Tag Archives: Confiteria Ideal

Lo de Celia

Woke up to no water this morning, every day is a new adventure. I still had some coffee in the pot so it was not a complete disaster. It came on again about 9:15 just in time for us to go out. By 9:30 it was off again.

Off out then for some money, I had a feeling about this transfer. We arrived at the office and immediately I had problems getting a number. The machine was not for giving out, eventually we got R8. The G numbers were up to 6 there were no Rs yet. It was about five past when R1 appeared. It was another half hour before it got to me.

I got to the desk and gave the girl the number. She checked it, looked at the amount, checked it again and asked me a question that I did not understand, she tried “solo uno?” I said “si”. She was not happy, this is no more in real terms than I have always drawn but it seems a lot now. The guy from the next booth stuck his head around the corner, someone who speaks English, “Is this just one transaction?” he asked, yes I said. Apart from me being asked to sign various papers the rest was done in silence. I never got an explanation of the problem, but I suspect it was just the amount of money that they had difficulty with.

She brought a bunch of notes, a hundred by the looks of it. She counted out six and put the rest into her counting machine. No more ado, I left with $94,000 and a bunch of small notes.  Not the official rate, but a penny to the peso looks like the new rate for us.

We came back and Jose was in the lift, He was complaining about the expensas. $5,800. It is an awful lot now but for us in real terms it has gone down.

As we get ready to go out, we still have problems with the water. It seems we have water, but it must be airlocked, because there is no cold in the bathroom. The only way to have a shower is to turn the boiler right down, otherwise it is scalding.  The taps here would not pass UK regulations, whilst having a shower the toilet tank filled up with hot water via the mixer. When we had finished there was still no cold.

Off to El abrazo today. El Beso has been without power now for a week and today there was a notice on the door. It said it was closed but that El Abrazo had gone to Lo de Celia. Whilst I was checking my map I heard Finn shouting us from a bus. A no 12 colectivo, he wanted us to follow him. The Bus driver was patient and waited for us to get on and unsure of the destination we said “same as him” or el mismo de el” whatever I said it worked. I do not know this route but I do know when we get to Humberto primo, so we were OK. We safely arrived and got ourselves inside. Zoraiada told us we could sit anywhere, that gave us a problem, as we had no idea of the seating here.

Still once seated we managed to get a lot of dances for the first couple of hours, then it started to dry up again. Graciela finally turned up and I even got her up for the chacarera. I think I upset one of my regulars, she is a lady I love to dance with but I could not see her, aparently she got up when I cabeceo another lady,  Viv noticed and a bunch behind the lady I got up, but I did not. Now I fear she will not dance with me again. Then it was time to go.

Viv wanted to go into town so we changed subte at Coreo Central and got off at  Carlos Peligrini. We walked past Confiteria Ideal and there was a guy outside, said we could go in to look. He said it would be open again in August, somehow I think that optimistic.

So we ended up in Suipacha, The only shop open now was Flabella. The guy all but dragged us in, but they had no shoes in Vivs size although she did buy another black skirt.

We also stopped in Esmarelda for a coffee; coffee and medialuna $90. If you have been paying attention that is less than a pound, rude not to.

We caught the subte back and went to Imaginario. The patio was open and we sat there with some food and beer. Viv was treating me tonight, so I had the picante empanadas and we shared some patatas al horno. Again less than £8.  This cannot continue, I have already noticed that the milk has gone up, Let’s hope things settle soon, I worry and I have a much smaller stake in this place than the locals.

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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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Carolina, beautiful dresses and Spanish for foreigners.

Viv has been asking to go to Carolina the dress shop on Pasco. We tried earlier but it was on a Saturday and just too chaotic. Today though we had the place to ourselves, but that brings its own problems. The shop assistants are just too helpful. Viv just wanted to browse, but they were having non of it. “what is it for?” they asked, “What colour” and so on. In the end we narrowed it down to three dresses, two the same but different colours and one a different style.

Well the one different would not fit, Viv being broad shouldered. The other two Viv worried about showing too much, as if she could. In the end though It was down to colour. While all this trying on was going on, I was getting the full interview. I was doing pretty well until she asked me if we go out much. I did not understand the question, but she had the nous  to re phrase it until I got it. She said she lived on Billinghurst and Humahuaca,  told her that Viv would be jealous as she always wanted to live on Humahuaca.

So we came away with a lovely dress, and I had the best Spanish conversation yet. I need more of this but it is rare to find someone who can speak to a foreigner in a way that can be understood.

El Beso was celebrating 21 years, and as always happens at these times, it was packed. Viv left early because she was not getting dances and I was not long after her. Frightened of repercussions and I was not enjoying it anyway. Too much barging and cabeceo was all but impossible through the crowd. I did get a couple of dances with Teresa though. I have not danced with her since Confiteria Ideal closed.

So it’s beer at home tonight then.

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El Abrazo

We have been asked to go to El Abrazo today, so for a change, we are giving it a try. El Abrazo was the milonga that ran at La Confiteria Ideal. Now with that closed it has moved to El Beso. It’s an easy journey for us, possibly even easier than Ideal, we just get off at Callao and walk back one block.

