Tag Archives: Abasto


Viv has ordered a rest day again, so before I get cabin fever, I set out for a walk.

I thought I would check out Plaza Almagro, but, unusually there was nothing happening there. I carried on walking along Bulnes. When I got to Bartolome Mitre I turned left. It was in one of these buildings we used to go for lessons with Juan. Long ago now and I cannot remember which one it was.

As I passed Juean Jaures things got difficult, the pavement disappeared and there were a number of buses coming through.  At the end of this anti pedestrian section it opened up again and I found myself in a memorial Garden for the Victims of the Cromañon disaster. 12Dec 2004, 194 people killed and about 1,500 injured when the Nightclub Republica Cromañon burned down.

You can read more here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rep%C3%BAblica_Croma%C3%B1%C3%B3n_nightclub_fire

After my little walk, Viv decided she wanted to go out now so we set out for Augustus. They were not actually closed, but the chairs were all on the tables and they were flushing out the floor. (The best way I can describe it. They throw lots of water down and then squeegee it out of the door). So we went, instead to Naranja y flor. Very nice torte, but I could not eat a whole one, so we shared.

Viv was still not happy, “We should go to the Abasto ” she said. Now when a woman says “you will be safe, I have not brought any money out with me” IT IS A TRICK. She just ended up spending mine. Funny how many things you did not know you needed.

I can’t complain too much, the prices now are cheap. When it was $15 to the pound we never came in here but at $95, well suddenly it does not seem so expensive. And we have that back steak for later.

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They talk funny here

I pride myself on knowing the streets around here, so when a car stopped us in Humahaca I was more than willing to help. The problem was I have just never heard of San Suarez. They drove off, probably thinking “Stupid Extranjeros”. It bothered me though and I kept turning it over in my mind, I had to have miss heard. Then it clicked they wanted ” Jean Juares”. They had asked how many blocks, now I realized that they could not actually make it on this road, The Abasto centre is in the way, depending on what number they want, the one way system will lead them a merry chase.

Club Fulgor was always packed out for Carnival. Tonight there were a few new people, but never more than about two dozen. Elsa did us proud though, supplying hats and masks and even a foam Tie for me. For some reason, even though it was the same crowd, same music, we had a whale of a time. Just like the old days.

After we had donned all our gear I was asked to take their photos, then asked to send them via Watsapp. Well if I had trouble with Jean Juares, it was nothing compared to this. Now however I had time and we actually figured it out. Watsapp and the internet here, well that was a whole new problem.

A table of three arrived later, two men. So Bebe got some extra dances. I thought at first that they were locals I had not yet met, but It turns out that they were American Cabin crew, so their language skills were excellent. Viv wanted to dance with one of them, but they were not playing, yet. I went over to talk and the tall one and the lady were a couple. I mentioned D’Sarli and behold a tanda came on. The lady had changed her shoes and he was disappointed, a chance for me “My wife would love to dance it with you” so off they went. The night was closing though and Elsa was collecting her stuff so she never finished the tanda.  Maybe we can get them to Beso tomorrow.

Maria and Pedro

You know who

Bebe and Marian

Bob, Elsa, Maria, Pedro, Front row, Bebe and Marian

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A cold damp day

I expect no sympathy from home, cold here is twenty degrees, but people still look miserable on the street. They don’t know when to be happy here, yesterday they were complaining “it’s too hot and humid” today it is cold and wet. I still have my shorts on in the day though and sleep without covers at night.

I needed no protection when I went over to the supermarket for milk, although I did see people with umbrellas. Not really needed, as this is only light rain, nothing like the torrent we had yesterday. The biggest risk is getting splashed from the water under the loose flags, not from falling rain.

Not to be put off we set off on a walk down Corrientes. We found a Chinese run shop that had a few things we needed, but ended up inevitably in the Abasto Centre. It’s all a bit high-end for me in here, but still at times amusing. There is a men’s clothing shop called Bridge End, trying hard to be very English. There are union flags everywhere even on belt buckles, then I noticed underpants printed with the London Underground. Begs the obvious question “Where is Cockfosters?”

