Tag Archives: Fulgor

Basta la plancha

As it is Sunday, we thought we would have breakfast out, but things here never work to plan. As we leave the building, someone has broken one of the glass panes at the front, with a glass of some sort. There is glass everywhere but fortunately the window is in tact but looking sorry for itself. It is raining heavily so as well as dodging broken glass we have to dodge puddles. At least we have umbrellas.

We walk to Las Almendras on Gascon. They have a bin by the door to leave our umbrellas to drain. We ask the girl for the menu and five minutes to peruse it. I knew what I wanted, but what to drink with it was the problem. When we had decided we called her over again. We asked “Revueltos?” “No hay cocinera ” she replied. Well you would think she would have said when we asked for the menu. So instead of the much anticipated revueltos we had Cafe y medialunas. I am learning to live with disappointment.

We walked up to Corrientes and then back down Salguero. Viv wanted to call into La Reina. It is half a block from Corrientes and I do not like to walk the same way home. We bought some cheese sticks and scones, then called in the chino.

Sebastian was outside the building when we returned. I asked him about the glass, knowing the answer, but it helps get my ear in. Poor Sebastian, he is on holiday tomorrow and things always go wrong when he is away.

Sundays have never gone well since the demise of Fulgor. Last week we tried El Beso and that was just a kindergarten, so this week we are going back to Salon Canning. It looked bad from the start, hardly a recognizable face in the place.  I managed to get a couple of new ladies up, and one extra friendly twice. Viv though got only one dance apart from me. My friendly lady said I should walk around, true that would have got me more dances, but that would not help Viv.

After less than two hours we’d had enough and decided to leave. We tried a couple of bars that we liked, but it seems they don’t open Sunday either. So we looped around to HB, we can always rely on them to be open. Black beer it is then.

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I just want some writing paper

Viv wanted me to post a letter so a trip to the Correo was in order. As luck would have it, the internet bill arrived just as I was about to leave. I hate queuing there so it saved me an extra trip. Inside I took my number, 74. The number on the display was 60, so I thought I was in for a long wait. Then suddenly the numbers rolled up, lulling me into a false sense of security. There was a woman at the table near me filling a form in, she started asking me questions about it. “Don’t ask me, I can’t even use the bank machine” I thought, but instead I just said “soy extranjero” and she seemed satisfied.

Next some guy came up to me ranting about how slow they are, (Well it’s your country mate) I told him he should try coming earlier, but he just went on about how inefficient they are. Well I can’t argue with that, actually I cannot argue with it, I didn’t have the words. When my number came up I was glad to get away, but so befuddled I got Vivs shopping money mixed up with my bill money.

I got to the dietetica still confused and gave her too much. My mind now so mixed I could not even say I was having a bad day. It went better in the chino, and I came out with the fruit and steak for tonight.

At Salon Canning we arrived early with Paloma and Hubert and sat with them in our usual place. As is normal here early on there were few women but Viv still struggled. When she was up with Hubert I had to miss one tanda as all the women were up and there were still men to spare. This situation did not last but the numbers never reached there usual level.

The couple from Cumbria were here, they did not dance much and always together. We thought about getting them up, but thought better of it, we will try in Fulgor on Sunday.

On the way back we stopped for some lemon for Vivs throat and an onion for the steak. These veg shops never have air con and the guy was sat outside, never the less happy to have custom. On the next block is a libreria, Viv wanted some writing paper, so we went in.  Sat in a chair was a guy who had served us before who spoke English, but the guy standing was not letting him up and rushed over. He’ll regret this.

“Un block para cartas?”  I asked, blank face. “Papel para escribir?”  I tried, he still looked blank. “escribo” there was a spark of recognition. Then he showed us a reporters pad. I was of course forgetting that anyone under the age of thirty has no idea what a letter is. We gesticulated the spiral binding, having no idea what it was in Spanish. “No esto” eventually we got a writing pad, but it was hard work and the guy who spoke English was just loving it.

