Tag Archives: Easy

Not so Easy

First job of the day, The Vacuum Cleaner.  The old meter I brought here (because I now have a better one at home) is acting up and I need an extra long specialist driver. I am tempted to just try it but do not want to blow the breakers again. In the end I just took it to the repair man on Medrano. It will probably cost me a couple of quid.

On the way back I headed for Rocamora, and there was Jorge. I wished him “Feliz año” and gave him $500. for the welding.Well it is Christmas. I am starting to get very cavalier with the money here, with a peso being worth little more than a penny, it is almost like the first time we came. Sebastian was downstairs when I returned. I thanked him for resetting my electric. In his long winded way he said something about me having a key. I showed him my keys and said I did not, eventually I deduced something from his jumble of words “Es el mismo de teraza?” I asked “Si” he replied. I tried it later and it is indeed the same key. I will not have that problem again then.

We decided to go to Easy today to get a few things we need. This did not go well, we came out empty handed. We stopped at every other shop, but again we were disappointed. Finally we went to the paint shop on Medrano. The guy there put us under pressure and I asked him for small grey for metal. What I got was a half litre, well it will do but after I have painted all the chairs there will still be most of it left. “Stop Complaining” I hear you say, it was only a fiver. I just do not like waste.

Off to Nuevo Chique again today, thought we would be late, with our shopping trip, but we were there just after four. We just missed a train or we would have been early. My Sube card would not let me through, seems I had run out of credit. So as it was I had time to charge it up before the next train.

Nuevo Chique was busy today, that gave us both problems. We had many friends there but struggled to get them to dance. I never missed a tanda, but I failed to get up at the first note. I even danced Pugliese although it was a crash fest. It is impossible to protect your woman when they come at you from every direction.

We tried to stay longer but by seven fifteen we had enough and left for a coffee. Then we caught a number 90 and got off at Corrientes. We walked then to HB and had a Pechugita sandwich and complete salad to share. Viv is on a “Beer only every other day” kick. It is her resolution not mine, so she had agua con gas, I had a stout.

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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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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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Easy day

A trip out to easy is on the cards today. I need some screws and other bits for repairs around the place. I had a very successful run the only thing I did not find was a small drill set. I have a few individual drill bits but in a small place like this a set would be handy, but not a massive set with holesaws  screwdriver bits and all sorts of other accoutrements.

We intended going to a late milonga today so a lazy day was in order, but then Viv gets cabin fever so we did a bit of shopping. Then we walked down to the Abasto Centre. We never really do much here, not into shopping centres so we circumnavigated and  then wandered down Gardel. I was a bit disappointed in the statues. The Troilo statue has lost its microphone and they have not yet put one up for Alberto Podesta.

Some how our day passed with little happening. We walked to Canning, but were told that because Wednesday is another organizer we would have to come back tomorrow. We bumped into Pauline and Geoff who were here for a class with Gustavo and Maria, but we were not for stopping. Seems that they are not ready  to stop to the wee small hours either.

So we set off for a beer and another earl night.

 

 

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Lo me vuelva loco

Just when you think you have it sussed, they change the rules or you find there is a rule you missed.

Off to the Coreo to pay some bills, the gas bill at $22 is just not worth worrying about but the Rentas (City Tax) is a bit more. It is more convenient to pay it all up front, especially as I am not here to pay it monthly. But I missed something, the last date I can pay up front was yesterday, so now I have a new problem.

We finally decided on the rattan seats from Easy, just hoping that the balcony is big enough for the table. We got there tried it out and discovered that this table does not fold, another issue, but we decided to go for it anyway. The sign said ask at customer services so we did. The girl got on her walky talky and we waited twenty minutes for someone to come. She went back to the table took the label off the top and came back. Then she charged off again passed the table (Where we decided to sit it out) and downstairs to the car park and presumable some sort of store. Another long wait then she came back to the service desk and filled in a load of paper work. She was having problems with the address, on her computer it said “Entre Corrientes y Humahuaca” This was clearly wrong as that is the next block. She re entered it same result, so she left it be. “Passport” as always then a load of paperwork and we must pay at the cash tills, so I went for a paint brush first and as always there was a queue. After we had paid we had to go back to the service desk to confirm we had paid and then confirm our address again. Total two and a half hours to buy a garden table and chairs, is it any wonder that the country is bankrupt?

