Get your Ducks in a row

Janis sent me an Email, entitled Das Gute Bier, because she had found some German Beer in a local supermercardo. (apparently we British are all alcoholics). But it got me wondering about language and how much cross over there now is. She asked “Do the Argentines read German” More to the point do they actually speak Castillano?
Brigitte was talking about business (A German woman in Argentina, get the link?) and she said that they simply do not get their ducks in a row here. Now how is that for a bit of idiomatic English.
Go down any street here and you will see english signs like “services de lunch” and “Camping” although my favourite still is at a tatoo parlour “Yes it does hurt”.
You got to love em. But for me life would be so much easier if they spoke their own language but kept it simple.
I have tried contacting two tango apartments with a view to bringing them custom next year, I never got a reply. One of them was not even at the address they gave when I went to look. I tried finding the place the guy from Gascon told me about, with his vague description I may as well start looking for needles in haystacks. (Oh no! now I am at it).
I keep hearing about businesses struggling here. It is all the fault of outside influences, Estados Unidos, Comunidad Economica Europa, even Las Malvinas. Although God alone knows how a small island eight hundred miles from Argentina can pull them out of this mess.
Perhaps in this God-fearing country they would be advised to remember the serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
In other words, give up blaming everyone else and start keeping better time, be there when you say you will. Answer you mail, email, phone whatever. When a customer turns up welcome them, they can spend their money wherever they please, make their pleasure you business. Forget about bungs and back handers, recommend from the heart, your customers will love you for it.
For all that is wrong here I and many other extranjeros love the place, but, and this is the big one, we will go to the businesses that are most business like.
In 2006 my arrangements to come here were stalled, the agent who we had used decided not to bother answering my mail until a fortnight before I was due to fly. Had she answered earlier I probably would have still been using her, but we fell out. With less than two weeks to go I sent out over two dozen emails to tango guest houses, Only one answered, and I am still friends with and recommending Luba Tango House, Palermo Buenos Aires.
This rant has gone on a bit I know, but I hate to see things going down as they are. We are off to Club Fulgor tonight and I doubt anyone from there will read this, but if they are to continue, as I dearly hope they do: They must either stop advertising as a milonga or become one. They must start welcoming people at the door (as much as they do to us inside) instead of always trying to turn them away. And in common with every other business here open and close at the stated time.
Well it was quite a turn up tonight, the numbers were up and even the old guy on the door was pleasant. He still spent the whole evening staring at the wall though. We danced right to the end and finished with some fabulous vals.
On the walk home the kiosco where we found our chocolate amargo was closed so we tried the one across the road and they did not have it, so we bought ice cream instead.
There is another kiosco next to our apartment and as luck would have it was open. We had tried previously for chocolate negra and sin leche all to no avail but tonight we had the right words. “Tiene chocolate amargo?” I asked. The guy recognised us, and just said “no” and smiled. I have never seen a patron so happy not to make a sale.

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