OK, I asked for it, I told everyone that I would have lessons with Jorge Garcia but I like to be prepared and as I did not get a reply to my emails I was not ready, but Janis bullied me into it and we had arranged a class for six today.
We caught the collectivo down to Alsina, it was hell that time of day, the first problem was just getting on to the bus, it was then so crowded I had problems reaching a strap to hold on to. As usual I got off too soon, still we were early so four blocks was not a problem.
The next problem was the address; you see addresses are at best a bit ish here. We had 1884 that was just a window with shutters on, 1882 had no bell or number, 1886 did seem to have one or two people entering, but we decided to wait outside. When by five to no one had arrived I said I would try the bell.
A girl came to the door “tienemos una classe con Jorge Garcia” she smiled and let us in, and there sat waiting was Susanna. We all greeted in the usual Argentine way and she apologised because Jorge was stuck in town. The girls then explored the shoes for sale, what is it about women and shoes?
When Jorge arrived we took the lift up to the third floor where we had a room booked. For the first hour all we did was walk, he corrected my posture Vivs legs and generally tried to make us look like milongueros. He instinctively knew what we wanted of him and the whole time was filled with laughter, but he made us work, and so we took frequent rests while he demonstrated.
Later we moved on to milonga, we did some stuff that we had not done before, watch out I may teach some of this when I get home, if I remember it at all. The two hours just flew by and I am now glad I let Janis bully me into going. Even after we had finished we were kept talking, Susanna and Viv seemed to get along, even though there was a language barrier they seemed to understand each other. (Must be the language of shoes I guess). We enjoyed it so much we have booked another, even though it means we probably won’t be able to eat, still who needs food when you can tango.
Still we had to go, we were meeting friends at quarter to nine, and something I have yet to learn, you just do not make tight schedules in Buenos Aires.
We crossed the three blocks to Rivadavia and then we could not find the bus stop. A 168 passed us and we saw it stop further up the road, but when we walked up there, there was no sign of the bus stop. Another passed us and we were getting worried, I checked my list and found that we should have gone back, but as that was now five blocks away we should be near a bus stop.
There were two women waiting close by for a 151, so nothing ventured, I went over and asked “donde es la parada uno sies ocho”, “ciento sesenta ocho, proxima cuadra” (next block) she replied, and after thanking her we crossed the street and there it was.
It was now approaching quarter to nine and we still were not on a bus, this city really does conspire against you when you are in a hurry, so I sent a text to Philippe to say we were waiting for the collectivo. Eventually on it nothing more could go wrong, although I did see a conspiratorial smirk from the driver when we said “Cordoba y Julien Alvarez”.
The bus sped through the streets, passed our apartment, passed Jumbo and into Villa Crespo. Now I thought that on the map it had shown the bus turning back, but it never did. It carriered on like a manic roller coaster. it seemed to be going faster and faster, now I no longer recognised anything. We were lost.
When eventually I started to recognise things, the bus obligingly slowed down. The only trouble was, I recognised Villa Urquiza. There was nothing for it now but to sit tight and hope that the bus would return the way it came, my hopes were dashed when the last passenger left the bus and we pulled into a depot.
The driver thought it was funny anyway. He then installed us on another 168 and we set off again. At least they did not charge us again.(For those who are not in the know, the charge is very small, but you have to put coins into a machine, coins here are like hens teeth and nobody wants to give them away.)
I sent another text to Philippe to say we were now on the way back. I had no idea what he was doing all this time in a restaurant alone. The bus went on its mysterious way through Villa Urquiza until at one stop the engine died. Four attempts and it fired up again, just to die again, next time the driver was more lucky and gunning the engine we left the stop. At the next stop he was not so lucky, it was terminal.
I phoned Philippe and heard Lubas voice, we were not sure she would come tonight, so now we knew that there were two people waiting for us. We were left now no option; I must forget my budget and take a taxi.
Having no idea where I was or which direction was home, I did not know which direction to hail a taxi in and I was now vulnerable to being scammed and with tonight’s luck that was an extreme possibility.
I need not have worried, our taxi driver (an extremely scruffy individual covered in tattoos) did an immediate U-turn and set off at speed. I did not know where we were until we were in the back-end of Palermo, but he knew exactly where he was going, and when we arrived the fare was only $26, I think, in the end we got off light, but almost two hours late for dinner.
Luba and Philippe were eating when we arrived but they fed us some of their bread while we waited, we had not eaten since noon. After all this excitement we finished with coffee at Luba Tango House, Palermo and a gentle walk home.