Tag Archives: El Arraque

Independance Day

It is the 25th May Independance day here, and I have seen no sign of Will Smith in an F15 or any aliens. We had planned to go to the Obalisco see the celebrations that were supposed to be starting today, but there was some confusion about going for a meal with Luba, so all our plans as usual have been altered.

The meal with Luba we thought was tomorrow, and the celebrations today. Janis had told us she thought the celebrations started on Sunday and as usual she was right, Sunday is Fulgor however, so we would have missed it anyway.

The day started in the usual way, there was important shopping to be done. Viv needed vacuum cleaner bags (must be a woman thing this). The original bag had never been changed, so I think it unlikely the spare that we had would be used before we return, still now we had them she was happy.

I must mention at this point, there was thread on the expats site, started by Pericles on 70s music. I enjoyed no end searching out on you tube the music of my youth, so much so it almost delayed our trip out. They do say nostalgia is not what it was, but that old music certainly brought back many memories.

We were off again to El Arranque for an early milonga. It had looked like rain earlier but now we left in bright sunshine. At El Arranque we were again shown to a table right on the edge of the floor and we sat there with our fizzy water. Soon we were up enjoying the dancing, early on there is plenty of room, but as the day goes on it does get quite crowded. There are few touristas here and it has a feeling that we like, the floor is large, so that even though it can get busy, with care you can always find room to move.

We did notice a group, who I suspect were Americans (who else would go to a dance with jeans and a big leather belt). Every time they got up to dance they ended up right in the middle, looking puzzled as to why they were there. Their dancing looked good but they had no idea how things worked here, they were unprepared for the challenges of a Buenos Aires dance floor. They also looked puzzled when we had an interval where we again all stood up to sing the Argentine anthem. This time I was ready and under my breath sang God save the Queen, (just for comparison, I was not being chauvenistic) I was finished less than halfway through the intro, it must be the longest anthem in the world. Now, at last, I realise why  they are prepared to queue so long here. When the singing was finished they all shouted “Viva la Patria” then we danced the Chacarera, of course.

At eight we prepared to leave, as we were to go to Luba’s for nine. Outside it looked like it was raining, but under the shelter of the building overhang we stayed dry. Halfway around the block we were subjected to torrential rain, we were unprepared, as it had been sunny when we left. It was decision time, we could not make the subte, as we would get soaked. I said we should take a taxi, but then we would be too early, so we darted across the road for a coffee.

Inside the girl asked how we wanted it, strong, medium, or weak. We have never been asked this before, so to be on the safe side we plumped for medium. She tried to sell us something with it, but although we were by now very hungry we would be soon eating with Luba. When she returned with the coffee she rattled something off in true portena style, too fast for me. I said “mas despacio por favor” but instead of repeating she just said “cash” ah! cash we understand, it seems we would not be allowed to stay long as they were closing.

The rain had eased off so we took the subte, and again arrived dead on time. I really do not know how we always manage it, in a city so large with so many traffic problems, nobody is expected on time, yet somehow we always arrive on the dot.

Luba was not happy to venture out in the bad weather so we ordered in a Chinese meal. We sat there until the early hours drinking beer, then wine, followed by vodka, and talking soft, (as you do when the vodka gets hold). Then we had a stroll home in the cool evening air.

Post script: I had an email from Janis warning me to take an umbrella, of course I did not see it until it was too late.

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Filed under Argentina, Dance Venues and Schools, milonga