Tag Archives: 1810

Nu shoos

Great news this morning; my house has been broken in to. The police are doing a great job, they already have one of the guys, I will not let it worry me, I will deal with it when I get home.

Nothing for it but some retail therapy. Our first stop was a sports wear shop. It all looked a bit expensive and not really us. So we moved on to Sweet Victoria. I buy my underpants here and always have a good chat with the lady. They only had three pair in my size, so I bought them. Easy to please, that’s me. Meanwhile the girl was doing her best sales technique on Viv. She managed to get her to try a sports top. It looked good but “you need the matching leggings”. So she tried them on then another top. So while I spent $1500 on what I actually came out for Viv spent $4500 on something she did not intend.

We moved on to DNI. When we got there, there was no sign of life. The guy in the cafe said it opened at twelve. So rather than walk home (only a block away) we stopped for a coffee and cookie.

I managed to find some shoes for me, so that is me set up for cruising. Not my usual style, do you think it will make me a better dancer?

Off to Los consegrados again today. It looks like the numbers are down again but I am doing pretty well. Viv however was not. I tried to dance with her a few times but she was not happy and by seven she’d had enough. I did another milonga with a lady from Uruguay and then joined her in the foyer.

So we took the subte to Bolivar and changed onto the D line getting off at Scalabrini. From there we walked to 1810. We thought we would try something different this time, so we ordered a five ingredient salad and their version of cottage pie. It was very good, but I am struggling with my teeth at the moment and it took the enjoyment away for me.

On the walk home we passed another Murga session in Parque Latinoamerica. It just sounds like noise to me, but the locals seem to enjoy it. Then it was home to watch another film.

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Just no leaving Consegrados

The daily shopping trip involved the butchers again today, this time though I was armed with some small notes so $209 was less of a problem. I had change then as well for the fruit lady. As I get the hang of it each year inflation kicks in and everything changes.  When I got back Viv asked what happened to the change she put in my shirt pocket, with a peso now being worth little more than a penny, I was not too bothered.

I had a trip upstairs to the laundry room. (Never had washing machines and is now a junk store, do try and keep up) My tins of paint were buried under the stuff from the painters. Had I known I would have used their grey for the chairs. The paint cost me little, but most of it remains unused, and I hate waste. The thing that struck me though, was it was all dumped in a pile. The paint, the brushes, the ropes and their harnesses. When you are hanging off a building, your life depends on these ropes.  To treat them in such a cavalier manner, to me, is madness.

Spent the rest of the morning touching up the paintwork, to make the place nice for our tenant.

So off again to Los Consegrados. There seems to have been a quantum shift here, neither of us stopped dancing until the cumbia came on at 8:30. I was ready to leave earlier, but Viv was having such a good time, it was not going to happen. We both danced with some new people tonight. Hopefully they will be future partners as well.

Afterwards we left for 1810. We decided to just have a variety of empanadas and a salad tonight. The cottage pie looked tempting as well, although that is not what they called it. No litre bottles of beer though so the four porrones bumped the price up. Still can’t complain at £15 for a meal for two with drinks.

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Back to 1810

We seem to get up later every day. I am starting to wonder, at what point will we miss a day completely?

My daily routine now involves walking down Salgureo through Rauch crossing Medrano and then through Rocamora. On finding that the welder man is not there walking back again, usually via the chino for something that Viv has asked me to get. I don’t know what I will do with myself when I finally get my chair back. This morning though I met Sebastian’s wife Maria at the door. She was with her daughter and carrying a cat basket. It appears they have purchased a kitten. It is a cute little thing, but they have not yet named it.

Saturday and it is Los Consegrados. We arrive a little later today but it is no problem, only us extranjeros arrive anywhere early. The dancing goes in phases, when Viv was doing well I was not and visa versa. It was never bad for me and Viv was having a good time too. I had a young American guy sitting by me, he was struggling. I told him that as he was not known he should walk around, many of the ladies would have trouble seeing him. He did not take my advice, at least while I was still there. He still thinks he must cabeceo from his seat.

Just after eight we left, and wouldn’t you know it, Tango Negro was playing.  Now am I the only husband whose wife  rushes ahead, and then says “I was following you”? At the front of the building I head off to the right, meanwhile Viv is being accosted by a Remis Driver.  She said she only told him she did not need a car, but it looked a long conversation to me. All my fault again, apparently.

