Tag Archives: Colectivo

Expensas Finally.

Today I must pay my expensas. After all my previous attempts I now fear the ATM more than being mugged on the street, still it must be done. I did the morning shopping first, hoping to miss the morning rush. Then I went to the shoe repairers with Viv’s Shoes. I had been practicing all the way “Dos aguajeros”. (two holes, in the straps). I must have got it well as the guy was quite chatty. He did not get Wales though, Europa was as close as he was getting. Gareth Bale, Shirley Bassey, Siez Naciones, nothing worked. He underst0od when I told him I do not like the cold though.

I had delayed long enough, time for the bank. I had written the instructions down, but the one thing I had neglected; there are two types of machine: Caja Automatico and Auto Servicio.  I elected to go to the Caja Automatico, but all the time in the queue I kept thinking I was at the wrong one, and queues do tend to be long and slow here. I decided that changing would not be a good thing, even if I was wrong I would just have to start again.

Luckily I was not at the wrong machine and I got through my instructions OK until it came to putting the money in. It grabbed one note then shut the door. I could see no way to carry on so I crashed out and started again. This time I put all the money in, but it left two notes. Then I saw the option to add more notes. That was it, done. I amended my instructions to include Caja Automatico and headed home, elated. I have finally done it on my own. I have a feeling that they will change the system next year, can’t have this extranjero knowing what he is doing.

Another Thursday and another trip to Nuevo Chique. I am still being put down the far end, there are plenty of ladies down here, but they do not know me, so I still struggle to see the ladies at the top. This includes, of course, Viv. Don’t get me wrong, I get plenty of dances, but from here I am never up at the first note.  So I have started walking up to the top and inviting the ladies, instead of using cabeceo. Because I am inviting for the next tanda, I did end up doing a Pugliese tando, much to Viv’s surprise.

At seven thirty Viv gave the signal to go. The next tanda was milonga and I had intended to dance it with her and then call it a day. I had promised to meet Philippe for a drink at eight, so we had to go.

We decided to sit outside today and wait for Philippe. The waiter of undecided gender came out twice to see what we wanted, but seemed happy when I said “Esperamos por un amigo” We had our usual caramel and Philippe IPA (pronounced eepa) here. It is a lively corner here, lots of young people hanging around bars, and lots of busses. The number 92 always come in threes. We sat chatting and drinking until it was time to retire. Philippe back to his studies and us for our lentil stew.

I am afraid the beer got somewhat the better of us as we had not eaten. The stew went down quickly and we were soon asleep in bed.

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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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Catch up time

I seem to be remiss these days. I suppose that as time goes by, I find more to do here and less time to write.

Our last trip out to Canning was more successful. So now, it appears, we will be going regularly. This time it was followed by a trip to 1810.  The food here is still good and cheap, but the menu is limited. For us, they have the best empanadas in Buenos Aires, I’m sure some will disagree, but taste is always subjective.

My towel went missing last week and I was unable to find it. My pronunciation of “He perdido mis toalla” just drew blank expressions. However on Friday in El Beso, Marcelo came in to sit by me as usual. He said “Tengo you towel” probably a lot better than my attempts to ask for it. As I had, by now bought a new one, it means I now, at last have a spare. Twas not the best El Beso day so we again retired to The Coffee Store and had some medialunas with it.

On Saturday we decided on Los Consegrados. I had texted Maria, to tell her we would be going and not to Obalisco. I did not expect her to turn up. So I was quite surprised when I saw Feto sitting on the next table to me. Soon after Maria arrived. We had some good dances here, and Viv pronounced herself satisfied.

Afterwards we took the colectivo home. Feto knew  better than me where the stop was. I thought it was on Entre Rios, but it was, in fact much closer. We jumped off way before Gascon, Marias stop. Feto and Maria wanted to come with us but I told them to stay on. I am relying on the fact that Feto is local and knew where to get off.

Sunday is designated rest day now that Fulgor is closed. I don’t get much rest though. First there was a bit of gardening to do. Repot the Money tree and plant the thing Walter had in water. I had some compost left over and that went into the ginger plant. It was looking a bit hungry. I also polished the mesita in the lounge.

