We were trying to get in touch with Jantango about timings. Americans and British have a different idea of what constitutes lunchtime, but we were unable to communicate by normal means. In the end we sorted it out via email but communicating this way takes forever.
When that was finally done,I needed to sort out my phone. So thinking it was just a matter of credit I set off to the local kiosco for some credit for my phone. Now I don’t know if my pronunciation has improved or if life in the kiosco has improved, but the sour faced man who usually serves me and refuses to understand had a smile on his face today. So I asked him “tienes credit, para Personal Light” “Si $20 o $30” he replied. That all went rather too well for my liking. In the Finch day it can only be good for a very short while.
Things started to go wrong when I tried to put it on my phone; The pre-recorded message came at me with machine gun speed, I just managed to pick out “press 1” as it came to me in a hail of Spanish. More machine gun talking then it stopped so I put in the key number. From the next deluge of Spanish all I understood was “disculpe” no mention of my $20. So I hung up and tried again, with the same result. One more try before I throw the phone out of the window, it never got to the press one. Now getting really annoyed I tried again, it all went swimmingly then “Disculpe”.
Obviously I was missing something, but I could not listen in while pressing buttons. Then I remembered I had Viv’s headset with me and it would fit my argentine phone. I did nothing different this time but it all worked fine. I guess technology knows when it is beat.
We set off to Jan’s place and waited for the 168. Funny things these 168’s all the same number but two different routes. Viv was pleased to see one coming our way, but upset when it turned off before it got to us. This was on the other route so was of no use to us.
So we waited, and after about 15 minutes a 168 came towards us. Everyone stood with their hands out, but the driver was not interested and drove straight past. Nearly half an hour passed before we finally got our bus.
We had to squeeze on, it was so tight that Viv’s bag got caught in the door and she could not move until a helpful gent extracted her. Progress was painfully slow Corrientes was a logjam. It took close on twenty minutes to reach Pueyrredon, we could have walked here in half the time it had so far taken us. Fortunately it speeded up a little then, but the whole journey had taken us about seventy minutes.
We had a lot of catching up to do when we arrived all helped along with good food and quilmes. Along with discussing the relative merits of aluminium and aluminum, polystyrene and styrofoam, and nappies and dypers. (dont ask). Time just flew and we were soon heading out again into the city streets.
We walked up to Jujuy. For those who do not know Jujuy is a continuation of Pueyrredon, these streets cut across the city and all the subway lines that run out from the city centre. In their great wisdom the city elders decided to build a subway line down this street, sort of an outer ring road subway. The first stations were opened last year and it now runs from Parque Patricios in the South right through to the B line. Whether they intend it to carry on to the D line or not I don’t know, but we are only interested in the B line for now.
The new station was beautiful and looked clean to me, although not to Viv’s house proud eyes, It was a great way to get across the town, even at this hour it was almost empty and we were at Corrientes before we knew it. In hindsight we could have walked from here as the subway on the B line was crowded at this hour, but we still felt more comfortable than we had on the bus earlier and it was certainly a quicker passage along the length of Corrientes.
Being Thursday we are off to Fulgor again. The numbers are down to a painful level and I asked one of the ladies I danced with if she knew why.She just rubbed her finger and thumb together in the international sign for money. This is not the first milonga I have seen with reduced numbers. I guess the economic situation here is really hitting home.
Viv is slowly warming up at last, we danced about three merengues and even a couple of cumbias. We did the chacarera again and we did it to Chacarera del Violin, some of you may remember dancing to this at Casa Gresford, or maybe not, but it is the tune that we use when we teach.