Tag Archives: Buenos Aires

More lessons for Bob

I finished that repair to the wall, and just as I was about to clear up Philippe called.  By the time he arrived everything was away and we were able to relax with a coffee. He is off to Paris at the weekend so we will not see him for a while, so he agreed to take me to the bank for another lesson in paying my expensas.

Even with the expert it crashed out the first time, which was good as it allowed me to do it on my own. Well they now have $2600 of my money and I should be ok until he comes back. We said goodbye on the corner of Mario Bravo and Tucuman I wished him well for his journey, we will miss his help while he is gone, but I now have some notes at least.

I have to write to the administrator to tell her I have paid money in. As of the end of the day she has not replied.

Off to milonga de Juan today. We get more dances here despite there being less people, it is just so much easier to cabeceo here. After about two hours Graciela arrived and I suspended my attempts to get ladies up until she had worked the room. There was just too much chaos around her, still in the grand scheme of things half a tanda is no big deal.

This is the only milonga here where they dance to Nefeli’s Tango. Goes with the mixed tandas I suppose. Viv seemed to enjoy it anyway. They also have a demo most weeks, but we managed to escape before it this week.

A number of men were missing from today and Tuesday at Chique seems they are all coming down with exhaustion. As I was in the toilets about to leave I was asked where are we going next? My answer is that when we are here long-term and dancing every day, one milonga a day is enough. We danced three and a half hours today, not bad for two sexagenarians. To try to do more is just going to burn us out and spoil the time we have left here.

When we first came here we danced four hours a day, took classes and visited numerous tourist sites. I was only fifty then and it was only two weeks and still we were exhausted.  Trouble is, I think, people do not realize their own limitations.


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Tango, Chinese and Stout

A bit of a worky morning today. After struggling to sand down the patch in the bedroom, I struggled more to put some more plaster on it. I found that by scraping it off and adding more water each time it did become slightly more plastic. A final sand tomorrow should see it right. While that was going off I took the broken chair to Sanchez de Bustamente. The same guys were sitting there and the main man recognized me “est es la silla?” he looked at it and told me that the welding would burn the pain off. “No shit Sherlock” I thought but just said “si, no problem”. He took it to the back where another guy fired up the oxy acetylene. When he came to the front I said “Ahora?” He said “Si, aproxamente cien”. When the chair came back he offered me water to dunk it in, but I said it would be cold by the time I got home. I gave him the $100 and told him that the chairs only cost me $50 when I bought them, knowing inflation here he never even asked me how long ago.  They did a good job though and I can live with the small patch of burnt paint for now.

Back to Nuevo Chique today and it was not a good one. Apart from me Viv got only one dance in the first two hours. I don’t know what makes one day so different, but it happens. Fortunately it picked up for her afterwards, but I still seem to have some invisibility. Not that I m complaining I still got dances, it just took a little longer than usual. More of Vivs fan club arrived in her last hour so I was saved from earache.

We try to eat out on a Tuesday so we headed off to El Revolutionario but it was still closed. They did say February so I suppose we still have two days to go. Fortunately we did have a Plan”B”. We caught our usual 151 Collectivo but instead of getting off at Guardia Vieja we stayed on until Cordoba and got off just before Aroaz. Down here is the bar formally known as Doctor Mason, now it is known as Shanghai Dragon. Food is more takeaway then restaurant, served in cardboard cartons with chopsticks but it is the nearest we get in Buenos Aires to proper Chinese food. There is an added bonus, Celtic Stout on Draught.

Tango, Chinese and Stout, it does not get much better than this. Just one downside; I asked and they do not open Saturday morning, so I can’t watch the rugby here.

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Fifty shades of Grey

I had postal duties again this morning, when my number was called I ended up with the girl who wanted my passport again. This time I was ready for her, what I was not ready for was the cost. I was paying my internet bill at the same time, so when I gave her ar$1100 I expected it to be enough, but she kept asking for more. When I checked the receipt she had charged me the equivalent of over £10 to post a card. Next time I will wait for a different girl.

The shirt that was due to be worn last night, I decided was too good for Fulgor. This turned out to be a mistake. For once in El Beso it was me having trouble getting dances. It looks like no one can see me in my grey shirt, I have become The Invisible Man. Ladies were looking straight at me but not seeing me. Never have I missed so many tandas.

In the end I had to go up to the ladies tables and ask. This is a risky strategy as some one may well have cabeceo in between and I risked being left just standing there.

Despite all this we had an enjoyable time, but must remember, no grey for Beso.

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Spring cleaning

Well ok it’s not spring here, but never the less, a time to spruce the place up. I need to repair the plaster around our bedroom window. A difficult task as the only plaster I seem to be able to get is Paris. I will just have to leave it and try sanding it smooth afterwards.

I  have waxed the woodwork and avoided Viv while she does what she does. Then had to re-hang the picture as it came down when she cleaned it.  Who says we are on holiday?

Sunday, it seems is my day to be ill. Last year it was almost every Sunday and I put it down to the ice at El Arranque. This year with no El Arranque and no ice, I did not expect it. Lets hope this is a one-off.

