Afternoon Delight

We were due to meet Philippe for dinner, so a late milonga was out. Scanning the guides we had two choices Canning or Ideal because we would be walking over that way again we decided against Canning and the subte was more tempting than walking.

We have not been here for some time and a lot has changed, the seating for a start. Though I suspect that they rearrange the seats for the matinée differently to the night-time milongas. The place looks cleaner, better maintained. What truly surprised me was the toilets they have been re tiled, new sinks and there were even paper towels in the dispenser.

Easily the best thing though was the music. This guy did not play anything avant garde, he did not try to be clever, he just played the stuff that we all know and love. That said he did play the odd track that I did not know, but bear in mind, tango is in these people’s blood, so as far as the music goes, I am very much a beginner.

He must have got fed up with this extranjero coming up and asking what the last track from Di Sarli was and other such questions, but he never let on. Before we left I went back and thanked him for the music and asked his name, he just said “Victor” at least that is what I thought he said. Viv thought he said “Hector”. No doubt someone can tell me his name so I can watch out for him again.

We adopted a new strategy here. We did not know the place or the people here, so when we came in we sat together and danced together. We set Pugliese as our marker, when the first track came on we ordered a coffee and then split up. Viv went over to the other side of the room and we tried our hands at dancing with others.

Admittedly it was difficult at first and generally I would miss most of the first tracks. Dancers would be looking for their favourites so we got what was left, but apart from very few we did not have to sit out.

I think we have to leave our sensitivities at home here. There is nothing personal in this. Dancers will always have their favourites and will always choose them first, so as the interlopers we just have to accept it, smile and wait. If we do this long enough, in time we will get known and then perhaps get dances more easily.

At about seven-thirty people started drifting off and it was getting hard to find people to dance with so I grabbed my monerdera card and we set off for home.

The lady gets too hungry for dinner at eight and we would be much later. So we stopped at a confiteria and stocked up with croissants on our way back. While we sat in the flat munching our prizes Philippe rang. He had stopped at our place just before we had arrived. Had he said eight not nine we would have been here, still we would now meet at 1810 at nine thirty.

When we got there the queue was out of the door. It is always busy here but today is another of their national holidays. I phoned Philippe and asked if he had a reserva, but it seems not. When they arrived Luba said “Philippe had a problem with his phone and I am an idiot” so we went to Oporto instead.

So instead of locro and empanadas we had four grand sandwiches and copious amounts of beer. (The Grand Sandwich is another Oporto speciality, beef steak, ham, cheese,egg, lettuce and tomato all on a pita bread). So after a good meal and good company it was off to another early night. (early for Buenos Aires, just after midnight).



Filed under Argentina, Tango

2 responses to “Afternoon Delight

  1. tangobob

    In the rest of the world they are croissants, we call them that so that they know at home what we are eating.
    The subte is often free on ferrias and at night when the attendants are too busy cashing up, another reason we use them so much.
    Once people realised we had separated and were willing to dance with others, there was no real problem, only that we were often second choice. Viv actually had more success than I did. Then again she is prettier than me.

  2. jantango

    A local tango friend called me yesterday for a chat. She said she wanted to eat “locro” but it was too expensive. I’ve heard the word, but didn’t know what it meant until I looked it up in my Spanish dictionary today. The Argentine dictionary gives a better description. It’s a beef and vegetable stew made with cornmeal or wheat, meat and bacon (panceta), guts (mondongo), squash (zapallo), potatoes, and beans, served with fried onions and chili peppers. I have to admit that I’ve never tried it nor cooked it.

    Where did you find croissants? They’re medialunas!!! I had one yesterday at an ice cream shop along Rivadavia that was divine. It was filled with a yellow pudding and topped with powdered sugar. I could have eaten a half dozen, but settled for only one. It took strong will to resist buying more. I ate mine quickly, but watched Alito take 20 minutes to enjoy it while reading a magazine. He eats more slowly than anyone I know. That made it more tempting for me to ask for another one, but I didn’t.

    I couldn’t believe it when I entered the subte station — it was free on Dia del Patria. No one had to pay.

    I agree that the restrooms at Confiteria Ideal are improved. It’s taken years for the owners to finally put money into modernizing them. The place is open for dancing seven days a week. That’s the least they can do for their customers.

    The problem getting dances later was that you were seen sitting together as a couple. There is a code of respect which means that men won’t invite a woman to dance if her partner is in the room (no matter where he is seated). The days you entered the milonga and sat separately were more successful for that reason.

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