Tag Archives: Club Fulgor

Weekends

Weekends tend to be couple affairs in Buenos Aires, so we have always had difficulties then.  Time was we went to club Fulgor on a Sunday, but now that is gone we need to seek pastures new.

We went back to Los Consegrados Saturday. Viv had done well here last week and unusually I had struggled.  If she is happy then so am I. Anyway I had left my towel here last week so I hoped to retrieve it. That was not to be “Se perdido” I was told. The dancing went well enough and we danced until we could dance no more. Then we left, we met Silvia on the subte who was going the same way as us. On the H Line someone asked which way to the A line my legendary knowledge failed and I sent him the wrong way, by the time I realized he was gone. Viv said he is probably still wandering up and down the line. Then it was off to Bar Zorra for some “Caramelo” beer.  No nuts or crisps though, so maybe it’s good for food, but not a quick drink.

Sunday we went back to Sueño Porteño. Last time we were here we were on a party table, so we hoped this week to get more dances. Corrientes was looking like it would close for the Murga and we had a long wait for a bus. So we headed over to the subte, Line E was closed for major work it said. Luckily the bus arrived soon after. It was jam packed though all the way.

At the milonga we were given seats right at the end, almost at the DJ station. For some reason the men were coming for Viv tonight and she did not miss a tanda. I sat out a full five tandas not getting a dance except for Viv.  I could see women I knew, but they were not looking this way. After the second Vals I thought enough is enough and went walkabout. After that I did ok, but never from my exile position.

We did not stay late. The murga would mean problems with busses so we elected to use the subte.  By walking five blocks we could get to the C line avoiding the problems with the E line, but when we got there I could not find San Juan station. This was not a good part of town to be wandering lost, so I asked a family group, they directed me to Independecia station another four blocks on. I guess that they also thought we should not be wandering around here at night and maybe San Juan was not a good idea. Down in the station we waited for the train. A drunk asked if he was on the right platform and was told he was not. We could see his train coming down the tunnel, he jumped down onto the tracks, everyone was shouting, Viv screamed. He was not so inebriated that he was willing to die, at the last minute he jumped back onto the platform and ran up the stairs. I don’t know if he made the train, but at least he was still alive.

Back home, Imaginario was shut, and as Zorra gives no nuts we went to HB for some beer.

Monday and we are back in the old routine. It’s funny, but when you start to feel down, things pick up again. We both had a really good time in El Beso. We stayed until half an hour to closing, then over to The Coffee Store again to unwind. While I was there I picked up several messages from Philippe. Some from this morning, I have no idea why they did not come through earlier.  I even commented to Viv that I had not heard anything from him before we left. Whatsapp is just another piece of technology that does not like me.

 

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Ultima Fulgor

Our last Fulgor and suddenly the numbers are up. I think it is the Easter effect, but still, it is encouraging. There were people we have not seen in a long time and a few we have never seen before. It remains to be seen if we will see them again.  Bebe was missing, Marian said she was on holiday, strange that last week she said she would see us.

We stayed longer and danced harder tonight, it is always best to go out on a high. There was a tanda of old D’Arienzo and I just did not recognize it, I asked Roberto and he thought it was Donato, until he checked. I guess even locals do not have perfect Knowledge. It is a long way from the days when he announced every tanda.

Playing this, I am sure I would have recognized D’Arienzo. It was definitely Comm Il Faut, maybe even earlier?

Leaving was a long drawn out affair, we have to kiss all the locals, then explain again that we will not be back until January. Then it was just the long walk home again.

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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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The weekend starts here

Friday was just another El Beso Day, we did little in the morning as I was too busy repairing the wall and re-hanging the curtains.

We still find El Beso difficult though, I may have to re-think our seating positions. Where I sit is fine until everyone gets up, then my view of the floor is completely lost. Still we danced until seven then it was back for our chop suey and prepare for the weekend.

