Fire, fire, fire down below.

They are knocking a building down, two doors away. The apartments have been unoccupied since we have been here, but the shop was a greasy spoon. So now we have the noise every day as they hit the walls with their little hammers. More on this; I managed to get a look through the steel doors they have erected, today. I noticed that they have started knocking through the floor, so that as they knock down the top, the rubble will fall to the basement and they have to carry it up again. As always, there is the simple way, and then there is the Argentine way.

On our trip to Palermo I sat outside a shop while Viv browsed.  On the seat was an Italian lady, who spoke no Spanish or English, but somehow she conveyed that she was here to play golf for two months. We talked for fifteen minutes or so and despite everything managed to understand each other. The one thing I could not get her to understand was that we were going back by boat, and it is an Italian boat.

We had some excitement here last night; as we sat on the balcon eating our bife de lomo, a fire engine screamed past. It turned into Guardia vieja and stopped on the next block. I thought I could smell burning, and this confirmed it. Next came an ambulance and was followed by the Police. A few cars were redirected but they never actually closed the road. I could see little of what was going on as it was on the same side of the road as us. In the morning I went to investigate and there was no sign of anything amiss. There is however a sort of subway covered in grating that is full of cables, I think it is something to do with the Subte, although at two blocks away, I could well be wrong.  Anyway this morning there was a barrier around it. The smell last night did seem electrical to my trained nose. Like all things that go on here, I guess we will never know for sure.

I thought that the painters had finished, but this morning we have a man hanging around outside our window again. I did think of running out with a manic grin and a knife, but Viv stopped me. I was only half threatening, if I was hanging on a rope and someone came with a knife to cut it, I don’t suppose I would be that amused.

Off to El Beso again today. We arrived early so that Viv got a better seat and I got my usual. She was still not happy though, there were a lot of women. That said it was not that easy for me either. Still we stayed until Viv left at five thirty and I stopped until the cumbia came on at just after six. Viv had finished her coffee and I ordered another for me.

It was going to be one of those days, it seems. I waited and waited but my coffee never came. In the end I told Viv to pay and we would go. Viv gave the girl$200, more than enough for her coffee and croissants, but she was not happy. We pointed to the one cup and the penny dropped. I was not about to pay for coffee that never came.

We are at a loss where to go tonight, our usual Imaginario Bar, is closed for holidays so we decided to try El Simbolo. Somebody in the milonga had recommended it, although Viv remembered it as a rather dirty place.

It did not start well. Viv needed the toilet and it was not signed up. While she was gone the guy came for our order. “Dos Revueltos” I said “No entiendo” said he. I tried various ways of saying it, nothing worked. In the end Viv asked for two omelette. Then I tried beer, well I am sure they had black beer in the past but not today. Now flustered I ordered Rubia, forgetting again that is blond. We were still arguing about the revueltos and I had an inspiration, I walked outside and got the blackboard with Revuelto $280 and pointed it to the guy.  “Ya no lo hacemos” he said, we don’t do it anymore.

So instead of Black beer and revueltos we got blond beer and a rather disgusting omelette barely cooked and full of shells. To add to our woes we watched him sneeze into his hands handle money and smoke. No sign of hand washing or any kind of sterilizing.  If you do not hear from me again you know why. If we survive I will definitely put this place on our do not go again list. One more thing, he served Viv with her omelette then wet off to cook mine. Seems he is incapable of doing two meals at once.

Well hopefully a good day tomorrow.

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