We had a quick root around in Coto on the way back. I was not for buying anything, I don’t have enough life left for the queues here, but I just wanted to look if they had any chairs. Nothing of any good is the answer. So we bought some biscuits in the local Chino and went home for a coffee.

We never know what to expect when we return to a milonga, Fulgor was still there, but we were on our own when we arrived. Roberto is still running it and Ruben is still the DJ. His music seems to have improved, but we still get the tropical every half hour.  The numbers never passed a dozen though and I still wonder how long can this carry on. We got the usual kisses off Bebe at the door and Marian Roberto and Ruben. Then as the regulars arrived we had to stop dancing each time to be welcomed back.

There was no Norma tonight but I did get a dance with Bebe. They may be low in numbers here but they do have a good time, nobody comes here to be miserable and we danced our socks off.


We managed to get home without getting wet as well, so a good night then.

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Help at the Bank

I set out early this morning, well early for me anyway. So I was at the bank by 9:30, the trouble was, nobody else was there. Never the less the machine seemed to be working, so I set about trying to pay my expensas. After three attempts I seemed to have reached some sort of result, then it said “come back later”. So that was it then.

I stopped off at Farmacity on my way back to try the scales. I fully expected a good weight loss, as we have hardly eaten anything. Imagine my shock when I find I have put on half a kilo. Must have been Philippe’s cooking last night. Viv says all the exercise means that I have put on bulk. Hm, well I am not going to kid myself.

After a due wait I set out again. First stop was the feretaria across the road. I had bought some staples here and they would not fit my gun. The guy insisted the problem was my gun and absolutely refused to give me my money back. His staples were fine, but so is my gun, just different sizes. I left annoyed, but there is a fereteria on every corner here and I often buy tools and other hardware. He needs me more than I need him.

I set off for the bank again, in low spirit. The omens were not good. For once there was almost no queue and the two machines were on, but there was a problem. I don’t know what it was but a man from the bank was attending one of the machines. I got to the other and proceeded  along the lines I had followed earlier. Then “come back later” so I did it again, same result. They have been very unhelpful up to now,  but hope springs eternal, I asked the man for help. For once I got, not only the help I needed but in a way that should help in the future. It seems I need to make a deposit, not pay a bill, if you don’t know, you just cannot fathom it.

Afterwards I did have to chase around for a pen, but some quick notes are hopefully going to help next month. Watch this space.

We had some bad news today; after 17 years El Arranque is to close on 25th February. It is the talk of the day, it will be a very sad day when it finishes.

Of down to El Beso again today, on the way down we were entertained by some Eric Clapton music, played live. I don’t think Eric has anything to worry about from this guy. People were still clapping and giving him money though. I just wish the sheriff had shot him first.

El Abrazo is turning into a right good milonga. The down side was that as we came in there was a tanda of DeAngelis I had to sit through some of my favourite vals tracks before I was ready to dance. I think Viv only missed one tanda and apart from one I missed through sheer exhaustion I also danced them all. I even got another dance with the cat lady, things are looking up.

If I could advise my younger self of anything, it would be to learn tango. I know that I am no Richard Gere but now I dance I have the women falling at my feet, one woman keeps telling me I have beautiful eyes. Now I know that is rubbish, if I could change one thing about my appearance it would be my eyes. If you think that all sounds arrogant, remember it is the dancing not me they are after, and they flatter me hoping I will come back to them.

At about seven there was a Chacarera and I danced it with Viv, after that Mario played some electronic rubbish. We decided it was time to go, after I had changed my shoes and kissed everyone goodbye Mario played Café Dominguez. It was my turn to say “you are a bad man” he could have put almost any other track on, but this was just unfair.

Another bad trip home on the subte; when the train stopped at Pueyrredon there was some sort of alarm then we saw a doctor run past. We knew he was a doctor because he had a stethoscope. The doors stayed open and the train was going nowhere. I decided that as it was only Pueyrredon we should walk. Viv was surprised how quickly we reached The Abasto, so while we were here we went to see if Philippe’s favourite restaurant El Rey was still there. Good job we did they are away on vacation until 15th.

The rain held off until we got back so we stopped off at the chino for some hot bread, yummy. Nice with some Quilmes Stout.


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I woke to Viv crashing about, she had lost her watch, how she managed this in such a small place is a mystery. Watch this space.

