that changing would not be a good thing, even if I was wrong I would just have to start again.

Luckily I was not at the wrong machine and I got through my instructions OK until it came to putting the money in. It grabbed one note then shut the door. I could see no way to carry on so I crashed out and started again. This time I put all the money in, but it left two notes. Then I saw the option to add more notes. That was it, done. I amended my instructions to include Caja Automatico and headed home, elated. I have finally done it on my own. I have a feeling that they will change the system next year, can’t have this extranjero knowing what he is doing.

Another Thursday and another trip to Nuevo Chique. I am still being put down the far end, there are plenty of ladies down here, but they do not know me, so I still struggle to see the ladies at the top. This includes, of course, Viv. Don’t get me wrong, I get plenty of dances, but from here I am never up at the first note.  So I have started walking up to the top and inviting the ladies, instead of using cabeceo. Because I am inviting for the next tanda, I did end up doing a Pugliese tando, much to Viv’s surprise.

At seven thirty Viv gave the signal to go. The next tanda was milonga and I had intended to dance it with her and then call it a day. I had promised to meet Philippe for a drink at eight, so we had to go.

We decided to sit outside today and wait for Philippe. The waiter of undecided gender came out twice to see what we wanted, but seemed happy when I said “Esperamos por un amigo” We had our usual caramel and Philippe IPA (pronounced eepa) here. It is a lively corner here, lots of young people hanging around bars, and lots of busses. The number 92 always come in threes. We sat chatting and drinking until it was time to retire. Philippe back to his studies and us for our lentil stew.

I am afraid the beer got somewhat the better of us as we had not eaten. The stew went down quickly and we were soon asleep in bed.

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Money Day

Nothing ever quite goes to plan here. As I get older, I worry more, so I am never happy collecting the money. So I set off for the Argenper office already slightly nervous. The office is often empty at this time on a Wednesday so I was hopeful I would be out quickly.On presenting my passport the guy put my details in as usual, then started telling me something. The Spanish here is always hard to follow, but through glass is even harder. Yet I managed to make out I was not going to get my money. He gave me a piece of paper with the address of another office, eleven blocks away.

I walked down Corrientes, all the time worrying that I was being set up. I was not reassured when I found the place. It was one of those little precincts that are all over the place here. Inside there were dozens of closed shops and an Argenper Travel office. There was a sign that told me for money I must go to the first floor. I had already noted the broken escalator, so I looked for the stairs.

I found the office and it was full of people, unlike the Abasto office which had been empty. There was no ticket dispenser but an automated machine. Nothing I did would induce it into life, then I noticed that it already had a ticket waiting to be taken. So I took it, unsure if it would be the right one for me.

After a long wait, I finally got my money with good service. Still unsure why I had been sent all this way, I was careful to conceal my money and proceeded with due haste. I was watching all the time, just in case this was a set up. In the end I got home without incident, but Viv said she expected someone older.

With biggest part of my free time used up, there was time for only one other job. The garage had promised me that there would be a welder for my chair here today so that had to be my priority. Unfortunately, the welder was not there. I don’t know why but the guy gave me a long hard luck story and never even offered to let me leave the chair and pick it up at some later date. He babbled something about Tucuman but I wandered down there and never found a garage. Another day, another series of failed jobs TIA.

We headed out for Salon Canning again, and arrived unfashionably early. We had two hours of solid dancing, and then we just sort of ran out of partners. We stayed for another hour, but dancing at a lower rate then we left for a coffee. We should not have had the medialunas though, they put us off our food. So we decided not to stop on Cordoba as planned but to head back to Bar Imaginario.

Imaginario was closed, so we went to HB. All the tables had reservado on them, so we had to sit in the middle. I think if this happens again we will walk out, because the tables were still empty when we left.  Viv had a chicken Roll that turned out to be a wrap. We were going to share a main and just have a salad but I wanted the Choripan, never having had it. It was basically heart attack on bread. Unusually for me, I left some. It was just too much, but the beer was nice, Imperial Stout.

Perhaps we should have stopped on Cordoba after all.

