Tag Archives: milonga

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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Expensas day

Well this is the day I was dreading, flying solo at Banco Santander. The first time I get to pay the expensas, in the bank, on my own. What could possibly go wrong?,

I arrived and, of course, there was a huge queue. After maybe fifteen minutes I had turned the corner and was heading back towards the machine. By now, of course, there was a queue behind me as well. Now, the machines for Santander customers do not have queues so people were drawing money and doing other things and then passing through us. One guy however was having trouble, getting frustrated at the machine, dropping his money and then finally kicking the pillar by us. One chap behind us was highly amused by this, and I thought “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. You really do not want to be behind me in this queue”

Eventually my time came, now, the machines had changed since Philippe had shown me how to do this, but hay, how hard can it be? I had a choice of “Card Identificacion” “Numero de Identificacion” or “Sin Identificacion”. Well that bit was easy, but from there on it all went horribly wrong. After crashing out three times I asked the guy behind me “Puedes ayudarme?” Blank face. Oh well you are just going to have to wait then.

Then the security guard came, he tried giving me help as you would to someone local. (Ie, paranoid about security) I would have been happier had he leaned on my shoulder. Then I put the wrong amount of money in, he must have thought I was a right idiot, but for once I stayed calm and with his help finally got my “Ticket” but when I turned to thank him he was gone.

Salon Canning was never going to be as good as Nuevo Chique yesterday, but never the less we were looking forward to seeing some old faces again. The place has had a total makeover and not just the usual lick of paint. The entrance foyer is filled with large Monteleone photographs and looks much brighter. inside the walls have been painted grey and the old carpet has gone, but the biggest transformation is the dancefloor. The old one was tired and broken, but now they have replaced the whole thing with a brand new one with wood imported from Brazil. It is a joy to dance on.

Even the toilets have been refurbished, to a standard way beyond what is normally seen here. I was thrown by this though as where the entrance was is now a blank wall, I did wonder whether I would have to run through it, Harry Potter style. The girl selling tickets saved me from this by telling me the gents is now with the ladies, inside.

As I said dancing was not as good, but we did ok. Viv, as ever insisted she only had a few dances, but I was sat behind her and know I missed as many as she did.  The trouble with the room is it’s very size, it is difficult to see to the opposite corner and often by the time you are looking at someone the floor is full. Still this is our first time and soon people will remember us and life will get so much easier.

 

 

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Our first days back

Well it is not going that well here, but more of that later. I would like to say that the flight went smoothly, except it didn’t. We had almost no time between flights at Schipol. This is a shame as we love this airport. Because we were not considered a quick turn around we had no information and were floundering for a short while. Fortunately the place is full of lovely Dutch ladies in blue, who soon put us on our way.

Still with no time to shop or explore we were soon ingested into the massive beast, right near the back, as luck would have it. In the early hours Viv got up and left me to sprawl over two seats, but even then I could not sleep. Soon one of our lovely Dutch ladies was shaking me awake. Viv had walked to the back of the plane and promptly collapsed into the arms of a newly qualified German doctor. (Female before you get too excited). Apparently 1% of passengers get ill, so that would be four on a plane this big. Our German doctor was enjoying her first proper patient and the excellent medical kit. She used the stethoscope the blood pressure monitor and the thingy that they put on your finger the checks your pulse. There was a male doctor as well, apparently they are over here for the tango. I look forward to seeing them in a milonga some time.

Anyway I got no sleep, not sure how much Viv got maybe some before she got up and a little on the floor. KLM food is usually good but the breakfast was disgusting, omelet in gravy, we hardly touched it.

So we walked through Migraciones like zombies and then headed out to get a taxi, another shock 600ar$. Going to have to get used to some changes again.

Maurico was in when we arrived and we soon sorted the keys out. I must say he has left the place immaculate and everything still works. So we set off out for a coffee. Mauricio said it was his treat as he did not want to take home pesos.

I am afraid were not the best company. We have this horrible hacking cough as well as being dog tired, so Mauricio decided to try and get an earlier plane. We bid him goodbye and crawled into bed. Our siesta lasted six hours and we awoke hungry. No food anywhere in this town until late, but fortunately Imaginario was opening and they were happy to serve us. I still never finished my burger although the quilmes stout certainly helped.

Then a return to bed for more sleep.

We could not do much shopping on a Sunday but we got most of what we wanted from the local chino. We were still fit for nothing and the thought of going to Fulgor and kissing everyone filled us with dread. We did not want to be responsible for an epidemic here and possibly killing off some of the already frail and declining numbers. So we had another early night. another long sleep, turning into Rip Van Winkel.

Monday we did not fair much better, the only milonga we could reasonably attend was Obalisco and we left there last time without Viv getting a dance. John Moreton has put us onto another, but by now we would be running too late. So I put some credit on my phone and brought it back to life then went of to get some replacement Keys. Our favorite locksmith has packed up business and the other one on Salguero is closed for January. Another failed mission.

OK we have been in Buenos Aires three days and not danced so we headed down the road for La milonga de Vinilo.Not the best, but only a stones throw away and free entry. We did half a dozen tandas together then packed off home. A cheap night and a good warm up, just hope I can stop the hacking tomorrow. More paracetamol and another good nights sleep and hopefully tomorrow will be better.

 

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Too many goodbyes

Always sad to see the end but here we are.

