Tag Archives: milonga

Crazy country

Viv sent me out for my usual shopping trip. First stop the post. Non of the doors were open today and some guy started ranting at me, it seems there was a queue. So to the back of the queue and a triage at the entrance, “tomo numero” she said, well I knew that. I thought I would have a long wait but No5 was called and I was No7 so it did not take too long. I gave her my letters “Reino Unido, simple” I said “Su Documento” she said. Now I have been posting letters at this post office for at least ten years and never have I been asked for my passport before, but she would not post my letters without one. As I did not have it with me I just took them back and mission failed. Put some people in a uniform and they think suddenly they are Il president. Crazy country.

Off to Milonga de Juan today. It is at a different venue than last year, now at La Nacional. Things did not look good from the start, some said that the rain was keeping the men away, but the few women seemed unwilling to dance as well. There were one or two of my old favourites so I did get dances and the quality of the floor made up for some of the poorer ones. Isabel turned up while Viv was dancing and she too found it hard.

After an hour or so things started to pick up. Many of Vivs old friends came and even Isabel was getting dances. It never really picked up for me though. True I did not miss tandas, but I was down to a group of about five or six women. Not that they were complaining and I suppose good dances are good dances. I must say this though, of all the milongas in Buenos Aires, this is the only one where the organiser takes time to dance with as many of the ladies that he can. Brownie points for Juan.

Just before we left we had a demo. It was very good, no acrobatics, but some real crowd pleasing moves. A nice end to our evening. So despite my misgivings at the start we had a really good time.

At the door a helpful Argentine was guiding Isabel. Her google app and myself, were wrong apparently. She messaged me later complaining that she could not get rid of him and he took her the wrong way.

We stopped of at Vitoria Bar, we could not remember which was the best of the bunch here at Congresso. Made the wrong choice, Viv said the toilets did not work and there was no water. The coffee was foul and the croissants stale. The waitress short-changed Viv by a peso “That’s her tip” Viv said. Don’t think we will be back.

Stopped off again at Costumbres for some fresh croissants, we can have them after our tea, with some decent coffee.

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Something new It seems

For our Monday milonga we are off to El Beso again. Don’t be confused, even though it is the same venue it is a different milonga. Friday was el Abrazo with Mario Orlando on the decks, today it is Misteriosa with a guy called Quique Camargo.

It started of badly for Viv, she was not getting many dances. Actually non apart from me and Hubert. Later though many of her old friends arrived and by six she was dancing non stop. I too struggled at first, as I have said it is not the easiest of rooms but soon I was in my swing.

Graciella arrived to her usual fanfare and I soon had her up dancing. My big problem though was that I was surrounded by predators, it is hard to cabeceo past these ladies. There were other ladies I wanted to dance with, Marta who I have not seen yet here and the Columbian lady.  Still it keeps me on my toes.

The DJ was having some fun too, when the lady in front of me pounced, I said “depends on the music” and the next tanda was totally off the wall. This was a first for me here in Buenos Aires. Normally it is very traditional. Later he played a Tanda by Orquesta Tipica Misteriosa. Something new not at all what we expect.

After she had danced with “Ron Dennis” Viv was ready for home. Her best dance of the night she said, no point in staying if it was not going to be topped.

We walked back, not wanting to get stuck on the rush hour subte again. Back to the rest of that steak.

 

 

 

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A cold damp day

I expect no sympathy from home, cold here is twenty degrees, but people still look miserable on the street. They don’t know when to be happy here, yesterday they were complaining “it’s too hot and humid” today it is cold and wet. I still have my shorts on in the day though and sleep without covers at night.

I needed no protection when I went over to the supermarket for milk, although I did see people with umbrellas. Not really needed, as this is only light rain, nothing like the torrent we had yesterday. The biggest risk is getting splashed from the water under the loose flags, not from falling rain.

