Tag Archives: Collectivo

Quiet day at Nuevo Chique

Viv has decided to buy some weights, so no point in delay, we buy too many things that end up just for others use. There is a sports shop just along Corrientes so we pop in there. Viv picked some pink rubber things, but the guy said that the metal ones were a third of the price and there was a 30% discount. We bought four, two pairs. The guy put one of each in a bag, this was not to Vivs satisfaction, she intended me to carry the heavier pair. Well it told on my biceps by the time we got back to the apartment, carrying one in each hand gave me quite a workout.

Then she sent me out to the chino again, seems all I do is shop when I am here. I bought a quarter of cherry tomatoes and he put them on a polystyrene tray and covered them in plastic. I will ask for a paper bag next time. Half an hour later I realized we were short of milk, so it was out again. I think that I am wearing a furrow across the road.

It will be our first return to Nuevo Chique today and it starts badly. We had to wait 10 minutes for the subte, this meant there was a crowd waiting to get on.  More got on at the next two stations, the second being a connection, I expected many to get off, it was awful. Some did get off at Pastuer and Callao but it was still rammed full.

The streets, in contrast were all but deserted. It seems there is some sort of demonstration, for or against the new president. Nothing is ever certain here. In Nuevo Chique there was almost nobody there, but at least all who were, were dancing. All afternoon the numbers never picked up. Viv loved it she danced her socks off as did I. I did at first think that I would run out of women, but they arrived in dribs. I did dance with some women twice, but it never became an issue. Viv did get three tandas with Hubert  though.

We had no problems crossing Congresso, but were expecting problems getting home. If there was no bus then we would have to walk as the subte would be unmanageable. As it happened a 151 passed us as we walked up and a 90 followed soon after, little traffic so we were home in no time.

Viv has cooked up a pasta treat and we washed it down with some Quilmes Negra.

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A hot one

Apart from the usual shopping trip out there was little to report on our morning. Then it was out again to afternoon milonga at Nuevo Chique. We arrived early as always and things did not look good, we had already been grilled as we walked along Uruguay. Now we were met with near darkness. Every time the temperature goes up here there are power cuts and today it was the turn of Casa Galicia. I am not sure how this works, but there was power for some lights and a portable sound system, but non for the main sound system and non for the air conditioners. The ceiling fans seemed to be working though so we had some air movement, just no chilling.

I commented that the Edisur building was next door, a building full of electricity and one woman said ” and across the road is the Peronist party headquarters, they never have power cuts”. I could have thrown a cable across and got us some power, but I don’t think they would allow it.

Some left early due to the poor sound, others soon after because of the heat. Still for the first two hours at least Viv never missed a tanda. Unusually for me I missed some just because I was too hot, but we braved it out until after seven and the Pugliese. Three hours is enough anyway and certainly in this heat.

Many women commented that my shirt was dry, most of the other men were drenched in sweat. Like I say, it’s hard to get me too hot. My towel did get some use though and I had some cold washes. Good quality cotton helps, I suppose.

We headed out into the heat, it was still up in the thirties, and the rain from overflowing aircons was everywhere.  El Revolutionario was still not open, and it looks like it may remain shut for some time. I noticed today that the letters over the door in red are no longer there, perhaps the revolution has been overthrown.

So we jumped on the next 151 and set off for Cordoba. It is always strange passing our building, I want to jump off, but then we would have further to walk. As it was we had nine blocks to walk but it was worth it. Our first visit to 1810 this year, but they never gave us the spicy salsa. A few years ago they stopped, but tonight I noticed that they gave it to later diners.

Still we enjoyed out Stella Noir and empanadas followed by lentejas for Viv and Carbonada for me. We always enjoy the food here, but not so much the long walk home.

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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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We’re Back

Did not do a lot this morning, I suppose we are not yet fully into this.

Still we set off for Nuevo Chique and charged up our Sube cards on  the way.

We arrived to a hail of kisses and were soon seated ready to dance. I watched Viv get straight up she was smiling and animated, when she is happy so am I. I knew we were in for a good afternoon. So many old friends, so many good dances. We are back with a bang.

Funny how it goes though, we both danced non stop until six thirty, then it all sort of came to a stop. Viv could get no dances and I could find no good partners, so we set off for El Revolutionario. When we got there it was mostly in darkness, the guy at the front said they were on holiday until February but that we could look around.  So we caught our 151 back home.

We stopped off at Corrientes and walked to Guarda la vieja, a meal and beer was planned so a meal and beer we were having. We ordered Burritos, never occurred to me before but it means baby donkeys. The waiter did not know quite what to make of my impersonation. Still the beer was good but the burritos, well the Argentines do not do spices, should have ordered just one portion and some chips.


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Great playlist at Chique

Another hot day and our foraging expedition is kept rather short. Viv has decided that the air con is making us unwell so I bake in the apartment as well.