Then it was home to the steak. And they tasted of the steak and it was good.

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Two days of Gripe

Yesterday was not so good. We passed a couple of good hours in Sullivan’s Bar with the Hudson’s for company, but Wales got a trouncing. Although they did manage to pull back towards the end. Still that puts England well at the top of the six nations. Unusually there was one other Wales supporter in there. Next time though I will be an England supporter, and should definitely hammer the French.

As I said, I felt fine while I was in the bar, but as soon as I left, this rotten cold returned. I coughed and snotted all the way home. No milonga today for me.

This morning though I had work to do. The Fan I had Failed to fix in Philippe’s needed doing. I took my own tools this time and allowed plenty of daylight time. I resolved to take it down and start from scratch. Everything down and I could see where I had not put enough tape on the joint. Schoolboy error, but as I was not feeling well and no light, I expect forgiveness. I took the back plate down as well. The old Wire in the ceiling was not good enough and I had a new roll in my box. After that it all went well and soon it was working.

I was still coughing, the cold has moved to my chest. It seems to have progressed quickly here, hopefully it will soon be gone. Philippe has made some sort of chocolate and Dulche de leche tort, “with a Cuban twist ” he said. Seems he does not have a steady hand when pouring Cuban rum. It nearly took my head off, but boy did it numb the cold. By the second piece I no longer cared.

I am sure Viv noticed my happy mood when I returned.

Off to Club Fulgor again tonight, the first time dancing in three days. We had all the usual kisses, but I was reluctant to dance with the old dears. A quick peck on the cheek is one thing, but that very close embrace runs the risk of passing on my germs. So we just danced with each other and left early.

Three days of no dancing and already were loosing our fitness. Still for a first night two and a half hours of almost solid dancing was enough. Tango, folklore, cumbia, and merengue, we had a good mix, and we have a bout an hours walking in total as well. Time for bed I think.


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Back in love with Canning

They say you have to live for twenty years in a Welsh village before they speak to you. I never found that in Gwynfryn, but it is a bit like that here in Buenos Aires. Yes the women will talk when we dance and we have a lot of nodding acquaintances, but there are people on the side line who stay very aloof. Just recently though I have been getting through. I am not sure what made the difference, maybe just because we have been here so long. Twelve years we have been coming now and have probably been here a total of eighteen months ir more.

So the aloof couples are now saying hello, and we have even been introduced to some of the old stalwarts. I don’t know what they think of us, there is a culture here of networking, but we tend to stay to one side. Maybe it is us who are aloof. Still it is nice to feel accepted at last.

I got my cambio for my dollars today, so we are solvent at last. Still no chance of going mad yet.

We fell out of love with Salon Canning a few years back. I don’t know what it was, we just went off it. Now though it has become our place to go on a Wednesday. The waiter knows us and we get our drinks pronto and more importantly Viv gets plenty of dances.

There was a point where I was struggling, it is hard to see right across the room and the women near me had all danced with me or were up. Still Viv was up so I was happy. I danced with a young Brazilian and halfway around the floor I caught my foot on the dodgy parquet and lifted off the sole. It is still there but I decided not to do any milonga until it is repaired.

After a while I decided to go walkabout, this is when you find who is really short sighted and who just does not want to dance with you. Well now, at least I know. I danced again with Brenda who is in the diagonal opposite corner, then with a very thin lady who I have not danced with before. As I was leaving the floor I met a lady who had just come in and we agreed to dance. Unfortunately Viv had decided it was time to go. She changed her shoes and went over to speak to some old friends from Fulgor. The waiter came over and did a double take, her table was empty and she had not paid. It was funny to see him panicking, but there was nothing I could do until I sat down again.

A good night and we are both knackered, tomorrow I try and get my shoes fixed.

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Valentine Shine

I woke feeling terrible. This is the third time I have had this feeling and the worst. I am putting it down to the heat and have decided I must take more care. After all I am not getting any younger.