Not to be put off we set off on a walk down Corrientes. We found a Chinese run shop that had a few things we needed, but ended up inevitably in the Abasto Centre. It’s all a bit high-end for me in here, but still at times amusing. There is a men’s clothing shop called Bridge End, trying hard to be very English. There are union flags everywhere even on belt buckles, then I noticed underpants printed with the London Underground. Begs the obvious question “Where is Cockfosters?”

We had a quick root around in Coto on the way back. I was not for buying anything, I don’t have enough life left for the queues here, but I just wanted to look if they had any chairs. Nothing of any good is the answer. So we bought some biscuits in the local Chino and went home for a coffee.

We never know what to expect when we return to a milonga, Fulgor was still there, but we were on our own when we arrived. Roberto is still running it and Ruben is still the DJ. His music seems to have improved, but we still get the tropical every half hour.  The numbers never passed a dozen though and I still wonder how long can this carry on. We got the usual kisses off Bebe at the door and Marian Roberto and Ruben. Then as the regulars arrived we had to stop dancing each time to be welcomed back.

There was no Norma tonight but I did get a dance with Bebe. They may be low in numbers here but they do have a good time, nobody comes here to be miserable and we danced our socks off.

 

We managed to get home without getting wet as well, so a good night then.

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Back to El Beso

Another quiet morning, Viv sent me out shopping. I topped up my Argentine phone then bought some provisions and some mince.  AR$45 a pound scandalous. That’s £1.68 to you at home.

Then it was out to El Beso. Always a difficult floor this, not the best layout with a pillar in the middle, but at least the floor itself is in good condition. A few years ago they completely recovered it in wood, unlike Nuevo Chique where I literally stopped and replaced a section of parquet.

I had some good dances but cabeceo is near impossible here, I have to walk up to the ladies, or in the case of the ones in front of me, tap them on the shoulder. Viv was not getting a lot of dances, she just cannot compete with semi nude nymphets. It never ceases to amaze me that men will put up with an awful dance, just to dance with someone scantily clad. “Bobs getting old” I hear you say, but who has the best view, The man dancing with her or me from the side lines? and while I am dancing with a more experienced lady I am not getting my feet trodden on.

I danced again with Susanna she appears and disappears but never for long. She dropped a bombshell, she told me that she is Jewish. That did not surprise me, there is a very high percentage of Jewish people here and the Once district is almost exclusively. No the bombshell is that she is going to Israel  on Monday for two years, maybe permanently. I had a last dance with her later, A D’Sarli milonga. I wished her well for the future and told her I will miss her.

I noticed another lady having  problems getting dances and decided to dance with her, but Viv whisked me out before I had chance, she had enough. Before I left I called Zoraida a Buja, because, apparently she had seen a picture of us and the next day we appeared.

Made an error coming home, forgot about the rush hour. We should have walked, the subte was packed out. You keep your hands low near your wallet for security. but the pushing together means you come in contact with various body parts. From this close there is no telling what they are.

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Our first full day back

Nothing ever really changes here. Yes I know that not a shop will be the same and the milongas close and open at random. But the city in general is always the same and Wednesday is a good day to get things done.

I had pre ordered some money, in case my money here was not yet available, so I needed to pick it up. Doing business here is never easy so I prevaricate. Too much time on facebook, make coffee, just mooching. In the end I had to grasp the nettle and head on out.

I was cheerily greeted at the door by Sebastian’s Wife (Must find out her name). As I walked up Bulnes a guy in a doorway shouted something to me, I just responded “No” “solo la hora” he said. I apologised and gave him the time. It becomes a habit fending people off, they are not all begging, it seems.

At the money office there were no numbers on the roll, no one waiting either. So I was out in no time at all. New notes as well $200 denominations, easier to break into than the $500’s. Over the road to pay my city tax and the doors were locked. Then I saw the door at the end was open. Inside and I again took my number “07” the counter was showing “84” . Could be in for a long wait, but no, it seems they are not using that here today either. Straight in and out again.

