More staff than customers

We started the day in the usual way; a bit of shopping, contacting friends, a couple of jobs around the place. Quite boring really, but then that is just what I need at this stage in my life, a period with no stress.We did get our toaster back from the repairs though. The cost was nearly the same as it had been new, but I am under no illusions that to buy another now would be considerably more.

The weather has been hot but humid, I should have seen the signs, but in holiday mode I like to just drift along.

For a change we thought we would try La Nacional tonight. Jantango tried to put us off, but we like to make our own mistakes and then we can give honest opinions to anyone who asks. She also said it started at nine, but all the revistas said it started at seven.

I wanted to put more money on my Sube card anyway and once we were ready there seemed little point in hanging around. So we arrived just after seven-thirty. there was not a soul in sight, not even anyone to take the entradas. Somebody showed us through the door (which had a sign on that said 1900 to 0200) there was also a poster on the stairs that gave the times. The organiser was inside and he told us they were not ready yet, we should come back at eight.

So we walked half a block to a cafe and had a coffee. Now bear in mind that up until now it had been hot and humid, we were dressed for summer. I should have, I know, but I just did not see the signs. While we sat drinking coffee the lightning came, the heavens opened and suddenly we were in the middle of a tropical storm.

Viv was worried and it did not look like we were getting out of this dry. By the time we were ready to go the rain had eased off, Viv was still worried but I said ” I have a plan”. When the waiter came with our bill I said “tienes bolsitas” (do you have any bags). He looked puzzled and asked me why. I pointed at my head and with a knowing nod he fetched us two carrier bags. (They don’t have to charge for them here as they would in Wales).  As it happened, the rain had ceased completely by the time we got outside so we never needed our rain hats, still we have them for next time.

Back at La Nacional things did not look much better. The organiser was there, a lady taking entradas, a couple and a single lady. There were six in the kitchen though. That make it eight staff and five customers, it did not look good.

The floor was amazing, it looked like polished decking (ships decking, the proper stuff, not that rubbish that they fit in all the gardening makeover programs). The music was good as well, it looked to me like the organiser had set up a play list on his computer and left it to run. There were some tandas that I just did not recognise, they sounded almost, but not quite canjegue. We were enjoying ourselves, we had good music an empty floor and a staff ratio of two to one, what more could you ask.

The rain was doing its best to interrupt though, we hear it hammering on the roof between the tracks, but we danced on. As the night progressed more and more women seemed to arrive, I wondered if they would ever get a dance. The organiser was doing his best, but he was just one man. We were not ready to split yet, this being only our second night, and besides, Viv had brought a man with her she deserved the dances. (Husband self-preservation thing going on here as well.)

Nothing really happened until about ten thirty when first a few men started arriving then the demo arrived mob handed. They took over the far end of the room. More and more arrived until now it looked like there was more in the demo team than customers. When they took to the floor all they wanted was to practice their show moves. The floor was big enough that they did not bother me, but now they had a DJ and somehow the music had become lacklustre. I do not know if this was just my feelings, the lack of volume or the hubbub from the room, but we had had enough. We had been here three and a half hours, time to catch our trusty 168 home. We would just have to miss the demo.

The organiser seemed concerned when we left, but I shook his hand and said ,”hasta proxima” still I think when we are ready to go separados, this would not be the right crowd for us. A good place to come early and practice though.


Revistas     magazines, there are many free ones that they give out at tango venues.

Entradas  entrance fees              

Canjengue   old style tango, sort of plinky plonky, but good to dance

Sube card     A card that you put money on to pay for transport in the city, Subte and collectivos



Filed under Argentina, Tango

2 responses to “More staff than customers

  1. Bob wrote: “Canjengue old style tango, sort of plinky plonky, but good to dance

    Beginners, you can hear some here.

  2. jantango

    You confirmed my suspicions about the Wednesday milonga in La Nacional, but I won’t say I told you so. I really wanted you and Viv to join me at Lo de Celia which was full at 7:00. I was glad I arrived before the thunderstorm. The water came through the ceiling panels, but that didn’t put a damper on the dancing at all. Mark and Christine from the UK were there, and Jean from the USA joined me at my table. She had tandas with good dancers. We stayed until La cumparsita. I put her on the #12 bus to Palermo and she managed to find her way home without paying 20% more for a taxi at 10:00pm.

    Canyengue – (pronounced con gen gay)

    SUBE card makes it easier for the city to know exactly how much the bus companies are collecting in the way of fares and then pay them subsidies. Before they reported higher ridership to receive more money.

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