Saturday and we were up at a reasonable hour, breakfast of coffee and media lunas then we were out heading for Palermo. The walk over to Sullivan’s takes about twenty-five minutes and we arrived while all the pre match rubbish was playing. I ordered Quilmes Negra, typical of here, it is on the menu but they do not have it. Celtic stout is more expensive and lo and behold they do have that. They did furnish us with a bowl of nuts though to keep us going.

They are quite accommodating here I asked for the commentary and they switched off the music and put on the commentary. Not that I could understand a lot of it, but it was amusing when they named the wrong players.

It looked like we were the only ones here for the rugby, but by halfway through the first half there were maybe eight or ten in here. As Wales soundly thrashed the Scots team, the contingent of Scots were quiet. .

On a trip down Scalabrini Ortiz we stopped off to check out a furniture shop. Our old stomping ground this and we always like the shops down here, we found a coffee table we liked, but now we are unsure whether to spend the money. Maybe we will be back, maybe not.

We took the “D” line into town just to check out Ideal. It looks no different to me, I think someone is just siphoning money off, and the work will never be done. Still while we are here, check out the shoe shops. Viv managed to pick up a bargain pair. Unusually they were not battered or the wrong size $650 about £26 at todays rates. Viv is one happy bunny. Nice shoes as well.

Back on the subte The “A” line this time, out to Castro Barros. I need some tools and things from Easy. Bad move, Saturday is not a good time in any sort of supermarket in Buenos Aires. As always I got about half of what I wanted, things are quite different here. I did get what I can only describe as a flat plate covered in sanding material. We have nothing like this at home, but then they have nothing here like we have, you just have to adapt.

Back home again along Salguero and I can catch up with the Ireland France match. You have to feel for the French 13-12 up until the final kick, but then that is the best time to kick a field goal.

Sunday morning and I am free, Viv would rather do housework than come to Sullivan’s. No-one to stop my beer intake then. No surprises as England beat Italy. I expected some new tricks again from Italy but they had nothing new this year, shame, they were fun last year. Still they played well, the score line not reflecting how hard they tried.

I got talking to a guy called Michael from Hertfordshire.  He is working here and as he relayed his story I suddenly remembered him from last year. Unfortunately he will not be here for the England Wales match but will be back for some later matches.

I also got talking to a couple who are taking a year out to see South America. They told me that they could find no-one showing the Rugby in the City, but came across an ex-pats site where someone had said they would be here. That would be me then, oh! the power of advertising, perhaps I should get a discount bringing customers in.

Sunday night is Fulgor night.  I don’t know what Ruben is thinking, two hours constant tango, no Vals, no Milonga and too much Tanturi. Is it any wonder the numbers are falling? Still we were happy with our Quilmes Negra. (no one to tell Viv how much I have already had). Next week is carnival, Elsa said she is bringing us some props, mask, hats, and other dressing up stuff.

The people here come and go and we never know where, but tonight we heard an old friend had died last May. Found him dead at the wheel of his taxi apparently. No life, is it? Work until you drop.

After the tropical, we finally got a vals tanda, then a milonga, more tropical, then Pugliese. In the words of Eric Thompson “Time for bed” said Zeberdee.

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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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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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Lunch with the German and French

Today is a day for entertaining and saying goodbye. We had Philippe and Walter around, Walter will look after our flat for another year.  We then went out to El Rey for some lunch. It was raining when we left so I had to rush back up to get some umbrellas, Vivs was hidden behind  the bedroom door so we managed with three.

I thought that we were going to have a whole chicken between us, but Walter wanted Sea Food. This caused us a problem, firstly it was late arriving and then it was not so good. On top of this we could not finish the whole chicken, very un English. Still we blamed the Frenchman. You can still do food cheap here, bottle of Malbec, litre of stout and four meals for less than forty quid including a good tip.

