Category Archives: Tango

Crazy country

Viv sent me out for my usual shopping trip. First stop the post. Non of the doors were open today and some guy started ranting at me, it seems there was a queue. So to the back of the queue and a triage at the entrance, “tomo numero” she said, well I knew that. I thought I would have a long wait but No5 was called and I was No7 so it did not take too long. I gave her my letters “Reino Unido, simple” I said “Su Documento” she said. Now I have been posting letters at this post office for at least ten years and never have I been asked for my passport before, but she would not post my letters without one. As I did not have it with me I just took them back and mission failed. Put some people in a uniform and they think suddenly they are Il president. Crazy country.

Off to Milonga de Juan today. It is at a different venue than last year, now at La Nacional. Things did not look good from the start, some said that the rain was keeping the men away, but the few women seemed unwilling to dance as well. There were one or two of my old favourites so I did get dances and the quality of the floor made up for some of the poorer ones. Isabel turned up while Viv was dancing and she too found it hard.

After an hour or so things started to pick up. Many of Vivs old friends came and even Isabel was getting dances. It never really picked up for me though. True I did not miss tandas, but I was down to a group of about five or six women. Not that they were complaining and I suppose good dances are good dances. I must say this though, of all the milongas in Buenos Aires, this is the only one where the organiser takes time to dance with as many of the ladies that he can. Brownie points for Juan.

Just before we left we had a demo. It was very good, no acrobatics, but some real crowd pleasing moves. A nice end to our evening. So despite my misgivings at the start we had a really good time.

At the door a helpful Argentine was guiding Isabel. Her google app and myself, were wrong apparently. She messaged me later complaining that she could not get rid of him and he took her the wrong way.

We stopped of at Vitoria Bar, we could not remember which was the best of the bunch here at Congresso. Made the wrong choice, Viv said the toilets did not work and there was no water. The coffee was foul and the croissants stale. The waitress short-changed Viv by a peso “That’s her tip” Viv said. Don’t think we will be back.

Stopped off again at Costumbres for some fresh croissants, we can have them after our tea, with some decent coffee.

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Something new It seems

For our Monday milonga we are off to El Beso again. Don’t be confused, even though it is the same venue it is a different milonga. Friday was el Abrazo with Mario Orlando on the decks, today it is Misteriosa with a guy called Quique Camargo.

It started of badly for Viv, she was not getting many dances. Actually non apart from me and Hubert. Later though many of her old friends arrived and by six she was dancing non stop. I too struggled at first, as I have said it is not the easiest of rooms but soon I was in my swing.

Graciella arrived to her usual fanfare and I soon had her up dancing. My big problem though was that I was surrounded by predators, it is hard to cabeceo past these ladies. There were other ladies I wanted to dance with, Marta who I have not seen yet here and the Columbian lady.  Still it keeps me on my toes.

The DJ was having some fun too, when the lady in front of me pounced, I said “depends on the music” and the next tanda was totally off the wall. This was a first for me here in Buenos Aires. Normally it is very traditional. Later he played a Tanda by Orquesta Tipica Misteriosa. Something new not at all what we expect.

After she had danced with “Ron Dennis” Viv was ready for home. Her best dance of the night she said, no point in staying if it was not going to be topped.

We walked back, not wanting to get stuck on the rush hour subte again. Back to the rest of that steak.

 

 

 

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Fresh Ginger

No Tango today, Viv has decreed a rest day. I call it a boring day, but as she normally lets me dance with all those women, I cannot complain.

First job is a bit of gardening. Walter has done a fine job looking after my plants and some of them need trimming back. The Ginger is also looking well so I am going to tip it out and harvest some. Job done and although there is not a great deal, I have about twice what I planted and enough to get it started again.

After it is washed up it is time for breakfast, now we have had root ginger before on our porridge but really fresh does have a particularly good flavour. You don’t get much fresher than this.

Next I get dragged out for some shopping. To be fair we need a new dining chair, but I can’t seem to find a furniture shop close by. Out and about we struggle to find most things we are looking for. Viv however is on the hut for a new toaster and there are plenty of places we can find these. Today though we are not out to replace things, still waiting for our last years rental money, but we can do the research.

We did find a very good vegetarian grocers, where we managed to get different rices and peanut butter. Real peanut butter, no additives or palm oil or even sugar, a definite plus this. Still we had got almost nothing we came out for, time for a coffee.

As always we had problems getting the bill and when we came out the sky was an angry shade of grey. Down to the almacen for some beef. We only wanted one slice but it was not quite enough then we had confusion when we asked for another. seems he did not want to leave just a small piece, so we had three slices. Still it was less than £5 and would do for at least two meals.

That sky had broken, when it rains here it means it and we were stranded.  We wanted some bread from the chino so we dodged under the balconies down the road. Why o why do people with umbrellas go under the balconies and expect those of us without to walk in the rain?

Still we got our bread but not the laces Viv wanted. All in all a very poor hunting expedition.

Now the steak, that is a whole different ball game, delicious and enough for another meal later in the week. Followed by Ice cream from our lady down the road, she remembered me “Gales” she said, “si” said I.

 

 

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Back to El Beso

Another quiet morning, Viv sent me out shopping. I topped up my Argentine phone then bought some provisions and some mince.  AR$45 a pound scandalous. That’s £1.68 to you at home.

Then it was out to El Beso. Always a difficult floor this, not the best layout with a pillar in the middle, but at least the floor itself is in good condition. A few years ago they completely recovered it in wood, unlike Nuevo Chique where I literally stopped and replaced a section of parquet.

