Tag Archives: subte

When You walk through the Storm, hold your umbrella high.

I think I have missed a day. I suppose my reports are getting a bit samey now So I will just tell you about the rain yesterday; We knew it would rain later when we came home so I went prepared. Viv had decided that my umbrella was like weapon and I should take another from the huge assortment we have accumulated. Anyway Viv soon got bored with El Beso and being in the wrong seat, although after the initial set of tandas she did rather well. Just then they did the sorteo then a singer came on. So I thought I would leave as well. I should have stuck it out there was a good tanda on next, La Juan D’Arienzo, I think. I was halfway down the stairs so was not coming back.

At the door there was a crowd, some having a smoke, some waiting for a bus, others just sheltering. I pushed through and tried to open my umbrella. It was a disaster of spokes and broken plastic spindles. I wore it like a hat over to The Coffee Store. Inside the girl took it off me and tried to put it in a bucket with the others, but it refused to fold.

We decided to take the subte home, to save getting too wet. I managed to find a way of holding the umbrella open by holding it high on the shaft, once I had somewhere with a bit of space. I also folded it, after a fashion, in the subte entrance.

Back at casa Bob, I tried to give it away, but, it seems no one wants a broken umbrella even in a Buenos Aires storm. I left it in the bin on the stairs.

I think we are down to four umbrellas now. Lesson learned, test your brolly before you leave.

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Freezing in the summer heat.

Not a lot going on today until we went to Los Consegrados. Now I am lucky I have Vicky she lets me have my seat and serves me quickly. Viv is on the other side of the room and has a useless girl, she keeps moving her and does not bring her a drink for half an hour. Viv is moved to a place where she cannot see any men and I have to keep dancing with her, because she is getting no dances.  Fair dos she sticks it out until after seven, but she pays exactly for her drink and leaves no tip when we leave. The seat in front of her is still vacant at the end and Viv occupies it for a short while. The girl needs to realize that we come here more than some of the locals. it is fine keeping seats for regulars, she just needs to know who they are.

I had a conversation with one lady about the weather. (OK everyone talks about the weather) she said that this heat was exceptional. I said to the Argentines every year is exceptional. I remember 2008 when we had to look for shade to get across the road. She said they are from Italian stock and complain about everything.

Anyway I got lots of dances, but was happy to leave when Viv was ready. I think she will sit at the top end next week, where Vicky serves.

We left at just before eight and took the subte home.  We left the subte at Medrano and decided to try Imperio. It looks expensive but worth a try at today’s exchange rates. It was so long ago, I cannot remember the place that was here before. They knocked it down and built this place, then took about four years to open it.We walked in and got a menu, and it was expensive, but we could cope. The air conditioning was ridiculous, people were complaining and some going elsewhere. Viv was wrapping her cardigan tighter around herself. Before we had ordered I said that there was no point in sitting here freezing. So we got up and left, I said to the waiter “hace frio” he just smiled and agreed. I can see this place having a long and successful life.

We went then to Pachi. Aircon set to twenty four degrees and it was just fine. We had a couple of sandwich completa, which basically means they have chips and some salad and cheese on them.  Viv had lomo and I had hamburguesa, Imperial stout and a waiter determined to speak all the English he knows,

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Funny old day

She dragged me down into town today, shoe shopping. I know my way out of the subte now and we are in Suipacha in no time. It is quarter past eleven, Las marianas opens at eleven. Well the lights are on and nobody home. A guy came out and put a record on the Radiogram. (Bet you have not heard that in a long while). He seemed to just ignore us.

Viv went over the road to look in Darcos, again nobody around. Suipacha 265 looked open, but that train had gone. I said to Viv “You need to rattle the door”. She was not for doing it , so I did. Then the guy finally opened the door.

Well we left with two pairs of shoes, so it was worth his while. These are not the most expensive, or elegant, but they are durable and comfortable, good for the milongas here.

We dropped down into the subte at Diagonal Norte. We could have come out this way but I was unsure that it was the best way. As it happens even with crossing all the roads it is easier to go down at Carlos Peligrini. You have to go down and up and up and down passing The D line and the A line this way. Still it was worth trying.

We had a long wait for a train. Some on the platform took the train the other way, meaning that they had a seat on the way back. We arrived on the platform too late to realize. Still we would only be on for three stops, if we had gone down to Alem it would have doubled my journey.

We got off the train at Pastuer and walked through to Lavalle at the first junction. Looking for some high density foam but the quest was pointless. There was some low density and kapok but generally it was all material. We did stop for a lust outside Carolina, but Viv was not in the mood for buying evening wear. We Crossed Pueyrradon and there was a shop selling shop dummies and hangers.   We were looking in and the guy asked if we wanted anything. So I tried “Hay perchas por faldas?” I got an affirmative and he led us in and showed us some skirt hangers $35 each. Stuff here tends to be wholesale so we were more than happy, so we asked for five.  We made a note of his address for again and left happy, along with the usual warnings about not talking English around here.

