Tag Archives: sube

Tigre two

After the jobs around the place Viv wanted to go back to Tigre. Just to buy some more lights, so off we went.

On the bus I noticed Viv had minus $40 on her sube card so she topped it up at the station. She never got a ticket and she could not see the display. On the bus home we realized she had been done out of $200. It is not a great deal of money, but we just hate being ripped off.

Finding Puerta de frutas was not too difficult, we managed to pick a map up on the way. The girl in the information told us to go to China Town and turn right. She neglected to tell us to turn before China town. Still it was a pleasant diversion. It was very hot and by the time we got  there we were ready for a drink. There was a confused queue outside Havana Cafe. I am not the greatest fan of Havana but it was here and there was plenty of room. So we just walked past the queue and found a table with some shade. It was still pretty hot in the shade but looking forward to a cold drink we waited. It was not too long before a girl came for our order. Two Iced frappes, just what the doctor ordered. An hour later and everyone around us having been served, we had enough. No body came to say there was a delay or some problem. So we left still not refreshed.

Just along the way was a kiosco, we bought two ice creams and a bottle of orange and saved $100.

It was more difficult to find the shop with the lights. Today all the stalls and shops were open, it made the place look totally different. Eventually, though we got our bearings and Viv found her lights. In this heat though with the temperature in the mid thirties, no shade and just too many people, my heart was not in it. Also I was still annoyed about the frappes. So we headed back to the station.

Back at Belgrano we paid for our journey, and that is where Viv found she had been done on her Sube card. Far too late to do anything about it now. Somebody asked if I knew where to catch the no60 colectivo. Not being from around these parts, I had no idea. Nor it seems did the girl sitting by us at the bus stop. She got off at the same stop as us, so I guess she was in the same boat. She did have a better grasp of Castiliano than me though.

Cena on the balcon tonight. Spaghetti followed by Ice cream. Sometimes it is nice just to sit outside our own flat eating our own food. Still damned noisy though.

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Today we should have gone to Nuevo Chique, but we had an invitation so to save getting boring we took it.

First though The Cucaracha man was supposed to be coming today. Viv hates poisons everywhere, but we are getting regular visitors here, so we need advice. When he came in I could not describe our visitors so I looked for one. “Hormigos” he said, Ants. They did not look like ants to me, far too small. Well they behaved like ants and he was the expert. He put some gel in various places and asked me if they were anywhere else, so I asked Viv. “No hablo español” she said. Well that blew my practice again, from then on he spoke in English. He left a bit more Gel around then put his poison spray everywhere and told us not to wash it off. Then he was gone.

So we walked to Gallo and Cordoba at about twenty to ten. “Como Llego” said our bus would take about half and hour, but we did not know when it would arrive, so I was leaving plenty of time. Our no 29 colectivo dropped us outside Belgrano Station by half ten, so we were in plenty of time to meet Philippe at eleven.

He said to meet him at eleven outside the Boleteria.  It was hot and we were thirsty and the kiosco was inside the station past the gate, so we walked down the road to another kiosco. On the way there we passed another Boleteria.  So we had a choice of two and Philippe had not said which one. We out it down to him being French.

Well we paced from one to the other, even examining a bike we saw parked, in case it was his. We decided it was not. It got to half eleven and we were ready to give up. Then I saw Mariela come out of the station at the other gate.  We rushed over, Marriela said they were waiting inside. I told her Philippe said he would meet us at the Boleteria.

Still we were united now. So I went to the Boleteria to buy our tickets. The woman seemed confused, and asked about my SUBE card. She took the price of two tickets off it and we were allowed through the gate by the security guard. Then Marriela seemed confused “Why had we not just gone through the gate with our Sube cards?” I have not used this line for more than five years and the girl in the Boleteria never said. Then she asked why I had not answered Philippe on Whatsapp, well I could not connect here.

I am not on an Argentine phone and every time I try to connect to a free WiFi I get this code that needs scanning. Nobody can tell me how I can scan a code with my phone, when the code is on my phone.  Until the train came Mariela was trying to connect to the station WiFi.  I kept telling her to stop, it is only there to drive us crazy.

I had thought it would  be better to join the train at Retiro. As it happened I was right we struggled getting seats, but after about three stops we managed to all get together.

I have not used the inland railway to get to Tigre before, but it was a journey of remembrance as far as San Isidro. In 2004 we traveled this line several times a day, when staying in Vincete Lopez.  Of course we arrived in a different place in Tigre, because we were not on The Tren De La Costa, but assumed Philippe and Mariela knew where they were going. How wrong we were.

Apparently we are going to the fruit market, no idea why, but every day is a new adventure. It seems that the entry port for was here and now it is a theme park and market. Philippe and Mariela stopped in several shops to ask for directions and eventually we arrived. We arrived to find most of the units locked up. Again Mariela found someone to ask, looks like the close Monday and Tuesday. I am still blaming the French.