 

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Bad Books

We had a visit from Philippe this morning. We are always glad to see him, but it threw our schedule out slightly.  I had done the shopping earlier, but it was still a rush when he had left to get ready to go out.

As I said earlier, just when you get fed up, everything turns around. I was still sat way down the room in Nuevo Chique, but not quite so far today. Viv seems to get a different seat every time now as well. There were not many missed tandas today, not for me, and not for Viv.

We both thought that the crowd was different today and the standard of dance was generally lower. Still as we were almost non stop I cannot complain. We danced through until seven thirty, four hours of solid dancing was enough and I hit the wall.

I wanted to see a passageway that I had seen on the net, so we came out a different way to usual. The coffee stop was different and not as good. All the shops in the passageway were now closed, and we spent longer than usual on the subte. So despite having a good afternoon, I am in bad books.

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Weekends

Weekends tend to be couple affairs in Buenos Aires, so we have always had difficulties then.  Time was we went to club Fulgor on a Sunday, but now that is gone we need to seek pastures new.

We went back to Los Consegrados Saturday. Viv had done well here last week and unusually I had struggled.  If she is happy then so am I. Anyway I had left my towel here last week so I hoped to retrieve it. That was not to be “Se perdido” I was told. The dancing went well enough and we danced until we could dance no more. Then we left, we met Silvia on the subte who was going the same way as us. On the H Line someone asked which way to the A line my legendary knowledge failed and I sent him the wrong way, by the time I realized he was gone. Viv said he is probably still wandering up and down the line. Then it was off to Bar Zorra for some “Caramelo” beer.  No nuts or crisps though, so maybe it’s good for food, but not a quick drink.

Sunday we went back to Sueño Porteño. Last time we were here we were on a party table, so we hoped this week to get more dances. Corrientes was looking like it would close for the Murga and we had a long wait for a bus. So we headed over to the subte, Line E was closed for major work it said. Luckily the bus arrived soon after. It was jam packed though all the way.

At the milonga we were given seats right at the end, almost at the DJ station. For some reason the men were coming for Viv tonight and she did not miss a tanda. I sat out a full five tandas not getting a dance except for Viv.  I could see women I knew, but they were not looking this way. After the second Vals I thought enough is enough and went walkabout. After that I did ok, but never from my exile position.

We did not stay late. The murga would mean problems with busses so we elected to use the subte.  By walking five blocks we could get to the C line avoiding the problems with the E line, but when we got there I could not find San Juan station. This was not a good part of town to be wandering lost, so I asked a family group, they directed me to Independecia station another four blocks on. I guess that they also thought we should not be wandering around here at night and maybe San Juan was not a good idea. Down in the station we waited for the train. A drunk asked if he was on the right platform and was told he was not. We could see his train coming down the tunnel, he jumped down onto the tracks, everyone was shouting, Viv screamed. He was not so inebriated that he was willing to die, at the last minute he jumped back onto the platform and ran up the stairs. I don’t know if he made the train, but at least he was still alive.

Back home, Imaginario was shut, and as Zorra gives no nuts we went to HB for some beer.

Monday and we are back in the old routine. It’s funny, but when you start to feel down, things pick up again. We both had a really good time in El Beso. We stayed until half an hour to closing, then over to The Coffee Store again to unwind. While I was there I picked up several messages from Philippe. Some from this morning, I have no idea why they did not come through earlier.  I even commented to Viv that I had not heard anything from him before we left. Whatsapp is just another piece of technology that does not like me.

 

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The days go by

I have been having trouble getting on here of late. When we get the TV for some reason it deletes my passwords. So I am trying again to use the Kindle. This is after all the reason I got it.

Salon Canning went well although we got less dances, but there were fewer people there. I danced twice with a lady I’ve not seen before she was local though. I soon ran out of partners as did Viv.

We missed Graciela’s birthday by being here. It’s a shame, but we are here to dance not for cake.

So we headed out into the heat.It was not yet time to eat here but we thought that a drink would see us until the kitchen opened.

Arev bar was a bit scruffier on the inside, but their kitchen was open. I took a picture of the Welsh scarf that was hanging up. Still not used to this phone, I got about six pictures of locals hiding their faces.