We then set off for Easy. On the way we stopped at Murillo for a coffee. There was an offer “Media porcion torta y café $125” well it was too good to resist, so we had the apple pie (Tarta Manzana). Maria called while we were there but my internet was patchy and we were not going dancing tonight.

In Easy, we could not find tiles that would do the job. I wanted something for the window ledges, but we settled on some architrave made with fibre and covered to look like oak. The ones we chose had been reduced to half price. We also chose a “hamper” for the dirty washing.  At the till it came to $4,000, far too high I thought. I queried it. She had not charged us the lower price. She called for a supervisor and continued serving other customers. I went with the supervisor to check the price. When we came back the price was put into the till and the supervisor left. We were left standing on the outside of the till, while the queue got bigger the other side and we were ignored. After an interminable time we managed to get the supervisor back and she opened another till for us.  The original till girl had no intention of ever serving us again.

It was quite a walk back with my two 8′ lengths of architrave, avoiding all the overhangs as well as the traffic.

There was an organic vegetarian bar opposite El Imaginario. It is gone now, I never saw too many customers in the time it was there. Now there is a new bar “Zorra” so for a change we thought we would give it a try. The range of food is quite different to the usual Argentine fare I had Bondiola wraps and Viv chicken quesadillas, as we had two each we swapped one. I shared some of my chips ( don’t know why I got chips and she did not) and we had some salad stuff with it.  They did not have black beer here, so we tried their “Caramelo”. It was so nice we had more.

I think we will be coming back here.

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Infamy, they’ve all got it in for me

We are now regulars at Nuevo chique again, and we know the crowd well, so when the lights all went out a six we were all in it together. We sat it out until about half past, Dany was making an attempt to get power from upstairs, but everyone was leaving. We could, of course have sat it out, but with few people left, what would be the point. So we headed out.

We had Maria and Fito in tow and stopped at our usual bar. I asked for black beer and they had non so we moved on to congress and found another bar that had it. We sat for a while telling stories as best we could. Maria speaks Spanish and I speak no Swedish so as the conversation carried on I had to relate it all to Viv. It may be good for me, but I found it hard work. That said we managed a few laughs.

When we came out onto the square, there was already a queue for the colectivo. I was going to miss the 151 and take the 90 so that Maria would get nearer her stop. We waited half an hour long, it was obvious that something was again amiss, so we set off along Uruguay to get the subte. At Corrientes the gate was locked. We tried the other gates, they too were shut.

Never have we failed on both the subte and the colectivo. So I suggested we head to Lavalle there we managed after a wait to get a number 28.

We left the bus at Mario Bravo and told Maria to get off at the next stop.

It was time for more beer, so I got my deposit bottle and crossed the road getting almost flattened by a number 90. I suppose the highlight of all this was explaining to the girl in the chino why “no estoy buen”. It must have started running again not long after we left. I think that they actually do have it in for me.

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More post office madness

There were three girls serving today at the Coreo, so a good chance of me not meeting up with jobsworth then. I should have known better. She was locked down with one customer, while the other two were getting through them quite quickly then, when there was only one in front of me, she served him and suddenly became a vision of efficiency. The other two girls disappeared and I was left with her again. This time the problem was that the return address did not match my passport “WHAT!”

I am making a new rule “Never try to post on a Wednesday” that is the day she is there and there really is no point in even trying.

Milonga de Juan was quiet as usual when we arrived, but we both did well for dances. As time went on and new people came we danced with them and so we were kept dancing. Until about seven that is, then it just dried up. It was raining outside so we were in no hurry to leave, we had no coats or umbrella. Then came the sorteo first number out was 415, the guy next to me was pointing to my ticket. Perhaps he thought I did not understand, but I just said “no dieciseis” my number was 416. Close call a free entry next week would have been nice. No one claimed so it was re-drawn and low and behold it was Viv. So now we have that free entry next week anyway.