As you would expect the conversation gravitated to brexit.  It was nice to actually have a reasoned debate and Walter brought up some good points. Seems it is not just the British who don’t like Merkel’s policies. I liked his thoughts, that we should remain to disentangle Europe rather than abandon it, I never though of it that way before. On the way back we met Sebastian outside the building, it was a good opportunity to introduce him to Walter.

After coffee everyone left and we set off for some last minute shopping.

Club Fulgor is getting lower in numbers, every year we think that it cannot survive yet every year we come back and it is still here, let’s hope it continues. Everyone was especially welcoming tonight, I think that they were not sure we would still be here. When a German couple came in I was, again, called over to translate for them. The problem was that their English was not good, that combined with my complete lack of German and poor Spanish made things difficult. That said my lack of language skills is more than made up for by my local knowledge and I managed to sort them out.

We still were not one hundred percent, but we danced and I danced with Bebe and Norma, but by sorteo time we were ready for off. Then it was time for the big goodbyes. Explaining that we fly Tuesday and will be back in January with every kiss. Quite an exhausting and emotional time. The walk back seemed not so bad tonight after that, even dog shit corner did not smell as foul. Maybe it was the extra beer we drank today or maybe we are just too tired to notice.

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New best Empanadas in Buenos Aires

We travelled out to Flores today to have lunch at Maggies and were joined by Mimi, Semiha, Hubert and Paloma. The first thing I had to do was take stick from our French friends for the Rugby. Of course they bribed the referee, how else do you explain that ending? The mood was light hearted though.

Language soon defaulted to Spanish, and we learned why Paloma is so good at it, she has Spanish parents and the household language is Spanish. So we have no hope of competing there then.  It seems everyone is better at it than us, even Viv seems to understand more than she admits. Still it was unfair that she was put in a class with Semiha, who is better than me even though I was in the higher class.

We had some tuna and anchovies in cream sauce, I never thought Viv would eat it but she did and enjoyed it. Still surprising me after all these years. Yesterday I said I had the best empanadas in Buenos Aires, well that was before I had Maggies home made ones. I have to review my opinions now.

We drank a lot of vino tinto and champagne after and during the food, but it’s OK I don’t have to drive the train back. When half five came we were ready for the off. I can take Spanish at this level for a while but for this long I find it exhausting. It is a shame I cannot have an hour a day then I might improve, but after two hours my brain switches off and nothing computes any more. We were helped, of course, by Mimi Maggie and Hubert, but even so my brain can only take so much. Still we had a great time and good company even a little dancing.

It took us over an hour to get there and I said “Instead of taking the subte all the way back, let’s get off at Castro Barras and walk” so we did. The total journey time was less than half an hour. Let the legs take the strain I say.

As we walked to Fulgor tonight we saw a guy sitting in a doorway changing his shoes. I thought it strange, but when he came in he seemed to know everyone. Turns out he was an American Named Richard, he was later joined by a German named Ute. They danced very well unlike the tall couple who were also there. They took giant leaps around the floor, never looking where they were going, too intent on their feet.

I got Bebe up for a dance and spent most of the time trying to avoid the tall hazard. I said to Bebe that when I first came here, I had to audition for Roberto in order to be allowed into the Club. Standards have dropped now, it seems. I suppose this is understandable as the numbers here are nothing like they were  in 2008. In those days if you were not early and had no reserva, you would not get a seat.

The place has definitely lost some sparkle, the music of Ruben does not help, but I think that many of the old regulars are either dead or too unfit to come now. Tonight we did not sparkle either, we left at ten thirty.  Let’s hope we feel better for our last couple of attendances.

 

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Sarmiento

We took the subte down into town to try again to buy some shoes from Flabella. Again it was shut, Darcos net door was open but full of old tired looking shoes. With the factory gone in Sarmiento, I think it will not be here long and the way Flabella is shaping it may well be another business that will crash. If they could see themselves as we see them, then they would come to realize that the ills of this country are all self imposed. Still nothing we can do.