We took the subte to Catedral and Joined the D line, then on to Scalabrini Ortiz.  I found my way easily, but ease can be deceptive. We wanted Julian Alverez to get to 1810 but it turned out we were on Aroaz. Fortunately when we found out we were only one block from our destination.

The food was good as always. It is not the cheapest, but compared to UK prices it is still good, and worth it. Still less than £20 with beer and tip.

We walked back looking for Cafe Vinilo. Turns out I was the right side Of Salguero all along, wrong Street. It was on Gorriti not Cabrera. Still a wasted journey though, it will be closed until 8th January.

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Catch up time

I seem to be remiss these days. I suppose that as time goes by, I find more to do here and less time to write.

Our last trip out to Canning was more successful. So now, it appears, we will be going regularly. This time it was followed by a trip to 1810.  The food here is still good and cheap, but the menu is limited. For us, they have the best empanadas in Buenos Aires, I’m sure some will disagree, but taste is always subjective.

My towel went missing last week and I was unable to find it. My pronunciation of “He perdido mis toalla” just drew blank expressions. However on Friday in El Beso, Marcelo came in to sit by me as usual. He said “Tengo you towel” probably a lot better than my attempts to ask for it. As I had, by now bought a new one, it means I now, at last have a spare. Twas not the best El Beso day so we again retired to The Coffee Store and had some medialunas with it.

On Saturday we decided on Los Consegrados. I had texted Maria, to tell her we would be going and not to Obalisco. I did not expect her to turn up. So I was quite surprised when I saw Feto sitting on the next table to me. Soon after Maria arrived. We had some good dances here, and Viv pronounced herself satisfied.

Afterwards we took the colectivo home. Feto knew  better than me where the stop was. I thought it was on Entre Rios, but it was, in fact much closer. We jumped off way before Gascon, Marias stop. Feto and Maria wanted to come with us but I told them to stay on. I am relying on the fact that Feto is local and knew where to get off.

Sunday is designated rest day now that Fulgor is closed. I don’t get much rest though. First there was a bit of gardening to do. Repot the Money tree and plant the thing Walter had in water. I had some compost left over and that went into the ginger plant. It was looking a bit hungry. I also polished the mesita in the lounge.

We then set off for Easy. On the way we stopped at Murillo for a coffee. There was an offer “Media porcion torta y café $125” well it was too good to resist, so we had the apple pie (Tarta Manzana). Maria called while we were there but my internet was patchy and we were not going dancing tonight.

In Easy, we could not find tiles that would do the job. I wanted something for the window ledges, but we settled on some architrave made with fibre and covered to look like oak. The ones we chose had been reduced to half price. We also chose a “hamper” for the dirty washing.  At the till it came to $4,000, far too high I thought. I queried it. She had not charged us the lower price. She called for a supervisor and continued serving other customers. I went with the supervisor to check the price. When we came back the price was put into the till and the supervisor left. We were left standing on the outside of the till, while the queue got bigger the other side and we were ignored. After an interminable time we managed to get the supervisor back and she opened another till for us.  The original till girl had no intention of ever serving us again.

It was quite a walk back with my two 8′ lengths of architrave, avoiding all the overhangs as well as the traffic.

There was an organic vegetarian bar opposite El Imaginario. It is gone now, I never saw too many customers in the time it was there. Now there is a new bar “Zorra” so for a change we thought we would give it a try. The range of food is quite different to the usual Argentine fare I had Bondiola wraps and Viv chicken quesadillas, as we had two each we swapped one. I shared some of my chips ( don’t know why I got chips and she did not) and we had some salad stuff with it.  They did not have black beer here, so we tried their “Caramelo”. It was so nice we had more.

I think we will be coming back here.

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A hot one

Apart from the usual shopping trip out there was little to report on our morning. Then it was out again to afternoon milonga at Nuevo Chique. We arrived early as always and things did not look good, we had already been grilled as we walked along Uruguay. Now we were met with near darkness. Every time the temperature goes up here there are power cuts and today it was the turn of Casa Galicia. I am not sure how this works, but there was power for some lights and a portable sound system, but non for the main sound system and non for the air conditioners. The ceiling fans seemed to be working though so we had some air movement, just no chilling.

I commented that the Edisur building was next door, a building full of electricity and one woman said ” and across the road is the Peronist party headquarters, they never have power cuts”. I could have thrown a cable across and got us some power, but I don’t think they would allow it.