It never ceases to amaze me here; they have closed off Guardia Vieja to do some job at Medrano end. The reason it surprises me is that it is Early on a Sunday morning. Normally they wait for the rush hour.

Our daughter has been in touch, she tried to ring us, as it is Mothers Day. We have only just lost the phone and have not told anyone yet. The Joys of living in Argentina.

In the days that have passed since my computer died I have been doing a bit of balcony Gardening. You have no idea how hard it is when the only place to step is the bag of compost you have just bought. However we set out today to get some more and finish the re potting.

The place up Corrientes is closed Sundays (Yeh garden centre closed Sunday) so I could not get any gravel. We stopped at the place on Figuera and could not decide whether we needed two small bags of compost or a big one. In the end we came back with two small ones. Just as well as I only used one of them.


Its looking very green now ready for the leaves to fall.

After some lunch we took a walk down to Gardel, then we thought we would go into the Abasto and have a frozen Yogurt. Just our luck, the frozen yogurt place is now selling chock ices, so we headed out into the sunshine again.

Down in Gardel we found a seat outside a rather empty looking café. “Dos Chop?” I asked. Seems he wanted to sell us Heineken, so we managed to get a litre of Quilmes stout instead.

The guy would not leave us alone though. He kept coming back to refill our glasses and asking us if we wanted more beer. We just wanted to relax in the sun, no wonder the place was empty. He also kept trying to talk English, and just served to confuse us. When I paid he had the nerve to ask if we wanted our change. I left a tip, as I felt obliged but I thought he was just a bit too up front.

Vivs watch turned up just before we set off for Club Fulgor. It was with all the cables and adaptors in the desk. She had put the kindle adapter back apparently and her watch with it.

They are still doing daft things with the tandas in Fulgor. I got Norma up when Fresedo was playing, but the next tracks were all Biagi. I like Biagi but it nearly killed Norma, I think she had to go out for another cigarette afterwards.

We did not win the sorteo again either, so I had to buy another beer. Still in UK terms it is still a cheap night.


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Carlos Gardel

As we did not get a chance to show the ladies the Gardel house, I thought we would visit ourselves and get a few photos. RIMG1405



The house is in the shape of a Conventillo. It would not have had a roof on this bit in Gardels day

The house is in the shape of a Conventillo. It would not have had a roof on this bit in Gardels day

I think we should start an Urban myth here: Have you ever seen Carlos Gardel and George Formby together? I thought not. Both loved horses, both wrote their own music, their times cross over, and lets face it; they look alike.
Looking at the Gardel story, he wanted to leave for a while but was constrained because of his name change. Then look at the plane crash. It was suspicious to say the least, and six people survived including the pilot who was also the company boss. Then George Formby appeared, I think this is suspicious, don’t you?

As we walked out it started raining again. Not heavy but enough to get us wet if we spent too long, so we went into the Abasto Centre. Viv wanted some juice so we headed up to the food hall. Not much chance with all these big chain foodstalls, but we did see one advertising on a blackboard, squeezed orange. “Dos jugos” I asked ” No tengo” she replied. I did want to ask why it was on the blackboard, but sometimes it is not worth the trouble.
Viv then noticed a place doing frozen yogurt. It seems you cannot choose, you either have three toppings or nothing.
We sat down with our yogurt when a lady came begging, she had a child in her arms that she was looking at sympathetically “Dinero para leche por la bebe” she asked. Too long here I have become a cynic, You don’t get that fat on starvation diet. So we ignored her.
Later on our way out, we were vindicated. She was sat at a table, the poor child all but ignored while she stuffed her face with a McDonalds meal. As I said, time here makes you cynical.
Last week we did not know if we would go back to Sala Siranush, but we have decided to give it another try.
Outside the building it was hammering down, I was not sure what to do. Viv said we could try a bus, but that would still involve walking several blocks. A taxi drew up and let someone out, the decision was made. It is a straight run down Cordoba into Armenia so it only came to $27. That is exactly a pound more than the bus, well worth it to keep us dry.
The place was near empty when we arrived and we had little difficulty getting dances. In fact Viv did better than I for the first hour or so. The place filled and then there was a ladies choice. apart from Viv that was the last dance I got. Viv was also having trouble. Then came the rock and roll followed by Pugliese. Then came Zebedee “Time for bed” he said.

