Parque Centanario

I worry sometimes that people take my posts too seriously. I take a light-hearted view of all the problems that there are living in a foreign land. So far we have only asked for outside help once and then I managed to get out of trouble before that help was needed. Never the less, I do appreciate offers of help. I just choose to go my own way, as I have done all my life.
So please laugh at my problems by all means, but do not be too concerned, just enjoy the ride.
Having a leak in the bathroom was not a big deal. There is a drain for the water, but it does annoy me. Philippe told me you can get second hand tools around Parque Centenario on a Saturday, so that was todays mission.
I have subbed Viv £100 in pesos so she can have some fun there as well. (£100 will go a long way here).
It is only about ten blocks so we walk. I am still amazed that as we pass the huge building that says “Jesus es el Señor” that they need bouncers. Surly anyone with mal intent is unlikely to get passed an all powerful God, or am I just being a cynic.
We arrived at somewhere around the midpoint of the market. Not sure if it goes right around or not, we decided to head to the right.
I quickly found a wrench at $70 but it was not exactly what I wanted, so we carried on. Viv was constantly distracted by the clothing stalls, while I rummaged through every tool and bric a brac stall there was.
I found a beautiful new guitar, small frame $900. Fortunately I had not brought that much out with me, or I might have been tempted.
At last I found an adjustable spanner. A bit crude and rusty, but it would serve the purpose. “Quanto es?” I asked “dos ochenta” he said that will do me, but whet I gave him five he said “No doscientos ochenta pesos”. “Damasiado caro” I said and gave it him back.
The search continued and Viv bought a skirt and some kitchen implements. (the first potato peeler was $150 we later found one for $15. They must think we just got off the banana boat).
I found another spanner “Dos quarenta” the guy said. Fortunately this time his wife said “Darme trescientos” That one was staying as well.
I did buy a hole punch, which was not on my list along with the kitchen appliances, but you have to buy when you see here.
We reached the end of the market and backtracked. Then we set off in the other direction. I found a stall with some new and some used tools. Two adjustable’s and a pair of grips. They ran at $100 each for the ajustable’s and $80 for the grips.
It still riled me to pay £5 for something I had numerous spares at home, but I bought the new adjustable anyway.
By now we were hot and thirsty, so we set off for a drink. On the corner of Anibal Troilo are three cafes. We were stuck for choice. We sat on the street drinking jugo and fizzy water, while speculating why name such a small street after such a great man.
Most of the things I had set out to buy were still on my list. Viv’s list though was completed in Farmacity.
I wanted something to stop the desk marking the wall and was not having much luck. Then in a household shop we found some bottle stoppers. More confusion as we gathered three black ones out of the jumble, only to find that 3x$10 applied to the klipits. The tops were $10 each, so I bought two.
We popped into an almacen for some meat. Once we reached the counter we realised that we had not picked a number again. The kind lady who was next let us go.
We went to the till to pay and Viv picked up some nuts for tonight. This then meant that we could not pay, as they had to be weighed at another counter. The girl asked “De donde son?” I have no idea how she worked out we were foreigners.
On the way back we bought other provisions, something salty for Philippe, for tonight.
After some food and rest we set off for Boedo, to the house of Mariela.
We decided to walk as we had the time and it was a warm night. When we arrived, as usual, we were among the first.
Gradually more and more people arrived, but being the only native English speakers, we had a little difficulty. We were soon mixing with the French contingent. It must be something odd about Europeans that they stick together even if they do not talk the same language. Luba was there as well, she was, of course, happy to talk with us, but we could not monopolise her.
One big guy was a singer and knew some British folk songs. I think the argentines were impressed by our duet. (Knew I should have bought that guitar)
Much food and drink was consumed, and then we had a tango interlude. There was not a lot of room and mostly they were beginners, but it was very sociable, changing partners every track.
We went back to the French when the rock music came on. Then Philippe served up the ice Cream.
It was getting late (for us) so we decided to leave. As always happens, Luba said “You can’t go we have not had the cake yet” but we know this can take hours here. So we left anyway.
After a couple of blocks we managed to catch a 160 Collectivo. I was not sure where it went as we had to run to catch it and could not read the sign. “Va a Corrientes?” I asked “Si” he replied, so we jumped on.
At Plaza Almagro it turned down Sarmiento, it could join Corrientes anywhere, so we got off at the next stop. Only four blocks from home that was pretty good.
I found out afterwards that it crosses at Gascon and stops on Guardia Vieja, but by my reckoning that is five blocks, so we did well.
We took an hour to get there and only twenty minutes to get home. good ol’ collectivos, eh!

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