Ok that is a lie but I will go into this more later.
We went to El Aranque again today but Viv is now hooked on this cabeceo thing and insisted we sit separately.
Again we were far too early and had our pick of all the seats. I chose to sit in the middle whereas Viv sat against the wall, the theory being that she could see the whole room. From where I was I had to crank my head around to see the other women but it did leave little doubt who I was looking at. Viv was having some problems seeing across the room, but seemed to get plenty of dancing.
The standard of dancers that we danced with was variable to say the least, but the big difference here was that there is no accusations or blame. Something goes wrong, move on and do something else. I watched one guy who had been cutting it somewhat, tone right down to just about walking when dancing with a beginner.
You do, of course get the “I can teach you’s” here. We had the guy dressed like a milonguero trying for all he was worth to get Viv to hook her legs around him and dip to the floor. She was having non of it and I could hear her saying”No hablo Espanol” Then there was the guy who wanted us to come for lessons with him (four years ago, but we don’t forget) hustling a new extranjera, teaching her on the dance floor and eventually driving her away. (If you want to teach you need better people skills than this). But in general they were a nice bunch who welcomed us and made us feel at ease.
My one question is when they say “Bailen muy buen” is it because they know I am new and nervous or, do they say this to every man in order to get him to dance with them again, or (this is my prefered option) is it because I have led them well in a simple dance that they are able to follow? Although I prefer the latter choice I think it is probably the former.
I would like to make some observations here about one of the things we have heard.
“Nobody will ask you to dance unless they have seen you dance well and they know you”: Well no one had seen Viv Dance (there was no one in the room when we danced together) we were not known, Viv sat alone yet she got dances. I managed to cabeceo women with no problem, even though they did not know me. Don’t waste your money on taxi dancers go to an early milonga and learn to look people in the eye.
Three hours of this and we had had enough so we took the subte to Scalabrini (big mistake at this hour) we watched three trains go through with people trying to get on without luck. When we did get on one old dear was giving it verbal at us trying to get on, and those tying to get off. Four stops later and she was still at it, I hope for his sake she does not have a husband. We burst out eventually at Scalabrini and breathed again.
We wanted to go to 1810 for some food (or should I say Viv wanted to go to 1810) but it was too early. What a shame we had to go to Oporto instead for a Phillippe segundo ( a giant steak for sharing). Like most things here it was double the price and I wonder again how they calculate the inflation figures. It was worth it you cannot cross half the globe, the equator and the Atlantic Ocean to the home of beef and not have at least one great steak.
We did find out though what is wrong with the service here; “Que quires?” “Phillippe segundo” “si” and he disappears. “quires una menu?” ” no phillippe segundo por favor” and he went again. Then Viv said “he thinks you are asking him to come back in a second” So that is why it has always taken them so long.