For some reason this was never published. I wrote it on our penultimate weekend in Buenos Aires. It popped up as a recent draft, a nice reminder of our time there this year.
Plans are always a bit fluid here. We had planned to go down to the Casa Rosada and then over to San Telmo for our house sign. This morning though, it is raining, not heavy, but enough to worry about the ferria being on.
I called Alfredo Martinez. “Es en San Telmo” “Si, en el mismo lugar”. I kept it short, direct conversation is difficult, on the phone it is nigh on impossible so I quit while I was winning. The storm clouds were gathering and there was no point making a diversion and risking him going home before we got there. So we went straight down to San Telmo.
Ever reliable, the sign was there and beautiful, just as he had said. All the stalls were covered in plastic sheeting, they knew what was coming.
We set off along Defensa through the crowds of tourists and trades people, just looking for a way through. Then I saw a flash, it was some time before I heard the thunder, so I knew it was still some way off. Yet the rain started, slowly at first, but enough that by the time we got to Plaza de Mayo we had our waterproof’s on and the hoods up.
The Casa Rosada was covered in scaffold. The museum entrance was locked and chained. There was no way in apart from the gateway where an angry-looking policeman stood with his hand on his gun. Best not try to get in past him then. So as it was now raining quite hard we ducked down into the subte.
This was the A line, we could go one stop towards the C line and cross over to the B that way or we could head out and try the new H line. So that is what we did. When we got to Plaza Miserere there were no signs at the station, only Salida. We walked across the platform then saw a sign H. We trotted off down the tunnels twisting and turning with no guidance. Then we saw the train we rushed and jumped on only to realise we were heading back the way we came. Ah well at least we know this route, and it is just as well we did not try this the other night when it would have been the last train. When we were waiting for the train at Idependencia a very pleasant youth asked if this was the right way to 5 de Julio, ironic as we had just got lost, still we put him right. Then even more ironic, he asked if we were tourists and said we should be careful with our bags.
We had some very nice cake that we had got in for just such an emergency. What emergency? Well a wet weekend that’s what.
Another Fulgor night, the music seemed lack lustre for some reason. As we cannot see the DJ I have no idea if it was the usual, but something was not the same. The crowd though were as friendly as ever, Viv and I both got a few dances with the locals. Viv even got a dance with a young lad visiting from “milonga 10”.
They all came to see us before the end and wish us goodnight, we had some fantastic spanglish sessions and much kissing and hugging. One guy even came over and gave us a long lecture on the meaning of tango, of which I understood little and Viv understood non. The whole crowd here are something special and we felt lifted by their hospitality.
We met Nora again outside as she waited for a taxi, she again warned us how dangerous these streets are. Why do all portenos do this? If this city were half as dangerous as they make out then their tourist trade would be dead.