Some good, some bad

We are back at our usual place in Nuevo Chique today. We arrived early so had our normal seats, and from the start the going was good. Many regulars were missing though. This is partly the tourist lull, normal at this time of year, but also something to do with some football match. If you know about these things perhaps you can fill the gap for me.

The standard of dancing was very variable. At one point I was dancing completely surrounded, with only inches to spare, yet every one was moving well and never even touched. Tango heaven as it should be. At another point there were idiots doing boleos and Viv managed to get a graze right up her leg. Fortunately blood was not drawn, but I am fed up of forever saying “Tacos abajo”. Dancing at another time, some guy was forever crashing into me, so I let him pass, then the idiot was coming backwards into me.  Some people will never have enough floor.

Viv, when not dancing with me, was having a similar time. She says she had some of her best dances today and some of her worst.

I won the Champagne in the sorteo. I am getting lucky here as I won some earrings a few weeks back as well. We will have it next week to celebrate our despedida. Marcela announced the football score for those interested, six nil she said, no idea who scored what. A chocolate gift on departing was most welcome, it did not last us long, hunger is always present after a milonga.

We headed for The Shanghai Dragon again but stopped off for some bread on the way. If they serve nothing on the side, they cannot complain if we bring our own. (They rarely do here, and it is not uncommon for people to bring their own cakes for celebrations).  We had spring rolls as well this time, so we were well filled when we left. They do not do stout, here only porter, looked the same to me, but then I am just a Philistine, but Viv was happy with it.

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A good day at El Beso

Did I say we would have trouble getting a seat? Well I was wrong, numbers were down, but not badly.  We both sat in our usual places and right from the off it was brilliant. I hit the wall again at seven, but I now have my cereal bar with me, so I missed a tanda and was off again. I even danced Pugliese, not the full tanda, as my favourite Pugliese lady can’t do a full tanda, but it was, never the less, enjoyable.

I could  write a list of the missing women, but perhaps that is why Viv had such a good time. Many of my favourites were missing but I still did not dance with Julia or Eli, maybe I will next week. Organizers do tend to be in demand so I am lucky to get the dances I do get. We stayed nearly till the end then across the road for a coffee.

All in all a Good day.

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Catching up

I have been a bit remiss of late. Viv dropped her kindle and has been reading on my computer.  Then when I gave her my kindle and finally got the computer back, somehow I never got back to the blog.

So, some memorable events: We decided to change our eating out days so that we could get the colectivo back from Constitucion and carry on to Shanghai Dragon. Well, these things never go to plan. There was a demo on Rivadavia again and the 151 was not running, so we walked back and stopped at HB again. Did a share this time with one of their massive salads and a chicken sandwich. The Beer is cheaper here as well.

Another night I left my shoes again, at Imaginario. Just realized that the beer here is almost half again as expensive as HB. Time for a rethink. We found another cheap place on Lavalle as well, only 90$ar for a litre of negra. “no atmosphere” Viv says, who cares? its cheap beer.

The milongas are going well, Viv is now dancing almost non stop. This is the advantage of getting known. It is not so good at El Abrazo though, I cannot figure out why, but I cannot force the men to dance with her.

We did a return to Gricel on a Saturday afternoon. The first hour was just a repeat, Viv getting no dances, very few men, few good women. After an hour though it picked up, and became a great afternoon. We will give it another go next week, maybe come a little later.

Nuevo Chique continues to deliver. We never get bored, just exhausted. Every Tuesday and Thursday four hours of solid dancing. We did the late turn again arriving at seven and leaving when it closed. Then taking the colectivo over to Armenia for another session with Otras Aires. We have been lucky enough to see them twice this time. Whilst an entrada of 180$ar is expensive in Buenos Aires terms at a little over £6, it is a bargain in European terms.

This time we had a table of four; Viv and I, Semiha and a Dane called Fin. We confused the hell out of the waiter, asking for two litres of beer, a glass of wine, six empanadas and cannelloni. He kept trying to escape, thinking we had finished.   He really did not know what was happening when we ordered more beer. It never ceases to amaze me how little the Argentines drink, I have seen women in milongas sit there for three hours and drink nothing, and this being such a hot dusty country.

We had our annual trip out to Flores again for the meeting of the United nations, there were eleven nations represented there. Forget round table talks, if you want world peace, the leaders should all dance tango. We did drink a lot of vino today though.

Well, off out again, not one of our best days, Monday and we are late so may have trouble getting a seat.

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More post office madness

There were three girls serving today at the Coreo, so a good chance of me not meeting up with jobsworth then. I should have known better. She was locked down with one customer, while the other two were getting through them quite quickly then, when there was only one in front of me, she served him and suddenly became a vision of efficiency. The other two girls disappeared and I was left with her again. This time the problem was that the return address did not match my passport “WHAT!”

I am making a new rule “Never try to post on a Wednesday” that is the day she is there and there really is no point in even trying.

Milonga de Juan was quiet as usual when we arrived, but we both did well for dances. As time went on and new people came we danced with them and so we were kept dancing. Until about seven that is, then it just dried up. It was raining outside so we were in no hurry to leave, we had no coats or umbrella. Then came the sorteo first number out was 415, the guy next to me was pointing to my ticket. Perhaps he thought I did not understand, but I just said “no dieciseis” my number was 416. Close call a free entry next week would have been nice. No one claimed so it was re-drawn and low and behold it was Viv. So now we have that free entry next week anyway.