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Polvo de Caro

This electric bill is causing problems way above it’s weight. The Coreo again has no power, I remember there being a hoo ha of astronomic proportions at home when the Post Office was shut for one afternoon, here it has been shut for three days now because of a power cut and no one seems that bothered.
I eventually found a PagoFacil but the sign on the door said something of the order “Pay your bills of $40 or more here” mine of course is only $34 so I guess that is out.
Viv needed some face powder and as we were unsuccessful finding Avon se wanted to try the Abasto Centre. We passed Banco Frances and I said she should draw more money, she then dropped the bombshell that she had not brought her card with her.
Needless to say there was nothing in The Abasto at a sensible price so we had to walk back to our apartment again to retrieve her card.
There was little point in going back again so we took the subte to Pueyrredon. Line H is not finished yet and so we could not link here to Santa fe so we got out and walked. Now anyone who has ever used a subte will understand how you can get disoriented when you surface.
We walked along Pueyrredon, I thought and stopped at an HSBC. The Atm refused to give Viv any money. Annoyed I took her card and protested to a member of staff. Fortunately his English was far better than my Spanish, but his understanding of their system was no better than mine. After he tried two machines he gave up and said that there is a Banco Frances two blocks further on.
Again there was no trouble here, I am going to have serious words with my bank when I get home.
When we came out of the bank, to my consternation, I saw a subte sign. “That should not be here on Pueyrredon” I thought. It was at this point I realised we had walked down Corrientes instead and were just following the subte route instead of walking across towards Santa fe.
Time was now too short so we decided to head straight for the school and our asado. We stopped at a kiosco for some drinks and caused chaos, because the fridge was in the doorway and no one could get passed as we tried to decide what to have. The Guy kept shouting “Abri la porta” at me, and queues were forming inside and out.
Eventually we arrived with our precious drinks at about quarter to one, in plenty of time. We spent a pleasant, if somewhat hot hour and a half, on the roof. Eating a range of meats and guzzling down our drinks. Like everyone else we spent most of the time looking for shadows to hide in, from the sun.
My carnivorous lusts sated, we headed off again down Santa fe, in the sun. It doesn’t make good blogging but we found Avon and Viv was able to choose her powder from a catalogue. Apart from the meagre size everything went well.
It was now a bit of a trek home but we found an Ice Cream shop on Cordoba just before Billinghurst. Only Five or so blocks, then we can have a siesta.
As we rush down to the bus stop we see first one 168 pulling away, then another arrived, but our rush to catch it was in vain. There was no way he was stopping.
So when the next one finally arrives, Viv told me she did not have her SUBE card with her. I had enough on my card for three journeys, not enough for four. I was mad this meant we would probably have to walk home.
Obalisco is very busy on a Friday. From my seat it was very difficult to get dances and I usually had to wait until the first track was almost over to get a dance. I could not see Viv at all from where I was and she also did rather badly. To top it all I never managed to attract the waitress and sat there all night without a drink.
When we finally left, we started to walk along Entre Rios and then I saw a Locotorio with a SUBE sign on it. I never expected to be able to charge my card up this late at night.
Of course, as we left a 151 went past. He was stopped for some time but the stop was too far for us to reach in time.
After a while I noticed that there was another stop for the 168/90, so thinking that busses are infrequent this time of night we stood there. Then a 151 flew past, I tried to stop him, but he was going like he had a rocket up his arse.
As there was a queue at this stop we thought it best to wait nearer the 151 stop and eventually another 151 came along.
It was with some relief that we finally arrived outside our door.

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Of Mice and Men

The last few days we were in Buenos Aires, are hectic, so there is little time for me to write. Therefore I am writing up the weekend and our return from home. So if there are any errors or omissions I hope you will forgive me. There is one up side of this though; it extends my holiday mood for a few more days as I recall happy times in the City of Tango.


If the best laid plans of mice and men can go awry, then you will understand how my poor organisation can end up in chaos. We had already postponed our lunch with Philippe due to over booking, but today we had reserved the afternoon for him.

