Tag Archives: Nuevo Chique

Expensas Finally.

Today I must pay my expensas. After all my previous attempts I now fear the ATM more than being mugged on the street, still it must be done. I did the morning shopping first, hoping to miss the morning rush. Then I went to the shoe repairers with Viv’s Shoes. I had been practicing all the way “Dos aguajeros”. (two holes, in the straps). I must have got it well as the guy was quite chatty. He did not get Wales though, Europa was as close as he was getting. Gareth Bale, Shirley Bassey, Siez Naciones, nothing worked. He underst0od when I told him I do not like the cold though.

I had delayed long enough, time for the bank. I had written the instructions down, but the one thing I had neglected; there are two types of machine: Caja Automatico and Auto Servicio.  I elected to go to the Caja Automatico, but all the time in the queue I kept thinking I was at the wrong one, and queues do tend to be long and slow here. I decided that changing would not be a good thing, even if I was wrong I would just have to start again.

Luckily I was not at the wrong machine and I got through my instructions OK until it came to putting the money in. It grabbed one note then shut the door. I could see no way to carry on so I crashed out and started again. This time I put all the money in, but it left two notes. Then I saw the option to add more notes. That was it, done. I amended my instructions to include Caja Automatico and headed home, elated. I have finally done it on my own. I have a feeling that they will change the system next year, can’t have this extranjero knowing what he is doing.

Another Thursday and another trip to Nuevo Chique. I am still being put down the far end, there are plenty of ladies down here, but they do not know me, so I still struggle to see the ladies at the top. This includes, of course, Viv. Don’t get me wrong, I get plenty of dances, but from here I am never up at the first note.  So I have started walking up to the top and inviting the ladies, instead of using cabeceo. Because I am inviting for the next tanda, I did end up doing a Pugliese tando, much to Viv’s surprise.

At seven thirty Viv gave the signal to go. The next tanda was milonga and I had intended to dance it with her and then call it a day. I had promised to meet Philippe for a drink at eight, so we had to go.

We decided to sit outside today and wait for Philippe. The waiter of undecided gender came out twice to see what we wanted, but seemed happy when I said “Esperamos por un amigo” We had our usual caramel and Philippe IPA (pronounced eepa) here. It is a lively corner here, lots of young people hanging around bars, and lots of busses. The number 92 always come in threes. We sat chatting and drinking until it was time to retire. Philippe back to his studies and us for our lentil stew.

I am afraid the beer got somewhat the better of us as we had not eaten. The stew went down quickly and we were soon asleep in bed.

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Bad Books

We had a visit from Philippe this morning. We are always glad to see him, but it threw our schedule out slightly.  I had done the shopping earlier, but it was still a rush when he had left to get ready to go out.

As I said earlier, just when you get fed up, everything turns around. I was still sat way down the room in Nuevo Chique, but not quite so far today. Viv seems to get a different seat every time now as well. There were not many missed tandas today, not for me, and not for Viv.

We both thought that the crowd was different today and the standard of dance was generally lower. Still as we were almost non stop I cannot complain. We danced through until seven thirty, four hours of solid dancing was enough and I hit the wall.

I wanted to see a passageway that I had seen on the net, so we came out a different way to usual. The coffee stop was different and not as good. All the shops in the passageway were now closed, and we spent longer than usual on the subte. So despite having a good afternoon, I am in bad books.

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The days go by

I have been having trouble getting on here of late. When we get the TV for some reason it deletes my passwords. So I am trying again to use the Kindle. This is after all the reason I got it.

Salon Canning went well although we got less dances, but there were fewer people there. I danced twice with a lady I’ve not seen before she was local though. I soon ran out of partners as did Viv.

We missed Graciela’s birthday by being here. It’s a shame, but we are here to dance not for cake.

So we headed out into the heat.It was not yet time to eat here but we thought that a drink would see us until the kitchen opened.

Arev bar was a bit scruffier on the inside, but their kitchen was open. I took a picture of the Welsh scarf that was hanging up. Still not used to this phone, I got about six pictures of locals hiding their faces.

No black beer here so we had the Quilmes Cristal. Unusually I had chicken and Viv the steak. Chips, it seems are extra. We had not long started and the power went off. (Corte de luz) as they say here. Well the food was basic but good. 

There was no till so she did the bill on her calculator. It came to less than 500peso, on our way home we tried to work it out. The only conclusion we could come to was that she had undercharged us.

Today after Nuevo Chique we wanted to see a band in Hypolito Yrigeren but we checked out the place on Tuesday and they said that they are no longer open Thursday. This left me with a logistical nightmare, just trying to contact all the people I had invited. I hope that I can straighten it out today.

In Nuevo Chique I was not allowed my usual seat and along with Willie I was day way down.  People stood up talking and it was all but impossible to cabaceo once the music started. I  can understand that they keep the best seats for the locals but we keep the place going while they are on holiday and I was not happy.

By seven were fed up and went for a coffee. A day without tango tomorrow as The Six Nations rugby 🏉 starts. You will  find me in Sullivan’s bar later.

