I like the monedero card, having one makes me feel like I belong here. Funny how something so mundane can have an emotional life of its own. So last night when I charged it up, it was more than just a convenience, more than just not stopping to buy tickets for the subte; I belong.
Perhaps I should never attach too much significance to things here, knowing as I should by now how unreliable, anything, particularly infrastructure, is here. Still today we set off for El Aranque in good spirits, not foreseeing any problems.
I got to the subte gate, Viv walked up to it, I offered the card (the one I had charged last night) BEEP BEEP BEEP. The gate was not letting her through. I said “wait until it is ready for you”. I tried again BEEP BEEP BEEP. Somebody is always around who wants to offer advice, he took my card and offered it to the machine BEEP BEEP BEEP “La tarjeta no funciona” he said. He was wearing an overall uniform of sorts and had a phone which was plugged into the side of the kiosk, so I guessed he knew what he was talking about. Anyway, by now I had figured out it was not going to let us through.
I showed the girl in the kiosk my card, it would not read on her machine and she blabbed something about monedero central, wherever that was. Utterly frustrated, I bought two tickets and we set off for El Aranque.
When we arrived, the place was almost deserted. Even now I don’t expect this, at home everyone arrives when the dance starts and stays, more or less, until the end. Here, because the dances are on for much longer, people drift in and out, as they feel fit. Dany was not even at the DJ desk. Still a minute or so after his signature cortina came on (The B side of Billy Oceans Caribbean Queen I think).
We did not have the floor to ourselves for too long. As the place filled, we recognised many familiar faces and although, unlike Fulgor, we are not an accepted part of this place, we still feel comfortable recognising the people around us.
When we finally left we stopped off at the kiosko on Callao, where I had bought my first monedero. Thinking I could get another for now and maybe get mine sorted later. When I asked for a card the guy said “coreo” and dismissed me. So that was it, I can go to the post office or monedero central or I can just go whistle.
Just in case it was the machine at Medrano, I tried my card again on the way home. No such luck, I am back to buying a ticket for every journey.