Tag Archives: Luba

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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Pollo entero

Pollo: chicken pronounced posho or near enough.

Philippe has asked if we  can have lunch, it will be a chance to catch up and answer a few questions about the flat. We expected Luba as well but she could not make it, no matter we will catch up again before we return home.

When he arrives the usual banter starts, about us killing foxes and the french eating anything disgusting.I think he enjoys our sessions, no entente cordial here, just good fun. One question that needed answering was the electric bill which had arrived, technically it is his bill, but I would like to pay it just for experience, two months electric $14ar less than three pounds. I did not understand the figures, it appears that if it is not paid on time then there is an increase, for those who have fallen foul of UK parking charges that double, be prepared for a shock, the extra for late payment is 20 centivos that is about 4p in sterling or less than a shilling in real money. I said I may just not pay it and give Philippe the 20centivos.

After we have discussed all the bills etc the new portero, and the presidents wife, we head off to a local parilla. Normally we do not do lunch, either we have some coffee and medilunes or just a sandwich. At the parilla Philippe says why not have a whole chicken, so we order beer a bowl of salad and a bowl of papas espanol and pollo entero.

As has been said often they know their meat here and the chicken was cooked beautifully and quartered, this was where we needed Luba, the last quarter was watching us, who would crack, Philippe said he was full so I ripped it in half, half for me half for Viv. another beer was needed just to help us finish.

Unusually we could not have coffee so when we had finished we trotted off down the street to another cafe for coffee. All too soon Philippe had to go so we bid him farewell and retreated for a siesta.

As is normal on a Thursday we return to Club Fulgor. The numbers even here now seem down, despite temperatures of 25degrees it looks like winter is taking hold. Still for a UK dance this would be a good crowd, and there are some new faces. One old guy who must have been in his eighties was up bopping to the cumbia, still going in the merengue, and swinging to rock and roll. I was surprised to see him dance the tango, after all that exertion I would have needed a rest.

Oddly very few got up for tango vals, I enjoy the vals, so with the floor almost to ourselves I could really step out. I love this club but sometimes there is crashing from the back and people coming the wrong way around the room, so just for one tanda I could strut my stuff and not worry about the others on the floor. Luckily we had arrived early because before midnight it just sort of ended, there was no one left and there was little point in staying.

We paid Marianne for the drinks and took a slow stoll home in the warm night air.

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Planetario

As promised in a week when I have not done much Tango I thought I would tell the story of another of my photos.

Planetario
Planetario

 

This is the story of the day we went to the planetario.
I had for some time wanted to see it, and as progress on our apartment was stalled, we thought we would take advantage of a beautiful summers day to walk across Palermo to Libertador. On the way we visited all the national gardens, French, Dutch and German. The heat was really getting to me so we stopped in a hat shop, for something to shade my head.  I had my hair quite short in preparation for the heat, but I was totally unprepared for the forty degrees plus that it reached. The top of my head was also burning through my now thin thatch. so there was nothing for it but a hat.
Luba said when she saw it that I looked like a yanqui, and I think all the shop owners agreed, because suddenly everyone was over charging me.
When we finally reached the planetarium we grabbed the first ice cream vendor we could find and then hid under a tree.
Now for the exciting bit, but no! after all that walking, “Cerado para reparaciones” it seems the school holidays is the best time to close for repairs, but as it was Christmas they did have a very nice poster to view, with a picture of Saturn looking like a Christmas bauble.
I have included some photos of Avenida Libertador that I took on the way, as well as the park lands around the Planetario and Libertador.
I was very impressed with the tennis club, it seems it was built by the British to make themselves feel at home. The guy standing outside though did not seem impressed with us, and when he started approaching us in a purposeful manner, it was time for a quick exit.
We returned very footsore but had enjoyed some nice views on the way. I still have not been inside the planetarium though, perhaps I will next time.

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Salon Dandi

Getting a comment from New Zealand, has prompted me to comment further on one of my photos. In moments of boredom I may well tell the story of all of them, but for now just the one.

It was our third visit to BsAs, and by now feeling that we knew the place, we were not averse to giving others the benefit of our knowledge. I had also come with a pocket full of money, in the vain belief that I could buy a place here.

During our second week Luba went into panic “I have double booked” she said ” I have two people coming, Keet and Ann, and I only have a single room left” All things work out well in the end, Luba went to her sisters and let the Colombian girl stay in her room, leaving the two singles free.

In due course Ann and Kieth arrived (forever now to be called Keet), they came together but not as a couple. Kieth said “I am just a body guard”. Both English but now living in New Zealand, the only other common denominator is the dance classes they attend in NZ.

Ann and Keet

Ann and Keet

They took Tango lessons with Juan, did touristy things all day, and at night we showed them the milongas.
Salon Dandi (us in the foreground)
Salon Dandi (us in the foreground)

So this is how we ended up together at Salon Dandi. I have precious few photos of us dancing together, so I am grateful to Ann for taking some of us, one of which I have used on our business cards. Ann went on to see more of the world while Keet flew back to NZ.

Ann spent some time in the UK and came to visit us, unfortunately I had to work all the time but, hey that’s what pays for me to go to BsAs.
My search for property had gone completely wrong, and with only three days left in Argentina I had all but given up hope. It was Ann who set me off again on what was to become an ultimately successful quest. She pointed  out an advert in The Buenos Aires Herald for Pericles James (see link) without whos help and guidance I do not think that I would ever have succeeded.
Incidentally, how many spotted Roger and Mirta, also in the photo?

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