We set off down Guardia Vieja in the hope of visiting Guardia La Vieja again. Unfortunately I had not checked, and it seems they do not open during the day. There are two “Organic” restaurants also on Guardia Vieja, but I don’t do organic. Carrot cake and lettuce leaf butties are not what I think of when thinking food in Argentina.

So we set off down Corrientes, Philippe knew of a place opposite the Abasto called El Rey. He was a bit more reliable and the place was there, and open. It was Chilean food, but somehow we ended up with Pollo Entero again.

The chicken arrived already quartered; there was a huge plate of chips and just for healthy balance a huge plate of salad.  The chicken was cooked to perfection with an unknown (to us) variety of spices. The chips were perfectly browned and even the salad was a good mix. (Usually here they overdo the onion and under do the lettuce). All this was washed down with a fine Malbec.

The only downside of the experience was the door that no one seemed to understand should be shut after going through it. The weather now is getting cooler and nobody likes to sit in a draught.

We finished up with coffee in the apartment. All our business sorted, there was nothing left but to say adios for another year.

My plans for the day continued to go wrong; Janis had said we should meet in Lo de Celia, but we had arranged to meet Roger and Mirta at Consegrados. I checked the times and there was no reason we could not do the two especially as they were only three blocks apart. So I mailed Janis to tell her.

Janis though decided that she would come to Los Consegrados so we all met up there.

Viv and I had a few dances but she was still suffering, so her instruction to go play was not unexpected.

From where we were sitting though it was not easy to cabeceo and I could not really see who I was asking to dance. My first victim was a real surprise, blessed as she was in the chest department, she was also very tall. I think Viv Janis and Mirta were all somewhat amused by me attempts to look dignified as I tried in vain to find somewhere to put my head that would not lead to embarrassment. Still the lady in question did not seem to mind too much and despite my obvious discomfort, I did enjoy the experience.

I also met up with a lady from Windsor called Jane, who is a friend of Janis. I told her if she is ever up north to give us a visit, but I doubt she ever will. Londoners think the world ends at Watford Gap.

We all sort of broke up early. Roger and Mirta were tired and headed off back to their hotel and with Viv not dancing, we decided we had also had enough, by about ten thirty.

Janis stayed on with Jane and we set off into the night.

We do not know this side of town that well. (It is reputed to be dangerous, phffat) I thought we could walk through to Congresso so that is what we did.

Even this late at night some of the buildings were beautiful to look at, although my little camera would not do them justice without the light. We saw a 168 stop, and for a second or two thought about just jumping on, but sometimes after a milongas we just enjoy walking together and reliving some of our experiences. For me some of our best times together are when we are just strolling after the milongas.So we walked on.

When we finally got to Congresso we stopped off at Moncloa the café where we had met Maggi last year. So at close to midnight we had Submarino (Hot milk into which you melt chocolate) and medialunas, watching the never-ending traffic around the square, until it was time to catch our colectivo home.

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It dosn’t get much better than this

We started our day feeling a little down after last night, still as the song goes “even the bad times are good when I’m alone with you” so we set off on an idle walk through the streets.

There is a place near us that makes furniture, we had seen a desk in town, second-hand, needing some work $1600, they had to be joking. So we walked up to our furniture maker and there was a similar desk, brand new, finished in what ever colour we wanted $360. When we decide to buy I know where I will be going.

We walked down to the Abasto centre and Viv managed to get a purse made from recycled car tyre and a mouse mat, she was happy. Cheap would be the wrong word, but she is definitely low maintenance.

So we set off in the bright sunshine and bought an iced cream and sat eating it in Plaza Almagro. I love this place, just a patch of green in the centre of Almagro. All the locals accumulate here they come to play, relax, and soak up the sunshine. Unfortunately this meant any place in the sun was taken, still we had enough just sitting together eating our ices.

The day had started well and just got better, tonight we head off for Fulgor. At first it seemed a little flat, whether the music was not as loud or the graphic equalizer was not adjusted right I don’t know but it soon picked up. We had a good seat down the side, I think it was because all the seats at the back were taken, it was somebodys birthday. The group did not seem to consist of many dancers but they stayed out-of-the-way while the rest of us got on with it.

