On my way out shopping today I bumped into the guy from the fruit shop around the corner. He greeted me like an old friend, made me feel quite guilty. You see I now buy my fruit from the chino opposite. It is close and he always picks out the best fruit for us and will often reject something I have picked out as not good enough. This morning though Viv wanted some chop suey, which he did not have. He watched me as I shopped in the chino so I had to buy my fruit off him. Then I had to conceal my fruit as I went to the next fruit shop, which had chop suey. Life is never this difficult when you just go to Tesco.
It started to rain as we set off for Nuevo Chique so we decided to get a bit closer on the subte. Viv was not too keen on the two changes needed if we used the H line, so we headed into town and used the C line. This would have been Ok if it were not for the crowds, we were all but locked down by them. The change at Pelerini took an age and when we got off at Plaza de Mayo it was packed. I did not know how to get to Lima station and we emerged in the middle of 5 Mayo. The bodies were just a mass, we were in the middle of a demonstration and I just could not navigate. By the time I had worked my way out of it, then consulted the map, Viv rightly said we could have walked from home.
It was a time for last dances and saying goodbye. We actually stayed longer than ever and I even got a glass of Champagne from Dora, but we are happy in the knowledge that we will be back next year. We had a funny conversation with Marcella before we left; She asked why we were all leaving at the same time, I told her it was Macri’s fault, he will only let us stay 90 days. “Macri Gato” she jokingly said. I told her that that was the contraseña for El Revolucionario WiFi.
Then it was off to El Revolucionario for some beer and hamburgers. The place was crowded out due to the demonstration and the service was somewhat lacking. Again I have to say great food and beer for less than £15. Just one problem today, for the first time, they overcharged me by 100$ar. I don’t know if it was deliberate or not, but now I have a better grasp, I challenged it and my money was soon returned.
We will not be back this year, but I live in hope it was a genuine mistake, because we have enjoyed this place and would hate for it to be tainted.
A sad note today, our last week begins. So every where we go will be our last time although we do go to Nuevo Chique twice a week. This will not actually be our last visit but our last Tuesday. Many who go on Tuesday do not go Thursday so already the goodbyes have started.
Nuevo Chique was not so good for Viv today. There were very few men but just as many women. At six she had enough and told me she was off to El Revolucionario. As instructed, I danced on. It became more and more difficult for me to leave as the women wanted me to dance, but by seven I had changed my shoes. This was not enough though to win my freedom, Paloma grabbed me, and it was after all a Biagi vals. So I danced it in my Hotters, not the best dancing shoes, but very comfortable. Glad I stopped as I saw Juan our old dance teacher on the floor dancing with Dora, nice to say “Hello” again.
On the way out I bumped into Marriane, seems she too was having problems and decided to head for Obalisco.
When I arrived at El Revolucionario Viv was still drinking coffee. I fully expected her to be on her third cup, but she had been across the road watching the dogs at play, so had not been there long. Beer was now in order, no Quilmes but they did have Imperial Stout, that’ll do nicely. The food was good too, but I still cannot get used to the idea that pies and pastry are starters and salad is the main course.
Still the cheapest place for food though and good service. Pudding, as always supplied by our local Ice cream gal, tasty.
Now we are back in the land of the living, Viv is feeling better and although my foot still aches I am now up every tanda again. Still we are taking it easy as we only have a week left and don’t want to spend it laid up.
Saturday I went on my own to El Beso and was shocked to be charged 120$ar. This is UK pricing, the shoe shops are all failing and the milongas are starting to go the same way. It may be true that the tourists have more money, but we are not an unlimited resource, and without locals in the milongas, why travel this far just to dance with our own? I have read many who think another collapse is on the way, certainly this cannot be maintained without another currency devaluation.
So Monday we set off again for El Beso, we have become blasé of late knowing where we were going and not double checking. Today we were caught out, El Beso has been closed. It appears that there was some safety infringement or dare I say it, bribe not paid. I never checked before I left home, and Vivs big feet had caught the charging lead on my phone destroying it, so no means of checking from here. We had no up to date tango magazines, and the Tango Map has become useless as anything but a navigation tool.
We prefabricated, I was all for returning to the apartment and checking the internet, then Viv remembered that Milonga del Juan also runs on a Monday. We were halfway down the subte, but no point in going just one stop, so we just used it to cross the road.
The milonga was still quiet despite the closure of Beso, but from the announcements I understood not as quiet as usual. I find this strange as they only charge 70$ar, less even that Fulgor. The dancers, for me, were actually better here, although I did have one bad dance. The place was full of Viv’s “old men” so she was happy. Still with limited partners we had enough by seven.
We stopped at Peron y Uruguay for a coffee. Rubbish coffee and they charged us 140$ar for two coffees. That’s £7 now they really are trying to kill the Golden Goose. If there is not another devaluation, we will find it very difficult here next year.
