Not a lot on today so we wandered down to San Telmo to have a look around and just enjoy the craic.
As usual I had some difficulty finding Plaza Dorrego. It was quiet, not being a weekend, not many stalls, but the hawkers were still in evidence. Tango Show at 12.30?; Menu of the Day only…. and free Tango Show; Tango and dinner? I just want to scream “Leave me alone, I dance tango, I do not want to sit and watch someone else doing it. The market was, as usual, full of old junk. The one thing we really wanted, The fileteador, was not here, so we wandered off.
At Carlos Calvo and Peru we found an excellent coffee bar, Cafe Con leche y Pan Caseras con manteca only $13. Viv had the medialunas, I had the bread. We shared. The bread was wonderful just like at home, definitely going back some time.
We took the subte into town and wandered down Florida, again hawkers by the dozen, mainly selling leather but also cambio and inevitably tango shows. We were looking to replace some broken mugs for our practicas and the first we saw shocked us $50. I could buy a service for that price, so we decided against it. I saw the same mugs later at $38 but still too dear.
Now at home in tourist places there are always those ready to rip you off but also there are genuine people. Buenos Aires is no exception. In a galleria we found a small shop selling mugs $15 each, this was more like it. They were not the same as the ones we already had, but they still had a tango theme; good enough.
I chose four mugs, the woman took them away to be wrapped. The guy at the back was very careful that they should not be broken and wrapped each one individually. Then he said “cuarenta y dos” I looked puzzled, not that I did not understand, but it did not add up; four times fifteen to me was fifty. He said “forty two, con la promocion”. OK it is only eight pesos, but the point is he was totally honest and not trying to rip off the extranjero (who knew nothing of the promotion). The gallery is on Florida y Corrientes, I can recommend it, nice people.
It shows that just like at home there are some very nice people, as well as the rip off merchants.
Being Thursday we are again off to Fulgor. There is a round of the Campionata Metrapole here tonight and I probably would have missed it, but I left my dance shoes here on Sunday and have danced quite long enough in my street shoes.
We are starting to get better known now and exchanged names with Elsa and Bob, who have greeted us warmly since we first started coming here. They did tell me once how long they have been married (longer than us and that is forever) yet they are still like a couple of young lovers. He looked very ill last time I was here and I am glad to see that he looks a lot better.( amateur diagnosis of Doctor Bob).
I have mixed feelings about the Campionata. For me it gets in the way of the dancing and I see a few of the locals who have paid nearly double to get in tonight, going home early. No doubt it brings money in and is a great show for the touristas, but I think it is unfair on those who support these clubs through all the quiet times.
Still the quality of the dancing, I thought, was much better than last year. We had a chance to register our votes on who we thought were the best dancers. Although we picked the same dancers as the judges, but strangely, not in the same dances. It seems they were looking for something different to us.
We treated ourselves to some of their excellent ice-cream and soon it was time for a long walk home and bed.
On Loyola a car stopped and asked us how to get to Corrientes, just turn right on Scalabrini I said. It always lifts my day when I tell a local how to get around their own town. I still had a smile on my face when we got back.