Tag Archives: Milonga de Juan

Penultimate

I need just a bit more money before I go so a trip out is in order. Unusually for a Wednesday there was a queue, but I am in no hurry and am quite relaxed about it. The Argenpur office is one of the very few really efficient places here and the guy dealing with me was through the people in front in no time at all.

I stopped off at the Farmacia on the way back, as Viv wanted some baby oil. I took my number and stood by the counter to the right. The guy there said I should go to the end, then I was called back to the counter to the right. OK, no big deal. I asked for “aciete bebe” blank. I tried a slightly different pronunciation, still blank. “Entiendes aciete?” I tried “Si” she said “Bebe?” I tried, holding my arms in cradle fashion. She nodded, “Aciete bebe?” I tried again, Blank. Fortunately there was a guy who had served me before and directed her to the baby oil. I am sure he just said “aciete bebe” but what do I know. “Ochenta y sinco” she said  I took out $75 pesos, not enough so I offered $100. Then some woman behind me interfered and said that I had it grabbing my money and counting it. “solo Setenta y cinco” I said. I may not be able to pronounce like a local, but I can count. At least I now had what I came out for, but I was in a slightly less good mood than I had been.

Must be last week syndrome, but Viv did not do well in Milonga de Juan, I was having a great time. When he did the announcements he asked for any requests, there was a lot of shouting and I was not sure he heard me. After this there was a milonga and Viv had decided she had enough, she went for a coffee at Giucris. I danced the milonga with Mercedes and intended to follow, but straight after was Biagi. It seems that Juan had heard me and was doing my request, well I could not leave then so I did another tanda. I thanked Juan before I left and spent some time goodbyeing with the ladies.

After our coffee we took our things back to the apartment and headed out to HB. We had a salad and sandwich and mucho Cervesa. The Bill when it came was wrong but in my favour.  It left me room for a good tip but was still cheap. Viv seemed to think that it reduced the tip but I said it was $50 tip and $25 stupidity tax against the house. I gave the guy $600 and tried to ask him for $50 change he just said “I speak English”  Is it any wonder my Spanish gets no better?

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Lita Morales

Well, I did not put it in yesterdays blog as I had to do some fact checking, but I had the honour to dance with a lady yesterday, now living in the states. Turns out she is the daughter of Lita Morales. This has to be the highlight of my trip. Moral of the story, never ignore that older lady at the back, she may have some secret that will surprise you.

She told me she travelled with an orquesta as a child, but seemed reluctant to tell me any more. I asked her who her parents were and she seemed suspicious of me asking. But when I extracted who her mother was she seemed surprised I had heard of her. Nice for us both then I suppose.

I danced with her again tonight at Milonga de Juan. The milonga itself was a disappointment today, too few people, although Viv did get some new dances. All in all though it was tough going. Then we had a fire test. Now at home, we have an alarm and everyone knows what is going on, even if you don’t hear the announcement, here they do it different. They had announced it earlier, but then they just stopped the music and put the lights out. Some even thought “corta de luz” it must have taken ten minutes for everyone to realize. By then we would have all been toast.

Well by half six we had , had enough and left. There is a new café on the corner under Casa Galicia called Espacio Café, so we thought we would give it a try. Nice coffee and media lunes only 60$ar. Unfortunately he closes at seven, so it is unlikely to be a regular call for us, even though I told him to stay open on Tuesday and Thursday. The patron was Italian which was good for me as it meant Spanish was a second language for him. We had quite a chat, possibly the best I have had yet.

Any one confused by my Facebook post La Nacional is the building in which Milonga de Juan is held, there is no Facebook page yet for Espacio Café.

Afterwards we walked back to congresso to catch our colectivo. There was a small queue and no sign of a bus. Up at Callao there was an anti abortion  demonstration going on. Looks like no busses tonight. After waiting ten minutes we decided to walk to Corrientes y Callao and catch the subte.

At least they were running and we stepped straight on. One way or another we can always get home here.

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Paro

Another smoky day in Buenos Aires. They say that it is the fires on the pampas, nothing to do with all the pollution they are generating here then.

Two weeks ago Juan announced there would be no milonga today, but under pressure last week he said that despite the strike we would have a milonga. Now having been jaded somewhat by events here, I take nothing for granted. Hoy milonga was still announcing Milonga de Juan for today but still I contacted Juan on Whatsapp, he told me that yes there would be a milonga. So now, prompted into action he announced it on facebook.

So I have Whatsapp, Hoy milonga, and Facebook, so it must be on. So we set out with no plan B. At La Nacional the door was locked with a note “No Milonga Hoy” I did not feel like coming past our place to go to Canning, somehow home  is home and we do not like to just pass. So we walked to El Beso but without any information, and there is no milonga there today.

We retired for a coffee at the bar opposite. We debated what to do and decided to go into town to get Viv some make up.  We have been trying for a while and always managed to arrive when Avon is closed, today we succeeded. Although I did worry when I saw the news on the TV in the bar. The people demonstrating were all around the Obalisco just yards from the shop. Then, on the way home, I went to get my hair cut. So the day was not completely lost.

Lazy afternoon on the balcon then and Viv’s special bolognaise for later.

 

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When the room dances as one

Numbers are up everywhere, but this is not too great a problem at Milonga de Juan. This has to have been one of our best days yet. We left early, not because we were fed up or bored, but because we could not keep it up. Viv got dances with men she has been after since we arrived as well as some she has been after for years.

We arrived early as always, the early birds, and all that.  Still as it got crowded we were still doing well. We danced right through without a break, even doing the chacarera.  What did not go so well was the floorcraft. I managed most of the time to avoid crashes but could not completely avoid the side impacts and shunts.

I think it came home to me most in Nuevo Chique yesterday. The ability to dance with the room has been lost. Too many moves learned and too much about showing off. No longer can the room just dance as one.  I remember many years ago when I first experienced this; The room was packed, yet we all moved as one, there was no shunting or barging, it was like everyone was in the zone.

Now even the locals complain that there is not “room” to dance. They dance up the middle then crash into people who are in line of dance. Others crash into your back or just stop to do their set pieces without a care for the chaos behind them. I do not know what the answer is, but I suspect there is not one. Respect for others and the ability to move as one is lost never to return.  Some day there will be no one left who can remember that special feeling of when the room dances as one.

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