Tag Archives: Sin Rumbo

Felizes Pascuas

The heavy storm laden weather seems to be over. Today we woke to bright sunshine, and although sunny it was cooler. Perfect spring weather, except, of course, it is autumn here.

We had some sorting to do, everything needed to be cleared out of the corner where our new desk was to sit. Once that was out of the way we set out up Salguero to fetch it. Viv was worried about the weight and if we could carry it, but it was only a block away so I could see no problems.

As we walked up the street there was a distinct lack of shops open, we had forgotten that this was Good Friday we hoped that our furniture man had not. When we got to his shop the shutters were up but the door was locked. We stood for a while thinking that maybe he had not yet got around to opening, but we could see him inside working. There was not a sign of him opening so we knocked on the door,

He turned, so we knew he had seen us, then carried on. I have not mentioned before but he almost blind, his one good eye passes two inches from any document he wants to read. The he scans it one word at a time. So when we persisted, I think he had not recognized us until he came to the door.

We have come for our desk I said in my broken Spanish, “si” he said but wasn’t it Saturday. I gave him our receipt which he put under his scanner. He looked worried when he realized he had said today and then with typical porteno verbosity he started talking. I managed to get “polished” out of his words and “a couple of hours”. So we said “si si no problemo” but he carried on talking. We got “three o’clock” and something about wheels, still not fully understanding he started writing Guardia Vieja. Now I think I understood so we said Salguero Jeronimo 799 and gave him our phone number. He was kindly offering to deliver it for us.

We left it at that and returned to get ready to go out for lunch. We were to meet Pericles again today, it has become somewhat of a ritual, we meet for lunch when we arrive and coffee when we leave.  But before this Viv wanted to visit the Avon Shop.

As I have said before they do things differently here, no door to door salesmen, so Avon have shops, better in a lot of ways but it gave us a long walk. Of course it’s Good Friday so it is closed, at least we now know where it is.

After a two-hour lunch with Pericles for once it is us that is in a hurry to leave, our furniture man was bringing our desk. I was not overly worried as no one on Buenos Aires is ever no time, but still we had to go.

Pericles walked with us as far as Corrientes and we left him with a warm goodbye and hugs. We carried on down Salguero and I could see someone with a trolley just crossing Humahuaca. We were late and the poor guy had gone to our apartment and was now walking back. We turned him around and off we went again. “En Buenos Aires ninguna es temprano” I said he replied “Es Pascuas” as if Easter made any difference, but we had broken the ice.

I had always found this guy a bit distant but not it appears I had broken the ice. He was chatty and jokey as we struggled to get the desk in the lift and friendly and helpful as we put it in its new home. When I let him out of the building he left with cheery “Adios” so I said “muchisimas Gracias” he screwed his face up for a moment in deep thought “sank you erry much” he said. I have always liked the furniture he makes; now I like the guy as well.

A much later one tonight, we are off to Sin Rumbo in Villa Urquiza so unusually we were still in the apartment at nine o’clock. Outside a huge noise erupted, at first I thought it was just another over enthusiastic youth demonstrating the power of his car stereo, but it got louder. Then we thought someone in an apartment opposite was having a party, but it sounded more like the radio. (We heard talking). I stepped out onto the balcony and could see no sign, so I went to the bedroom and opened the blind to look up Salguero.

There in the street below was a car with huge speakers on the roof. Behind this was someone in a loin cloth carrying a cross followed by Roman guards. The guards were haranguing the crowd that followed carrying candles. After a few minutes they slowly moved on and we could hear them in the distance as they continued their own particular celebration of Easter.

We caught our bus out to Villa Urquiza then walked the few blocks to Sin Rumbo. The guy outside was having trouble understanding that we had no car to park, but soon we left him confused and went inside. Now normally I do not make a reserva, it is just too difficult on the phone, but tonight we had been ask to, to make sure we got a good table. Well we ended up further from the dance floor than when we did not make a reserve. Still I found it interesting watching the curtain at the entrance. It finished about a meter from the floor and it always looked like the legs were coming in first. I got free viewing of every well turned ankle and killer heel before their owners saw me.

Too far from the floor and too late at night we set off at one thirty for our collectivo home.