Some left early due to the poor sound, others soon after because of the heat. Still for the first two hours at least Viv never missed a tanda. Unusually for me I missed some just because I was too hot, but we braved it out until after seven and the Pugliese. Three hours is enough anyway and certainly in this heat.

Many women commented that my shirt was dry, most of the other men were drenched in sweat. Like I say, it’s hard to get me too hot. My towel did get some use though and I had some cold washes. Good quality cotton helps, I suppose.

We headed out into the heat, it was still up in the thirties, and the rain from overflowing aircons was everywhere.  El Revolutionario was still not open, and it looks like it may remain shut for some time. I noticed today that the letters over the door in red are no longer there, perhaps the revolution has been overthrown.

So we jumped on the next 151 and set off for Cordoba. It is always strange passing our building, I want to jump off, but then we would have further to walk. As it was we had nine blocks to walk but it was worth it. Our first visit to 1810 this year, but they never gave us the spicy salsa. A few years ago they stopped, but tonight I noticed that they gave it to later diners.

Still we enjoyed out Stella Noir and empanadas followed by lentejas for Viv and Carbonada for me. We always enjoy the food here, but not so much the long walk home.

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El Arranque Dos

They say you can never go back, I think that means you can never re-create old times. El Arranque was never going to be the same in another venue and Castelbamba was never my favourite venue.

So while I watched the Rugby and all my sides lose Viv said she was off. I had bad reports from Thursday, but she was not going to believe them. When I arrived she seemed happy enough, although the chairs we were offered would not have looked out of place on a tip. She said she had done better than Friday for dances. Right from the start I struggled, not only was the floor too small, but some men were dancing on the rough tiles at the side and then pushing their way on to the floor. There were almost no women here I recognized and the standard was not great. Dora turned up and we had a nice dance, but she did not stay long, most women were abandoning the place quite quickly.

Viv says she did not stop for two hours, but as the evening went on she too had trouble getting dances. In the end we did not stay for La Cumparsita we left half an hour early and decided to walk up Corrientes.

Outside they had closed the street off. There was Jazz playing and stalls selling books of all sorts (not English though). There was quite an atmosphere but not many places to eat. I said that I fancied 1810 but Viv said she thought it was a long way, “Just a hop on the subte” I said, so 1810 it was.

In times past they would have been queuing out of the door, not so tonight. They have re-instated the bread and salsa picante so Viv dived straight in. Then she had a coughing fit so they brought her a glass of water “Serves you right for being greedy” I said.  Best empanadas in Buenos Aires and black beer. What more can you ask? Then came the lentejas for Viv and my carbonada. Another beer is needed, I think. Normally Viv tries to restrict my input but she misread the lable on the beer. 975 CL looks like 0.75 when you have bad eyes, I did not put her right until the bottle was half gone.

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Another El Arranque Saturday. Erwin (The DJ) excelled, I really intended not to dance every tanda, but the great music just kept coming.

Reports from Viv is that she only missed just one tanda. It is getting so that we look forward to the cumbia, just so that we can have a rest.

Las borrachas both gave me two dances, and a few others did the same. There are still one or two ladies that I cannot crack, but I am sure my time will come. Time was that here I struggled and so did Viv, it’s a good feeling not having to sit out.

We eat out on a Saturday, today we are heading for 1810. Traditional Tucaman food served in the heart of Palermo. Another adventure, we took the subte and changed at Puerradon onto the H line. This was a leap of faith, as last year we could not get from the H line onto the D line as the station had not been built. We need not have worried, it all went smoothly and we soon arrived at Bulnes station.

The prices have risen quite a lot here at 1810, particularly the beer. 50$ar for a porron of stout, that is £2.50 for a third of a litre . So we did not go mad. We did however enjoy some excellent empanadas and a rather fine salad followed by coffee. We have been coming here since 2008 and this is the first time that they have served coffee. It is also the first time we have been here on a Saturday night and there has not been a queue waiting for tables. In fact only two other tables were occupied. The high prices are starting to hit.

We stopped off on the way home for our pudding, dark chocolate ice cream. They still think we are strange buying a quarter kilo of just one flavor, the locals mix them all up.

Then called in the chino for some proper beer, a litre of Quilmes stout. Knackered as I am, it will still help me sleep.

