Tag Archives: Corrientes

Four into 237 don’t go

There seems to be a lot of fire around lately. There is a kitchen supplies shop on the corner of Medrano y Corrientes, it seems to have suffered some fire damage. As I walked around the corner the pavement was roped off. At the last window was some rather drastic fire damage. It looks to me like one of the street people were there and all their stuff burned. Whether this was accidental or malicious is hard to tell, although I would say from the amount of damage some accelerant was used. The mattress was nothing more than a wire frame and the shop window was totally destroyed.

Walter came this morning and we have finality for next year.  Every year he has to pay me more and every year it is worth less to me, such is life with hyper inflation. Still he is a good tenant and popular with the neighbors. Better still he left beer.

Nuevo Chique again excelled. Four hours and neither of us missed a tanda until nearly the end, and that was because we were exhausted. There were some new ladies arrived but I was in no physical state to do the music justice.

We went over to La Continental Av de Mayo for a change. The media lunas we had on Congreso were not good so we thought we would try here. Turns out they had non, they had run out. So we had a factura instead. Now the price on the door for coffee and a media ulna was $100. When we asked for the bill it was $237. How does that work? apart from everything else two coffees two factura, it should have been an even number. I gave him $250, Viv said that is only $13 tip. I suppose it was but if they are just going to make up the price. In my mind it was $50.

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Money Day

Nothing ever quite goes to plan here. As I get older, I worry more, so I am never happy collecting the money. So I set off for the Argenper office already slightly nervous. The office is often empty at this time on a Wednesday so I was hopeful I would be out quickly.On presenting my passport the guy put my details in as usual, then started telling me something. The Spanish here is always hard to follow, but through glass is even harder. Yet I managed to make out I was not going to get my money. He gave me a piece of paper with the address of another office, eleven blocks away.

I walked down Corrientes, all the time worrying that I was being set up. I was not reassured when I found the place. It was one of those little precincts that are all over the place here. Inside there were dozens of closed shops and an Argenper Travel office. There was a sign that told me for money I must go to the first floor. I had already noted the broken escalator, so I looked for the stairs.

I found the office and it was full of people, unlike the Abasto office which had been empty. There was no ticket dispenser but an automated machine. Nothing I did would induce it into life, then I noticed that it already had a ticket waiting to be taken. So I took it, unsure if it would be the right one for me.

After a long wait, I finally got my money with good service. Still unsure why I had been sent all this way, I was careful to conceal my money and proceeded with due haste. I was watching all the time, just in case this was a set up. In the end I got home without incident, but Viv said she expected someone older.

With biggest part of my free time used up, there was time for only one other job. The garage had promised me that there would be a welder for my chair here today so that had to be my priority. Unfortunately, the welder was not there. I don’t know why but the guy gave me a long hard luck story and never even offered to let me leave the chair and pick it up at some later date. He babbled something about Tucuman but I wandered down there and never found a garage. Another day, another series of failed jobs TIA.

We headed out for Salon Canning again, and arrived unfashionably early. We had two hours of solid dancing, and then we just sort of ran out of partners. We stayed for another hour, but dancing at a lower rate then we left for a coffee. We should not have had the medialunas though, they put us off our food. So we decided not to stop on Cordoba as planned but to head back to Bar Imaginario.

Imaginario was closed, so we went to HB. All the tables had reservado on them, so we had to sit in the middle. I think if this happens again we will walk out, because the tables were still empty when we left.  Viv had a chicken Roll that turned out to be a wrap. We were going to share a main and just have a salad but I wanted the Choripan, never having had it. It was basically heart attack on bread. Unusually for me, I left some. It was just too much, but the beer was nice, Imperial Stout.

Perhaps we should have stopped on Cordoba after all.


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There’s a car stuck in your window

As the heat is getting to me I decided to get rid of some of my loft insulation, my usual hairdresser was closed so I risked the one Philippe uses. It must be because he always tries to get a bargain that he ends up with the Lionel Blair cut, my wasn’t at all bad.

Now going to our favourite dietetica I approached it from the other direction. Imagine my shock as all the front of the building was stoved in. There were bits of car everywhere and the shutters were down. On paper across the front was written “Abierto” so I walked to the side entrance. A good trick to get your ear in is to ask a question that you already know the answer to “Que paso?” I asked “Un auto choca, pero no pasa nada” No Pasa Nada! you have to love em, I would have been furious. “Estan locos” I said “si” she replied.