I did a last dance with Mercedes, Viv was already on here way. After my dance I changed my shoes and again Juan had saved his best tanda for when we leave, Carlos DiSarli. Viv was already out in the toilets changing, cursing as well when I got to her. That’s how it goes sometimes.

Our favourite new café on San Jose and Alsina was all shut up. It is supposed to be open so we went instead to the one on Alsina and Peña the coffee was not as good but I had a nice pastry (can’t answer for Viv ). We stayed until the rain stopped then set off for our colectivo home.

Viv managed to get a seat in the front but I stood. All the way home I got thrown around, far more than is usual. When we got off Viv said that the driver was texting all the way, even putting on emojis. She said he would be sacked at home, I said I think that he would probably go to prison for driving a PSV whilst texting. Here though, anything goes.

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Dia de Mujer

Another day, another demonstration. I often wonder if people here could find some more productive way of spending their time, that said  I have never come across any violence or threats.

Nuevo Chique is reaching new heights all the time. Time was we would leave a milonga when Viv was fed up, too much sitting and not dancing. Now we leave when she has danced so much she can hardly stand. Four hours again of constant dancing, no wonder I am knackered these days. We left at eight not really ready for what was to come.

The street outside was packed even here three blocks from congress. Hipolito Yrigoyen was closed off, so there was no chance of a colectivo. Our way was completely blocked back to Plaza de Mayo so we could not reach the C line subte. Nothing for it but to head across toward Corrientes and the D line. Even here our way was not easy, people everywhere, with cameras, with banners, wearing clothing that protested about something or other. I must say my favourite was the ladies protesting about being allowed to go topless on the beaches. (use your imagination)

When we finally got to Corrientes, we were on Callao. The steps down to the subte were blocked with people. So we had to walk all the way. 4 kilometres is not normally that far for us, but it was hard going after 4 hours dancing. Time for beer I think.

We stopped at El Imaginario, not the best, but we like the courtyard. Outside without having to bear the traffic. The first beer was gone before the food arrived. The second bottle was savoured over our salad and empanadas. Two things I really like about this place; the outside space, and only one block to walk home. This is important after two litres of 6% beer and an exhausting day. I won’t need much rocking tonight.

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Lita Morales

Well, I did not put it in yesterdays blog as I had to do some fact checking, but I had the honour to dance with a lady yesterday, now living in the states. Turns out she is the daughter of Lita Morales. This has to be the highlight of my trip. Moral of the story, never ignore that older lady at the back, she may have some secret that will surprise you.

She told me she travelled with an orquesta as a child, but seemed reluctant to tell me any more. I asked her who her parents were and she seemed suspicious of me asking. But when I extracted who her mother was she seemed surprised I had heard of her. Nice for us both then I suppose.

I danced with her again tonight at Milonga de Juan. The milonga itself was a disappointment today, too few people, although Viv did get some new dances. All in all though it was tough going. Then we had a fire test. Now at home, we have an alarm and everyone knows what is going on, even if you don’t hear the announcement, here they do it different. They had announced it earlier, but then they just stopped the music and put the lights out. Some even thought “corta de luz” it must have taken ten minutes for everyone to realize. By then we would have all been toast.

Well by half six we had , had enough and left. There is a new café on the corner under Casa Galicia called Espacio Café, so we thought we would give it a try. Nice coffee and media lunes only 60$ar. Unfortunately he closes at seven, so it is unlikely to be a regular call for us, even though I told him to stay open on Tuesday and Thursday. The patron was Italian which was good for me as it meant Spanish was a second language for him. We had quite a chat, possibly the best I have had yet.

Any one confused by my Facebook post La Nacional is the building in which Milonga de Juan is held, there is no Facebook page yet for Espacio Café.

Afterwards we walked back to congresso to catch our colectivo. There was a small queue and no sign of a bus. Up at Callao there was an anti abortion  demonstration going on. Looks like no busses tonight. After waiting ten minutes we decided to walk to Corrientes y Callao and catch the subte.

At least they were running and we stepped straight on. One way or another we can always get home here.

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