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Back to Buenos Aires

We shared a last drink with Roger at the bus station, then it was time to board. there was much man hugging and we waved him goodbye as the bus pulled out.
Our last trip we were downstairs, but now we were on the top. Right next to the girl with the microphone. I really did not know how to react to the bible reading, especially as I could only understand every tenth word or so. I also did not realise when she had gone into prayer mode, at least until she said amen.
The food was ok, at least a lot better than you get on National Express. funny how the serve a cold meal followed by a hot one. We were ready this time though and saved our cake until after the meal.
I was constantly disturbed during the night, by the toll booths, the stops for passengers and the traffic lights. Funnily enough though I still felt rested when we arrived at Retiro.
On leaving the bus we were immediately accosted by Remis drivers. I asked at the booth, “Quanto a Almagro?” “$120” too much we turned away.
We had come down in the heaviest traffic and it only cost us $85, so we went outside to find a taxi.
The taxis would not pick us up from here, we were told to go downstairs. There there was a big queue but it soon dissipated and we were soon in a taxi. Our very first female driver.
I wondered how she would cope, but she seemed totally unfazed by the aggression normally shown to drivers here. In fact she negotiated very smoothly through the tightest of gaps.
She drove us straight up Cordoba, left into Bulnes then right into Guardia Vieja. Perfect route, no detours and very quick.
Only $65 I asked if she had a card as I would use her again but she had non, shame.

While going out for a picture hook Sebastian accosted me, he had a parcel too big to go under the door. It was some decorations sent by Dave and Alma (Thanks) unfortunately they must have arrived after we left, so too late for Christmas. Shame again.

We need some food before we go out and we don’t have a thing in. So it is off to the local amacen for some bread and cheese to toast.
I never quite get the hang of these places. I bought the bread then had to queue for the cheese, then go back to the till to pay. So here we go “Medio kilo Mar del Plata por favor” The girl took the chunk of cheese it weighed 650 grams. It would have done me but no. she went to the back and found another block. I have never seen anything quite so remarkable, she cut a chunk off and put it on the scale. It was not 499.5 or 500.5 but dead on 500 gram. Amazing, and it toasted beautifully as well.
We went back to El Arranque today and enjoyed some excellent dances, they are so friendly there.
By 7:30 though Viv had had enough so I was given my marching orders. We set off for 1810 and some empanadas and lentils.
Sat there by the window we were fascinated by the street scene; an old woman dragging a huge bucket, she seemed to be having some difficulty. She left the bucket opposite where we were sitting and carried on farther down the street. She came back after a while with a broom and proceeded to sweep the road. Then she disappeared again coming back with what looked like some rags. She pushed the rags into the bucket with the broom handle.
It was like she was doing the washing. Finally satisfied she sat and waited, I said “perhaps she is waiting for the rinse cycle”.
Turns out the bucket was, full of water, because then she tipped it over the pavement. She then proceeded to take all her items away.
When we had finished our meal we walked back and found her filling the bucket again from an outside tap.
I have no idea why she did not do what she had to do by the tap, or why she was cleaning the road, or even if she was actually doing any washing. It is all a mystery.

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Old waiters never die, they just go to Coca Cola