The subte was packed solid and Uruguay was also busy and extremely hot, so we arrived at Nuevo Chique in a bit of a state.  It took several tandas to cool down. The big crowds we expected from El Arranque never turned up. One old guy was complaining it was too hot. How it could be hotter than El Arranque that has no air con I don’t know, but you know how some people complain.

All my favourites were there but Viv was again struggling and the floor was looking almost empty by six. Erwin turned up, Busman’s holiday I suppose. Dany played some new vals, apparently it was Canaro we debated and in the end I had to ask Dany. I have searched for this version without success, Viv thinks that as the next tanda was Canaro we got crossed lines I will have to go to arbitration on this. News back from Erwin is it was Canaro, now I know the track I just have to find the others.

Dany was exceptional tonight, while I knew most of the tracks they were by orquestas that I was not expecting. What I would give for his playlist.

After the milonga we went to Revolutionario and had a bottle of stout just the thing after a long days dancing. Then it was back home on our trusted 151.




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El Revolutionario

It was threatening rain and stupidly we left the flat without umbrellas. I could have negotiated the subte system to get us within two blocks of Nuevo Chique, but did not think about it until we were about to come above ground. As luck would have it, it was not actually raining although we could feel the odd drop. The pavements were another matter though. We needed great care to avoid getting splashed by lose flags that will send a jet of dirty water up your leg at any opportunity.

Somehow we arrived clean and dry and were soon installed in our favourite seats. Another great afternoon but again the crowd seems to have changed. Viv never missed a tanda but a lot of her favourites were missing. Every time I leave I give my ticket to Miguel, it’s a thank you for dancing with Viv every time. Last Thursday he won the sorteo with my number. Now he had given the champagne to Viv to distribute. “It was your number” he said, I could not convince him that it was a gift. There was too much for Viv and I so we called for extra glasses and gave some to Pauline and Geoff and to Hubert and Paloma.

There was a huge amount of women, Viv did really well to keep dancing. As well as all my regulars from here there seemed to be all my regulars from other venues as well. I had a real problem trying to make sure that I did not upset anyone. The lady who says I have lovely eyes was here and I very nearly did another double cabeceo with her and the Polish lady. I had to quickly look away and break the contact. Having established that she wanted to dance with me I then rushed over to her. She was embarrassed when in El Arranque she had come to the floor and I danced with someone else, I did not want it to happen twice.

Three and a half hours of solid dancing was taking its toll so at seven thirty Viv called time. On our way out Marcella gave us a huge chocolate sweet. Some sort of Valentines tradition apparently, we thanked her and set off into the street.

Viv is still in search of the perfect coffee stop and we are running out of places at Congreso, but half way along right behind our bus stop is a place called El Revolutionario. There are pictures of Che Guevara and all sorts of other symbolism, we thought it just a bar. So we checked out if it did indeed do coffee. Well it turns out to be something to do with Madres Plaza de Mayo. It would take too long to explain here so you can read up here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mothers_of_the_Plaza_de_Mayo if you so wish.

Anyhow the coffee was excellent, as were the medialunas and the price was not bad either. We had the added pleasure of knowing we were supporting a good cause.

We came out to a number 90 collective just stopping at the bus stop, perfect timing.

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Dinner with Boris

After another productive morning I have finally finished my dining chairs. So here, as promised are the pictures:

Before and after

Before and after

All the chairs done

All the chairs done

Thursday and another Nuevo Chique day. Funny how they go, Viv missed only one tanda today and she wanted to just carry on. At seven thirty though I was worn out. There was no dance left in me, so we caught the 151 for home. We jumped off at Corrientes though to try Subway for a coffee. It is cheaper, if not exactly traditional. Some guy was hastleing me as we went in, I did not realize he was begging at first because he had a green hat on. In the typically porteño way he hit me with a barrage of words that made no sense to me. Fortunately I was rescued by one of the staff. The coffee appeared to be pre sweetened but the croissants were good.

Viv has the night off from cooking, we are eating at Philippe’s tonight. It is always too late for us, but as guests we must fit in with our hosts. We stocked with beer and then Ice cream on the way. The woman in the ice cream shop is convinced we are mad, I bought a half kilo of mixed flavours, but still had to get a quarter of the chocolate armargo for Viv. She just will not have her flavours mixed.

Luba arrived fashionably late and we were finally introduced to her new companion; Boris the dog. Boris is a Pomeranian apparently, no I have never heard of them either. Very small and still being a pup was into everything. It was impossible to relax. First he tried to eat the olive stones, so they were put out of reach, then he was into Luba’s bag for her cigarettes. Never mind he kept us entertained.

Philippe fed us well, as you would expect from a Frenchman, but the conversation always seems to revolve around Brexit these days. It must be hard, I suppose to understand from so far away.

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Rain at seven

The BBC said it would rain at six today, the local forecast gave rain for tomorrow. In the time we have been here The BBC have never been right so we are relying on the local forecast today.

It is hot down in the subte, but fortunately we are not there long before we get a train. We felt a few drops of rain as we walked down Uruguay but nothing to worry about.