They sat us together when we entered, but it did not seem to make much difference. At first it looked like Viv was going to have trouble, but she soon picked up.

It is hard to give descriptions without appearing cruel, but as I have been asked, I will try. Please accept that I am not trying to be bitchy, just honest and hopefully those described will not read this. (swallows hard)

There is one lady I have seen around a lot, but never managed to get her to dance. She has what you might describe as a hard body, very slim copper hair but a face that was not her own. Hard to determine her age but she obviously takes care of herself, but I prefer natural features. She dances well and has no trouble getting partners, that is why it has taken me this long to get a dance. The dynamic here is on my side today, so maybe I will get more dances in the future.

There is a threesome with whom we have got quite friendly and today they are celebrating. There is Graciela, the youngest. She always makes up well although she is often tired after a work day. She carries too much weight but is very lively and about 5’2. She is also the noisy one and often sings the words of the tango songs out loud. Although a porteña I think that the locals are a bit shocked at her noise level. There is her sister, who has only recently started dancing with us, she has improved since last year and getting more dances now. Then there is Maria, a red faced buxom Swede. Maria speaks no English so we have to communicate it Spanish, with as you can imagine, some problems. It was her birthday today so we were treated to champagne and cake. Not sure if I should mention her age but she does not look five years older than me.

The dancing is difficult in El Beso, the floor area is too small and being new here getting dances was a challenge. Still we both enjoyed it and it was not far off closing by the time we left.

I am not very good at remembering the men, there is one we call Ron Dennis (Because he looks like him) Viv lost out to the birthday party today and did not get a dance. Leroy is a huge black fireman from Chicago wiggles his bum and is generally quite playful, Viv mentioned Trump once and now she gets a political commentary every dance, but on the bright side, he now remembers her and she gets dances. Then there is Rene completely opposite to Leroy, I think he is happy at where his head ends up while they are dancing.

We left when the Chacarera came on, Viv, it seems, is not quite ready for the Chacarera.

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A new venue

Before this week I had never heard of La Milonga de Juan although I found out it has been running two years. It was a slow start for us as we know nobody here. One or two turned up later that we knew, but it was otherwise slim pickings.

There were considerably more men than women so at least Viv got plenty of dances. She also knew a couple of men from Ideal so she did well enough. Every time I managed to get a dance I got the same reaction “I didn’t know if you could dance” hopefully they will know for next time.

I don’t know why this place is not in Hoy Milonga, but it seems to keep it very local. The price is the lowest we have found and the drinks are cheaper as well. Apparently there is a show at seven as well, but after three and a half hours dancing we had enough. It is also one of the few places now where the organizer welcome you in and dances with the women.

Could not go without dancing with Maria and Graciela though. Graciela always makes a show of it, they can’t say they don’t know me here now.

Time to catch the subte home and grab some beer.

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Last chance to see

Dancing in Ideal today. It will be the last chance before it is closed on Thursday. Rumors abound but I lean towards the one that says they are refurbishing. I cannot believe that they would spend countless millions on La Molin, which is all but derelict  and has nowhere near the reputation this place has, then leave Ideal to ruin. Hay! but stranger things have happened here.

The mix again is different, for a while I had plenty of women to dance with, while Viv had few men. Then the mix changed again and I started to run out of partners. All in all though a good afternoon and I was thoroughly knackered by the time we left.

We met Anna there, a lady we had met at Vos last year. We never thought we would see her again, but she has taken up tango, so we meet again. Graciela kept us stocked up with peanuts, well Viv anyway. I just got earache every time I took some. (from Viv, not Graciela). Viv never got a dance from the singing waiter though.

We headed off to Suarez again as Viv wanted to test out the chocolate mouse. True to form, they did not have it today. So we had tarta manzana instead.

We stopped off for some cheese scones and cheese straws on the way home to have with out supper. Then out again for tonight’s beer.

Ever think you have left and come back in another time? The girls in La Riena (The bread shop) are always the same, but not tonight. I thought it rather strange that I did not recognize them. Later in the Chino, the guy outside stacking boxes, never seen him before. The nice girl on the till and the miserable boss, not there. Somebody different, even the verdereria had someone different. It was all very strange.

Perhaps they are all buried under the new concrete outside our building.

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Ideal, parrilla, and stout

Mondays are now Confiteria Ideal days, and as usual it was near deserted. For some reason there were no women except in couples. There were free men though, so Viv was happy. If Viv is happy I get no ear ache so I am happy.

A few women arrived later and so did Graciela, so I got some dances. Actually we had a good time again, just shows you do not need big crowds to enjoy a milonga.

When we left we wandered across the road to Suipacha. We were looking for somewhere different to eat. As soon as we crossed the road we were accosted by someone who said that this was the best place  to  eat. He spoke perfect English and we had quite a chat. In hind sight it might have been better to stay. As we left a woman asked if there was a Carrefour near here, I remembered that there was one on Esmarelda and directed her there. Well Viv was impressed anyway.