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Filed under Argentina, milonga, Tango

Time is money

I am often asked why we bring so much from The UK, I hope that the following story will help to make it clear:

We have brought some lining material with us, as Philippe says that there is too much light getting through the new curtains we brought earlier. So before I can fit the new pole Viv wants to sew the lining into the curtains. The problem is we need pins and thread. We know that there are haberdashery shops by the dozen in Lavalle not too far from us. So at about quarter to twelve we set off in search of cotton. It is about twelve blocks to where the needle craft starts and soon we found a shop that would fit our needs.

In the window were sets of pins reels of cotton, broderie anglaise, and all sorts of other sewing stuff that is a mystery to me. The window is at oblique angle, it is about two metres wide but only take up a metre of the shops width, then there is the door and possible half a metre  the other side. Inside this two and a half metres is taken up with a counter right down the length a row of shelves and drawers on the back wall and more shelves behind the counter. Narrow it may be but it is almost impossible to guess its length, because the queue is right to the door. Luckily Viv spotted that the woman in front had a number, so we found the ticket dispenser and took number forty-three.

Soon I heard the guy behind the counter shout sixteen. He got no answer seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, seems people had got fed up and left. An hour later, after watching one poor guy struggling to cope with the queue, and six other people moving up and down the counter doing who knows what, he reached thirty-nine. We then noticed one of the women behind the counter started to serve as well, so in only another fifteen minutes we finally had our number called.

Now what we wanted was in the window, but we were now a long way from there, so some ingenuity was required. There was a display of bra inserts on the wall, so I pulled a pin out of it and said “quiero estos” the girl came with a box of wire pins so I said “con cabezas grandes” that worked and we got a box of pins with big heads. Next we needed cotton Viv was not ready for more argy bargy so we just pointed to a pack of mixed threads that was under the counter.

Now that should have been it, but this is Argentina, and it is never that easy. The girl pointed to the far end of the counter and said “caja” so we had to join another queue. The girl behind the cash desk was in no mood to be serving customers, she disappeared down below, then poked the printer, went to the calculator, then disappeared under the counter again.

When she was finally ready to serve she served the woman who had come after us. She was surprised that this happened, I was not, we are now getting used to this. Before she could serve us the cashier then had to go through the whole under the counter, printer calculator routine again. Our bill came to seventeen pesos, slightly more that we expected. Up until now we could not see what was in our bag, but when we got it, we had; the cotton, pins with big heads, and also the original wire pins. So nearly two hours after we started we had what we wanted plus some extras.

So when you next ask me why do you take all that stuff to Argentina when you could buy it there, I will just reply “two hours for some pins”.

We have an invite from the organisers Of Sin Rumbo tonight, I have, up until now, avoided this one because of the distance, but we are getting more adventurous. I decided to take the subte as it goes to within sixteen block and as I do not know this area at all I would not know where to get of the collectivo. That was my first big mistake; the last two stops, shown on the tango map have not been completed so we have a long walk.

Never the less we had set out early and had plenty of time. The map around this area is complex and difficult to read (even with my glasses on). So we had a couple of retraces before confidently setting off in the right direction. The journey in total took an hour and a half, so it was not too bad, comoviaje said an hour on the bus.

We absolutely loved this place, we were made very welcome and again people wanted to practice their english on us. Every milonga has to have a demo now it seems. So when it started we sat there expecting more acrobatics and flying heels. This one was different, although obviously large, because he had the space, the dancing was excellent, I could have watched this guy for hours.

At three we had had enough and set off to find the bus back. Because we are so far out of town, most of the roads now run two way, but the bus stop we were to wait at seemed to be the wrong way. As always we had a long wait and when a bus came it was from the wrong direction for our stop. I stuck my hand out anyway and the driver stopped and obligeingly opened his window, ” Medrano y Corrientes” I said, he nodded and said “si” so we walked round the bus and got on.

Normally the drivers here are too busy and not interested in the passengers, perhaps because it was so late and we passengers were few, he was extra helpful, even telling me when we got to our stop. There was no point telling him we know this end of town well now, so we thanked him warmly as we left the bus. Next time though, we will take the bus out as well, and hope we recognise where to get off in Villa Urquiza.


Filed under Argentina, Tango