Tag Archives: Salon Canning


Another smoky day in Buenos Aires. They say that it is the fires on the pampas, nothing to do with all the pollution they are generating here then.

Two weeks ago Juan announced there would be no milonga today, but under pressure last week he said that despite the strike we would have a milonga. Now having been jaded somewhat by events here, I take nothing for granted. Hoy milonga was still announcing Milonga de Juan for today but still I contacted Juan on Whatsapp, he told me that yes there would be a milonga. So now, prompted into action he announced it on facebook.

So I have Whatsapp, Hoy milonga, and Facebook, so it must be on. So we set out with no plan B. At La Nacional the door was locked with a note “No Milonga Hoy” I did not feel like coming past our place to go to Canning, somehow home  is home and we do not like to just pass. So we walked to El Beso but without any information, and there is no milonga there today.

We retired for a coffee at the bar opposite. We debated what to do and decided to go into town to get Viv some make up.  We have been trying for a while and always managed to arrive when Avon is closed, today we succeeded. Although I did worry when I saw the news on the TV in the bar. The people demonstrating were all around the Obalisco just yards from the shop. Then, on the way home, I went to get my hair cut. So the day was not completely lost.

Lazy afternoon on the balcon then and Viv’s special bolognaise for later.



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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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Watered beer

My foot troubles continue but with rest it seems to be getting better. By the time we had walked to Canning though it was aching again. I missed a few tandas but as the night went on there was some improvement and I was dancing away quite well by the time we left. Viv said she only missed one tanda so even though I did not dance much at least I got no earache.

I got asked to friend a guy who dances with Viv, on facebook. The problem is he does not use his real name and he has no photos. People here are paranoid, worried that someone will steal his identity. He also told us not to go to Los Consegrados as it is dangerous at night. He would have kittens if he saw the street corners we have waited on for busses.

On the way back we walked along Cabrera and found a place called KM51, so we went in. ” Hay cervesa Negra?”  “Si mas o minus” she replied. “Hay o no hay?” I asked, she thought about it  awhile and eventually answered “No” How you can have more or less black beer is beyond me, so we walked on.

Then we found a place called Cervelar, they had a choice of black beer, so we opted for the stout. I think they had just cleaned the pipes because mine tasted watered down. I was not happy. Viv let me finish and it was definitely stronger. I could not even get on their Wifi. We did get nibbles but Viv said it was a crèche, full of kids and noisy as hell. I was glad to get away, still £3 a pint was not bad even if it was half water.

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Metrogas problems

I went off to pay the gas bill, now, bills here you can pay in quotas. After the problems with the rentas last year I make sure I am early. Last month I paid the gas bill two days early, the girl asked if I wanted to pay both quotas, well yes, not wishing to spend half an hour more in a queue for the sake of £2.50. So today I am just one day early to pay, and the girl said that there was a problem, I could only pay the first quota. She explained why, as only a porteña can and I understood not a word. I just know I will have to queue again later, just when I have no idea. A question for Philippe later.

The forecast said light rain, well I suppose it was light for here, but we managed with our Umbrellas. It seems not everyone was as adventurous as us. The crowd was right down at Canning. Viv always does well when the numbers are down, but by seven she had exhausted all the available men. She went off home to cook supper. I stayed until half past as I had told Philippe I would be there at eight. By this time however I was dancing with ladies I had already danced with.

When I got to Philippes his motorbike was not there and I worried that he was out. It was worse than that, someone had stolen it. Apparently you have to pay a third to the government in tax when you buy a vehicle and as well as that he will lose ten percent of its value, so for the short time he has had it, it has been a big expense. Everything here is paid for in quotas and the bike was no exception, until his insurance comes through he still has to pay.

The gas bill was explained. Apparently Philippe had the same problem; Metrogas had put the same bar code on both quotas. If they do not sort it in the next two weeks I will have to leave it with Walter.


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On Shoes

We sat up half the night to listen to my radio interview, I can’t say I was impressed, but I suppose I am not a professional at this, not going to win any elections with my radio persona. Mind you Fernando did invite me again after the last time, even if it was five years ago, so I must have something. Available and free? Perhaps.

Viv has a pair of flat shoes almost flip flops, but with a rather attractive sparkly bit on them, disaster struck the other day when the over foot strap broke. Well this is Argentina and everything is repairable, there is a shop called El Bosque on the corner where they repair shoes. 90$AR about £4.50 it cost me and when we picked them up we could not tell which one had been repaired.

Then we went to the DNI shop again and Viv tried on those shoes that she really liked. The beauty of them was that they had pretty patterned leather on the back, but where the actual work is done they were black.  I don’t understand why more shoes are not like this. The trouble was they were not wide enough, non of their shoes were, in fact. When this shop was Tango Ocho they would make shoes to order, but they were not volunteering now. We decided to try their shop on Bulnes but we had the same result. Which was a shame, with it being only one block away it would have been handy. We will have to try Flabella later in the week.

