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.