Argentina, Good People

Another sunny day, the last for a while according to the forecast, but I don’t believe it bad weather never lasts here.

We were supposed to be meeting Jantango for coffee on Callao so we set off on the subte. Now an interesting thing has come to my attention as I travel; the government of Argentina is putting advertising posters up everywhere. One that I found strange said “Argentina, Good people” whilst I would not disagree, I just wonder why say it. Surely the people here don’t need telling they are good people and the people abroad are never going to read this.

Another that was plastered from one end of the train to the other said “If you work, work en blanco” in other words not on the black market. Now at home I pay my taxes, it is difficult not to. Staying below the radar, so to speak, takes a lot of effort. Here however they make it so difficult to do things correctly as anyone who has tried to buy property or get citizenship will attest. Cut the red tape and put all the people whose job it is to make life difficult for the law-abiding, into enforcement that would be my answer.

Anyway back to my day. We arrived where we were supposed to meet Janis slightly early. We had found the café that we wanted to go to, we just had to wait. When she did not show I started to worry, was I in the right place, was the time right. I decided to call her; the trouble was on the street I could hear nothing but street noise. This would not work.

I decided to text, but my new phone had decided it was sending the message to her home phone. I cancelled and tried again, no good. So decided to reply to one of her texts, the same thing happened.  At this point I came close to throwing it into the road. Janis was now half an hour late and probably waiting somewhere else. I decided the best thing to do was go into El Arranque, at least she would know where we were. I turned out we missed her by five minutes, such is life.

We had no need to hurry, inside there was little happening, the music was not even in tandas yet and there were less than half a dozen people there.

As time went on we had some great tandas with the music DJed by Dani Boreli. After a couple of hours we decided it was time to spread our wings. Now it is often said that no one will dance with you if you sit together we found this to be somewhat of an exaggeration.

I attracted the attention of a very nice lady and we got up to dance. She said that she remembered me from last year (AND SHE STILL WANTED TO DANCE WITH ME) I guess that was a compliment. I did manage a few more dances, but from where we were sat it was difficult to ess across the floor, and I suspect that some women would not dance with me because I was in a couple.

It was more a problem for Viv though; in general no man would ask her until I was up dancing. Once I had a false call; I thought the lady had cabeceoed (is that even a verb?) me but as I walked over she was looking elsewhere, meanwhile Viv had got up to dance. The guy who would dance with her, saw me walking back and sat down again. I shook my head with a “no no” I waved him to carry on.

There is a black guy who is always here, he does the announcements (In Canning as Well) and I think he is one of the organisers. He had positioned himself on a table close to us and was looking our way. When I caught his eye, I realised he wanted to dance with Viv so I pulled my chair back from the table to indicate it was ok, but he made no move. Meanwhile I got the eye from across the floor, as soon as I got up so did Viv. Seems our black friend (Jesus, Viv found his name) was waiting until Viv was on her own before he would ask.

It is all rather quaint, the respect that is shown maybe from a bygone age but I think maybe the world would be a better place if there was more in our hemisphere.

As time went on it got more difficult to get dances, I was having to go to the back of the room and by then the crowd was thinning anyway. Viv said “let’s just go and have a coffee and chill” I wasn’t really ready, but another refusal was enough, time to go.

Foot note: When we were in El Arranque Janis texted me, I replied “we gave up in El Arranque” as is the way with texts that can be read two ways I meant, “I had given up waiting and was now in El Arranque”, where as Janis read “I have given up on El Arranque and have changed my plans” That and a small matter of unsynchronized time caused us to miss each other completely.

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Filed under Argentina, milonga, Tango

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