Car drivers here really are nuts, from the direction of all the debris I assume that the car was trying to beat someone across the junction towards Corrientes and another set of lights. So instead of twenty seconds more at the next set of lights, they probably ended up in hospital and definitely car less.

Philippe came around with Walter, it seems he needs some sort of contract to get the money back from his divorce settlement.  We had an hour or so just chatting then they were off again.

We went out for a walk, to buy a few things and then stopped at a bar. I should know by now not to use bars on Corrientes but, it seems, I never learn. No black beer so we just had coffee and medialunas. The bill came to 128$ar, that is £6.50 Chester prices. The difference when we are talking about coffees is small I suppose but still, more than £2 more than I would pay at El Revolutionario is just taking the mick.

I will just have to buy a bottle of Quilmes Stout at the chino. I could have bought three for the cost of that coffee, and brewed my own coffee for almost nothing.


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Los Floristas

We went out today to explore some museums. As is the way here nothing goes to plan. We took the subte to Las Heras and walked up Libertador. The first museum looked closed, perhaps we were at the wrong door, we walked around and could find no other entrance so we walked back. We saw another couple talk to the guard then look at their watches. Viv said to ask them, but it made more sense to ask the guard. “A las Dos” he said, so we tried the next museum.

The entrance was open and there was a working café there as well, it looked good. We walked through the door and spoke to the guard “A las dos martes a Domingo” he said. So it looked like we had almost three hours to kill.

So we walked up to Santa fe, stopping for coffee on the way. Viv still had some shopping to do, but we were having little success. Eventually we reached Alto Palermo and rain started She found some of what she wanted (at a very inflated price in my opinion) at least she was happy. I asked the girl if there was an Isadora here, she asked at the next stop then tried to tell me in English. “out there” ” Do you mean Santa fe?” “Si, turn left” pointing, “Do you mean right” “Si”. well we followed her directions but found no Isadora, so we gave up and headed back towards Libertador.

As we were now on Salguero, we decided to head for Malba. This was in fact open from 12 but we were not to know. It was $90 each entrada, and I have to say it was a waste of money. The building was beautiful but the art was mainly pretentious rubbish. There was modern art that looked like infant school paintings, Sheets of wood spray painted and framed, and some paintings that looked like Beryl Cook, they were the highlight.

The only really exciting thing was a wall mural that had been taken down restored and installed here. There was a video of the restoration and transportation and I was impressed with the care and attention to detail here.

There was an exhibition of sound, where various things were transposed into music box tunes; a video of the traffic and some other things that I just lost interest so much that I forget what it was.

Finally there was a moving set of pictures, photographs of Brazilian Indians, moved from their homes in the name of progress. The number tags they all wore were somehow dehumanizing, but poignant just the same.

We have new umbrellas, but they are at our apartment. We were stuck in Las Canitas in the heavy rain without them. We managed  to dodge under buildings until we found  good place for coffee to sit out the rain. It was still raining, though not so hard when we trudged the 20 blocks home.

After our poor parilla in Florida we though we would give it another try. Not far from us on Corrientes is a bar called Los Floristas, super parillada $450. We got there soaked despite the umbrella, the roads are, by now, flooded  and the broken flags spray water up your legs.

Super it was, we struggled with the chips and all the meat, even the salad. The waiter offered to box it up for us but we are too near going home and have most evenings planned. We hate to leave food but sometimes you just have to.

Soaked again on the way back, the trenches dug on every street don’t help. Time to just roll up and sit out the storm.

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Lair of the Red Court

I have mentioned the Church on Corrientes before, it looks nothing like a traditional church and it has Guards outside. I even think that they are armed. Perhaps I have been reading too many Harry Dresden books, but I am now convinced that it is a vampire stronghold.

Next door there is a glass fronted building that reaches as high as the church itself and I have never really looked at it before. Today though as I passed I happened to notice that it is just a facade. The windows go up for maybe five or six stories, but the building behind goes up only two. You can only see this from further down Corrientes, but today I just happened  to look. It is all very odd.

Viv wanted to go out on her own, so I went up to the garden shop (The one that was closed on Sunday) for some gravel. I had to make two journeys as we have no transport. On the second I took Viv with me and we speculated about the false building. We came back with some more plants. Pretty soon You will be unable to move on our balcony. At least Viv has some fresh basil now.

We gave Plaza Bohemia our best shot, but after two weeks of no one dancing with Viv it is time to let go. Tonight we are giving Obelisco a try we are leaving a bit later but taking the same bus.

