Tag Archives: La Tekla


Time for some shoe therapy. We had a lot planned for today, but first we have to go to Arenales and the Comm Il Faut shop.

Roger is in town so in between the shoe shopping we are also trying to make arrangements to meet up. It has become something of a tradition now that after Comm Il Faut we go to La Tekla on Talcahuano and Paraguay. So we asked if Roger would like to meet us there. Unfortunately I said Uruguay and that got confused with Talcahuano as they are parallel. In the end I sent the directions by SMS as it was easier that way.

When Roger and Mirta arrived there was much kissing all round (even two men from Wales can learn to kiss here) and we had a lunch that lasted for nearly three hours.

We have so much in common, both engineers, both from Wales and we have both wrestled with the Argentine system with varying amounts of success and failure in equal measure. We could talk all day about our Argentine experiences, and then of course there are all the interesting artifacts hanging up In La Tekla. What? For instance was that crank shaft out of? Five bearing and big enough for a three litre engine and there, in the casting it said BMW. The severed head on a singer sewing machine? Could it be Christina? Nice cam chain! And all those phones! I had an Underwood typewriter like that once.

Two litres of beer, and two lots of Coffee, time to head off for some afternoon kip ready for the night ahead. We had to postpone the meal with Philippe, there will be time enough tomorrow.

We rejoined them at Gricel later and danced with them, took photos of them dancing, they took photos of us dancing and just enjoyed each others company. The night just flew by.

When Viv had had enough dancing I tried my hand with the locals, but did not have a lot of success here. One lady I danced with had her own ideas of what she was dancing, kept moving and it had nothing to do with me. Because I had taken her from the table I never saw her shoes, she had loose clumpy sandals that were totally unsuitable. The next lady I danced with was huge (in every way) I tried to lead, but I think I was on a loser. She kept apologizing, but I just said “no problemo” and carried on to the end of the tanda. She had (I think)two daughters with her and they decided to video as we reached her table. Well there comes a time when you should break the rules, this was it. For the sake of her daughters I opened my hold and led her, as best I could into some crowd pleasing moves. Leave them happy, that is the main thing.

I managed one good dance before we left, but the hour was late and we needed to catch our collectivo.

Now last week we had arrived at the stop just after quarter to the hour and waited nearly an hour and a quarter. By this calculation I guessed that the bus must come normally at or about quarter to. So we arrived just before half past. (No point in taking chances).

The bus arrived just as we did, good job we did not wait until quarter to.

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Filed under Argentina, milonga, Tango

Expensive Day

It took some time to raise Viv this morning, the hectic life is getting to her, but after finally getting herself ready we headed out about twelve thirty.

We arrived at the subte to see the sign “subte paro 1200 a 1400” my first thoughts were to go back to the apartment pick up my monedas and catch a bus, as we were heading for Comme Il Faut on a shoe expedition. Then Viv said “how far are the wig shops” so we set off down Corrientes at Gardel we turned left and then into Lavalle (I hope you have your maps out, I will be testing you aall later) as we had walked Corrientes before. This part of Lavalle was fascinating for Viv, it was filled with haberdashery and material shops. The thought of spending my money on hair and shoes however spurred her on.

We turned into Pasteur the place we were looking for was 650 Luba had found it on the web for us, we never made it. This must be the wig centre of Buenos Aires on the first block we found a shop, and Viv wanted to look. The girl inside said every one was real hair and very soon we found just the one. The girl trimmed the fringe for us and took my credit card. So that was my first big expense of the day.

We walked back towards Corrientes and found a cafe, unusually we. had some lunch, once I start spending I cannot stop. We needed time before the subte was open again that was my excuse. I even bought a wind up torch from one of the guys who go round the tables. There was no stopping me.

Once we got to Comme Il Faut the shoes just kept on coming. We were on our own at first, then a German woman came in, she spoke perfect castillano but just like Brigitte. Then some American women arrived, then another with her husband, it was getting crowded. Best of all three Yankee lads arrived to buy shoes for one of their girlfriends. This as you can imagine caused chaos, there was gentle ribbing about whether it was their colour, and of course I had to tell them, no matter what they chose it would be wrong “because they are men” the husband who had been sitting quietly at the back stood up and all but applauded that remark (you can always tell the long suffering husbands). Finally when they left, with some very over the top shoes, they said “try and see some more of Buenos Aires before you leave”.

We finally left with five pairs of shoes and a very damaged credit card. (two pairs are for friends but I will probably not see the money).

Every time I spend money I need coffee to recuperate, so we walked along Talcahuano until Paraguay. (do you still have your maps out) As we prepared to cross the road a girl, on hearing our English asked about the location of an ATM, Viv’s answer was classic “sorry we are not from this part of town” I just laughed and pointed her towards the centre as her best bet. On this corner is a bar called La Tekla, it has to be the maddest bar in the world. Next to our table we had some greasy hub caps two old telephones, I could not resist picking up the Bakelite one and asking for Whitehall one two one two

Over the bar. was a sign no camping, in Spanish of course. There were old typewriter’s, boxing gloves and punch bags a pair of legs, nothing was related it was like Steptoes house. All that was missing was the bear. I had occasion to use the urinals and the sign above, again in spanish said beware of the dog. If you are ever in this part of town I recommend you call in for a coffee you will not be disappointed.

After this our return was somewhat uneventful, we again failed to contact our daughter, and again suffered the Buenos Aires subte crush. We arrived so thirsty that we drank all Philippe’s beer, then went for a sleep.

It seems 9 degrees is too cold for our Argentine freinds, so our plans were out of the window. We decided to walk to Viejo Correo. Tonight the standard of dancing was still not great, but there were fewer people there so it was enjoyable for us. As mostly we dance together the crowd matters less to us, so we had an enjoyable evening.

When it was time to leave, we decided again to walk. At the corner of Diez Valez and Yatay is a garage, open all night, and as if to prove that it really was not cold, we bought two Ice creams on sticks, chocolate coated in white chocolate mmmmmmmmmmm.


Filed under Argentina, Dance Venues and Schools, milonga