The crowd in Fulgor was different again this week. Numbers were up just different people. The music was dire at first so my resolution to have no beer did not last. Last week we could hardly hear the music but this week it was just too loud. How hard can it be? After half an hour cervesa negra was called for. Viv actually enjoyed the night despite us not doing too much dancing, I think sometimes she just likes a rest.

He did play Tango negro though and a nice tanda of Miguel Calo. Viv being the kind soul she is insisted I dance it with Bebe. She never got a dance with the new guy at the end although he had danced with Bebe, it seems Viv was too much of a threat. I can’t imagine she was going to run off with him, especially with me sitting there.

We remade some old acquaintances again and by the end of the night we were on kissing terms with everyone in there. It can now take quite some time to get in and leave, by the time we have kissed everyone. I am also getting some slightly longer conversations although I may not always understand what they are talking about.  It appears the short guy, who we are only just on kissing terms with, had a suit like The Prince of Wales when he was younger. Maybe next week I will get more of the story, or maybe I will just get more confused.


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El Simbolo

Milongas are a strange breed, you never quite know how they will turn out, who will be there and who will dance with you. So it was with El Beso today. It started out well for Viv, she hardly missed a tanda , but when las borrachas arrived there was chaos around her. When she got back from her dance, her glasses were no longer on the table. I had been dancing with Graciela and stayed to help look, but we had no success. When Zoraida did the announcements she told of the lost glasses.  It seems a lady at the back had them. She had been sitting by Viv and was a constant irritation moving seats and shifting tables. Even at one point knocking over Vivs drink.

As I danced with one lady she asked me about my wife ” are you not jealous, she dances so close” I told her “Well I dance close” “but you are a man” she said I explained it is only a love of tango, we both love to dance. The Argentines have a funny set of morals, it’s ok for the men but not the women. Viv did not miss a tanda afterwards though.

We must be getting fitter at last, we stayed until seven-thirty, then set off on the walk home. On the corner of Corrientes and Bulnes we saw a place advertising Revueltos called El Simbolo, so we decided to stop. They called it Revuelto something or other I had not heard before so I asked what it was. Egg ham chips, just the same so we ordered two and some beer. The place looked grotty but the food was good and only just around the corner. We may well be back. Only AR$310 that’s £12.40 to you, got to love it.


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It’s not all bad but then you would not expect it to be, if it was why would I keep coming back.

We stopped at the shoe repair shop on the corner. Viv wanted some holes in her straps. There is an alarm on the door it screams “Hola Bienvenido” when you enter and if you should go too near it. The woman in front wanted a zip repaired in her bag “ar$80” he said, well that is less than £4 everything here is repairable. He spent some time on Vivs shoes, it seems he did not want to use the punch on one pair and took them around the back to do them. When we got the shoes back he just waved his hand “sin cargo” he said. Viv felt a  bit guilty not paying, but perhaps he just remembers we have used him before.

Over to Corrientes and the perfumaria, and we are again introduced to the Kerry Blue who stands on constant guard. I never remember names must try harder his name is Bruno. No trip complete without meeting Bruno. Now stocked up with hand cream and shoes tightened, Viv is happy.

There were a lot of women today at Nuevo Chique, today was the sorteo for the shoes, but we would not be bothered to stop. What it did mean though was Viv struggled for dances.  Some of the women were still being fussy though, I was not for wasting time on them though. If I was not up at the beginning of the tanda then all chance of doing a cabeceo was gone across a  crowded floor. So any who chose to be fussy never got a second chance.

Philippe and Mariela arrived after an hour or so and sat with Viv. I was up dancing with her when they arrived so we went over to say hello after the tanda. As I was already there I got a dance with Mariela at the same time. We will not see them again for some time as they are off to France for Philippe’s mother’s birthday for three weeks.

We stayed longer tonight but still three and a half hours was enough. Don’t have our Buenos Aires fitness yet and we have lentils and bacon waiting at home.



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No puedo soldero con gas

I decided to take a detour this morning, for some reason we are not seeing much of our barrio this time. I just took a big loop around to get to the post office. On the way I passed another garage, I looked in and again I could see no gas “Puedes soldero con gas?” I asked ” no” came the reply. I wonder how they manage here welding on cars with a stick welder and not able to heat things up or burn off. I want my chair braised (Bronze welded) not stick welded as I do not think that there is enough metal, but maybe I will just have to trust them.

At the post office I held the door open for a woman with a baby then took my number. She did not seem to know what to do so I thought rather than tell her in my broken Spanish she would see me and follow, which she did.  Then my number was called and the girl sent me away, because there was a woman with a baby. Why she did not just call her first I just don’t know.

Anyway I posted my letters again without my passport. I did have it carefully concealed about my person, but was not letting on.

Off to Milonga de Juan again today. Different crowd it seems, leaving Viv struggling. As always it is good for me, but I must keep Viv happy. I have suggested going back to Canning next week but she wants to stick it out. “You need to get Known”.  trooper that she is. She was crowded by a local woman who moaned all the time and then sat in front of her, I was pleased to see she hardly got a dance.

Well we were rewarded with some steak and Cream Stout after and a film on Youtube by Yann Arthus Bertrand. Well you get what you can here.

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