Off to Nuevo Chique again, we have never been on a Thursday before, so as Thursday Fulgor is no more, it is time to try something new. It is Marcela’s birthday tomorrow so it also gives me a chance to wish her Feliz Cumple.

It was fairly quiet when we arrived, but we had no problems getting dances. I danced my socks off until about seven then I hit the wall. Viv was still dancing though so I just had to rest until she had enough. It was not long coming we have not reached our Buenos Aires fitness level yet and all the traipsing to Easy has not helped.

All in all though a fantastic evening and re-acquainted with too many old friends to name as we come to the end of our first week here.

 

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Easy Day

A trip to Easy was on the cards today. We got most things we were after, but I am afraid we did not get picture hooks. Here they use a sort of bent nail not the ingenious little hooks we have a home. As I have said before everything is different here, some things better, some worse. I am afraid the picture hooks goes into the worse category.
On the way back we stopped at the local Chinky supermarket and they cut us two nice slices of steak.. Only $40 bargain I say that is £2 at the blue rate.
I spent the day painting again and Viv tried polishing the furniture. Trouble was the furniture polish was so much water it just would not recover the shine.
So when I had finished the wall I popped across to the Chinky again and bought some hard wax. It was still only petroleum wax though, you would think that they did not have bees here.
Well that’s it, only the white left to paint, the curtains are up again, and my aircon cable is nicely clipped up. (They have the same cable clips that we have at home, but they size them differently).
Now about that steak, delicious.
Its Carole V W’s birthday so we are missing Fulgor tonight and are off to Porteño y Bailerin. No subte after six so we will walk as it is not that far.
The waitress in Porteño was the most surly we have ever come across, she was not happy with my miserable tip, and she was not happy that Carole had bought us Champagne. Most of all she was not happy that she had to keep coming to serve us, I think she should look for another career.
We are not used to these late milongas and were feeling the strain by the time they cut the cake. We made our excuses to Carole and just as we were about to leave all the characters arrived. There was Jorge, his brother Danny, Andres, and many others. We had to greet each one before we left.
So with champagne inside me we tottered off and caught a 26 collective home.

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Soltero

They do things differently here, I don’t know if it is better or worse, just different. It has to be said some things definitely are worse, but then some things are better and some are just different. I hope that is clear.

So I went to the ferreteria across the road and showed him a drawing I had made of a hanging bracket I wanted. Well the choices he gave me really bore no resemblance to my drawing but he had got the idea. They cost me only three pesos, but they were no use for what I wanted. So I would have to try again later.

Viv is still suffering with her neck, so she instructed me to go to El Arranque on my own. I thought I would join this up with a trip to Easy. So I walked the length of Salguero up to Rivadavia and then into the Easy store. The brackets they had were the same as the ones in my Ferretaria so I had to do some lateral thinking. I decided to get some hooks and hang the headboard on them, I will report later on how and if this works.

From Easy it was only a short walk to Loria subte station and I was running early.

The A subte line is the oldest in Buenos Aires and has quaint wooden carriages. The line itself weaves much more than the other lines. In places the train has to slow right down to stay on the tracks and you get the feeling that it is just meandering with no great intent. The slow pace almost caught me out, because somewhere we lost a station and suddenly we were in Constitution and the doors were open. If I did not wake pronto I was going to miss my stop.

Out in the fresh air again I was only one block from where I wanted to be and it was quarter to three. The guide said it opened at three that meant at least half past. So I passed by and headed for our favorite coffee shop Joan Miro.

Once inside I thought to bridge the gap some medialunes. “tienes medialunes?” I asked “ni dulce ni grasa” he said. (We have neither sweet nor fat)“Hay torta” but the portions of cake were just too big so I just had coffee. I sat there in one of their comfy sofas looking for something interesting in the magazines, but it was the same rubbish about famous people that is in our British magazines. The only thing for me to read was the business section of Clarin. I read and reread the article on the YPF nationalization, simply because knowing what it was about helped me understand it.

At three thirty I’d had enough and headed for El Arranque. It was, of course deserted, Dany was playing pop music, there were no women, but at least I got a good seat.

