Tag Archives: Pugliese


I bit of a damp squid this, they predicted an Eclipse in the local papers. Maybe it was my lack of understanding, but while the local TV showed it happening in Chubut there was not a sign here. We could have done with a bit of darkness to drop the temperature, still I came here to get away from the winter so cannot complain too much about the heat.

I was going to Sullivan’s this morning to watch the Rugby, but Viv did not want to go and Geoff decided to watch it on freeview. So not wanting to be Billie no mates I stayed in to watch it myself on freeview.  I thought I struggled with the rules, but it seems I am not the only one. The Italians developed a whole new game plan that thwarted the English team. It seems that they were using the rules to their advantage, and the English were totally flummoxed. The weaker side and fifty to one outsiders, they very nearly carried it off. Fair dos to the French referee, he had the best game of all. When asked what they could do about it he said “I am a referee, not a Coach”

We hit the chino afterwards, first time ever we spent over £20. More a result of our shortages than sudden inflation. Although inflation is a big problem here, household items like washing liquid and other cleaning items are for some reason expensive here. I bought some cheddar (not typical here) it was 170$ar a kilo. I checked Asda price at home and Cathedral city is 200$ar per kilo. So even on non typical Items they are still cheaper than at home.

I know I should not complain, but the walk to Club Fulgor was too hot. With no cloud and the sun gone you would expect some drop in temperature, but it was barely discernible. When we got there one of the air conditioners was not working and it was way above the Cities recommended 24 degrees.

Still we danced, and I danced with Norma and had another lovely dance with Bebe. The couple we met last year from Cumbria were here again, still not attending many milongas, but happy being here. We had our usual agua con gas and Quilmes stout served up by Mariana, who was returning after last weeks bout of sickness. Her son (we think) was there all night to watch over her, but I thought she still looked unwell, despite her ever present cheerfulness.

We stayed later again but by eleven we had enough, a Puliese tanda, I did not like the first track, danced the second and sat down for the third. So we changed our shoes. All packed and ready to go and Ruben put on Tango Negro, I shouted at him “he cambio mis zapatos” he just laughed. Viv said I should have told him to play it earlier next week, but I think he got the message.

When we got back we had left our air con on, set to 24 degrees, it felt like a fridge after Fulgor.


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A hot one

Nuevo Chique was quiet today, I think perhaps the heat put people off. It didn’t stop us though. We arrived early and danced right through until seven. Everyone was struggling though with the low numbers. Every time I looked up one of my favorite ladies was staring at me, it was hard to avoid her and we danced together three times. I told her we would have to get married now.

Juan turned up again but he never danced with Viv. He did give me a long lecture on Pugliese and why I should dance to it. I am still not convinced though.

Even with the aircon going full blast the heat was draining and we had enough by seven. Time to go for a coffee and then head home.

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Tango, and internet.

Have you ever waited in for telecoms people? Then have you ever waited in for someone in Argentina? Well I just had a double dose. It ruined my morning, there was nothing I could do but sit here and wait.

Wait I did until at eleven Philippe called to say that the internet guy would be here in the next two hours. Well he was slightly less than that, but at least he did arrive.

To be fair he was a very cheerful guy. He told us about a place he had just been where the old guy tuned the pianos of Pugliese and Piazzola. He was passionate about tango although he did not dance. His wife was documenting all the tango lyrics and his father sang tango.

Philippe arrived  and then the conversation got a bit faster and I started loosing it. In the end though we now had an internet connection in my name. That is another hurdle surmounted.

El Arranque was good, even for Viv, though she did complain about the standard of the dancers. I could see what she meant, lots of arm wrestling, and brutal secadas.

We had an extra water and I was only halfway through when Viv wanted to leave, so I said one more tanda. After we had danced and sat down, Jong decided to get her up for the next one, it was Pugliese so I was left sitting there and starting to get hungry.

We have more steak for tea, but I am afraid I miscalculated the size and we had to pad it out a little with some toast.  It was very tender but I had not realised how thin the carniceria had cut it.

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“Si es continuar, marca dos”

Every day may two or three times a day, for a week now we have had the call from telefonica; “We are calling in response to your technical queries. If the problem is repaired press 1 if the problems continue press 2”. Well today I got a different call, the engineer would be here in five minutes.

He came, he unplugged my modem and re-tried it, then he plugged in a modem from his bag. Meanwhile his mobile rang and he sat on the arm of my settee talking on his mobile. After half an hour looking at the back of his head, he said the problem is not here and left. In the lift he assured me it would be fixed during the week ahead. Somehow I think we have another week of early morning calls to look forward to.