At some point Roberto stopped the proceedings and announced the birthday. It seems this guy was an old stalwart of the club and was now celebrating his ninety third birthday. Then they asked him to dance a demo. Yes, you read it right, ninety-three doing a demo, and it was awesome. If I can ever dance half that well I will be happy, but to still be doing it at ninety-three, well that is beyond my dreams. I deeply regret not bringing my camera here, but knowing how Roberto looks on cameras I thought it best not to.

I danced with my favourite old ladies, as a commetor said, they are not technically perfect, but oh! how they enjoy the dance. Susanna was here (from Sin Rumbo) and she also graced me with a dance. When asked she said “to the ends of the earth” Don’t you just love them?

Well while I was dancing a man who had been at El Aranque realised it was probably ok to ask Viv to dance. Later Chiche also asked her to dance, and again when I danced with Susanna.

All our usual friends hugged and kissed us welcoming us in and saying goodbye at the end, and one by one others are joining them. Even when we tried to leave, someone insisted on dancing with Viv, so I did the last dance with Nora wearing my trainers. This place will never be puro tango, but honestly, It doesn’t get much better than this.


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Last Tango (in Buenos Aires)

On our balcony we have an inflatable daffodil, just our way of telling the world we are here. This morning I saw a poor confused Argentine bee trying desperately to pollinate it.

I always hate this day, Viv insists on packing and cleaning, I always want to leave it until the last minute. So when Viv lay in bed until twelve and wanted to pack when she got up, I left her to it.

I thought I would walk to Abasto along Humahuaca. I noticed a lot of new building and the odd cafe but really not much new for me along here. When I got to Abasto they were digging up the road with a big digger that had a jackhammer on the front. The noise was terrific, so much so that I nearly missed my phone going off. Sally wanted to meet up so I suggested somewhere around Abasto. She was coming on the subte so we arranged to meet outside Carlos Gardel subte.

Funny meeting a woman alone, in a far off land, so when we met I said “alone at last”. We went for a coffee at a local bar, and talked for some time about our favourite milongas, the people we have met and whether we will actually meet up when she comes to the UK. I said how much I enjoyed hearing her talk Spanish with a Shropshire accent, it appears that Carlos enjoys that as well.

I was starting to feel guilty, as I had left Viv alone too long, so I walked Sally to within a block of the subte and said goodbye. Hoping we can meet again when she comes to the UK.

We had arranged to go with Janis again to Lo de Celia, so we caught the 168 to as near as we could get and walked the last few blocks to her place. The streets here can be dark and threatening if you let it bother you, but somehow the feeling never got to me, until tonight. We turned into Chile, and further down we could hear shouting. Someone was shouting from a window or balcony to two youths in the street. As we got nearer one of the youths ran over to some rubbish near us grabbed some broken glass and ran at the other slashing at him. I said to Viv “shut up, say nothing, stay to my left, don’t slow down and don’t stare”. We walked on to Janis’s place on the next block , and did not feel happy until we were inside the building.

Janis was not expecting us, she thought we would meet at Lo de Celia, but the email had not got through as my computer was packed. She made us coffee while we waited for her to get ready. She was more successful with the coffee this time, as she now had her coffee filter.

In Lo de Celia I had the usual wait outside the ladies while they changed their shoes. I was asked twice if I wanted a table I just  said “espero Janis” the guy nodded sagely.

Sat right at the back, it was OK for Viv and I, but I think Janis had trouble seeing anyone with whome to dance. I feel akward at these times, on the one hand I feel I should ask Janis to dance, but on the other, if she is seen to dance with the man on her table, then no one else will ask her.

Viv was tired after her packing, and she had made an effort to look good, but as usual, when she puts on any sort of eye make up her skin suffers, so we did not last long. We thought it would be a good idea to leave Janis on her own, as she would then get more dances, but she insisted on coming out with us. It was a shame we left so early, because as she reminded me, we never did the chacarera together.

It was the last night, so we forewent the bus, Instead we walked Janis, almost, home and caught a taxi. Almost because just before her house the street went in the right direction and a taxi was going past, oportunities, as we have found before, once missed will not reoccur.

So our Buenos Aires tangoing is over yet again, here’s to the next time.


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