I did a last dance with Mercedes, Viv was already on here way. After my dance I changed my shoes and again Juan had saved his best tanda for when we leave, Carlos DiSarli. Viv was already out in the toilets changing, cursing as well when I got to her. That’s how it goes sometimes.

Our favourite new café on San Jose and Alsina was all shut up. It is supposed to be open so we went instead to the one on Alsina and Peña the coffee was not as good but I had a nice pastry (can’t answer for Viv ). We stayed until the rain stopped then set off for our colectivo home.

Viv managed to get a seat in the front but I stood. All the way home I got thrown around, far more than is usual. When we got off Viv said that the driver was texting all the way, even putting on emojis. She said he would be sacked at home, I said I think that he would probably go to prison for driving a PSV whilst texting. Here though, anything goes.

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Hitting the wall

We have settled into a pattern, one good milonga, one bad. So  Friday at El Abrazo we did not expect much. So it was at the start, Viv was not missing tandas, but she was, just the same struggling. By an hour in though we were in our stride, it was non stop tango for us both.

I sat out the usual Pugliese but apart from that I never rested.  So by half seven we had been there four hours, I was in need of some food and rest.  Then I just hit the wall, I had nothing left.  I missed three tandas and changed my shoes. On seeing this Viv came over, I told her I would go for a coffee and she could stay.  She was having a great time, but she came with me anyway.

Highlight of my day though was a dance with Eli, the organizer. It has taken me a while, but I finally got there.

After a coffee and some apple crumble I felt ok again, but for today El Beso was over. Fed up with Corrientes we walked home along Lavalle for a change, picking up some stout and bread on our way.

Two days on the run, four hours dancing without rest, must be some sort of record.

Saturday we were washed out. We took the subte down to town to pick some things up for Viv, but the day has just been a relaxing one. I did not even make it to see the rugby.

Of interest today though was our butcher. It is a world wide phenomenon to make fun of foreigners, to me this is not demeaning, just enjoying the difference.  Well today the butcher was having great fun at my expense, it made him happy and we had a laugh about it as well. Of all people, I have no right to take offense, and non was taken.

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Dia de Mujer

Another day, another demonstration. I often wonder if people here could find some more productive way of spending their time, that said  I have never come across any violence or threats.

Nuevo Chique is reaching new heights all the time. Time was we would leave a milonga when Viv was fed up, too much sitting and not dancing. Now we leave when she has danced so much she can hardly stand. Four hours again of constant dancing, no wonder I am knackered these days. We left at eight not really ready for what was to come.

The street outside was packed even here three blocks from congress. Hipolito Yrigoyen was closed off, so there was no chance of a colectivo. Our way was completely blocked back to Plaza de Mayo so we could not reach the C line subte. Nothing for it but to head across toward Corrientes and the D line. Even here our way was not easy, people everywhere, with cameras, with banners, wearing clothing that protested about something or other. I must say my favourite was the ladies protesting about being allowed to go topless on the beaches. (use your imagination)

When we finally got to Corrientes, we were on Callao. The steps down to the subte were blocked with people. So we had to walk all the way. 4 kilometres is not normally that far for us, but it was hard going after 4 hours dancing. Time for beer I think.

We stopped at El Imaginario, not the best, but we like the courtyard. Outside without having to bear the traffic. The first beer was gone before the food arrived. The second bottle was savoured over our salad and empanadas. Two things I really like about this place; the outside space, and only one block to walk home. This is important after two litres of 6% beer and an exhausting day. I won’t need much rocking tonight.

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Lita Morales

Well, I did not put it in yesterdays blog as I had to do some fact checking, but I had the honour to dance with a lady yesterday, now living in the states. Turns out she is the daughter of Lita Morales. This has to be the highlight of my trip. Moral of the story, never ignore that older lady at the back, she may have some secret that will surprise you.

She told me she travelled with an orquesta as a child, but seemed reluctant to tell me any more. I asked her who her parents were and she seemed suspicious of me asking. But when I extracted who her mother was she seemed surprised I had heard of her. Nice for us both then I suppose.

I danced with her again tonight at Milonga de Juan. The milonga itself was a disappointment today, too few people, although Viv did get some new dances. All in all though it was tough going. Then we had a fire test. Now at home, we have an alarm and everyone knows what is going on, even if you don’t hear the announcement, here they do it different. They had announced it earlier, but then they just stopped the music and put the lights out. Some even thought “corta de luz” it must have taken ten minutes for everyone to realize. By then we would have all been toast.

Well by half six we had , had enough and left. There is a new café on the corner under Casa Galicia called Espacio Café, so we thought we would give it a try. Nice coffee and media lunes only 60$ar. Unfortunately he closes at seven, so it is unlikely to be a regular call for us, even though I told him to stay open on Tuesday and Thursday. The patron was Italian which was good for me as it meant Spanish was a second language for him. We had quite a chat, possibly the best I have had yet.

Any one confused by my Facebook post La Nacional is the building in which Milonga de Juan is held, there is no Facebook page yet for Espacio Café.

Afterwards we walked back to congresso to catch our colectivo. There was a small queue and no sign of a bus. Up at Callao there was an anti abortion  demonstration going on. Looks like no busses tonight. After waiting ten minutes we decided to walk to Corrientes y Callao and catch the subte.

At least they were running and we stepped straight on. One way or another we can always get home here.

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