We normally go a wandering on Sunday mornings, but today I decided it was best to stay in the air conditioned cool.

Its Valentines day, so my gift is to polish all the furniture for Viv. It is hard to believe how much polish it takes, the wood just soaks it up. In twelve months it is amazing how dry the wood has become. I polished her red shoes again too. The tango and the hard floors really take it out of them. I work on them for hours, but they have me beat. Tango shoes are, I’m afraid, a disposable item. I can make them last, but not much longer.

Sunday is Fulgor but no beer for me tonight, I don’t think my stomach could handle it.

When we arrived they all had silly hats and wigs on. “Carnival” they said. Marian had a long curly wig with lighter highlights, it really suited her. Bob had a stick on moustache and Elsa a bright ginger wig. It was a shame I did not have a camera with me.

There was a Canadian couple there, who we met last year. They don’t seem to dance a lot but they enjoy the lunacy here. We were talking and they asked about the merengue, I said that they call it Tropical here, and just then, as if by magic, it started.

The lady on the door (with the big sponge hat) got up with the Canadian girl, she seemed to love the tropical.

They introduced a new tanda here tonight. Well new to us anyway “Romantico” just a smooch. Well we had to join in, I shouted over to the Canadians “Come on it’s Valentines day”

A good way to end the evening.

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End of the line

Time for some exploration. The subte H line has been extended and I wanted to see where it went. We caught it at Corrientes off the B line and passed through Cordoba and expected to stop at Santa fe, but the train just ran on until the end at Las Heras.

I was a bit puzzled but we were here now so it was time to get out and explore. In front of us was a huge building that looked like Church that the top had been lopped off.RIMG0014

Turns out it is the faculty of engineering University of Buenos Aires. It looks like they are spending a considerable amount on restoring it.

We took a left turn because Viv saw what she thought were more interesting buildings. When we got close I realised we were at the back of Recoleta cemetery. So we followed the wall around to the front. We have seen all this before and were not in the market for guided tours so we wandered on. We found ourselves in Recoleta cultural centre. Being me I wandered off into the parts where visitors are not supposed to go. With it being Sunday nobody was working in this area so there was nothing to see. Apart from what looked like a church from a Disney set, it looked false to me. What do you think?RIMG0017

Prices here are aimed at the rich tourists, not penniless tango dancers, so we looped around the back again and looked for somewhere to have a coffee. Inside the television was on with the Wales Ireland Rugby on. So we just had to sit there until the end. Wales did well to pull back and rescue a draw. I am no expert on Rugby, but I think that they looked weak, I hope they pull themselves up soon.

So we wandered off again and found some imposing steps, well we had to go up them.RIMG0018

We found ourselves outside the British Embassy. It looks a bit modern and utilitarian compared to other buildings here, but I suppose we do not have the most popular government here.

Anyway we now have a quick route to Recoleta and it was time to head back. Again when we left Las Heras station we looked for Santa fe. This time we noticed that it was all boarded up. So we have no link yet to the D line, glad I did not try for that first. I will have to watch the news for when it is open. At least we found the end of the line, The end of the line is the cemetery.

One hell of a storm has hit us, thunder and lightning, and the cars driving past like motor boats, lets hope it eases up.

It did ease up enough for us to go to Fulgor again. Glad we did it was a great night, with some new faces and a lot of kissing again.

By the time I got home I was rather hot, a rain coat does not exactly keep you cool and the humidity was a killer.


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Don’t ask me, I’m English

I don’t usually chicken out that, early, but when a girl shoves a microphone in my face and bombards me with questions while a guy stands there with a camera. Well it was too much for me. “Somos ingles, mis castellano no esta buen” I said.

We decided to set out early, it was going to be hot again, too hot to be out at midday. So we were wandering around Palermo when nothing was open. We sat for a while by the empty pond trying to imagine the fountains, that have never worked from the first time we ever came here in 2006.