We took the subte for Uruguay and on the platform we met the nice girl from the Chino. I was glad to have a chance to say goodbye. Some good Spanish practice as well. She left at Pasteur so that will be the last we see of her.

My sube card had $3.20 on it and Vivs had $24. So we can use Vivs to come home and there will be little credit left to run out.

Nuevo Chique was packed too many turistas, it made dancing difficult. Viv was having a great time though. The locals seem to know it will be their last chance to dance with her. Every woman I ever danced with was there, it was impossible to dance with them all. I missed Pauline again but at least I can dance with her at home, some that I missed I may never see again.

Viv dragged me out at seven, then a man arrived who she has not seen in a while. At least this gave me a chance to dance with Gerta. I have been avoiding her as she was worried about my cold. It would have been a shame to have gone home without dancing with her.

We stopped off at Plaza Congresso for some food and more beer. A last chance to drink Quilmes Stout and have some matambre.

We came out to see a 90 drive past. Fortunately the next 151 was not too long in coming and it was back to the packing.

We had to have some last Ice cream before bed, it will be nine months before we get Ice cream like this again.

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Drunk in charge of a broken Umbrella

A grey start to Monday morning. Viv sent me out for some fruit, so I took the opportunity to pay the City tax (Rentas) and put some credit on my phone.

I bumped into Jose on Corrientes. I love bumping into people I know here, makes me feel more like I belong. In the veg shop he opened a fresh box of pears for me and I told him we were leaving. Viv told me to give him $100 for his son, he did not at first understand “es una regalo por tus hijo” I said. When he realized we were leaving he thanked me and asked when we will return. So many goodbyes, it is sad to be leaving.

Viv dragged me around the shops again, looking for some guest towels. We never managed to find what we wanted. They only seem to sell towels in sets here. We tried the shop at 550 Medrano but by the time we got there it was closed. Some shops do not open until one others close one until four, others still open just when they please. It makes shopping an interesting experience here.

We returned to Plaza Bohemia, hoping that with the demise of Ideal the numbers would be up. It was a vain hope. The rain did little to help, but I suspect deeper problems. There were two spare women and three men. Viv was not advantaged though, because the shy guy would not look up and did not get up to dance until another lady arrived. Then he danced only with her.

We did many tandas together, but there was a real risk of . me becoming casamiento  with the few ladies. Good news though, Viv won the sorteo. They sell tickets and divide the money up into prizes. Small house, so there was only one prize of £130.Hardly a fortune  but better than a kick in the teeth.

Back to the bus stop and my umbrella is looking rather sad. It blew out on the way and several stays are broken, but it will see today out.

We were supposed to be meeting Mauricio and Kym and I had suggested Imaginario. Turns out it is shut today TIA. So we rescheduled for Guardia La Vieja. I got in and ordered a stout “No tiene, solo Hieneken” he said. So I tried ordering a pint, “Solo Hieneken” he said again. What is the point of having a long menu of beer and only stocking poison. So we had two coffees.

When Mauricio arrived we explained that they have no beer, so he messaged Kym and we retrenched to El Banderin across the road. No stout here either but they did have Quilmes so this would have to do. They do not have a lot of food choice here either, so we all had bondiola sandwiches and some crisps.

Kym brought another friend and the lads polished off two bottles of wine, while we hammered the beer. Then we ordered more beer. They are just not used to this here, we got louder as we put the World in general and Argentina in particular to rights.

Then they closed all the blinds and threw us out. I thought that they had more stamina here than that, but it is Monday I suppose.

We walked back past our apartment and as a parting gift, I gave Kym my umbrella. Well I think he has ten blocks to go.

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Our last Sunday

We walked down to Palermo, Viv had some things she wanted. We sort of wandered around aimlessly. She found something in Estoy Mirando, she loves this shop and I do too, it has a man seat outside. I can sit and watch the world go by, while she does what women do in shops. We tried both Isadora shops, seems that they do not open until late afternoon. I don’t get it, but then we are just customers.

I had wanted to watch the Gran Prix, so I walked again to Los Floristas. The waiter had said I could watch it here, but every seat around the TVs was full. I could not move diners on and then get them to change channels. So I left.

I was not in a good mood, if Viv had come with me I could have looked for somewhere else but she was going to come later. So I had to go back.

When I got back I tried looking for live commentary on the net. Twas then I discovered I had mis-timed anyway, it was all over.

Viv cooked the last of the lentils for tea. I think we had rather a lot, I was well stuffed. Viv it seems wanted ice Cream after but somehow the deadline past while the lentils settled so we will have to wait for again.

Back to Club Fulgor for our last time tonight. On our way we bumped into Mauricio outside a bar the next block to Fulgor. Still not sure what happened last night but he was waiting for Kym. So we left him and promised to meet up later.

The little lady on the door seized upon us again, seems there was another English couple there. She always grabs me as her translator, though for what use I am, I usually accede. This couple was Tania and Howard form near Keswick. They knew Maggie Fawcett who we had visited last year. It is a small world of tango in Cumbria.

I was asked to translate again when a Swiss guy came in. Slim pickings for him here, but he danced with Viv when I was off entertaining the old dears.

I managed to get Mariana up on the floor. She got only halfway around, protesting all the way “no se como” She was not half bad, for someone who had never danced before. I think I could have made a good tango dancer of her, but she was forever conscious of people watching.

All in all we had a great night. Won the sorteo again (more champagne) and kissed almost the whole of Villa Crespo. That’s it Fulgor for another year.

 

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