Monthly Archives: May 2012

Hasta La Proxima Fulgor

Sunday

I had promised Viv a scarf from San Telmo and time was pressing. Today would be our last opportunity and we had also promised to meet Roger for lunch.

We were already running late and so we jumped onto the subte, changed at Diagonal Norte and jumped off at. Independencia(anyone who has spotted the deliberate mistake, hang on all will become clear) As we came out above ground nothing looked right and we headed off in the wrong direction. A block later and I realised we were the wrong side of 5 de Julio. So we turned again. It seemed to take ages to get to Plaza Dorrego, but once there I knew exactly where to go.

It took some time for Viv to decide which colour scarf she wanted, even though I let her have two. When we had finished she wanted to hurry on, but I was not so sure we needed to rush. Everywhere we go we are early and we were in danger of being early again.

Still we hurried up to the subte, and then I realised my earlier mistake. We had got off the train one stop too soon; we should have got off at San Juan not Independencia. It was no wonder I did not know where we were and recognised nothing.

I got further confused as to where we were to get off this time. We were on the C line and had to get off at Av de Mayo, I thought we had to change to the A line to get off at Lima, but all we had to do was walk underground to Lima station.Limabeing the same station as Av de Mayo. Viv wanted to head straight for the salida, but I insisted we head for the A line.  Once there I knew where we would come out of the ground and we would be only one block from our final destination.

The trouble was now we were half an hour early. We stuck our head in the restaurant and said “tienamos una reserve” and this is where we got stuck. We tried “Mirta” blank faces, “Roger y Mirta” still blank. “Mirta Gamboa” nope; “Quantas personas” the guy said, “no tengo ningun idea” I said. Stalemate, nothing left but to stand and wait.

Fortunately, like us Roger and Mirta are always early, and when they came in they told us the reservation had been made in the name of their friends Ruth and Gustavo, and that there would be just the six of us.

When finally Ruth and Gustavo arrived we sat down ready to order. Roger and I in the middle, Mirta and Viv to my left, and Ruth and Gustavo to my right. I did not think this was going to work and sure enough Roger insisted he change places with Mirta. Now he said he would not be deafened by Mirta speaking to Ruth across him. It also had the advantage of putting all the Spanish speakers together and the English speakers at the other end of the table.

So now we were happily ensconced in El Globo and all that was needed was the food. It is a tradition, apparently of Roger’s to have the Puchero on his birthday, it was a couple of days late but never the less it was his birthday lunch.

Never heard of a Puchero? Well neither had I. What arrived was a massive plate of boiled vegetables and another plate of boiled meat. There was a huge variety on both but the meats were my favourite; boiled beef, ham, pork, chicken, lamb, chorizo, black pudding and more that I could not identify.

Not enough chorizo and black pudding for us, so they brought more. After all that Roger said “anyone fancy pudding” “but we still have the cake” we all said. Roger had made the cake himself and Mirta had iced it, so it was going to be a treat.

Gustavo is another engineer, and we had some very interesting discussions. Well those bits I understood anyway. He spoke no English and it was good to, at last, truly test my castillano. Engineering in Spanish is somewhat different to “dos cervesas por favour” yet some how we understood each other. His political views we shared as well, it seems not everyone in Argentina believes it is right to sell a company and then steal it back. Although we never got onto the Falklands issue. Repsol and Spain are neutral for me; I think The Falklands would be a bit too close to home. We exchanged emails and promised to get in touch next time I am here.

The lunch had carried on far longer than any meal we normally eat and it was time to depart. Gustavo and Ruth left us at the first corner, as they only lived a block away. Likewise Roger and Mirta could walk to their hotel, although it was the other side of 5 de Julio, so they left us as we disappeared underground again. I must find out what moles are called in Spanish.

(Mole is Topo, thanks to Google translate).

The station we were at was again Peru and I was not sure if from here we could get to the C Line. Now emboldened after talking so much Spanish, I asked the girl in the ticket booth “Si al fondo al la isquierda” she said. Very pleased with myself I said “Gracias” and told Viv we just head down there and it is to the left.

After this it is all plain sailing, as I now know the route home intimately. We went back for a couple of hours sleep before the night time festivities.

We had a table booked at Club Fulgor for our despidida and I texted Roger to tell him as I knew he would be again early.