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Good shopping day

On our travels up and down we have seen a few things we need, so today we set out to get some purchases. First stop was the shop on Medrano where I had bought my new towel. They had some throws and on checking the size they would be ideal for our sofa. The old ones are all but worn through and this throw would cover it in one, not two pieces. $560ar not much more than a tenner, it would do fine.

We stopped of at the fruit shop and the chino on the way back for some provisions, then set off out again.

This time we would travel a bit further, taking the subte down to Uruguay. Viv has been after a new toaster since we arrived, but locally there was nothing that floated her boat and she really wanted a four slice toaster. Then on Tuesday we saw one in a window on our way to Nuevo Chique. It was quite attractive and no more expensive than a two slice toaster. In the shop window we saw again the toaster and a kettle to match. Our kettle, although functioning, had a lid that would not open, so filling was difficult. As we are now in a period when things are relatively cheap for us, we thought ” let’s go for it”.

In the shop I told the guy what we wanted, but he still insisted on us pointing them out in the window. Inside he had a ladder on a rail which he pulled around so that he could climb up to his stock. We could see both items within easy reach, but for some reason these were not suitable and he searched hard to find a toaster. He eventually found one and proceeded to unpack it for our inspection, once we were satisfied he set off in search of the kettle. Eventually though he had to give up and offer us the one we could see and were pointing to. This again he unpacked and when we were satisfied he struggled to repack both items.

Now the fun part. He took them over to the other counter and made out a docket. Still not allowed to pay for it, we had to take it to the back of the shop where he sat behind a grill and took our money. Then he gave us another ticket, this we took back to the other side of the shop again. I guess this was dispatches. The same guy who wrote out the ticket now checked it meticulously to make sure it was OK. You would think he would know, after all he wrote it. Then finally he put them in carrier bags and we could leave with our purchases.

Time for a coffee, well this place abounds with coffee shops, until you want one. There was non at this end of Uruguay and round the corner on Corrientes the whole street was dug up. Crossing was not possible, but after we passed the subte we found a Kentucky Pizza. We had a promo; coffee, agua con gas, juice and three medialunas $80ar each. Then it was back home to get ready for the milonga.

We seem to go up and down this B line quite a lot these days. So back again to Nuevo Chique. Again we never sat down for three and a half hours. I was exhausted but happy when we left. I don’t think Viv missed many tandas either so we did not even stop for a coffee on our way home.

The colectivos were running tonight, but still had a trick up their sleeve; as we got to Congreso both a 90 and a 151 were at the lights. They would not stop here to pick us up so we had to wait again until another turned up. When our colectivo finally crossed Corrientes the traffic was gridlocked, had we known we would have got of at Corrientes and walked, instead we were stuck until it finally reached our building.

Sleep was difficult, there is a “Cultural Event” in our street. That means people banging drums and generally shouting all night. I thank Kellogg’s for the fitted earplugs. Poor Viv, will have to suffer.

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Infamy, they’ve all got it in for me

We are now regulars at Nuevo chique again, and we know the crowd well, so when the lights all went out a six we were all in it together. We sat it out until about half past, Dany was making an attempt to get power from upstairs, but everyone was leaving. We could, of course have sat it out, but with few people left, what would be the point. So we headed out.

We had Maria and Fito in tow and stopped at our usual bar. I asked for black beer and they had non so we moved on to congress and found another bar that had it. We sat for a while telling stories as best we could. Maria speaks Spanish and I speak no Swedish so as the conversation carried on I had to relate it all to Viv. It may be good for me, but I found it hard work. That said we managed a few laughs.

When we came out onto the square, there was already a queue for the colectivo. I was going to miss the 151 and take the 90 so that Maria would get nearer her stop. We waited half an hour long, it was obvious that something was again amiss, so we set off along Uruguay to get the subte. At Corrientes the gate was locked. We tried the other gates, they too were shut.

Never have we failed on both the subte and the colectivo. So I suggested we head to Lavalle there we managed after a wait to get a number 28.

We left the bus at Mario Bravo and told Maria to get off at the next stop.

It was time for more beer, so I got my deposit bottle and crossed the road getting almost flattened by a number 90. I suppose the highlight of all this was explaining to the girl in the chino why “no estoy buen”. It must have started running again not long after we left. I think that they actually do have it in for me.

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Back again and inflation bites

The less said about our return flights the better.  I think it is all about cost cutting these days and I shall have to look to a different carrier next year. We are getting twice the amount of pesos to the pound as last year, what that will mean to prices is slowly coming clear.

The airport taxi was the first shock, it was three times the price. Still at a little over £20, I cannot complain, it would cost as much if not more at home.

We returned to Imaginario, again loaded up with money, having no idea what it would cost. We had an omelette each and a bowl of potatoes to share. These are a bit of a speciality here, I wanted the “papas imaginario” but Viv said we should have them with rosemary as there would be less of it. She was, of course, right, we could not finish them, despite being delicious. A bottle of cream stout helped it all go down. We still don’t eat like the locals, I think we were in there less than an hour, but left fully sated. The bill here was a surprise cost me less than $400ar, which if you are paying attention is less than a tenner. Not at all bad to feed and water two people.