Nuevo Chique was quiet today, at first Viv struggled to get dances, then the dynamic changed and I started to struggle. I did dance with some new women though. There are still precious few foreigners though. not that I am complaining, it is good to dance with locals, but the tourist industry is the lifeblood of this place and I worry.

I did do two dances with Margerita. She is a short attractive Chilean lady, always wears halter tops and informs me she is three years older than me. Getting to be a habit this multiple dances.

I also did two dances with a local lady. Blond about five four, slim and probably about the same age. She danced so well I took a risk and got her up for a milonga. That went rather well. You never can quite tell as I dance milonga like a lunatic and everyone learns different moves, but keep it simple and just throw in a few crazies and it worked out well.

I got up to dance with Graciela and was poached by Ariceli. Ariceli is early fifties with shoulders that look like they could bench press me and Viv together. Still she is a good sort and we always enjoy a dance. After this I got that dance with Graciela and saw Viv disappear, so I knew it was time to go.

When we got outside the big spots were dropping, no coat or umbrella, not a good time for The BBC to be finally right. Of course Viv wanted to stop for coffee. It was darkening when we sat down, then the thunder and lightning and the heavens opened.

Fortunately the rain does not persist long here, but it was still raining as we dodged under the buildings to our bus stop. With careful positioning it was possible to see up the road from under the shelter of the building, and soon we saw a 90 coming.  We rushed out to wave it down and boarded. We had just missed one so this one was almost empty and we could sit down. Normally we get off at Corrientes as the 90 does not stop outside our building but for once we broke our no going back rule; half a block trumps two blocks in the rain. So we got off along Guardia Vieja.

At least we managed to get home dry, but now I no longer know which weather forecast to believe.

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Only one shoe

As we were just mooching and thinking about the day ahead, Viv suddenly discovered that she has only one shoe. We Know a song about that, don’t we Johnny? Anyway it appears she left one in Canning last night. We are unable to recover it now but it looks like our venue for tomorrow is decided.

The trip down to Nuevo Chique was on one of the new trains. Who knows what they were thinking when they bought these, a minimum of seats and no hanging straps. Everyone looking for some corner to lean into and tossed around at every station. I have not travelled on one of these at rush hour, I’ll bet it’s a nightmare.

We arrived a little later today, but still the crowds have not arrived so we still got our places. It’s funny, but Thursdays have a totally different feel to a Tuesday. We both still get plenty of dances but there is the odd missed tanda. Not that I am complaining, the temperature today was 33deg, so I needed a rest occasionally. I actually sat out the first milonga just to let my shirt dry out.

Maria when she arrived sat with Viv, it was fun to watch. Maria is Swedish and speaks no English, but she does speak Machine gun Spanish.  Viv just looked baffled most of the time.

There are almost no other turistas at the moment, so although a different crowd today, I managed to meet many new porteñas. One was particularly impressed that I knew Alberto Podesta, we were both fans of D’Sarli. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z17dDqNXpYE

He (Alberto Podesta) is the only artist from the great years that I ever met and as such will never forget.

Anyway, I digress. We stopped off for coffee again on our way home, the waiter for some reason was insistent we could not pay by card. I don’t know what had got into his head, but we had no intention.

Back to another early night again. So much for living the high life, we have not yet been up at midnight.

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Good to be back

Ever noticed when you have low expectations the best things happen.

Well it was one of those days. Firstly I managed to get my new keys cut, with a longer shaft  that enables me to pick the door key out easier and saves my knuckles when I open the door.  Went to the post office to send a card and that was a breeze.  Still we were not looking forward to todays milonga, we were still not at our best.

Never the less we set off early. At the Subte the office was closed so we could not charge out SUBE cards, but the gate was open so free train ride. We got off as usual at Uruguay and the office there was open, so we both charged our cards, then left the station heading along Uruguay to San Jose.

Viv was soon telling me to slow down as we would be too early. Of course as soon as I slowed she left me behind, you just cannot win. We arrived just before four, of course milongas start at Argentine o’clock, so we hung around in the foyer. The first people we met were Hubert and Paloma, we must have some sort of magnetic attraction see https://tangogales.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/a-coruna-to-santander/

Getting there early was a great idea, Viv got the seat she wanted and first pick of all the men as they came in. Men who are normally too picky or just do not see her were asking her to dance. Unusually she never missed a tanda and by seven she was worn out.

Again there were so many ladies and so little time, I also never stopped. So many renewed acquaintance’s, so many besos, so many great dances. It was all too much for our first milonga. By the end my face hurt from smiling so much, but Viv said “go” so go we must. As we left we bumped into our old friend Juan, more besos and abrazos. Not seen him in some time, hopefully we will catch up this time.

We walked towards our bus stop and Viv wanted to stop for a coffee before we left, a chance to relax and unwind. As we sat drinking our coffee the best part of the day for me; Viv said

“Good to be back” When Viv is happy, so are we all.

Things continue to improve, caught our 151 collective “Donde?” he said “Guardia Vieja” said I, and he understood. Wow!


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