Tag Archives: Buenos Aires

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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Keep it local

Viv sent me out for my usual shopping expedition. Household stuff nothing exciting, but I did have some trouble finding washing up liquid. Seems you can wash your floors a thousand ways but your dishes only two.  I gave up on her bananas, the usual guy was not there, but his misses (I presume was) She blocked the entrance with her backside and there was no way past. Meanwhile the child on the floor was sucking on a grape and dribbling all over the floor. I could not get her attention so I went around the corner.

Fixed the fridge though. My favourite ferreteria had a lamp, the envelope was a little larger but for £1 it was worth trying. Anyway it fits and at least Viv is happy.

Got a call from Isabel, she was at DNI so we said we would escort her to the milonga. She was a little worried she would get no dances, but I told her ” You are young, good-looking and foreign, you will get dances” And for the first hour or so She and Viv did very well. All my old regulars arrived so I knew I was OK. Margarita was there so I was not going to miss a tanda, she would not let me.

As always though by just after seven the girls had enough and we set off into the street. Isabel was using Google earth to find her bus so we left her at Hipolito Yrigoyen. She was catching her bus on Avenida Mayo and were further up this road.

Back at Imaginario we ordered a black beer and Philippe arrived. Nice to see him and have a chat, seems the letter we have for him is for a fine. Unlike most motor cyclists he still has his number plate on, so they got him.

Anyway our meal and drinks including Philippe’s was only £15, glad we stick local.

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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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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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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 in our second home

Apparently I sound too downbeat. It’s the problems that make the best blogs, I say, but I will try harder.

Our journey to Manchester was, as always uneventful. Andy’s  Taxi, always worth a plug.  Still I am always stressed at the airport, especially as we have never used BA before. I need not have worried as it all went well.

No food on the short flight to Heathrow. There was no way we could survive until midnight from breakfast. We searched the terminal, Schipol this is not. Oh it’s all very nice, but when you are between flights Louis Vuitton is not where you want to be.  A Murphies Bar is what we want.

We bought a meal deal from Smiths and there was a guy in there who was brilliant, should have asked his name. Gets my vote for employee of the decade.

Afterwards we found a Pret a Manger 90pence for a filter coffee. I am starting to like Heathrow a little more.

We arrived  tired and a little thirsty to be helped out again by a guy in the baggage reclaim.  Must be getting old as everyone seems to want to help. The taxi has gone up again, only to be expected, as the currency has gone down again.

We had a diversion as Salguero has been dug up one block from us, but we arrived to be greeted by Sebastian and his wife at the door. I didn’t know we were missed that much, to get a welcoming committee.

We tried to get some sleep but Sebastian was ringing my bell.  It seems in my rush to get in, I left my case by the lift. Just shopping to do and a meal to eat.

Out to our old favourite Bar Imaginario for some black beer and food, then it is back to an early night and catch up with some sleep.

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You gotta love it

And another from last year. Oh dear!

After a morning on computer management, it was going to be a welcome change to do some tango.

Saturday and we are off to El Arranque again. We had to charge up the SUBE cards and, of course we missed the train. It was no big deal though another was along in four minutes. This is another reason I prefer the subte to the busses, unless the line is down they are through as regular as clock work.

Our waiter had our regular places and our drinks on the table as we arrived, you gotta love this service.

Not a lot to say really, we danced our socks off and I managed two dances each with my regular ladies. Even  Viv hardly missed a tanda.

Erwin our usual DJ was not here today we had Vivi La Falce instead. Good choice of music and interesting cortinas. She was calling something out during the tropical, I have no idea what it was, but the locals seemed to appreciate it.

We had arrived early so by seven thirty we were ready to go. We stayed for the sorteo, but again I did not win, so it was time to go home.

We stopped off on the way home for some meat. We had to do without last week because we left it until Sunday. Two cracking pieces of Aberdeen Angus grilling steak, for two quid, you gotta love it.

Deep joy, the internet is still working, so you will get this post.

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