Having not slept for nearly 32 hours we crawled off to bed, at the ridiculous time of 9:00 and slept the sleep of the innocent.

I have a pile of bills to pay, so the next morning I am out down to the pagofacil. All the bills are more than last year, but not fully in line with inflation. The city tax is going to be a problem though; there is no annual bill. So I will have to add “paying the city tax each month” to my conditions of rental.

I had a few more things to buy and “Nuevo Escocia” was next on my list. Nuevo Escocia has been my favourite almacen. I had regular banter with the Butcher, the cheese range awesome and the best sliced loaves in these parts. Today I only wanted bread, but all the shutters were down and there is a for sale sign on the building. Odd the way they do things here, because the blackboards are still outside with offers on them. I hold no hope although there is no afterlife for shops here.

My money was again safely delivered by Azimo. I had let myself get worried by stories I had heard, but the office was empty and no  one accosted us. I brought Viv along for security, although what she could do if I was attacked, I don’t know, but I think sometimes you look more vulnerable on your own. I may have been carrying twice as much money as last year, but in truth, it was worth no more. Anyway, as I said, I was worried unnecessarily. No one takes any notice of us here, we are just locals.

Our return to Nuevo Chique gave us some trepidation, again, I don’t know why. It must be something to do with getting older, you just worry more. Marcella welcomed us most warmly, Viv had her usual seat, and I was moved up higher in the pecking order. All afternoon people were hugging and kissing us. At home we started to think, maybe, this is not worth the effort, but when we get here, to this, it makes all the travel and worry, worthwhile. Again, apart from Pugliese, I never sat out a tanda. Never so for the ladies, but Viv had a great time. A slight lull in the middle but she had great dances all afternoon.

I never expected to stay long, it was our first milonga after all. It was 7:30 when we left, three and a half hours is a good start.

We stopped for a coffee on the corner of Alsina and Saenz Peña, nice coffee here but no medilunas and the facturas are a bit bland, still, again the price was good, so no room to complain. The streets were packed though with picateros, this did not look good. Although I sympathise with their complaints, I don’t agree with their methods. They block off the city and stop it functioning, they damage infrastructure and all this adds to the costs to the government that is already struggling to balance an impossible budget. And worse for me (yes I know, it is always about me) they stop the busses. So my personal taxi, the 151 colectivo, was not running. So we had to brave the crowds and walk the ten blocks back to Corrientes and get the Subte home.

So, in conclusion; although inflation has hit hard, for us, despite the money I already have being worthless, it is actually no more expensive. At first sight, it appears to be no more insecure. The people are lovely, but the system is broken. I can do nothing apart from spend my money here and help the odd beggar and hope the place just holds together.

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Shoes

We took the subte down into town quite early as we did not want to miss any dancing, this was a mistake, as nothing here opens until Buenos Aires time. My second mistake was heading down Corrientes instead of Diagonal. I always seem to do this for some reason. Still, it only means an extra block and we got to walk past Confiteria Ideal.  Today, for the first time, we saw signs of work going on. The small door in the shutters was open and a guy in overalls was outside having a smoke. He raised no objection when I stuck my head in, so I had a good look. Not surprisingly they have altered nothing but it all looks repaired and new. The ceilings  are freshly painted and the plaster work is picked out in gold. Obviously there was a lot of scaffold and ladders,  but it does look very promising. I just hope that rumours about there being no dancing there are false. I so look forward to returning to this fabulous venue.

It was half ten and only one shoe shop was open, and there was not much in there. Vivs  favourite, Las Marianas, did have opening hours on the door 11:00 – 19:00. This being Argentina, there was no point waiting so we went to look for coffee.  Across the road, on Diagonal, we saw another The Coffee Store, so that was it then. Coffee and medialunas only $70. It is $72 just for coffee in Martinez. We wondered where this chain had sprung up from, but it seems it has been operating as a franchise since 1997. How have we missed it for so long? And these medialunas are to die for.

We got back and the eleven o’clock opening became ten to twelve, but it was worth it. Viv now has two extra pairs for dancing here.

Something happened in Nuevo Chique today, I am not sure what, maybe it is just us. The numbers were right down so dancing was easier, but something was missing. I was quite enjoying it, but Viv left at six thirty to go for a coffee, so, of course, I had to leave after a couple more tandas.

Viv had gone to the new coffee bar underneath, they had all but thrown her out and another guy had been refused “We are closing” they said. I don’t get it, the furnishings and windows must have cost a fortune, surely they need to recover as much money and as quickly as they can. We don’t expect this place to be here next year, and it will all be the governments fault, and the USA and, of course, The IMF Vultures.

Well it’s back to some fresh pasta and Viv’s Bolognese followed by Quilmes Negra. They see me most nights in the Chino, I’m sure they think I am alcoholic.

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