Nice bar across the road with parasols and Viv was craving coffee. The price looked good too. So we sat there in the sun, when we were approached. She said she needed native speakers and tried another couple over the road.  Shame really, it would have been nice to be on Argentine TV. It was not long before we moved under the parasol, 9:30 and already the sun was getting to us.

We wandered off later to our old stomping ground of Gascon. Instinto the Jamaican Café was still there, but a lot has changed. The filling station that was knocked down three years ago still has a part finished building on the site. I remember how long it took to finish ours, so I am not surprised.

It is getting near noon and we are glad to get back to our little bolt hole. Cool in there while outside it is past 30 degrees and it is expected to reach 35. Think we may siesta today ready for the night time. It actually reached 37 that’s 99 in real money.

I went out for some ice cream and nearly melted on the way back. Not that I am complaining, I came to get away from the cold. Sometimes though you have to be careful what you wish for.

It was even hot when we set out for Fulgor at eight. Fulgor lacks something now without a proper DJ. I worry that it will not last. Some sort of loyalty keeps me going, I love the people there, but worry it cannot continue like this. We saw the demise of the Thursday night this time, I wonder how long will the Sunday last.

Even the walk back at midnight is a chore in this heat. We are lathered in sweat by the time we return.

The best thing about having your own place; toast before bed and cool aircon.

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All Related someway

Philippe turned up this morning. He said he had mailed me, but the email here is slower than the surface mail. Still we were glad to see him and fuelled him up with coffee. He is working hard for us to get an internet connection. He thinks we finally have success but we will have no phone. That is OK I have a mobile so all should be well.

I got Sebastian to accept the expensas, but he complained bitterly and made it clear he would not continue. I re-mailed the administrator, we will speak on 25 when ther is a concorcio meeting.

Off to Canning again today. The walk down is enjoyable and we stop at the Ice Cream shop to see what time it closes. “Eleven” he said, “and tomorrow” “every day” he said as if that is quite normal. Well maybe it is here, but it seems strange to us coming from a cold climate.

Canning was very quiet when we arrived. I was sat in the same hidden seat. Things were fine at first but as it got busier I found it increasingly difficult to get dances. Note to self, sit somewhere else next time.

Maria and Gustavo arrived and we exchanged greetings, just before we left. Nothing personal, we had had enough by then.

I stopped to talk to Mario (The DJ) I asked him if Roberto (Organiser at Fulgor) was his brother, he seemed taken aback. “No he is my Cousin” He said. It does seem that all the milongas are related in some way. Typically halfway through he tried to sell me some of his CDs. He does this every time I talk to him. I give up telling him that I have over 170 hours of tango music, the last thing I need is another compilation of favourites.

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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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Fulgor with friends

Still not doing a lot with our days. I tried and failed to repair the cold tap in the bathroom, and finally fitted the lock on the patio door. You would think that as they are so security mad here I would be able to get a lock here, but no,so it had to wait for me to get one at home and bring my drill.

Viv has been busy, but I never quite understand why she does so much, still the place is looking good and we are settled much quicker this time.

I got a message from Michel, who wanted to meet up tonight. Now as many of you know, I love Fulgor, but I fully realize it is not everyone’s cup of tea, so I had my doubts.

When we arrived I was smothered in kisses and never really had a chance to look around. Just as I was about to sit Michel came over and we said hello. He had Dora with him. Dora is a local lady who I have danced with in El Arranque and we had a long conversation about apartments, utilities and the governance hereabouts.

When Mariana saw us together she put two tables together for us and we all sat there like royalty. My doubts were proven false, Michel loved Fulgor and the addition of Dora meant we had some great dances. He even danced with some of the old dears, I think they loved him.

We danced until there was no one left. Funny how the aches and pains disappear when you are in good company. I even enjoyed  the walk home although I could not make up my mind whether to put my jacket on or not. It was just too warm but walking home in the dark without it just did not feel right.

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