Viv was in heaven with all the tat shops, she has bought a mat for the french window and some lights for our milonga, then it was time to get some food. Well, it was a good job this is not a busy day, we waited almost an hour for a table, even with the constant barracking Philippe and Mariela gave them. We had to have a beer while we waited and then another with our meal. We shared an asado but we were told it was only for two, so we had to get something else to top it up for the three of us. Something called El Martrimonio, chorizo and black pudding, apparently.  Did I mention that Mariela is the only known Argentine vegetarian? Two plates of chips and a pizza for Mariela.

Tourist prices here apparently, the whole lot came to £25.

It was easier to get a seat on the train going back as we were at the terminus, but it soon filled. We were bombarded by hawkers and buskers all the way back, not a moments peace. Then we went the wrong way for the colectivo and missed two, my fault, i’m afraid. At least we knew where to get off now.  We had ice cream supper at six, collapsed into bed and slept the sleep of the innocent and did not get up for fourteen hours.

Mariela, Philippe and Viv

I am not veev zees Einglish Drunkards.

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El Beso is back

Today I have to pay my expensas. Philippe was on the phone early, he was doing his accounts and wanted to know when I had last paid the electric, I know not why. He wished me luck on my mission.

At the bank, the two queues were merging into one. There was some confusion, then one lady stood in front of the queue out of turn. The lady behind me put her right. There was another lady in front of me, who I suspected was also out of turn, but I am in no hurry. When the next machine came free she told me to go.

Now, here we go, I started with my written instructions. The machines now do pay out as well so the first two operations were new to me. Well I passed that test. It all went swimmingly until I put the money in. It would not take it. I turned the money the other way. Still it did not recognize the notes. I turned them upside down. Then it crashed me out. “We do not recognize your money” is sort of what it said. I went through the whole thing again. Same result, then I had inspiration, I put the notes in sideways, result. That was it now my money is off somewhere in the great ether. I just hope it is heading the right way through hyperspace.

At the chino today, I had to pay with a $1,000 note. I said to the girl that when I first came we had $100 notes worth £20 now $1,000 is worth £10. She just gave me that resigned look I get here whenever I mention inflation.

Off to El Beso today, we are assured it will be on and have power and air conditioning. Been coming here too long, I will believe it when I see it. On the way though I have to test a spare SUBE card. First pass it will not register, so I try another gate. I have had trouble before with this gate, so I am not too concerned. It lets me through the next gate but it is showing minus 30 peso. I must charge it before lending it. The subte will let you go to minus 40 and the fare is 19 so it will be of no further use until it is charged.

True to their word El Beso was open and there was air conditioning. The events of the past week were plain to see, the numbers were right down. I had problems getting dances, but as is often the case, an empty room suits Viv. I did get to dance with the lady I upset at Lo de Celia though. I had to go and seek her out and apologize, but she seemed unfazed. I even had a second dance later. I did have a lot of second dances today. I told Teresa if we had another we would be married.

We managed four hours of dancing today. Numbers may have been down but we still had good dancing. I think that maybe not being up on the first note meant I lasted longer, or maybe not.

Afterwards we had our usual ritual at The Coffee Store, before walking home again.

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We’re Back

Did not do a lot this morning, I suppose we are not yet fully into this.

Still we set off for Nuevo Chique and charged up our Sube cards on  the way.

We arrived to a hail of kisses and were soon seated ready to dance. I watched Viv get straight up she was smiling and animated, when she is happy so am I. I knew we were in for a good afternoon. So many old friends, so many good dances. We are back with a bang.

Funny how it goes though, we both danced non stop until six thirty, then it all sort of came to a stop. Viv could get no dances and I could find no good partners, so we set off for El Revolutionario. When we got there it was mostly in darkness, the guy at the front said they were on holiday until February but that we could look around.  So we caught our 151 back home.

We stopped off at Corrientes and walked to Guarda la vieja, a meal and beer was planned so a meal and beer we were having. We ordered Burritos, never occurred to me before but it means baby donkeys. The waiter did not know quite what to make of my impersonation. Still the beer was good but the burritos, well the Argentines do not do spices, should have ordered just one portion and some chips.


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You gotta love it

And another from last year. Oh dear!

After a morning on computer management, it was going to be a welcome change to do some tango.

Saturday and we are off to El Arranque again. We had to charge up the SUBE cards and, of course we missed the train. It was no big deal though another was along in four minutes. This is another reason I prefer the subte to the busses, unless the line is down they are through as regular as clock work.

Our waiter had our regular places and our drinks on the table as we arrived, you gotta love this service.

Not a lot to say really, we danced our socks off and I managed two dances each with my regular ladies. Even  Viv hardly missed a tanda.