I went back to the dietetica again, but it was still shut up. All the stock is inside, but there is no sign of when it is open. Ah well TIA again.

Our first dance outing is to be Salon Canning, seems to be starting earlier. 3:30 start but we arrived nearly an hour later and there was hardly anyone there. Argentines are a conservative lot “It’s always started at four and we are not having it any different”. Mind you it never got crowded maybe the high price is putting them off.

Apart from this mornings top up, we are living on old money. The exchange rate has gone up from $20 to $25 to the pound so until the old money runs out we are feeling the pinch somewhat. Canning are now charging $140 entrada, we will see how it goes but £7 is a bit much.

Had some good dances and Paloma and Hubert were there as well. We seem to have been moved back down the pecking order though, so Viv struggled a bit for dances. She said she was not bothered as it was our first, but after three hours she had had enough and it was time to head home for some food.

 

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You gotta love it

And another from last year. Oh dear!

After a morning on computer management, it was going to be a welcome change to do some tango.

Saturday and we are off to El Arranque again. We had to charge up the SUBE cards and, of course we missed the train. It was no big deal though another was along in four minutes. This is another reason I prefer the subte to the busses, unless the line is down they are through as regular as clock work.

Our waiter had our regular places and our drinks on the table as we arrived, you gotta love this service.

Not a lot to say really, we danced our socks off and I managed two dances each with my regular ladies. Even  Viv hardly missed a tanda.

Erwin our usual DJ was not here today we had Vivi La Falce instead. Good choice of music and interesting cortinas. She was calling something out during the tropical, I have no idea what it was, but the locals seemed to appreciate it.

We had arrived early so by seven thirty we were ready to go. We stayed for the sorteo, but again I did not win, so it was time to go home.

We stopped off on the way home for some meat. We had to do without last week because we left it until Sunday. Two cracking pieces of Aberdeen Angus grilling steak, for two quid, you gotta love it.

Deep joy, the internet is still working, so you will get this post.

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Rain at seven

The BBC said it would rain at six today, the local forecast gave rain for tomorrow. In the time we have been here The BBC have never been right so we are relying on the local forecast today.

It is hot down in the subte, but fortunately we are not there long before we get a train. We felt a few drops of rain as we walked down Uruguay but nothing to worry about.

Nuevo Chique was quiet today, at first Viv struggled to get dances, then the dynamic changed and I started to struggle. I did dance with some new women though. There are still precious few foreigners though. not that I am complaining, it is good to dance with locals, but the tourist industry is the lifeblood of this place and I worry.

I did do two dances with Margerita. She is a short attractive Chilean lady, always wears halter tops and informs me she is three years older than me. Getting to be a habit this multiple dances.

I also did two dances with a local lady. Blond about five four, slim and probably about the same age. She danced so well I took a risk and got her up for a milonga. That went rather well. You never can quite tell as I dance milonga like a lunatic and everyone learns different moves, but keep it simple and just throw in a few crazies and it worked out well.

I got up to dance with Graciela and was poached by Ariceli. Ariceli is early fifties with shoulders that look like they could bench press me and Viv together. Still she is a good sort and we always enjoy a dance. After this I got that dance with Graciela and saw Viv disappear, so I knew it was time to go.

When we got outside the big spots were dropping, no coat or umbrella, not a good time for The BBC to be finally right. Of course Viv wanted to stop for coffee. It was darkening when we sat down, then the thunder and lightning and the heavens opened.

Fortunately the rain does not persist long here, but it was still raining as we dodged under the buildings to our bus stop. With careful positioning it was possible to see up the road from under the shelter of the building, and soon we saw a 90 coming.  We rushed out to wave it down and boarded. We had just missed one so this one was almost empty and we could sit down. Normally we get off at Corrientes as the 90 does not stop outside our building but for once we broke our no going back rule; half a block trumps two blocks in the rain. So we got off along Guardia Vieja.

At least we managed to get home dry, but now I no longer know which weather forecast to believe.

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