Daily Archives: April 23, 2012

Hoy Touristas

The weather has caught me out somewhat today; it is always warm in our apartment but it was not so warm on the street. I had to do some strategic sunny side walking to keep my body temperature up when walking about today. It is still not cold, you understand but my summer clothing is less than appropriate now. Long sleeves I think tomorrow.

Up until now we have done little of a touristy nature. This is just our home in Buenos Aires and there seems little point in even getting my camera out, in what after all is my back yard. So today we thought we would head down to San Telmo, see some of the colour and mix with los touristas.

We left the subte at San Juan and just sort of meandered until we came across Carlos Calvo. Something stirred in my memory “wasn’t Carlos Calvo the street with the café that made its own bread?” Viv confirmed my thoughts so we walked down until it was crossed by Peru and there on the corner was El Federal. It is quite a big place, but always full of customers. We managed to find a seat by the window and we were given the menu. This particular menu, I think was written by Tolstoy, slightly longer than War and Peace but a mouthwateringly good read. I think we spent longer on the menu than the food. We elected for a sandwich each on their pan caseros. We saw so many other dishes served up that looked equally delicious but I could not come to San Telmo without tasting their bread.

After this we went a wandering again. We wandered around the indoor market and found something else for our practica. Then we found our way back to Plaza Dorrego. We hardly got in the first street before we were accosted by a guy trying for all he was worth to get us to buy his paintings. (For all he was worth, was not much judging by his art work). As always down here, the artistry ranges from grand master ability to something only a mother would pin to the fridge.

Anyway I took the precaution of not bringing much money out with me, that way nobody can con me out of it. (remember I said that) I love the life and colour of this place, despite the fact that most of it is here solely for the tourists and you get accosted on every corner “algo para comer senor?” “good leather, cheap, we take dollars”, not a lot different to Florida really just more colour.

Later we found the passage artisanal where we bought some Tango 8 shoes last year. Defensa 1575 or there abouts.Tango 8 seems to have gone from here, but there was still a lot of places to look into. Window shopping free entertainment for pobrecitos.

There is an upstairs to this passage and a café there so we thought we would stop and have a beer now the sun was shining. They also had a tango show and Viv insisted I gave them $10 for a very short show.

We had a litre of quilmes between us and when it was time to go I asked for the bill. This is how it went; “La cuenta por favor” “Si treinta y sinco” (35) “TREINTA Y SINCO” “Si” “es una broma no?” (It’s a joke) but she was not laughing. I rarely ask the price in Buenos Aires, because in the main they are always fair. True some places are a bit more expensive but you can usually tell, there are clues like table cloths and posh waiters. But sitting outside on a rough balcony with tango dancers doubling as waiting on staff that does not count.

The trouble with ripping people off is you never can tell who they are, how often they would have returned or how many friends they will tell to avoid the place. That is perhaps why this place was almost empty and El Federal was full.

Enough of the moaning we are off to Fulgor again, for another great night. Everyone welcomed us again as old friends and nobody mentioned we were missing last Thursday. Viv is still suffering with her neck, so she sent me off to dance with all the old dears. They all seem to do unled crosses here, and I have to be very careful not to trip them up when I try to secada. Still it all makes for more experience.

For some reason they now play bingo on a regular basis, but at least Roberto calls the numbers “muy rapido” so we can get on with the dancing. Unlike the old sorteo I seem to have no luck with bingo, I guess  the game knows I don’t really like it.

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Filed under Argentina, milonga, Tango