Erwin our usual DJ was not here today we had Vivi La Falce instead. Good choice of music and interesting cortinas. She was calling something out during the tropical, I have no idea what it was, but the locals seemed to appreciate it.

We had arrived early so by seven thirty we were ready to go. We stayed for the sorteo, but again I did not win, so it was time to go home.

We stopped off on the way home for some meat. We had to do without last week because we left it until Sunday. Two cracking pieces of Aberdeen Angus grilling steak, for two quid, you gotta love it.

Deep joy, the internet is still working, so you will get this post.

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Subte Chaos

Not the best start to the day today. We lay in bed far too long and we are out of milk. So the shopping had to be done before anything. Went to the Almacen for some beef for tea. We thought we would have a thicker piece today but that did not quite work out right. I pointed out the piece we would like but he cut it differently than I expected, then when I told him a bit thicker, he sort of went off at an angle. It is a very nice piece of meat for about £2.50 but it looks now more like a roasting joint.

Even at the chino I did not do so well; Viv wanted some face pads but all I could find were baby wipes. Too small so I left them. So I just got eggs and milk.

On our trip out today we had to recharge the SUBE cards, but there was a queue at the office and a train was in, so it was plan B again, charge them at Uruguay. For once when there was someone taking too long at the window, they opened the other one, so we were done in no time.

At milonga de Juan the DJ was doing no better than usual. In our first five tandas he played two Biagi  not that this is a problem for me, I love Biagi but not every one does. And not every one likes Tanturi, many are not good for dancing, so when the third tanda came on Dora tapped me on the shoulder “The third Tanturi” she said.

The dancing is not the best here either, men moving to their blind side and taking multiple back steps. I think I received more injuries than if I had been in the 6Nations. The DJ does not do it all on his own either, Juan stopped the vals to announce that someone had left some shoes in the ladies toilets, no idea why he could not wait for the Cortina.

I knew it was going to be one of those days; I am very careful when passing the joint in the floor, the ladies cannot see it and they have fine heels, but there was a crowd at this point. I just managed to manouvre her into the gap and had to use all my strength to catch her. Still I have not lost a lady.

Then I forgot that the joint is also at the back of the room. I tripped over it and almost fell into the lap of Dora. I managed to stay upright and my dignity in tact, but will have to repair my shoes tonight.

When we got down to the subte the time for the next train was half an hour ago. Then it jumped on quarter of an hour before finally settling on 4 minutes. By this time the platform was getting very crowded and more people were pouring down the stairs. When the train finally arrived it was all but full, I put my shoulder to it and managed to get us on. At each stop there were more people trying to get on than off, it was utter chaos. When we got off at Medrano there were police there and we speculated there might have been an incident, but it is the way here, we will never know.

Anyway the beef steak was good, nicely cooked by my resident Chef, who has the day off tomorrow.



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A productive morning

Had quite a productive morning. Viv posted her letter on her own while I went to pick up some money. The queue was not as bad as yesterday but I was still kept waiting half an hour. I am not going to have another rant about how inefficient they are here, I will save that for again.

I needed some more staples for my staple gun and they had them in the ferreteria across the road. I was shocked at the price though 125$ar, means that the staples cost more than the material I bought to cover the chairs. As I keep saying “everything here is upside down”. Still in the grand scheme of things, I managed to re cover my chairs for less than £15. I will post photos when they are finished. And on that note I also managed to cover another chair, that is two done now.

As we got down to the subte today there was a train just pulling in and typically I could not get through the gate, three times I tried my SUBE card then gave up and crashed the exit gate, but it was too late the train closed the doors and we had a five minute wait. We were early anyway and arrived at Nuevo Chique while the class was still on. No Marcella today and we had many problems with the seating. I had to turf one guy out of my seat, despite all my paraphernalia being on it.

Viv managed to get a better seat today, but still struggled with dances. (That’s what she says, I did not see her sit out much) There was again a different crowd, the usual’s were there, but some of Viv’s favourites were missing.

There is a Polish lady  I often dance with, made her money in the city, she lives part time here now. She was complaining about buying and selling houses, as her boyfriend is unwell and needs to live on a ground floor. She said she hopes he does not die, as she cannot extend her stay for a funeral, “Nice to know you care” I said.

Viv is not happy because I danced Poema with someone else and she had to sit it out. Trouble is, if I look at her and she does not look straight back I have to look for other partners. The floor soon fills and it is then impossible to cabeceo past all the dancers.

We stopped off at Vittorio again on the way home for coffee and medialuna, it cost us 35$ar more than it did last week. That’s more than 30% increase, going to have to stop drinking coffee at this rate.


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Where is the wet fish when you want it?

Today we have to re charge our Sube cards and as usual the office at Medrano is closed. Still on the bright side we got a free ride. One guy was having non of it though, I told him that the office was closed, but he still stood doggedly at the window. You can’t help some people.

