Daily Archives: January 9, 2020

An Excellent day

After a long sleep, you would think we would be up early and ready to go. No chance. Even though Canning is later than other milongas we had little time to do much else.

I picked up Vivs shoes from El Bosque. I am becoming quite a regular there now. My next mission was to recover the vacuum cleaner from the shop on Medrano. I was accosted by a beggar outside the church, but I will not get my money out in public. There was, it seems no fault on the cleaner, but after all the breakers going, I was reluctant to plug it in again. He charged me $140 for some new filters, I don’t think there was anything in there for the test. Still it makes me want to come back.

I had to pass the beggar again on the way back. I was ready this time and dropped him $40. It sounds a lot but it is only 40p and he seemed grateful. Since reading A Street Cat Named Bob I do look more sympathetically on street people.

I had a further trip out for some washing powder and bread. The chino did not have our favorite bread so I went to the Fiambraria further up Salguero. I know how to deal with this now; ignore the ticket machines, pick up loaf, pass by all the queues and go straight to the till. The girl on the till is the same one who used to be in Nuevo Escotia (The Big place now closed, that also had a butchers) but she does not seem to remember me. Getting out was a problem though, all the queues and a guy coming in with a sack truck. I said to him “Necesito ser flaco” not sure how good my grammar was, but he laughed anyway.

There was still some time to spare, so I did some repairs to the bathroom door and went out again to the chino. Our lamp in the bedroom has four bulbs, one different, one out, and one rapidly failing.  I tried to get three like the odd one, but no such luck, I went instead for four similar ones. At the till, he who sees all spotted that one was different. The girl said that they were all the same price, but I wanted them all the same, so she let me change it.

So now with everything shipshape we set off for Canning. The tall dutch couple Ingrid and Jaap were in front of us as we paid, and we were put seated close to them. So from where we were seated we could talk. The place was all but empty when we arrived, even though it was half an hour into the milonga. So we chatted; I found out that they have been coming twenty five years, and I thought that we were old hands. I also discovered that they are staying in the House of Vicky and Rob. Apparently they have known Rob for many years before they came here.

The numbers were down all afternoon. Even though I had problems finding women to dance with we had a great time. There was even a steady trickle of men that Viv knew arriving all afternoon. So the floor was never crowded, there were no Cirque de Soley dancers and we just kept going. Erwin played some wonderful music, nothing off the wall, but somehow it sounded better different.

Then at seven thirty they start the rock and roll and tropical. It was time to go. Two or three years ago we sat in a bar on Gascon watching them restoring an old building opposite. Well that building is now Taco Box so I thought we would give it a try. Usual problem though “ocho” but they had seats outside and we had an unfinished water from Canning, so we were content for ten minutes or so.

The food, I think, was the best we have tasted in Buenos Aires. So To sum up; Good dancing, jobs sorted and excellent food. Oh and did I mention Black Beer? An Excellent Day.

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Today we should have gone to Nuevo Chique, but we had an invitation so to save getting boring we took it.

First though The Cucaracha man was supposed to be coming today. Viv hates poisons everywhere, but we are getting regular visitors here, so we need advice. When he came in I could not describe our visitors so I looked for one. “Hormigos” he said, Ants. They did not look like ants to me, far too small. Well they behaved like ants and he was the expert. He put some gel in various places and asked me if they were anywhere else, so I asked Viv. “No hablo español” she said. Well that blew my practice again, from then on he spoke in English. He left a bit more Gel around then put his poison spray everywhere and told us not to wash it off. Then he was gone.

So we walked to Gallo and Cordoba at about twenty to ten. “Como Llego” said our bus would take about half and hour, but we did not know when it would arrive, so I was leaving plenty of time. Our no 29 colectivo dropped us outside Belgrano Station by half ten, so we were in plenty of time to meet Philippe at eleven.

He said to meet him at eleven outside the Boleteria.  It was hot and we were thirsty and the kiosco was inside the station past the gate, so we walked down the road to another kiosco. On the way there we passed another Boleteria.  So we had a choice of two and Philippe had not said which one. We out it down to him being French.

Well we paced from one to the other, even examining a bike we saw parked, in case it was his. We decided it was not. It got to half eleven and we were ready to give up. Then I saw Mariela come out of the station at the other gate.  We rushed over, Marriela said they were waiting inside. I told her Philippe said he would meet us at the Boleteria.

Still we were united now. So I went to the Boleteria to buy our tickets. The woman seemed confused, and asked about my SUBE card. She took the price of two tickets off it and we were allowed through the gate by the security guard. Then Marriela seemed confused “Why had we not just gone through the gate with our Sube cards?” I have not used this line for more than five years and the girl in the Boleteria never said. Then she asked why I had not answered Philippe on Whatsapp, well I could not connect here.

I am not on an Argentine phone and every time I try to connect to a free WiFi I get this code that needs scanning. Nobody can tell me how I can scan a code with my phone, when the code is on my phone.  Until the train came Mariela was trying to connect to the station WiFi.  I kept telling her to stop, it is only there to drive us crazy.

I had thought it would  be better to join the train at Retiro. As it happened I was right we struggled getting seats, but after about three stops we managed to all get together.

I have not used the inland railway to get to Tigre before, but it was a journey of remembrance as far as San Isidro. In 2004 we traveled this line several times a day, when staying in Vincete Lopez.  Of course we arrived in a different place in Tigre, because we were not on The Tren De La Costa, but assumed Philippe and Mariela knew where they were going. How wrong we were.

Apparently we are going to the fruit market, no idea why, but every day is a new adventure. It seems that the entry port for was here and now it is a theme park and market. Philippe and Mariela stopped in several shops to ask for directions and eventually we arrived. We arrived to find most of the units locked up. Again Mariela found someone to ask, looks like the close Monday and Tuesday. I am still blaming the French.

Viv was in heaven with all the tat shops, she has bought a mat for the french window and some lights for our milonga, then it was time to get some food. Well, it was a good job this is not a busy day, we waited almost an hour for a table, even with the constant barracking Philippe and Mariela gave them. We had to have a beer while we waited and then another with our meal. We shared an asado but we were told it was only for two, so we had to get something else to top it up for the three of us. Something called El Martrimonio, chorizo and black pudding, apparently.  Did I mention that Mariela is the only known Argentine vegetarian? Two plates of chips and a pizza for Mariela.

Tourist prices here apparently, the whole lot came to £25.

It was easier to get a seat on the train going back as we were at the terminus, but it soon filled. We were bombarded by hawkers and buskers all the way back, not a moments peace. Then we went the wrong way for the colectivo and missed two, my fault, i’m afraid. At least we knew where to get off now.  We had ice cream supper at six, collapsed into bed and slept the sleep of the innocent and did not get up for fourteen hours.

Mariela, Philippe and Viv

I am not veev zees Einglish Drunkards.

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