Tag Archives: Pericles

£5 worth of beef

We needed a bit of shopping today, it always seems to take an age here. We stopped off at the almacen for some meat on the way back. Two steaks for tomorrow, and half a kilo of picada, that’s minced beef to you. Set me back just under a fiver, for enough for four meals.

I sent a message to Pericles asking if we could meat. I just cannot get that bargain beef out of my head. Meet, I meant meet.

We went to El Arranque again today. I have no idea why, but after last week when Viv never missed a tanda, she just could not get dances. There is some strange logic at work here, damned if I can work it out. Our waiter was not there to seat us, so perhaps where Viv sat had an effect, who knows?

Some of my lady friend’s are now starting to appear. Gilda was there today, she may have mad hair, but she is a joy to dance with. I told her “ahora estoy feliz, baile con Gilda” She liked that.

We did not stay late, when Viv is not happy it is time to leave. We stopped off for a coffee on the way back, the waiter asked “solo o con medialunas?” Viv said solo but I was getting hungry. Viv was not going to be out done so she said “con” as well. The waiter by now was confused and just brought a basket for me. Well there was two in there so she took one. Just as well really, they were not the best we ever had.

Stopped off for a bottle of Quilmes stout to have with our pasta and picada. A perfect evening on the balcony again.

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Pericles

We are getting painfully near the end of our stay and we still have not seen everybody there is to see, but we will see Pericles later. For now though we are off to Confiteria Ideal.
I have that awful cold that always seems to hit me about now. I now realize it can be nothing viral, as bad as it is, because it lasts only one day. Whatever is causing it I must now be getting immune because it seems much less severe this time. Never the less I sought a kiosco and bought myself some cough sweets for the afternoon. We also found a bank to withdraw some money to replace what we spent on shoes.
We sat separados in Ideal, Viv had a reasonable spot on the back wall, but I had two choices; either at the back where they always put me or right down by the DJ position. I chose to be by the DJ thinking I never had much luck at the back so let’s try something new.
From this position I still had trouble, but I fared quite well. At the start Viv was getting more dances than me but as more women arrived, I started being more successful.
The trouble was I could not look out at the floor without looking past my Mataderos lady, Teresa. Whilst I enjoy dancing with her I did not want to do every dance with her.
At one point I got up and did the wandering milonguero thing, I still never got to dance with who I wanted, but I did OK.
There are a few ladies that I now know so that made life easier. Viv was finding it similar, although, just like me there were some she would have enjoyed dancing with, whose eye she could not catch.
Before six she had had enough and I kissed all my ladies goodbye, promising to return in a years time. We took the overcrowded subte to Alto Palermo and stopped for an overpriced styrofoam coffee, before walking on to our destination.
We were meeting Pericles at Tolon on Colonel Diaz y Santa Fe. As always there was no sign of him when we arrived and we delayed the waiter “espremos amigo” I said. When he arrived he was again on the phone still doing business. The only thing that will ever slow him down is an ulcer or heart attack. I hope he can take it easy before it gets too late.
I expected us to be having a meal, but the menu here was all sandwiches. The waiter was having a hard time, every time he came to us Pericles was still talking and we had not even looked at the menu. Eventually we settled on a Chicken sandwich and some stout. Pericles just had water.
The stout came with nibbles that kept us going for a while, but when the sandwiches came they were huge and came with salad as well. While we struggled through them I managed to convince Pericles to try the stout, I think we have another convert.
He walked part of the way back with us and we parted with hugs and again a promise to meet again next year.
Once we got back we had to buy some provisions and this included more stout, of course.
I saw this on facebook and we both had a laugh.
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Now every time I screw my face up Viv falls about in fits of laughter, and the staff in the supermarket think we are drunkards.

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Last tango (for now) in Buenos Aires

Viv likes to spend the last day cleaning and tidying the apartment, personally I don’t want to waste a day. So we agree to spend some time doing different things. She does not want me around being grumpy and, she would say, “in the way”.

Those who have followed my earlier adventures will know I tend to spend my last day with another woman, I don’t know why this happens, it is always innocent, but maybe it is some secret desire to cheat without the guts to do it for real.

Anyway, I had promised to get Janis onto Skype so that we could stay in touch better, I think Janis enjoys the sound of Viv’s voice, so it will be nice to be able to talk when we are home.