We took the subte down to Callao and two blocks along we saw a motorbike stopped at the lights. Two policemen took the two riders to the side of the road to question them. If you think motorcyclists have it bad at home, you should see it here. There were four other police surrounding them all with their hands on their guns. We beat a hasty retreat.

Back in El Arranque the waiter (Horacio) had our drinks ready for us. Coming early is definitely a bonus for Viv, she was up before me in every tanda. The only one she sat down for was Pugliese, funny really just the two of us on this row sitting out a tanda that everyone seems to love.

After seven we had the chacarera then there was a Paso doble. Viv would only do one so I did the second with Graciela. We had agreed that we would do one more tanda after the break and then go. So we did a last tanda together and I stared taking my shoes off. As always happens, the best music now came on, a D’Angelis vals. well Viv was straight up and I was left sitting there. Not for long though, I had my street shoes on but I was not going to be outdone. Graciela was eyeing me up so off we went, Lagrimas y sonrisas to start.

In the gaps I told her of my shoes, 30 years old “Cierto?” she said. The best shoes in the world, but because they are so good, the factory is closed. Everyone who wants them now has them and there is no need to replace them. Sad but true. Unfortunately though, even the best in the world, do not last forever and I fear that they will have to go in the rubbish before we return.

We caught the 151 colectivo, but this time we did not get off at Salguero 799. We stayed on while it turned up Cordoba until it reached Araoz. We got off and headed for Dr Masons, now called Shanghai Dragon. I asked the guy when it changed name “3 years ago” he said, it was my turn to say “Cierto?” So it must have been 2011 when we came here with Bert and Brigitte.

The prices look expensive now, not in UK terms, but definitely for here. Fortunately It was happy hour, because the beer is London prices. Anyway we ordered Thai rice for two. He came back and said we could not have it as there was a problem with the noodles. Not until we were walking home did we realise, we did not order noodles.

So Viv ordered Tsos Chicken and I ordered  Beef Rogan josh. I should have learned by now. It may have tasted good, it may have been excellently prepared and presented, but what I got was not Rogan Josh. Rogan Josh is a tomato base, what I got was beef in gravy. The Chili symbol by the side menu was just decoration. It may have been introduced to a chili at a party some time, they may have had a torrid affair, but the chili had long gone. Viv said it served me right, I should really have learned by now. When I get home I am going to have a massive Indian that will blow my socks off.

Vivs Chicken meanwhile was delicious and, ironically, more spicy than my curry. So Dr Masons is no more, just shows you can never go back.

We had some thoughts later and decided it must have been 2009 last time we went with Bert and Brigitte, time flies they say.



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I’m back

Well after days of rebooting my computer, deleting files and old programs, I think we are up and running again. I don’t know how many days it has been, but I will try to catch up.

We had our usual trip to Nuevo Chique on Tuesday. Wednesday we went to Siranush again, and again while I managed to dance almost every tanda, Viv spent most of the time sitting out. I think we have given it a fair trial and doubt we will be going back. It is the most expensive milonga we go to and it is too much to pay for Viv to dance with just me and John and maybe one other.

We left early and went to the bar on Julian Alverez again. Somebody had decided to change the music. Now instead of a mix of eighties music that we could sing along to and play “Name the Artist” There was a more eclectic mix of more modern stuff. It looks like our Wednesdays are due for a change.

Thursdays saw a return to Fulgor. We arrived early, thinking we would get the most out of the quiet floor. We danced every tanda even getting up for the tropical. It was also a good chance to practice dancing some Pugliese tracks without people in the way. By eleven we were worn out and ready to leave, but suddenly a whole new crowd arrived. We would have liked to stay, but we had used all our energy and we still had the walk home to do.

Mauricio has visited the flat and he likes it. He will be at the university at Faculda de Medecino, so he walked back and found it an easy trek. He is coming back on Monday to finalise the arrangements. There is also a hope that he will take the flat on next year as well. It is unlikely he will be another Philippe, but with luck we have the next two years sorted.

Friday and we returned to the school again for the Asado in the afternoon. There was no yoga for Viv so she joined us from the start. We now have a small group going, there is we two Mauricio and Jayden, a boy of 12 years old from Canada who is bigger than any of us and looks much older. He seems to have nothing in common with people his own age, he even likes eighties music. He has a lady who looks after him called Viviana, we call her his baby sitter.