Across the road is Suipacha 256 and Viv is tempted by some shoes here, but they are a bit “old woman” comfortable but with a low heel. We may yet come back.

We decided to walk on up Sarmiento and after about seven blocks we stopped at a bar “La Celta” well, it was calling us. They had tango music playing in the background and an olde worlde atmosphere that made us feel very much at home. I even had a sing along to “Mi Buenos Aires Querido” which I had learned in a distant Spanish class. After our coffee we carried on walking until we found Neo Tango. The shoes here were also tight on Viv. Too much time in boots and trainers we think. It may be that the “old women” shoes are the only ones that fit her.

Later that night we went to Pachi Bar again. We eat earlier than the Argentines and it says food all day. When we sat down though we were told that there was no food until eight. Nothing for it then but a Bottle of stout and some nibbles. By the time we got food we were on our second bottle. Strong stuff to be drinking by the litre on an empty stomach. Still we did not have far to go home.

Sunday night is Fulgor night and we see the return of Roberto. There are a few more here tonight and we wonder if it is because Roberto is back but maybe not. It seems to have appeared on the tourist radar Germans and French made up the additions. There was one old local guy who had my respect; he walked with a stick and I could see when he sat down that he had a brace on his leg. He was still up dancing though, close up tango for support and with his stick for the Tropical.

More stout tonight and a bonus glass of bubbly as Roberto reinstated the sorteo and again I won. He made it more complicated though; the three winners of the bubbly had to name a number one to twenty two and if it matched the number in the envelope you win 100$ar. Well I missed, but it rolls over next week it’s 200$ar.

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Eclipse?

I bit of a damp squid this, they predicted an Eclipse in the local papers. Maybe it was my lack of understanding, but while the local TV showed it happening in Chubut there was not a sign here. We could have done with a bit of darkness to drop the temperature, still I came here to get away from the winter so cannot complain too much about the heat.

I was going to Sullivan’s this morning to watch the Rugby, but Viv did not want to go and Geoff decided to watch it on freeview. So not wanting to be Billie no mates I stayed in to watch it myself on freeview.  I thought I struggled with the rules, but it seems I am not the only one. The Italians developed a whole new game plan that thwarted the English team. It seems that they were using the rules to their advantage, and the English were totally flummoxed. The weaker side and fifty to one outsiders, they very nearly carried it off. Fair dos to the French referee, he had the best game of all. When asked what they could do about it he said “I am a referee, not a Coach”

We hit the chino afterwards, first time ever we spent over £20. More a result of our shortages than sudden inflation. Although inflation is a big problem here, household items like washing liquid and other cleaning items are for some reason expensive here. I bought some cheddar (not typical here) it was 170$ar a kilo. I checked Asda price at home and Cathedral city is 200$ar per kilo. So even on non typical Items they are still cheaper than at home.

I know I should not complain, but the walk to Club Fulgor was too hot. With no cloud and the sun gone you would expect some drop in temperature, but it was barely discernible. When we got there one of the air conditioners was not working and it was way above the Cities recommended 24 degrees.

Still we danced, and I danced with Norma and had another lovely dance with Bebe. The couple we met last year from Cumbria were here again, still not attending many milongas, but happy being here. We had our usual agua con gas and Quilmes stout served up by Mariana, who was returning after last weeks bout of sickness. Her son (we think) was there all night to watch over her, but I thought she still looked unwell, despite her ever present cheerfulness.

We stayed later again but by eleven we had enough, a Puliese tanda, I did not like the first track, danced the second and sat down for the third. So we changed our shoes. All packed and ready to go and Ruben put on Tango Negro, I shouted at him “he cambio mis zapatos” he just laughed. Viv said I should have told him to play it earlier next week, but I think he got the message.

When we got back we had left our air con on, set to 24 degrees, it felt like a fridge after Fulgor.

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