We got all but dragged in every parrilla along Levalle but decided on one close to Esmarelda. $300 for parrilla and postre so we went for it. It was a bit disappointing to say the least, but at least we got the Quilmes Stout with it. We were well stuffed though so there was no need for more food or a visit to Ken for more ice cream.

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Suarez, too much cake

Another Monday has come around and Viv sets off to the Coreo to post another letter. After she had gone I remembered the electric bill (Double last month $60, may have to sell my body).

So when she returned I went out to the pagofacil. On the way back I found a kiosco that I have never seen before just up Salguero. I popped in to charge my phone “What part of Brazil are you from?” she asked. This is getting monotonous, must be the hair cut, perhaps they gave me a Brazilian. Anyway when I told her where I was from she spoke perfect English and we had a nice chat.

Mondays are becoming a problem, so we decided to put hope above experience and try Confiteria Ideal. Ideal is the place all the tourists want to go, they go there because of the tango dancing, but today it was all but empty. They have ripped everyone off for so long that the dancers have deserted, with no dancers there is nothing for the tourists and they cannot even pay for a decent DJ. That said the guy who is there seems to have improved some what and we had some half decent tandas.

With almost no one in there those who wished to dance would dance with us, so I think we had three or four different dances, apart from dancing with each other. Graciela was there and I had a couple of dances with her, plus a couple of Italians.

Actually we quite enjoyed it in the end. One of the waiters was funny, he danced with an Italian and sat there singing along to the music.

Ideal is rumored to have been sold and is due to close its doors by the end of the month. Rumors are rife so I never claim to know anything until it has happened, but we will have to watch Hoy milonga to be sure it is actually open next week.

We were ready to leave and Viv got a dance with someone she had never managed to dance with before, so I just changed my shoes. Then a great milonga came on and Viv said “Dance with Graciela if you want” Not realizing I had changed my shoes. Well me dancing in my loafers kept a few people amused.

We set off for a coffee just to finish. Corrientes is like a building site here now, so we turned off down Esmarelda. We ended up in Suarez bar. Well we remembered all the cake the ladies ate here last year, so I had to try some. The piece I had was huge, I had to wrap the remains in a napkin for later.

All the parillas up Lavalle got me thinking, maybe next week we should stop off here for food now I am no longer on the verge of bankruptcy. Tonight though we have Vivs lentejas to eat.

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And I thought it was just me

Viv sent me out shopping again. I quite enjoy my trips to the almacen now, except for the constant queueing.

Anyway I took a ticket for the fiambre (cheese and cooked meats) Then went over to the carneceria. The butcher is always quicker for some reason. I got myself some picada and then queued again at the fiambre. Where-upon  I was drawn into conversation. It went something like this: “What number are they calling” “nineteen” said I “I cannot understand them their diction is so poor” “It is always the same for me, as I am a foreigner” “They do not open their mouths, both my parents were Spanish, I learned to speak properly” She said. And so It went on, and all this time I thought that it was just me, seems you can have lived all your life here and still not understand what they say.  Perhaps I should just give up, but at least I need not feel so bad about it now.

We set off for Plaza Bohemia, this time being careful to check first on Hoy Milonga. We got to the bus stop early as Viv wanted to get some things from the shop by the stop. As is the way here it was shut. We know that there is a colectivo at four but we did not know what time the earlier one was. We waited until quarter to, but this would still bring us there almost before it was open. We dawdled as it was hot and as we were early. However despite our earlier check, the place was closed “No hay Luz”. There was a crowd over the road and I got in conversation with one guy who remembered us at El Arranque on a Monday. The lady who takes the money was also there, nobody held any hope of it opening.

We decided to risk Confiteria Ideal again. By the time we were getting close we were too hot, too tired and just a bit pissed. So we said “Sod it” and went for a coffee instead.  Monday is rapidly becoming one of those days, think we will try Obelisco next week.

Home it is then, early meal, bottle of beer and maybe some Ice cream afterwards. Ah! sitting outside Ken with an ice cream, luxury.



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Thumbs up to the Coreo Girl

It’s that time of the month again, I have to pay the Rentas, so I am off out to The Pagofacil.

Before we went though I got a call from Maggie asking if we were going to Canning today. I had mixed feelings about the call, always glad to hear from friends, but she asked why we were not at Ideal. Apparently there was no entrada on Monday.  Makes me wonder what it is about our bearing that makes people want to rip us off. Actually it only happens at Ideal, but they never publish the entradas, it leaves it open to all sorts of scams. And it did not exactly lighten my mood.

Back to the Pagofacil, we have been told it is easier than the Coreo, but today there was a big queue and no one was attending to it. So we crossed the road, I took a number at the Coreo and there was only one in front of us. I was out in two minutes. Unusually the girl was really cheerful. Viv said after an hour in that place anyone would be miserable. So thumbs up to the Coreo girl.

Salon Canning was quiet when we arrived. Very few women, that suited Viv. By the time Maggie and Peter arrived the women were starting to outnumber the men again. It never got really bad though. I think Viv is starting to enjoy Canning now. Maybe at last we have a regular Wednesday haunt.

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