How much?

Yes I know things have gone up here, but sometimes you just know you are being taken for a mug.

First thing we took Vivs shoes to the repairers, only it was not first thing for everyone else, the repairers was shut for lunch.

So we had a wander, first around the Abasto Centre but it is all a bit too glam and pricy. We then head off down Lavalle to find some new buttons for Vivs cardigan. The first place we looked was where we were in  and the queues were out of the door again, so we carried on.

Further down the street we found a shop brim full of buttons, thousands of them and it was not long before Viv had the perfect fit, we even managed to get some thread to match.

We came back up Corrientes and found some white pants, pants that Viv had been searching for, for some time, and only thirty pesos brand new, that’s charity shop prices. Time to celebrate with a coffee and lemon pie (That’s lemon merengue in the UK). It was expensive but we have come to like this cafe and it is all home cooked stuff.(and we had saved money on the pants)

We walked further up the street and Viv wanted a biro, there is a big shop selling all sorts of stationary, in we went and picked up two biros, nothing fancy, just biros. I took them to the till the girl said twenty-six pesos sixty centivos, HOW MUCH! I turned and walked out. That is five pounds for two biros, extranjeros we may be but idiotas, no. Trouble was at the next block Viv realised she had left her sunglasses there “I’m not going back” she said, but I was not ready to leave them there. As I walked through the door they were still on the counter, I just picked them up waved them in the air and walked out again.

When we got back to the shoe repairers, it was open. We gave them the thrice repaired Sam shoes explained what was needed and they said “martes” now this is where the spanish language fails; I said “manana o tarde”, “No no, manana cerado” she said, fortunately, El jefe intervened and explained I meant morning or afternoon not tomorrow.

We decided to go for Sin Rumbo again tonight, despite the travel problems because, it was so friendly. We waited outside our apartment for the 127 and six 92’s arrived all at the same time, the traffic was horrendous, all the busses were jam-packed and it all looked chaos. At the same time our bus arrived, bus drivers here are always in a hurry and this one was no exception, he flew down the outside of the queue of 92’s and the five of us waiting for the 127 had to dodge in between the traffic and try to hail our bus. It is hard to imagine for someone not here what it is like, the buses were inches from each other still moving and it is impossible to see around them. We literally had to take our lives in our hands, but as the first passenger got to the bus, the driver had to stop to open the door and allow him on, that gave us enough breathing space to make our own entry.

Our bus was less crowded than the others so we managed a seat, and as I had the route well planned in my mind, I was well confident of our destination. However in the street before our stop Viv panicked and rushed to the door, I of course had to follow. When we got off she said ” well someone was getting off, I thought that we should as well” with that logic it is lucky we got past the end of Corrientes. We walked past four more stops before getting to my original termination.

The night as always was great fun, although I found the crowd slightly different with some inconsiderate dancing, I think perhaps that it was the much younger crowd that was here tonight. We had a demo, it seems no milonga is complete these days without one. There were two very young couples (school age) who did a fantastic milonga, I was more impressed by these than the teacher himself. After the demo we did one more tanda then we felt it was time to leave.

We waited three-quarters of an hour for a bus, it was getting cold and we start to question whether it was worth it. Viv rationalised it by saying “at an average fiver a time, that is a tenner a night, that is two pairs of Comm il Faut’s) so I suppose put that way. But I still wonder about coming this far, maybe next week we will stay closer to home. As we got on the bus, a guy came from across the street and started questioning us about the collectivo, when I managed to work out what he wanted I said we do not know only that it stops on Corrientes y Medrano. He had said something about Chacarita, so I assumed that was where he was going. He loudly questioned the driver as we got on the bus, so there was confusion as we paid for our tickets, still no harm done we sat down at the back. Our vociferous friend sat right at the front by the driver.

As we passed Chacarita we saw his head lolling to one side with no sign that he would get off the bus, we thought, like us the other night, he had missed his stop. As we went down Corrientes only one stop from where we were to get off the driver roused him and he got off the bus. If he had said to us Corrientes and Pringles or Yatay we would have told him yes OK but nobody keeps things simple here.



Filed under Argentina, Tango

3 responses to “How much?

  1. tangobob

    I have had some comments asking what is a Biro. It seems only the British use this trade name as a generic for the Ball Point Pen, which was first traded here in Argentina. If you want to know more read

  2. tangobob

    Make it quick, unfortunately I have to work for a living, weleave the beginning of November.

  3. Love your commentary on BsAs life. I have been here for over five weeks now and am still trying to figure it all out. Your observations are quite amusing. I will keep reading. Perhaps we will bump into each other at a milonga sometime. Amy 🙂

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