By four thirty there were seven men and two women including me. I had a toasted sandwich to while away the time and hopefully stave off hunger.

It never got really packed but once we started I only missed one tanda. I met a nice Columbian lady who we had seen the night before in Fulgor. She told me her partner was only a friend, so I said “at this point I should ask you for a coffee” fortunately she realized I was very married and was joking. I was not so fortunate later, in my desire to practice my Spanish I told one lady I was hungry and was going out for food later. She took this as an invite and was not best pleased; I did not have the vocabulary to pull myself out of this hole. I just hope she has forgotten next time we meet. Everyone who remembered us asked about Viv or said “estas soltero hoy” are you alone today? And the old man who always came to dance with her looked bitterly disappointed.

I always thought that the people here came only to dance, but it was amusing to watch the antics of the old men when a fine young thing arrived. She could not dance, of course, but that did not stop them asking her. Me? Well I do not look like an old milonguero and anyway I prefer the ladies who dance.

I was enjoying myself, but somehow it did not feel right to be soltero. Viv was still back at the apartment and like me she was now probably hungry, so I left quite early.

I had promised to take Viv out for something later and so we set off down Guadia Vieja. Normally at night we go the other way and have missed all the life that has sprung up just down our street. We happened on it accidentally the other night so now we were going to try it out.

First few places were a bit of a disappointment, I think the hour is still too early for the Argentines. When we reached Billinghurst it looked a bit more hopeful. A new place Called “Guarda La Vieja” (Get It? Guardia Vieja, The old Guard, Guarda La Veija, Mind the Old Lady a play on words).

I had my first bife de chorizo and Viv had lasagna (Yawn) a bottle of stout, puddings all just over twenty quid. Only three blocks away, how has it taken us so long to find it?

 

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Easy it aint

The BBC have finally got it right and it was raining. Not heavy rain but enough to put a dampener on things.

I still have a few jobs to do around the place so today is as good a day as any. When all the small jobs are done and Viv has the curtains in the washer we head out to Easy to try again to replace the curtain pole. On the way down the street we bump into Jose our neighbour and his dog Ochie. Jose has grown a beard since we last saw him and were it not for Ochie we probably would have missed him. Strange how we recognised the dog first and the owner afterwards.

Now Easy is the name, but I am afraid easy is not the game. All I wanted was a three metre curtain pole, of course in that length there was nothing, so I must mix and match. The problem is that we have three-quarter inch pipe, nineteen millimetre joiners, three eighths cups and half-inch finials.

So we went for a wooden pole, but we have a maximum length of two point four metres, I can buy two one point six metre poles and join them but they are not pilot drilled and no chance of finding a double ended screw. On top of this the finals are screwed on and, of course again we need pilot holes. It looks like my ingenuity is to be tested to the limit again.

So with my booty I head off to the checkout. The whole lot came to two hundred and five pesos fifty-five centivos.  I gave the girl two hundred and ten and waited for my change. She said something about cambio so I dug out fifty-five centivos. Now it is the law here that if they do not have change it must be in favour of the customer, so when she gave me four pesos I just did not get it. I tried again to give her the fifty-five and she went off in the way portenos do, never quite coming to the point. She said something about a donation, and exasperated I just said “listo?” and she said “si”.

I know it is only coppers, but I still feel somewhat done. Still flustered we walked out the store and the alarm on the exit sounded, nobody was paying any attention so I just wanted to leave, knowing we had stolen nothing, fortunately Viv realised what had happened. When you enter the shop they seal your own bag in their own special security bag, and we were leaving with Vivs bag still sealed. At least the girl on security had a good laugh about it.

Being as it is Thursday we are off to Club Fulgor again as I have often said it is the friendliest club I know. It seems they have a new pastime now “beso los Galeses” It started with Norma who I often dance with and Marianna, then there is a nice couple who we saw in the campionata and have greeted us ever since, but just lately it has avalanched so that everyone in the club now wants to practice their english, kiss us and ask how we are. Spanglish of the day “hello how are you?” “muy buen y tu?” 

By midnight there was no one left in the club, the guide says it is open until two, but they played La Cumparsita anyway and as Marianna was taking away the table cloths we knew it was time to leave.

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