No black beer here so we had the Quilmes Cristal. Unusually I had chicken and Viv the steak. Chips, it seems are extra. We had not long started and the power went off. (Corte de luz) as they say here. Well the food was basic but good. 

There was no till so she did the bill on her calculator. It came to less than 500peso, on our way home we tried to work it out. The only conclusion we could come to was that she had undercharged us.

Today after Nuevo Chique we wanted to see a band in Hypolito Yrigeren but we checked out the place on Tuesday and they said that they are no longer open Thursday. This left me with a logistical nightmare, just trying to contact all the people I had invited. I hope that I can straighten it out today.

In Nuevo Chique I was not allowed my usual seat and along with Willie I was day way down.  People stood up talking and it was all but impossible to cabaceo once the music started. I  can understand that they keep the best seats for the locals but we keep the place going while they are on holiday and I was not happy.

By seven were fed up and went for a coffee. A day without tango tomorrow as The Six Nations rugby 🏉 starts. You will  find me in Sullivan’s bar later.

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Catch up time

I seem to be remiss these days. I suppose that as time goes by, I find more to do here and less time to write.

Our last trip out to Canning was more successful. So now, it appears, we will be going regularly. This time it was followed by a trip to 1810.  The food here is still good and cheap, but the menu is limited. For us, they have the best empanadas in Buenos Aires, I’m sure some will disagree, but taste is always subjective.

My towel went missing last week and I was unable to find it. My pronunciation of “He perdido mis toalla” just drew blank expressions. However on Friday in El Beso, Marcelo came in to sit by me as usual. He said “Tengo you towel” probably a lot better than my attempts to ask for it. As I had, by now bought a new one, it means I now, at last have a spare. Twas not the best El Beso day so we again retired to The Coffee Store and had some medialunas with it.

On Saturday we decided on Los Consegrados. I had texted Maria, to tell her we would be going and not to Obalisco. I did not expect her to turn up. So I was quite surprised when I saw Feto sitting on the next table to me. Soon after Maria arrived. We had some good dances here, and Viv pronounced herself satisfied.

Afterwards we took the colectivo home. Feto knew  better than me where the stop was. I thought it was on Entre Rios, but it was, in fact much closer. We jumped off way before Gascon, Marias stop. Feto and Maria wanted to come with us but I told them to stay on. I am relying on the fact that Feto is local and knew where to get off.

Sunday is designated rest day now that Fulgor is closed. I don’t get much rest though. First there was a bit of gardening to do. Repot the Money tree and plant the thing Walter had in water. I had some compost left over and that went into the ginger plant. It was looking a bit hungry. I also polished the mesita in the lounge.

We then set off for Easy. On the way we stopped at Murillo for a coffee. There was an offer “Media porcion torta y café $125” well it was too good to resist, so we had the apple pie (Tarta Manzana). Maria called while we were there but my internet was patchy and we were not going dancing tonight.

In Easy, we could not find tiles that would do the job. I wanted something for the window ledges, but we settled on some architrave made with fibre and covered to look like oak. The ones we chose had been reduced to half price. We also chose a “hamper” for the dirty washing.  At the till it came to $4,000, far too high I thought. I queried it. She had not charged us the lower price. She called for a supervisor and continued serving other customers. I went with the supervisor to check the price. When we came back the price was put into the till and the supervisor left. We were left standing on the outside of the till, while the queue got bigger the other side and we were ignored. After an interminable time we managed to get the supervisor back and she opened another till for us.  The original till girl had no intention of ever serving us again.

It was quite a walk back with my two 8′ lengths of architrave, avoiding all the overhangs as well as the traffic.

There was an organic vegetarian bar opposite El Imaginario. It is gone now, I never saw too many customers in the time it was there. Now there is a new bar “Zorra” so for a change we thought we would give it a try. The range of food is quite different to the usual Argentine fare I had Bondiola wraps and Viv chicken quesadillas, as we had two each we swapped one. I shared some of my chips ( don’t know why I got chips and she did not) and we had some salad stuff with it.  They did not have black beer here, so we tried their “Caramelo”. It was so nice we had more.

I think we will be coming back here.

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