Well that was a disaster, Viv was sat right at the back with a big fat woman in front of her. I could not see her to dance, never mind all the other men. I had to walk over to get her to dance, there was no way anyone else was going to dance with her. I had a bit of a go at the organizer when we left, but I don’t suppose it will make any difference. I don’t think we will be back anyway.

I think I will have to bite the bullet and go back to Ideal next week.

We stopped at a pizza place for a Quilmes stout on the way home,  the waiters are always surprised. I think perhaps they don’t expect a woman to drink stout, they are not used to welsh women obviously. Should have stayed to dance La Bruja, because we all know that all the best witches come from Wales.



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Shopping trip

Viv dragged me out shopping again. I don’t mind when she sends me out, but being dragged around feels off somehow.

First stop was the Post office, then back to the Almecen on Corrientes. They did not seem to have anything we wanted, so it was down to the verderia for some spuds and apples, oh and bananas. Then down to the chinos. Pretty much everything we need is here, but we were looking for some bulk items.

We took our stuff up to the apartment and set out again for the deli. I know that the chino is cheaper than the big supermarkets, but I was shocked to find that the rice and oats are a quarter of the price. Bulk buying it is then now. The trouble is we needed arboreal rice and that we could only get at the chinos. Still we now have some bulk and saved some money.

Our Tuesday trip to Nuevo Chique is next. Some faces missing today, but Pauline and Geoff were there. Despite this Viv only missed one tanda. I was lazy and missed a couple, but only because I wanted to rest. I had a nice dance with a Columbian lady. Apparently they export more than drugs, emeralds and gold. Good stuff but they are in just the right place to get drugs to the USA.

We stopped for coffee on congreso again, this is getting to be a habit. Then home to the risotto that we got the rice for. I suppose that Vivs risotto is worth the shopping trip.


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Mugging in the street

A beautiful Sunday so we went for a walk down to Parque Centenario. An hour in the sun looking around the market was quite enough, we didn’t buy much and the heat was getting to us. So we cut back through the park and sat under a tree watching the giant carp, the dogs enjoying the water and young boys doing what they all do, but never catching any pigeons.

The walk back was hot and dry, but we wanted to stop at the garden shop on Corrientes. When we got there it was all closed up, I guess that they do not open Sundays.

I knew that there was another on the Right hand side down the street a little, I just could not remember which street. Then Viv remembered it was behind the Church with the guards outside. The girl done good, there it was and we got everything we wanted, a pot, some compost and a saucer for one of our plants.

So now I have planted the piece of ginger we bought from the dietetica, hopefully we will have a crop next year.

There was a load ruckus in the street. At first we could not tell what was happening, then an older guy ran from under the shelter of our balconies, face covered in blood with two youths chasing him. One youth knocked him to the floor. After that it all went a bit crazy. I tried ringing 911, crazy phones would not work, but the attackers ran off. There was so much shouting going on and then a car turned into the street the wrong way, with a medic. It was more or less over.

Soon the police arrived and an ambulance. Fortunately the guy was still standing and all our neighbour’s were out on the street haranguing the police, so there was little we could do from our perch. If we had been interviewed by the police we saw nothing really and the language would have got in the way. So we stayed safely out of it, feeling slightly useless.

It has however slightly shaken my feeling of security for when I next walk the streets.

The steak we bought yesterday was even better than the last one. Set me up for a night at Fulgor.

Well we made the walk and as usual we had no problems, I was still worrying though; what makes someone standout as a victim? How come it’s never me? and what can I do to keep it that way? Maybe I will never know, maybe they know I am from Blacon, perhaps I should take up martial arts.  Who knows?

Fulgor was the same round of greetings and kisses, but something was missing. It has not been the same since Daniel (The DJ) left. The sound is fine when they play cumbia, but the tango is rubbish, no mid range sound. It is like it was played on an old Dansette record player. I wonder if perhaps Ruben needs to upgrade his computer, before all the punters disappear.

The humidity is very high and that is not helping to keep our temperatures down. Strange then that as we walked home there was a bowser spraying water all over the roads. I could feel my body heat rising as it passed. It left me sweating just when I need to be cool for bed.


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The milonga suit gets aired

There is a general strike tomorrow and I am still unsure how it will affect us. Viv has had to change her shopping order for when we return, just in case we are delayed. I have also had to warn my airport taxi that I may not be on the flight from Paris. I am just hoping that the chaos has cleared by Wednesday when we fly.