I took the collective again to Balvenera, getting to be a dab hand at this now, I don’t need to count the streets anymore as I know the stop. We meet at the door and greet in the traditional way, and then straight to the bedroom. I really is just as well I do not try to hide anything from Viv, this could be easily misconstrued. The bedroom, of course is where she keeps the computer.

Loading Skype takes some time, as the Argentine internet is not the fastest, then we have all sorts of problems with accepting Jantango as a name. Eventually when we are finally on line, we do all the tests. It is then we hit the biggest problem, Janis’s computer does not have a microphone.

Unperturbed we ring my computer anyway and Viv answers quite quickly, seems she was getting bored. Viv was not happy with a one way conversation, so I typed “pretend you are a newsreader”

Viv had, had enough time on her own and was desperate for me to come back, so we agreed to go to the early milonga at Los Consegrados.

Another bus journey back, with Janis this time, expecting Viv to be ready to go out, when we arrived. She was not, it seems she could not refit the blind in the bathroom, and so was waiting for me first.

So after refitting the blind we had coffee and talked for a while, then Pericles rang to say he was in the area, and could we meet. As this was now inconvenient I said “why not come up here for a coffee”.

We have found a new panadaria just one block away, so I rushed our for some biscuits, and I got some croissants for tomorrow as well. As I returned Pericles was waiting by the door. In another of those comic moments, he had rang up and Viv had said “come on up” but of course here you must unlock the door every time, then Viv did not know where her keys were. So by the time she was down we met her in the lift.

Janis had never met Pericles, but they seemed to get on famously and we all sat talking and eating the nice biscuits for hours. When Pericles finally left, we realized we had not eaten all day, and I felt again guilty as I had not offered food.

A quick trip to the supermercado and Viv whipped up some pasta for the three of us.

It was now getting late, too late for Los Consegrados. Janis said she was not dressed for a late milonga, but she was happy to stay and chat while we got ready. She now feels very much part of the inner circle, having seen Viv in her smalls. (now she know how lucky I am as well).

As we left the building it got quite emotional, saying goodbye first to Pericles then Janis is getting all too much for the two of us. Janis left to take the collective from Corrientes the opposite direction we were to go. I am sure she could have caught it at Medrano and we could have walked there together, but I suppose they would not have held the bus for our emotional scene, it was far better to leave each other outside my apartment block.

Our timing was all out tonight, we arrived at Canning at ten past ten, and it does not open until eleven. They let us in however and as the host was not there we even chose our own table. As we sat watching a milonga class, I though, well as it’s our last night, lets have some stout. I called over the waitress and said “quilmes negra”

She looked puzzled “no entiendes” she said. It must be my accent again, so I tried “Cervesa” that she clearly understood, later when the menus were put on the tables I saw negra there so I was not asking for something they did not have, there must be something missing in the way I talk but I cannot figure it out, perhaps I just need a voice coach.

The dancing, as always here was mixed, some good some bad some who you dared not dance behind and some you could easily follow. One guy who danced beautifully was in the wrong place he was a Nuevo dancer and it was nice to watch, but he hogged the outside causing chaos and I made a point of trying not to get behind him.

Some tourists arrived and sat taking photos all night, I often say if you want to see real tango come to a Milonga, not one of the many shows. I wanted to give them a card, so that they knew who they were photographing, but Viv said we should keep some mystery. I just thought it would be amusing for them to realize that they had been taking pictures of a couple from Wales and not Argentines.

When the “tropical” came on again it was time to leave and say goodbye to the milongas of Buenos Aires as well.

So that was it, another three weeks of tango over again. Here’s  to the next time.

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Catching Up

Not catching up as in someone running away, but in the english sense of meeting up with old friends and finding how their lives have gone on.

We had a long-standing arrangement to meet up with Pericles. For those of you who do not know, it was his help and guidance that allowed me to buy a property here. It is not often you meet someone on a business basis and end up as friends. It says a lot about his integrity.

We arranged to meet up in Las Violettas, a beautiful art deco confiteria on Rivadavia. We had arrived early and settled in with some orange juice. When he finally arrived we greeted each other with hugs and kisses. An Aussie and a Brit man both straight kissing each other, it could only happen in Buenos Aires.

We sat and talked for maybe two hours, about life here and at home, our virtual lives, and people in general. Somehow we talked of so much yet I never asked him the questions I wanted to ask, like how is his Tango now. After two hours, as usual Pericles had people to see, places to go. Life in business here is non stop. He walked with us back to our apartment, said he could not stop for coffee and was gone.