I had some good dances but cabeceo is near impossible here, I have to walk up to the ladies, or in the case of the ones in front of me, tap them on the shoulder. Viv was not getting a lot of dances, she just cannot compete with semi nude nymphets. It never ceases to amaze me that men will put up with an awful dance, just to dance with someone scantily clad. “Bobs getting old” I hear you say, but who has the best view, The man dancing with her or me from the side lines? and while I am dancing with a more experienced lady I am not getting my feet trodden on.

I danced again with Susanna she appears and disappears but never for long. She dropped a bombshell, she told me that she is Jewish. That did not surprise me, there is a very high percentage of Jewish people here and the Once district is almost exclusively. No the bombshell is that she is going to Israel  on Monday for two years, maybe permanently. I had a last dance with her later, A D’Sarli milonga. I wished her well for the future and told her I will miss her.

I noticed another lady having  problems getting dances and decided to dance with her, but Viv whisked me out before I had chance, she had enough. Before I left I called Zoraida a Buja, because, apparently she had seen a picture of us and the next day we appeared.

Made an error coming home, forgot about the rush hour. We should have walked, the subte was packed out. You keep your hands low near your wallet for security. but the pushing together means you come in contact with various body parts. From this close there is no telling what they are.

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We’re Back

Did not do a lot this morning, I suppose we are not yet fully into this.

Still we set off for Nuevo Chique and charged up our Sube cards on  the way.

We arrived to a hail of kisses and were soon seated ready to dance. I watched Viv get straight up she was smiling and animated, when she is happy so am I. I knew we were in for a good afternoon. So many old friends, so many good dances. We are back with a bang.

Funny how it goes though, we both danced non stop until six thirty, then it all sort of came to a stop. Viv could get no dances and I could find no good partners, so we set off for El Revolutionario. When we got there it was mostly in darkness, the guy at the front said they were on holiday until February but that we could look around.  So we caught our 151 back home.

We stopped off at Corrientes and walked to Guarda la vieja, a meal and beer was planned so a meal and beer we were having. We ordered Burritos, never occurred to me before but it means baby donkeys. The waiter did not know quite what to make of my impersonation. Still the beer was good but the burritos, well the Argentines do not do spices, should have ordered just one portion and some chips.

 

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Lunch with the German and French

Today is a day for entertaining and saying goodbye. We had Philippe and Walter around, Walter will look after our flat for another year.  We then went out to El Rey for some lunch. It was raining when we left so I had to rush back up to get some umbrellas, Vivs was hidden behind  the bedroom door so we managed with three.

I thought that we were going to have a whole chicken between us, but Walter wanted Sea Food. This caused us a problem, firstly it was late arriving and then it was not so good. On top of this we could not finish the whole chicken, very un English. Still we blamed the Frenchman. You can still do food cheap here, bottle of Malbec, litre of stout and four meals for less than forty quid including a good tip.

As you would expect the conversation gravitated to brexit.  It was nice to actually have a reasoned debate and Walter brought up some good points. Seems it is not just the British who don’t like Merkel’s policies. I liked his thoughts, that we should remain to disentangle Europe rather than abandon it, I never though of it that way before. On the way back we met Sebastian outside the building, it was a good opportunity to introduce him to Walter.

After coffee everyone left and we set off for some last minute shopping.

Club Fulgor is getting lower in numbers, every year we think that it cannot survive yet every year we come back and it is still here, let’s hope it continues. Everyone was especially welcoming tonight, I think that they were not sure we would still be here. When a German couple came in I was, again, called over to translate for them. The problem was that their English was not good, that combined with my complete lack of German and poor Spanish made things difficult. That said my lack of language skills is more than made up for by my local knowledge and I managed to sort them out.

We still were not one hundred percent, but we danced and I danced with Bebe and Norma, but by sorteo time we were ready for off. Then it was time for the big goodbyes. Explaining that we fly Tuesday and will be back in January with every kiss. Quite an exhausting and emotional time. The walk back seemed not so bad tonight after that, even dog shit corner did not smell as foul. Maybe it was the extra beer we drank today or maybe we are just too tired to notice.

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Union Benevolencia

We did not know weather to go to El Beso today, El Arranque or the new milonga at Union Benevolencia, the same building as the Monday and Wednesday Milonga de Juan. We opted for Juan although a better bet than Beso, I think Viv would have preferred El Arranque. Todays milonga  though is not downstairs in the air-conditioned basement but upstairs in the old magnificent ballroom. The parquet floor is in a poor state but still danceable, likewise the decor is tired. I was told that this place is 200 years old, not surprising it is in need of some TLC.

We were sat right at the front near the stage, a big mistake. If we return here next year we will have to sit somewhere else. I found it impossible to cabeceo from here, which meant that I had to get up and approach the women. This was not too bad for me but for Viv it was a disaster, she danced with only two men besides me. The little guy who sat close danced six tandas with her, you become property after three, so I will be leaving her here.

The music of Juan leaves something to be desired too. Some of it was not exactly inspiring and for some reason in the middle he always messes it up, leaving us mid floor wondering what is going on.

I told Graciela about the man and she went off, as she does. I never understood a word, but she did keep saying quilombo, which basically means disorder or chaos. She said Viv should say basta (enough). But as it was the only dancing Viv was getting, well she was not for refusing.

I tried to dance at least every third with her but she was not enjoying the place which was a shame. When we decided that enough is enough we were told to sit down because there was a brindis. Basically a toast to the new venue. Well Champagne was just the thing we needed at that time.

We wanted to go out with a bang, but it just seems we are leaving with a whimper.

On the way back we stopped off at a music shop, there were some CDs I wanted on offer, well get um cheap while you can I say.

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