We got off at Uruguay and went over to the office. One woman beat us to it and tried to put 50$ar on her card. It was in a plastic case and was not reading, the guy in the office was trying to tell her but she was intent on her phone. Oblivious to the guy in the office and the queue forming behind her, what is it about smart phones that demand so much attention. As I did not have a wet fish to slap her across the head, I had to tap her on the shoulder to inform  her that the person here in the real world she was supposed to be dealing with needed her attention. She refused to take her card out of the plastic case and after three attempts took her fifty back and stormed off.

Funny how things change in the milongas. Viv had a poor time getting dances, I think she finds it worse because she has come to expect so much here. Me? I never missed a tanda. I did try to get Viv up a few times, but she was usually intent on someone else, although I did get her up for the milongas.

She had, had enough  by seven so we set off towards home. Instead of turning up Moreno like we usually do we walked along San Jose toward Av mayo. At Hypolito Yrigoyen there was a café that Viv had seen. We were put off our usual place last week. Trouble was it had shut, but on the other side of the road was another called Las Medialunas de Abuelo (Granddads’ Croissants). The girl here told us that she was closing in half an hour, but that was OK we would not take that long over a coffee. We decided to try the medialunas as well, well it would be rude not to. Best ones we have tasted here, but next time we come out of Chique this place will probably be closed, such is life.


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Las Borrachas

Off to Milonga de Juan again today.

On the subte someone tried to get into Vivs bag. She keeps nothing valuable accesible but as she left the train her Sube card fell out, just as well I was behind her. Another lady was telling her, her bag was open as I picked it up. Nothing lost but it was a reminder of the petty theft here, and to watch out when travelling.

We arrived later than last week but still got our usual place. While Viv went off to change her shoes I danced a milonga with the slim dark haired lady. Things started off slowly for both of us, and one lady commented to me that the cabeceo does not work, you have to wander around. I stuck at it for a while, but in the end I had to go walkabout.

All the rules are broken here, including the one where you are allocated a seat. I got back after one dance and someone was in my seat. I though that there was going to be trouble, but when I pointed out my towel was over the back of the seat, my shoe bag was hanging on it and my shoes underneath, and on top of that my drink, he accepted what I said and moved. Viv was not happy though, the guy sometimes dances with her, now she was not going to get that dance.

Maria, Graciela and her sister arrived. They ordered beer as always, they now call themselves las borrachas. The standard of floorcraft is not the best here, I am getting used to being barged kicked and trodden on, but at least, it is good natured. I have not seen anyone get angry, yet.

Gloria was here as well. I got two dances with her. She also led Viv in a milonga, they both seemed to enjoy that. I am not sure how she manages it, she is so short, her boobs stick in my groin. So leading Viv must be particularly difficult.

They had a live band at seven, but Viv was not for doing the Chacrera. I thought she was in a strop about that first milonga, so we left shortly afterwards, still we stayed three quarters of an hour longer than last week. Things are on the up.

We bought some bread from the chino on the way home.  They have a little oven and cook it fresh, it was very tasty to eat along with Viv’s Stew.



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Good to be back

Ever noticed when you have low expectations the best things happen.

Well it was one of those days. Firstly I managed to get my new keys cut, with a longer shaft  that enables me to pick the door key out easier and saves my knuckles when I open the door.  Went to the post office to send a card and that was a breeze.  Still we were not looking forward to todays milonga, we were still not at our best.

Never the less we set off early. At the Subte the office was closed so we could not charge out SUBE cards, but the gate was open so free train ride. We got off as usual at Uruguay and the office there was open, so we both charged our cards, then left the station heading along Uruguay to San Jose.

Viv was soon telling me to slow down as we would be too early. Of course as soon as I slowed she left me behind, you just cannot win. We arrived just before four, of course milongas start at Argentine o’clock, so we hung around in the foyer. The first people we met were Hubert and Paloma, we must have some sort of magnetic attraction see https://tangogales.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/a-coruna-to-santander/

Getting there early was a great idea, Viv got the seat she wanted and first pick of all the men as they came in. Men who are normally too picky or just do not see her were asking her to dance. Unusually she never missed a tanda and by seven she was worn out.

Again there were so many ladies and so little time, I also never stopped. So many renewed acquaintance’s, so many besos, so many great dances. It was all too much for our first milonga. By the end my face hurt from smiling so much, but Viv said “go” so go we must. As we left we bumped into our old friend Juan, more besos and abrazos. Not seen him in some time, hopefully we will catch up this time.

We walked towards our bus stop and Viv wanted to stop for a coffee before we left, a chance to relax and unwind. As we sat drinking our coffee the best part of the day for me; Viv said

“Good to be back” When Viv is happy, so are we all.

Things continue to improve, caught our 151 collective “Donde?” he said “Guardia Vieja” said I, and he understood. Wow!


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