Viv was in need of some tights, and this being Sunday little was open, except the big shopping centres so we walked to The Abasto Centre to practice my spanish again with a surely shop assistant. After moderate success we headed out again. Not wanting to walk back the same way, we walked to Corrientes and after half a block my phone rang, it was Janis. She was not far away and said she would meet us here.

The first thing she did was complain (yes you did this time) that I had been here two days and not contacted her. I explained that not wanting to bother anyone I had simply sent a text to everyone that I was here and waited for replies. It seems she cannot read the texts on here phone, and it being one I am not familiar with I could not show her how. Again we headed off to a cafe for more coffee, this time to my favourite local bar that has become familiar with all my women. Now arriving with two at once they never batted an eyelid, what they must think I daren’t contemplate.

Again we sat for two hours, just catching up. Janis ordered submarino, which is just hot milk into which you dip chocolate, she was much impressed by the chocolate which was in the shape of two spoons.

Tonight is a Fulgor night so Janis wanted to leave us free to get there not too late. We walked her to the bus stop and sent her on her way home.

As usual we walked to Fulgor, there are a number of Busses we could catch, but to be honest, it is just easier to walk.

We walked in to be greeted by Roberto Orlando, the usual Argentine kiss, then Marianna the waitress kissed us both, before we knew what was happening half the punters were lining up for their turn. Most of these people were just nodding acquaintances, but they all wanted to great us and make us welcome.

Another thing I like about this place is the manners; the lady who sits alone on the far side often has a dance with me, but before she would dance with me again, she had to ask Viv for permission. I spun her around the floor to a fine tanda of D’Arienzo and she thanked me wonderfully at the end. When occasionally she did not pick up my lead, no body said this is how it should be done, there was no recrimination, we simply caught up and got on with it.

All the music was traditional all good and all danceable. I only sat out one tanda; Pugliese, and to be honest, at home I would not have sat it out. It was early Pugliese and very danceable, but the crowd here love their local hero (Pugliese was from Villa Crespo) so I did not want my clumsy movements to get in their way. We even did the Chacarera, you can always see the doubt in the minds of locals when we get up, but they always rapturous at the end.

It is an early finish Sunday (midnight) and we stayed right until the end, I think they had to throw us out in the end. Marianna asked how long we would be here and how often we would come, she seemed genuinely pleased when I said  “por supeusto, dos veces por semana, Viernes y Domingo”

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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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Pericles

It was a nice sunny day and as usual we were up late, so distant parts of the city were out. As they have a lot of street markets at the weekend, I thought we could walk over to Palermo.

Pericles had just left a post on BAexpats about walking, so I responded that we were about to walk over to Palermo. As we walked over he got in contact via my cell and we arranged to meet in about an hour. More than enough shopping time for me.

Pericles for those who do not know was the driving force that got me an apartment in Buenos Aires. This started as a purely business arrangement, but like some many here, he remains a friend.

In the centre Viv found a scarf that she liked, it was not expensive, but I am starting to think Argentine and $50ar seemed too much to me. Viv won the day as she always does.

We found the bar where we were to meet and there was no sign of Pericles, so we searched around for a good table, and decided on a spot on the roof terrace. We watched the street but missed him entering. He sent me a text saying he was here, so did I.

After a further walk around I found him and he joined us on the roof. As I have said before, life is a bit more hardy in Wales, so we were quite comfortable up here, I’m not so sure Pericles was.

We talked for hours, it was such a pleasant change, usually time is of the essence and he is rushing off to an appointment somewhere. Eventually we had to go, we had overstayed our welcome (we only drank coffee). Pericles walked with us as far as his place and we walked on to do some more shopping.

At night we returned to Club Fulgor again. The numbers were down considerably, but we still had great time. As I type this out I am listening to the CD we won in the raffle. Suddenly we are getting all sorts of freebies. We did almost every tanda, the chacarera and even joined in for the cumbia.

From one of my commentators I have had some great info on the buses (colectivos) and I used this to get there. Unfortunately we panicked and got off the bus too soon, but it still saved us some footwork. I had the route planned for our return but Viv decided she wanted something nice to eat so we walked. Even in Buenos Aires there is not much open at one in the morning, but Viv’s mood was considerably lifted after Fulgor so I let her enjoy the walk. About two blocks into Guardia Vieja we did find a kiosco open and walked the rest of the way eating a Mega. Dancing till one $10ar drinks for two $22ar walking home on a warm night eating icecream priceless.

(appologies to mastercard)

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