All I intended doing today was hang the curtain rail in the bedroom. Not a difficult task in the grand scheme of things.
When I awoke Viv was already up and I put the bedside light on to check the time. It didn’t work, so I tried the other one, that didn’t work either, nor did the main light. Not sure if the power was off, I looked out of the window and sure enough the traffic lights were off.
This meant I could not fit the rail, no electric, no drill. It seemed much quieter outside though, for once buses, cars and motorbikes were not revving up waiting for the green light. Also it looked like they were more considerate to pedestrians, perhaps they should turn them all off.
Anyway, I could join the rails to the bend I had bought. That was a job and a half in itself. Trouble is our rail was five eighths of an inch, the bend was fifteen millimeters. (note the rail was five eights outside diameter and the bend fifteen millimeter outside) So one was not about to fit inside the other easily. I pushed and poked I even tried heating up the rail, but in the end only supreme effort got it in. Once joined, let no man put asunder. Well I was not about to try and separate them again.
I asked Sebastian (Our portero) if I could borrow a drill. As always happens, I did not understand the answer. He said something about the electric. I nodded sagely and said “when the electric comes back” or words to that effect. It seems he doesn’t understand me either because he said “No se” meaning he didn’t know when it would be back. I just meant I could use the drill when it returned. Never the less he turned up with the drill ten minutes later, explaining how I should use the chuck key. “Soy ingeniero” I said. Then he asked if I had drill bits and I said I had.
Later when we finally had electric, I looked but could not find my drill bit. I knew I had bought one last year, but I went out to the feretaria again for another.
Typically when I had finished, I found not only the drill bit but also all the screws and plugs that I would have needed. So I had had two trips to the fereteria for nothing and a box full of stuff that will probably never get used.
We had planned to go to a private milonga that we had been invited to at Conventillo de Lujo but it had been cancelled. This was fortunate as Janis wanted us to go to El Arranque, so we arranged to meet Brigitte there as well.
When I got in I said “separados pero una mesa por tres mujeres”.
I don’t think I missed a dance here, it was amazing and all the ladies were very complimentary. I think I was dancing with Viv when Janis arrived but the waiter was not sure where to put her so she waited until we sat down again. Not long after Brigitte arrived as well and the ladies were having a grand old chatter. No wonder they missed dances, I had a job getting them up. I even had to go over to their table to get one of them up.
When I danced with Brigitte she asked why I was sitting on a different table. I said it is so that I can dance and so that you will be asked.
While dancing with Janis she told me about Carlito the waiter who was always here, apparently he now works for Coca Cola. A waste of a great waiter we both agreed.
When the chacarera came on Viv again saw a chance to neglect her duty and got Janis to dance with me. She also decided it would be a good chance to change her shoes as she was getting hungry.
The next tanda was D’Arienzo so I danced half a tanda with Janis, I think she is more afraid of Viv than I am because she stopped when she saw Viv waiting.
Any way while Janis set off for Lo de Celia we went to 1810 for empanadas and lentejas, washed down with Quilmes Negra. Well that made Viv happy and Brigitte as well, I think. So afterwards we loaded Brigitte on to the subte at Scalabrini Ortiz and set off for home and our submarinos.

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Wierdo Central

Our daily trip to the supermarket was tinged with a bit of excitement today. Crossing the roads here is always a bit challenging to say the least. There are a number of unmarked cross roads and the only way to get across is to use a car coming from our direction as a shield. This does not work, of course when the one way system means that they are all coming the opposite way. So you take the challenge, toss the dice, and sometimes just run for it. Just when you think you have it sussed they stick something new into the mix. They now have cycle lanes and the bikes do not respect the one way system. You think “now I am clear” and cross the road only to be attacked by cyclists coming from the wrong direction. You would think all this excitement enough, but today we had a motorcycle chase up one of our streets, and, yes, they were going the wrong way. Still at least we had some prior warning, the police bike was wailing and screaming, with blue lights flashing.

We never found out what the motorcyclist had done or if he was ever caught, but it enlivened our morning.

As usual in the supermarket, nothing was as usual. We came for avena (oats) they had none. Sultanas? Only with stones. This is a supermarket? Ibuprofen? “no” It was getting like the Monty Python cheese sketch. Still we found some massive medialunas to have with our morning coffee, so big we only needed one each.

After our coffee we set off for the headboard. Viv was a bit worried about how far we had to carry it, but we were only out twenty minutes in total and that included the time spent paying for it. We also had to wait for the man to carry it to the door; he was not going to allow us to carry it through his shop. We had plenty of rests at the road junctions, and had no trouble fitting it in the lift, so all in all a trouble free collection.

Confiteria Ideal is becoming one of my favourite haunts for a Friday now, but Viv has labeled it Weirdo Central. Because we were later than usual I was not given the best of seats, which meant I had to stand to cabeceo. I resisted the temptation to walk around the room for at least an hour, but from where I was, I had little option.  I could not even get a dance with my Mataderos lady until I went on walk about. I now know her name is Theresa, I told her my “wife says we are as good as married because we had three dances together”. She laughed and said “I am too old for you”. I had a tanda with the French lady that I did chacarera with last week and after she introduced me to her husband, we did chacarera again.

Now Viv meanwhile had a good seat where she could see the whole piso. But still she did not look happy; last week a tango singer was coming on very strong to her. We were sitting together and she introduced me to him, thinking that would be the end of it. She danced with him again today and he tried again she said “My husband is standing behind you” he feigned bad memory, then further on in the tanda said”I want to go for coffee with you”. Well we all know what coffee means here, don’t we?

Because of where I was sat, I had paid for my drink when the waiter brought it, but Viv still had to pay for hers. She had decided to go downstairs, but told me to stay. It took her another hour to attract the waiter again, but at least in the meantime she did get a few more dances.

She had looked so sad there, I knew the one thing that would cheer her up; lentejas at 1810 and some Quilmes, just what doctor Bob ordered.

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