In Salon Canning today it was our best day yet. We stayed until seven thirty and Viv only missed three tandas. I missed about the same but before we left I was too shattered to dance another. I did two tandas with Marta and three, I think, with Viv. Apart from these every tanda was with a different woman and there were still women left who I had not danced with.

Erwin was doing exceptional work from his DJ post, his set could not be faulted. He even found time to film the vals tanda. Now I know I was up, but am nowhere to be seen, I will have to take Erwin to task on this.

Someone was setting up a film camera at the top corner of the floor. With Viv being camera shy and me wondering if I would look as bad on TV as I sounded on Radio we decided it was time for us to go.

Then It was home for the steak we had bought this morning. The cut was called cuadril, I don’t know what that would be at home but it was delicious and less than £2.50. You just can’t knock it.

We had one hell of a storm last night, thunder lightning and the streets were flooded. I am glad we were not out in it. I rather suspect that even this did not wash away all the dog shit though.

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I just want some writing paper

Viv wanted me to post a letter so a trip to the Correo was in order. As luck would have it, the internet bill arrived just as I was about to leave. I hate queuing there so it saved me an extra trip. Inside I took my number, 74. The number on the display was 60, so I thought I was in for a long wait. Then suddenly the numbers rolled up, lulling me into a false sense of security. There was a woman at the table near me filling a form in, she started asking me questions about it. “Don’t ask me, I can’t even use the bank machine” I thought, but instead I just said “soy extranjero” and she seemed satisfied.

Next some guy came up to me ranting about how slow they are, (Well it’s your country mate) I told him he should try coming earlier, but he just went on about how inefficient they are. Well I can’t argue with that, actually I cannot argue with it, I didn’t have the words. When my number came up I was glad to get away, but so befuddled I got Vivs shopping money mixed up with my bill money.

I got to the dietetica still confused and gave her too much. My mind now so mixed I could not even say I was having a bad day. It went better in the chino, and I came out with the fruit and steak for tonight.

At Salon Canning we arrived early with Paloma and Hubert and sat with them in our usual place. As is normal here early on there were few women but Viv still struggled. When she was up with Hubert I had to miss one tanda as all the women were up and there were still men to spare. This situation did not last but the numbers never reached there usual level.

The couple from Cumbria were here, they did not dance much and always together. We thought about getting them up, but thought better of it, we will try in Fulgor on Sunday.

On the way back we stopped for some lemon for Vivs throat and an onion for the steak. These veg shops never have air con and the guy was sat outside, never the less happy to have custom. On the next block is a libreria, Viv wanted some writing paper, so we went in.  Sat in a chair was a guy who had served us before who spoke English, but the guy standing was not letting him up and rushed over. He’ll regret this.

“Un block para cartas?”  I asked, blank face. “Papel para escribir?”  I tried, he still looked blank. “escribo” there was a spark of recognition. Then he showed us a reporters pad. I was of course forgetting that anyone under the age of thirty has no idea what a letter is. We gesticulated the spiral binding, having no idea what it was in Spanish. “No esto” eventually we got a writing pad, but it was hard work and the guy who spoke English was just loving it.

Then it was home to the steak. And they tasted of the steak and it was good.

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A bad couple of days

In the morning the power went off, fortunately our tank has enough water for a few days, but we filled pans just in case.

We had to have cold showers though because the boiler does not work without electricity. I had to go down to the confiteria for something for breakfast as we cannot microwave the porridge.

Nuevo Chique was almost deserted. Oh there were enough women, but the men were almost non existent. As Viv was not getting dances all hope of a long one were gone. Trouble was that there was also a storm raging outside. There was no mention of this on the weather forecast, but there was no denying the rain was bouncing down.

Luckily we managed to get out in a lull and to El Revolutionario without getting too wet. No electric meant no proper breakfast so we had a Buenos Aires giant tart each. Viv had Dulche de leche and I had membillo.

I had bought in some chop suey, but the lights were still off, I could not ask Viv to cook in the dark so we headed out to Imaginario for some omelet and salad, washed down with a measure of stout. We got a taste of what it must have been like for Philippe in the early days with no air con. It was unbearable and we had an awful nights sleep. It did not help the noise having the window open.

Again in the morning no power, so again no breakfast. The electricity finally came back on just before we got ready, so, at least, we managed a hot shower.

We returned  to Canning today, only a pound more than Juan and with Erwin as DJ, it had to be better. The problem was again the numbers were right down. I now think it was the threat of storm, which again did not appear on our forecast. Still I had some good dances even found out the cat womans name. Viv did not do as bad as she made out, but was ready to leave by seven.

We came out into another torrent. Only one umbrella with us and totally inappropriate footwear we dodged buildings all the way back. We were lucky not to be completely soaked. I think that there is a lesson here for us. Still it was romantic, at least, the two of us huddled together under one umbrella.


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