Tag Archives: Alcala

Meet up at Sullivan’s

Saturday night is Los Consegrados. Funny how as we near the end and we start to care less, everything suddenly gets better. We danced on and on, staying later than ever. My problem was trying to get a dance with all the ladies who were expecting me. Then there were all the Brazilians and of course those who had promised to meet me in Rio. They were essential dances.

It was well past eight when we left and headed off to Alcala for our Bife de Chorizo, We managed to get through two litres of beer and stayed on for the act. Viv was not best pleased when the act came on and they left the football on the TV.  When I saw her march over to the bar, I knew she was on a mission. No resisting the Welsh witch the TV was soon turned off.

We left after dancing a meringue on a very crowded floor. We ran up quite a bill tonight it was £15, at this rate, if we stayed much longer, it could get expensive.

In the morning we went to Sullivan’s for bacon and egg. We had met the waiter from here in a drunken state earlier in the week. We promised to come and say goodbye. I guess in his drunken state he had forgotten it was his birthday and he had the day off. We were going to meet Perry as well, but he was unwell. Still we did meet up with Les and Ann, and also Lucy and her husband Tony. We only intended a short hello, but actually stayed three hours.

On our way back I was stopped again by Charlie The Cat asking for directions (if you are too young to remember look it up on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVOMK6YD6fw). “Perdon” I said, she gave me one of those, Oh it’s a stupid foreigner looks, and went off in a huff. Not many locals know these streets as well a me, it was her loss.

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No Grass here

All morning I was watching Hoy Milonga, I had no intention of turning up at El Beso if it was closed again. I need not have worried, today it was back on again as normal. I also sent a friend request to Quique Carmargo, it is worth keeping as many lines of communication as possible open.

Funny how I have trouble getting dances here. I am told that I sit in the wrong place, but if the ladies want to dance with me, then they know where I am, because I sit in the same place. Still, I never really missed out. Viv did not miss a tanda for the first two hours, then she hit the wall, so she left. I had one tanda I must do then I followed her. Now, there is a lady who complains I do not dance with her, but try as I might I could not cabeceo her, when finally I walked over she said “Me voy”.

We went to the coffee Store again and had today’s promotion; buddin de lemon and coffee. Only a slice of lemon cake but it was quite filling. I am always hungry after the milonga, so it filled the gap. I had spoken to Hubert in the toilets before I left, he said he cannot eat medialunas and then eat later. I said that is why you are “Flaco” and I am not.

We walked back along Corrientes and at Puyerredon there is a sports shop. Viv wanted to look inside. As I stood by the door something landed on my head. It was a grass hopper, I think he was lost, no grass here.

Unsure of where to go for food we ended up at Alcala again. No steak tonight we had omelet and salad, plus, of course the black beer. As we were early we were served by a different girl. I could not understand a word she said and you could see she was getting impatient. I asked for “Cervesa Negra” she said “No” then pointed at the menu “Andes” it said ” Rubia, Negra” So negra it was then.

We managed to get everything we wanted, but it was like pulling teeth. Still the food was good and our usual girl appeared later and the bill again was small.

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I had been worried for some time what would happen if Viv dropped the iron onto our ceramic floor. I need worry no more, she dropped it yesterday. It fell right onto the point. These tiles must be good, there is no sign of a crack. The iron, though, did not fare so well. The plate has cracked across the top. Surprisingly, it still works, but it now catches on some of the clothes. So we must look for a new one today. Then we had a change of plan, it seems, tomorrow we must look for an iron.

El Abrazo was busy today, it made it difficult to get dances, but there was a plethora of women. So that even if I struggled, I got a dance in the end. It was not so for Viv, so many women so little time. By five thirty Viv had enough, another case of basta la plancha. She told me to carry on, she would be at The Coffee Store reading. After another three tandas, then the silly stuff came on, so I was out of there as well.

We had some media lunas and coffee and then headed home. We stopped for some prunes and then decided to look for that iron. In Casa del Audio they had a pink one, Phillips at about £30. That would do nicely so we asked the guy, he brought it up on his computer and gave us a number to go to the desk. Now there is a certain kind of stupidity here, you need DNI, which I do not have. She said “passport” which I did not have with me. She said you should always carry it in case the police stop you, which has happened NEVER in 16 years of coming here. I said the place is full of ladrones, if I lost my passport I could not go home. We left the iron there with another Jobsworth.

Down the road is Fravega, they had the same Iron but £2 more. The guy just put some fictitious details in, we could have given him an address, but after all it was only an Iron. We paid our money, signed the warranty and walked out with an Iron. I felt like taking it to Casa del Audio and doing a Pretty Woman “You people work on commission, don’t you. Big mistake” in the end we just took it home.

We went back to Alcala then, had the Bife de chorizo and black beer. Must be getting old, I never finished my steak or the chips, even left some of the salad. I think it is time for bed.

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Funny old day

She dragged me down into town today, shoe shopping. I know my way out of the subte now and we are in Suipacha in no time. It is quarter past eleven, Las marianas opens at eleven. Well the lights are on and nobody home. A guy came out and put a record on the Radiogram. (Bet you have not heard that in a long while). He seemed to just ignore us.

Viv went over the road to look in Darcos, again nobody around. Suipacha 265 looked open, but that train had gone. I said to Viv “You need to rattle the door”. She was not for doing it , so I did. Then the guy finally opened the door.