I finally dug out my milonga suit as this may be our despidida. We plan on going to Chique tomorrow, but who knows who will be there? Meanwhile we are off to Obalisco. The subte is running normally today thankfully as we take three trains. Funny how every station we arrive in the train has just left. We are later today anyway as Viv wanted to wash the towels, so we did not get the best seats.

Viv never missed a tanda which made me happy, but you should have seen the faces of the women when they saw my suit. I felt like telling them it’s only a washable business suit, but they just loved it. One lady I danced with said “bailando con un novio” I told her if it was a wedding suit I would have had a flower. Still it was nice to be appreciated.

The little lady on the next table had her birthday, so I was up in a flash for her birthday dance. How different to all those years ago when Gloria had to almost force me up. Just to make things even better there was cake for everyone as well. Well everyone except Viv, somehow she had been missed.  I searched and found a spare piece on Graciela’s table and took it to Viv. Next tanda Jong also brought her a piece. That’s what you get for complaining. Two pieces of cake.

Viv drew my ticket out for the sorteo. They have one here where people buy tickets and all the money goes in to the prize. There were less people here today but I still got $240, covered my entrada, drinks and some.

When we left we said goodbye to Gabriela and her daughter and promised to return next year. We left them with my email and facebook, but Gabriela is already on my friends list, so I don’t expect too much.

Now for that no90 colectivo and hop off at Corrientes for some Ice-cream for an after dinner treat.

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What date?

Viv likes to sit on the balcony in the sun, me, I like to go out exploring. So there I was walking up Estado de Israel when two girls walked out from a doorway. One of them had cut-offs on, and they were cut very short. Seeing me walking behind them, she clutched the bottoms of her shorts and pulled them down, which sort of drew my attention to them. She turned to see me watching and did it again. This got me thinking (No, not nice bottom, although I did) but, was she now regretting cutting them so short, or was this deliberately done to make me look? Ladies out there your opinion is valued here.

Corrientes has an overhead sign like they have over the motorways at home. It usually displays messages like don’t drink and drive or respect the speed limits, but today it was trying to tell me something. I worked out that Corrientes would be closed, but when? There was an absolute profusion of dates. It made no sense at all. Then it slowly dawned on me ( the old brain is not getting any quicker, you see) many of the streets are named after historical dates. What I was looking at was a list of streets that would be closed. The only date that mattered was 23rd March, tomorrow.

The reason for the closure is tomorrow is another ferria. So we had to get to Fulgor early as they would be full again. We arrived at about eight fifteen and it was not too bad, but by nine it was full and still they came. The DJ Daniel played some excellent tandas and even the tropical was good. We even got up and did a cha cha. The standard of floorcraft was poor though and I spent much of my time avoiding back steps and diagonal dancers, still we had a great night. It was topped off with the sorteo, extra free beer, what more can a man want.

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Something in the air

Saturday so it is El Arranque again. I am still amazed at the amount of back-steps people take here. I was always taught never to step back in a milonga, because you cannot see behind you.

There is a little lady with mad hair, I now know her as Gilda . We were dancing quite happily when some guy took three big back-steps and nearly flattened us. Poor Gilda got a heel on her foot. The guy apologised, then continued doing back-steps around the room. It is a constant problem here and I have learned many of the men to avoid.

We passed nearly four hours here tonight and danced for pretty much all of it. Viv could not be bothered with the chacarera so I got Graciela up. Unknown to me she had never done it before. So there was I teaching a porteña how to do their folk dance. Fortunately her sister was alongside also shouting instructions, so it went reasonably well. We did a Paso Doble as well, to much shouting ole!

Something else I discovered as well; Graciela’s sister talks the same unintelligible machine gun Spanish as she does. I danced with her and she also talked all the way through, and I did not understand a word of what she said either.

After four hours we had had enough so we took the subte home. Some woman came on the train shouting into her mobile, obviously there was a relationship ending here, but she was having a screaming fit. Nobody wanted to be anywhere near her. Viv and I both wondered what it is about people today that they have to wash their dirty linen in public. Why end a relationship via a mobile network and on a crowded train?

There is something in the air tonight, there seemed to be more than the usual amount of people in strange attire milling about. Talking of milling why do people choose to mill around just where the pavement is narrowest. We came out of Medrano station and the pavements are all dug up for the new electric cables. There is a gap barely big enough for one person, and some dear person decided to stop in the middle for a chat. There was a train load of people trying to exit here, because apart from the road works the escalator on Corrientes was again not working.

There are times, I think, when murder is quite justified.



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