My foot troubles continue but with rest it seems to be getting better. By the time we had walked to Canning though it was aching again. I missed a few tandas but as the night went on there was some improvement and I was dancing away quite well by the time we left. Viv said she only missed one tanda so even though I did not dance much at least I got no earache.
I got asked to friend a guy who dances with Viv, on facebook. The problem is he does not use his real name and he has no photos. People here are paranoid, worried that someone will steal his identity. He also told us not to go to Los Consegrados as it is dangerous at night. He would have kittens if he saw the street corners we have waited on for busses.
On the way back we walked along Cabrera and found a place called KM51, so we went in. ” Hay cervesa Negra?” “Si mas o minus” she replied. “Hay o no hay?” I asked, she thought about it awhile and eventually answered “No” How you can have more or less black beer is beyond me, so we walked on.
Then we found a place called Cervelar, they had a choice of black beer, so we opted for the stout. I think they had just cleaned the pipes because mine tasted watered down. I was not happy. Viv let me finish and it was definitely stronger. I could not even get on their Wifi. We did get nibbles but Viv said it was a crèche, full of kids and noisy as hell. I was glad to get away, still £3 a pint was not bad even if it was half water.
Off to Nuevo Chique again today, but my foot is playing me up and I suspect I will not dance much. I did the first tanda with Viv then a couple followed by the milonga with Viv. My foot was hurting too much so I retreated to the toilets and made a roll of paper towel to go under my foot. While I was in there two men were practicing their moves with each other. I knew that this happened many years ago but I never expected to see it today, so it is all true, the men dance with men to improve their tango.
Once out of there I found my makeshift foot support really helped. I still missed the odd tanda but I was not missing every other and I did not have to miss another vals. Viv meanwhile was having a rare old time, I thought we would be staying late. She had other ideas though, seems that she can get tired as well as bored, so just after seven I got my marching orders.
Down again to El Revolucionario, they have run out of Cream Stout, we have to have Stella. It’s another 30$ar for beer we like less, is it so hard to keep a stock?
At least our 151 collective is reliable, dropping us off at our doorstep as always.
And another from last year. Oh dear!
After a morning on computer management, it was going to be a welcome change to do some tango.
Saturday and we are off to El Arranque again. We had to charge up the SUBE cards and, of course we missed the train. It was no big deal though another was along in four minutes. This is another reason I prefer the subte to the busses, unless the line is down they are through as regular as clock work.
Our waiter had our regular places and our drinks on the table as we arrived, you gotta love this service.
Not a lot to say really, we danced our socks off and I managed two dances each with my regular ladies. Even Viv hardly missed a tanda.
Erwin our usual DJ was not here today we had Vivi La Falce instead. Good choice of music and interesting cortinas. She was calling something out during the tropical, I have no idea what it was, but the locals seemed to appreciate it.
We had arrived early so by seven thirty we were ready to go. We stayed for the sorteo, but again I did not win, so it was time to go home.
We stopped off on the way home for some meat. We had to do without last week because we left it until Sunday. Two cracking pieces of Aberdeen Angus grilling steak, for two quid, you gotta love it.
Deep joy, the internet is still working, so you will get this post.
One from ten days ago, I missed for some reason.
Another El Beso day today. The volume of people was colossal, El Beso is not the easiest place to dance at the best of times, but today it was just chaos. That said Viv managed well for dances, so much that we stayed almost to the end. It was my turn to have problems, people milling around, standing by tables and just getting in the way. It made cabeceo almost impossible, so much so that I sat out some tandas and had two false cabeceo.
When Zoraida did the announcements she said she had been asked to do a ladies choice. I thought for one moment she was going to, but then she said she had done this in Ideal and all the men went off to hide in the toilets. I think her fears were unjustified; there were only about four men at Ideal, but here they would not all fit in the toilets. Still it says something about the men here, macho? no, cowards.
We found out that El Arranque is to reopen at Castelbamba. This caused me some problems, simply because the locals don’t listen, they assume what I am saying then draw their own conclusions. It went something like this “El Arranque se abierta” “Si En Castelbamba” “No, es Riobamba” “Castelbamba es en Riobamba” “No castelbamba, pero Riobamba” Oh! forget it lets dance.
We stopped off for some bread and medialunas on Corrientes a lovely self service shop with fine fare for sale. Well we got everything we wanted in a plastic basket and took it to the till. I had no idea what the girl said, so I asked her again, the word “three” appeared somewhere in there, then I worked it out. So I said “español?” and it all became clear. Sometimes they are just too helpful, she was trying to say Thirty three, but it was not working. Gives me some idea what I must sound like to them at times. I often have this problem when languages are mixed up, I am in your country and will to the best of my ability use your language. When you mix English and Spanish it becomes totally unintelligible.