Well we left with two pairs of shoes, so it was worth his while. These are not the most expensive, or elegant, but they are durable and comfortable, good for the milongas here.

We dropped down into the subte at Diagonal Norte. We could have come out this way but I was unsure that it was the best way. As it happens even with crossing all the roads it is easier to go down at Carlos Peligrini. You have to go down and up and up and down passing The D line and the A line this way. Still it was worth trying.

We had a long wait for a train. Some on the platform took the train the other way, meaning that they had a seat on the way back. We arrived on the platform too late to realize. Still we would only be on for three stops, if we had gone down to Alem it would have doubled my journey.

We got off the train at Pastuer and walked through to Lavalle at the first junction. Looking for some high density foam but the quest was pointless. There was some low density and kapok but generally it was all material. We did stop for a lust outside Carolina, but Viv was not in the mood for buying evening wear. We Crossed Pueyrradon and there was a shop selling shop dummies and hangers.   We were looking in and the guy asked if we wanted anything. So I tried “Hay perchas por faldas?” I got an affirmative and he led us in and showed us some skirt hangers $35 each. Stuff here tends to be wholesale so we were more than happy, so we asked for five.  We made a note of his address for again and left happy, along with the usual warnings about not talking English around here.

So apart from the foam it was a very successful soiree.

Los Consegrados again today and the usual trip down.  When we arrived, the guy who always accosts Viv was still outside and we still do not want a car. We are early today so we start off well, but it was a funny old day. I thought that there were a lot of people, but did alright for dances. Viv thought that there were fewer but struggled. at one point I was trying to cabeceo and every lady opposite was nodding. How do you sort that out? So I just gave up and waited until more of them were up dancing.

We went to Alcala again to eat. We had a very pleasant Venezuelan girl serving us, keen to practice her English, which was very good. We had the steak offer and black beer. Testament to it’s  size we left some chips. Not much of the steak though and little of the salad. We had the same problem with change again, it is getting difficult to leave even a small tip when you have no change, Next month could be worse when the $5 notes are withdrawn. A warning to any of my readers who are here, the $5 note ceases to be legal tender 28 of January.

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Viv fuses the power.

Usually I write as the day goes on, but today I never got the chance. As I was getting my shower, ready to go out, the water went cold and I heard Viv curse. She had plugged the vacuum cleaner in and fused the place.  I told her how to reset but it was having no effect. After my cold shower I investigated, she must have taken out the main breaker downstairs. Apparently I am an obnoxious old git for blaming her, but why she needs to vacuum when we are going out, is anyones guess.

I dressed and went downstairs. The door to the utility area is locked, I think because it gives access to the garage. I went to Sebastian’s flat but got no reply, only the pleading  sounds of his cat. Viv would have to have a cold shower as well. I taped a note on his door, I just hoped that he could understand my wittering pigeon Spanish.

El Beso today was yet again a different crowd. There were a few of the old El Arranque crowd there for me and some of Viv’s old men. We both danced pretty constantly for the first hour and a half. Then it started getting difficult. When I miss the first track you know it will not be long before I start missing tandas. It was hot, the power was now back on but for some reason the air conditioning was not working. Men were sitting out and the women were not happy, you would think then that they would try a new man. Logic does not work here.

After about four tandas that Viv and I did together, we decided to call it a day. Then the chacarera came on, one last splurge before we left. We did have nearly three hours of dancing, so not too bad.

We walked up Corrientes and stopped at Alcala. There was no point in going back as we did not know if we had power, so we enjoyed a black beer and an early meal. Viv had wanted to try the Aroz con Pollo and I fancied some pasta. Viv was disappointed. They are not too choosy which bits of the chicken they put in, but we shared a salad and that was good.

We need not have worried, the power was back on when we returned, my pigeon Spanish must have been OK and Sebastian came through.


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Gudfellas Band

Saturday night is Los consegrados.  Tonight though had a different feel. There were very few we knew here tonight. Strange but Viv actually danced rather a lot, but I was having  a difficult time, and so after three hours we decided to call it a day. I danced with one rather attractive lady, she told me her name was Julia and she had Norwegian blood. I was shocked when she told me she was 80, just shows, tango keeps you young.

We took our new route on the E line to Correo Central then joining the B line for home. We came out at Carlos Gardel for a change one stop short. Then we walked up Corrientes on the left hand side. We stopped at a restaurant called Alcala. We have been here before in previous trips and have always enjoyed the food. Tonight when we got there we found it was a special night. There was to be a band playing from nine, a free glass of champs and a raffle for a Christmas box.

While we perused the menu unable to decide, the waiter talked us into the offer of  Beefe de Chorizo, well, when in Argentina. They even had black beer here. The food and service was once again excellent. Definitely worth coming back for the food. But the show: We were still eating at nine, the saxophonist was sat on the floor  serenading himself quietly. Then by half past he had given up and someone was walking a round with a bunch of leads. By then we had finished our food and I was on the Gin and Tonic. By ten the guitarist was now playing to himself, I must say that individually they sounded good. Gudfellas Band was the name.

Next they all sat at a table and started drinking. Over two hours from their start time and without evening clothes, we were starting to get cold. We asked for the bill, the waiter asked why we were not staying for the band “No Tengo suficiente vida” I said.

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