You can only eat so much asado in the afternoon, so we still needed to go out later. Anyway Friday is our night for eating out so we had decided to go to the bar on the opposite corner of our block.  It was early, we knew, but perhaps we could have a drink while we waited. Two girls were behind the bar looking quite busy, ” Es abierto?” I asked. “No” was the curt reply.

We walked around the block until it was past eight, but I had by now decided I did not like the attitude. The girls were now eating outside with no sign of opening.

“Sod this” I said there is a very nice bar on Bulnes y Guardia Vieja that we had been to before, I said lets go there.  We had a big bottle of Quilmes Negra, ambrosia for us and the gave us peanuts as well. Viv had an omlete and I had hamburgesa casada and we had a big bowl of chipped potatoes in olive oil with skins. There was so much stuff we had to leave some (Something for which the Finches are famous for not doing). The whole bill came to $200 or a tenner to those at home. We sat on the street enjoying the café life and seeing the world go slowly by. (It is still rush hour until about ten and the walkers move faster than the traffic). We left sated and happy and decided that the miserable girls in the other bar had done us a favour.

If my story is a bit disjointed, please forgive me. I have spent four days with my head in computer files and have had no time for blogging. If there are any gaps you do not understand please comment or mail me and I will try and put right any inconsistencies.

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Gavito’s Grandson

We were not well today and spent most of the day in bed. I did get out earlier though, Sebastian said I could pay AFIP at the post office and they would send the parcel. Fat chance, after an hours wait the girl said I must go to the Aduano at the airport. So I must spend£50 in taxis to get something they value at £1. We are back to this; they can keep it, whatever it is.

Interesting thing though in the post office, they have a guard , with a gun. He spent most of his time enforcing the no Movil rule. Well they do something right here. Well almost, should have shot a few. (Only joking honest) On the way back a man asked me for Columbres, I told him it was eight blocks down Salguero and the other side of Rivadavia. He seemed to understand, then went off in the opposite direction. Crabtree strikes again?

Back home again and back to bed, I slept through until three with the help of a Vicks cold remedy. I still felt  crap but we decided to go out anyway.

Wouldn’t you know it, two 168s passed as we walked to the stop, it was going to be a long wait. Some lady came over and asked about a number 5 collectivo. I could not help, but there was a five on the parada, so we assumed she was in the right place. She told us she was from Ukraine and had trouble with Yo and que.  She talked mainly to Viv as most people do, Viv, of course, didn’t understand a word.  Eventually our bus arrived, I never saw a number 5, I hope our Ukrainian was OK.

The bus was so crowded we got off a stop early again, the lights were on red on Independencia so we went up a block into Entre Rios and we were travelling faster than the bus anyway.

Obalisco was brilliant, Viv only missed one tanda and that was when she went out for some air. Daft really it was hotter outside so she just came back in. There was a guy sitting by me, he often dances with Viv but today he could not see her from where he was. He was commenting all the time, he was especially caustic when the women would walk past and say to me “Hace calor”. “Es Verano” he kept saying. When a Pugliese tanda came on he was especially verbose, they dance too fast, they don’t respect the pauses and so on.  I don’t dance Pugliese because I don’t think that I can do it justice, but there was one couple on the floor who definitely did. I watched them as they filled the floor, taking advantage of every space and moving with absolute grace.

As I suspected there was a demo later and it was the same couple. My table companion and oft times commentator, told me that the dancer was the Grandson of Gavito. I guess it’s in the blood.

Can’t be bothered cooking so it’s back to Guardia la Vieja again. Of course as it is on the corner of Billinghurst the bus took the normal route and stopped outside of our apartment. It gave us a chance to drop off our stuff first.

Even the black beer did not help me sleep.  This dammed flu needs to go now.


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Another animal

After our class we again took the 150 collective to Obalisco.
On a Monday, Obalisco is a whole other animal. On Friday I had trouble getting dances and Viv danced with no one but me. For her it was a total waste of time and money. Monday however, she never missed a tanda. I had no trouble getting dances either, in fact I had to sit out Pugliese just to get a rest.
I danced with a Peruvian lady who lives in Mendoza, she told me she travelled for 5 hours to get here and she would not get home until after midnight. I thought I had tango addiction, that is close to loca.
The waitress, I think realised we had had a bad time Friday and offered us good seats, and Gabriela (Organiser and DJ) always welcomes us in.
when we had enough we took our 151 home but got off at Plaza Almagro, Viv thought that there were some good eating places. The only one we found was shut due to a power cut, so we ended up in Guardia la Vieja again.
It’s quieter Monday and we got better service, still after so long without food the beer went to our heads. Time for bed.

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