The bicentennial celebrations are in full swing as we pop our heads out of the subte. Overhead is the chop chop chop of a helicopter and there are litterally thousands of people. We are not altogether sure what is happening but we are yards from the obalisk and it cannot be seen for the crowds. We are able to stand right in the centre of 9de julio as the traffic has been excluded, normally if you tarry here you will quickly be flattened by the traffic, which stops for nothing. The cars are usually ten deep although there are only eight lanes and if you are caught in the middle they will flash their lights or blast their horn, what they do not do is stop. This is macho land and, my car is harder than your body, so get out of the way.
But not today, I would like to say it is peaceful without traffic, but it has just become the worlds biggest bizzar, “want a torch?” flags, maps, lights on sticks, they will sell you anything, also because of the crowds, they will also gladly empty your pockets.
Roger and Mirta are in town, and in the hope that I can see them the first time since Roger and Mirta get married I phone them from my mobile. The noise from the chopper makes life difficult but Roger says “I am in front of the Obalisk and Macdonald’s is on my right” so I tell him Macdonald’s is on my left and then my phone dies. When I try to ring again I get the “no tiene credito” message. We wandered around for maybe half an hour, in a space half the size of a football pitch, unable to locate each other. After the cavalry, came the mounted band and the crowd all started singing, patriotic songs are much loved in the southern hemisphere. Still we could not find Roger. In the end he phoned me and we arranged to meet outside Macdonald’s, but even then it was not that easy, another ten minutes of searching before I heard Mirtas argentine version of “Bob” over the noise. There followed much kissing and hugging and we all headed off for food.
As we probably spend more time in Buenos Aires than Mirta, I assumed I knew the way, which I did, unfortunately I did not know where I was before we started. When we come out of the subte, we gauge where we are by the direction of traffic, but as there was non I was now headed in the wrong direction. We never travel too far though before finding we were wrong, and in fact were much closer than we thought.
We spent over two hours over a leisurely lunch and caught up on two missing years, by the time we left them it was a rush to get back as we needed a sleep before the nights festivities.
It was a rush but we managed it even getting an hours kip, at least we needed no food as we were well stocked up, again we came up out of the subte at Pellegrini, but this time experience showed me the right way to go.
Viv has never been fond of Ideal and in a symbiotic way her dislike is reflected in me, so when we arrived and they did not know of our reservation and men busied themselves trying to arrange tables we were not surprised. Thinking that we must have been first we sat there changing our shoes, when I suddenly noticed Mirta sat opposite. It appears that she had the correct table, my accent again must have given them trouble.
The company makes all the difference, from somewhere we do not normally enjoy we had a great time. Adrianna was doing the music, I always enjoy her selections and the way she puts tandas together, but I am a little confused though as she is supposed to be organising Club Independencia tonight, great music and the ability to be in two places at once, wow.
We had a live band, wonderful music, we danced a little but it was nice to just sit and listen a while. Janis said I would remember the name, people of tango or something like that, She obviously does not know how bad my memory is. Just as all night she kept a running “name that band” and I never could. Funny thing I can often name the tune, but I have a blank for the bands, except Pugliese, of course, who they love here.
While I was dancing with Viv and Roger with Janis, some guy got Mirta up and I watched amazed as he tried all sorts of crowd pleasing moves, non of which he seemed to be able to lead properly. I had fully intended to say something but at the end of the dance they went over to his table to talk to his wife. Assuming they were friends I still said nothing when he asked Viv to dance, but when I asked Mirta who her friend was she said she did not know him. Viv returned like a wet lettuce saying “now I know what you mean when you say your job is to protect the woman and make her comfortable”. Just shows you can learn even from idiots.
When it was time to go Janis would not let us go up Levalle, she said it was closed, and took us instead to Tucaman. The trouble was that Tucaman was also closed at 9de Julio but it was worth the detour when Janis asked the taxista to drop her off for a collectivo “los collectivos no andar” he said. I think he was just trying to get another fare but he still insisted even though we had seen several busses, they never give up. The running argument gave us plenty of ammusment, and when Janis left he carried on at us until our destination even though I said “viven aca hace mucho anos”.