We were relatively early at eight, for Fulgor, as usually nothing happens until about nine, but Roger Mirta and Jantango were already there.

Janis commented on the way everyone greeted us as we entered, but I don’t know if she was ready for all the extra greetings as all the others entered the place.

Viv was still suffering, but somehow the atmosphere of this place brought her out, almost forgetting the pain. I think though the beer we were consuming helped, we went through three litres of Quilmes Negra.

Viv was still missing a few dances though and sent me off to play (as she puts it). Janis said she had seen this in my blogs and did not realise that Viv actually said this.

Well there are so many ladies here and so little time. As we were leaving Marianna said “all those old ladies will miss you”.

Again as everyone left we were kissed goodbye and wished “Buen Viaje” over and over.

There is no better way to say “Goodbye to Argentina” than a night in Club Fulgor. I think it is the one thing that convinces Viv to return with me year after year.

Hasta la proxima Club Fulgor.

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Of Mice and Men

The last few days we were in Buenos Aires, are hectic, so there is little time for me to write. Therefore I am writing up the weekend and our return from home. So if there are any errors or omissions I hope you will forgive me. There is one up side of this though; it extends my holiday mood for a few more days as I recall happy times in the City of Tango.

Saturday.

If the best laid plans of mice and men can go awry, then you will understand how my poor organisation can end up in chaos. We had already postponed our lunch with Philippe due to over booking, but today we had reserved the afternoon for him.

We set off down Guardia Vieja in the hope of visiting Guardia La Vieja again. Unfortunately I had not checked, and it seems they do not open during the day. There are two “Organic” restaurants also on Guardia Vieja, but I don’t do organic. Carrot cake and lettuce leaf butties are not what I think of when thinking food in Argentina.

So we set off down Corrientes, Philippe knew of a place opposite the Abasto called El Rey. He was a bit more reliable and the place was there, and open. It was Chilean food, but somehow we ended up with Pollo Entero again.

The chicken arrived already quartered; there was a huge plate of chips and just for healthy balance a huge plate of salad.  The chicken was cooked to perfection with an unknown (to us) variety of spices. The chips were perfectly browned and even the salad was a good mix. (Usually here they overdo the onion and under do the lettuce). All this was washed down with a fine Malbec.

The only downside of the experience was the door that no one seemed to understand should be shut after going through it. The weather now is getting cooler and nobody likes to sit in a draught.

We finished up with coffee in the apartment. All our business sorted, there was nothing left but to say adios for another year.

My plans for the day continued to go wrong; Janis had said we should meet in Lo de Celia, but we had arranged to meet Roger and Mirta at Consegrados. I checked the times and there was no reason we could not do the two especially as they were only three blocks apart. So I mailed Janis to tell her.

Janis though decided that she would come to Los Consegrados so we all met up there.

Viv and I had a few dances but she was still suffering, so her instruction to go play was not unexpected.

From where we were sitting though it was not easy to cabeceo and I could not really see who I was asking to dance. My first victim was a real surprise, blessed as she was in the chest department, she was also very tall. I think Viv Janis and Mirta were all somewhat amused by me attempts to look dignified as I tried in vain to find somewhere to put my head that would not lead to embarrassment. Still the lady in question did not seem to mind too much and despite my obvious discomfort, I did enjoy the experience.

I also met up with a lady from Windsor called Jane, who is a friend of Janis. I told her if she is ever up north to give us a visit, but I doubt she ever will. Londoners think the world ends at Watford Gap.

We all sort of broke up early. Roger and Mirta were tired and headed off back to their hotel and with Viv not dancing, we decided we had also had enough, by about ten thirty.

Janis stayed on with Jane and we set off into the night.

We do not know this side of town that well. (It is reputed to be dangerous, phffat) I thought we could walk through to Congresso so that is what we did.

Even this late at night some of the buildings were beautiful to look at, although my little camera would not do them justice without the light. We saw a 168 stop, and for a second or two thought about just jumping on, but sometimes after a milongas we just enjoy walking together and reliving some of our experiences. For me some of our best times together are when we are just strolling after the milongas.So we walked on.

When we finally got to Congresso we stopped off at Moncloa the café where we had met Maggi last year. So at close to midnight we had Submarino (Hot milk into which you melt chocolate) and medialunas, watching the never-ending traffic around the square, until it was time to catch our colectivo home.

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