So apart from the foam it was a very successful soiree.

Los Consegrados again today and the usual trip down.  When we arrived, the guy who always accosts Viv was still outside and we still do not want a car. We are early today so we start off well, but it was a funny old day. I thought that there were a lot of people, but did alright for dances. Viv thought that there were fewer but struggled. at one point I was trying to cabeceo and every lady opposite was nodding. How do you sort that out? So I just gave up and waited until more of them were up dancing.

We went to Alcala again to eat. We had a very pleasant Venezuelan girl serving us, keen to practice her English, which was very good. We had the steak offer and black beer. Testament to it’s  size we left some chips. Not much of the steak though and little of the salad. We had the same problem with change again, it is getting difficult to leave even a small tip when you have no change, Next month could be worse when the $5 notes are withdrawn. A warning to any of my readers who are here, the $5 note ceases to be legal tender 28 of January.

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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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Drunk on the train

As the weekend comes so we get more tired. Not up today until 11:30, how decadent. Still we do not have a lot to do and the milonga is later today.

After coffee it is time for me to go shopping again. First is Viv’s trainers. She had washed them in hot water and the soles are loose, seems they use PVA these days. I am all for health and safety, but sometimes solvent adhesives have their uses. Anyway he said the shoes will be ready Wednesday.

Next I went to the butchers in the chino, but he was not there. This gave me a problem with the fruteria, no change. So I headed off up Salguero to the butchers at the top. It got complicated again as it was $205 per kilo. so the guy just weighed me out $200 worth. Next to La Riena. Same conversation as before “Hay pancitos de queso?” same answer. They used to have a range of flavoured rolls here, I think everyone is cutting back. I had a long conversation with the fruit guy about how many pesos I get to the pound. Finished off with for £1000 I can buy half the country. At least he has a sense of humour.

I then wandered around trying various confiterias and panderias until I came to the one on Corrientes and Bulnes. There I finally found saboritas as they called them.  It got confusing when I tried to pay. Normally they are happy for any change here, but this lady could cope with nothing other than $100 note. So for the sake of $45 I now have a pocket full of change. Still I returned home triumphant, mission accomplished.

The journey down to los Consegrados is now routine and we arrived at Leonesa in good time. The guy who accosted Viv last time is still waiting outside, but as people are only just arriving and not leaving, I think that he is wasting his time. If anyone needs a taxi it will be to here not from.

I still find this floor difficult. There were many ladies I knew but I was still having trouble, Viv was sat behind Julia and also having a hard time. At one point I was missing every other tanda, but for the vals and milonga we always had each other. My favourite lady that I upset in Lo De Celia was not here, so I never got a chance to redeem myself. Still we got three and a half hours of solid dancing and left thoroughly exhausted.

We got on the subte again at San Jose. It was generally quiet and we got a seat straight away.  We were at the end of the carriage so there was nowhere to go, when a guy just along the train kicked off. He was covered in bandages and scratches and obviously drunk.  When the train stopped at Bolivar he decided to come down our end of the train. The big guy opposite me his girlfriend and the old lady all jumped up and left the train.  We were now stuck there but decided to brazen it out. He may have made a lot of noise but I think he was in no condition to cause trouble. His girlfriend appeared and st on the seat opposite. The guy just lay across the seats with his head in her lap and never moved until we had left.

We got off our train at Carlos Gardel. Viv wanted to try El Rey, comida peruana. We have been here before so it was not a totally new experience. The girl who served us was a bit slow, considering we were on our own until we had almost finished. I asked for the WiFi and she told me quickly and I was unable to connect or attract her attention again. It was the cheapest meal yet, half a chicken, plate of salad, plate of chips and beer for me and it came to $710. I left $800, Viv said I was tight. Well I would have left more had she been more helpful.

It was just enough food and it was fully settled by the time we walked home.

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Botticellito a Cumbia Beat.

Well it’s Thursday and that means Nuevo Chique. We were running late, so the milonga was in full swing when we arrived, and so I was sat right down the bottom again. Too many men standing talking, too few women, and it was impossible to cabeceo. In the first hour I missed as many tandas as I danced. It was good for Viv though, so why should I complain.

After the first hour though, the ladies seats opposite me started to fill. Again I was like a pig in muck. When seven o’clock came I was not ready to leave, too many ladies un danced with, so I had to dance to Pugliese. Viv was not ready to leave either so we carried on.  Until eight when they had the sorteo, and then the tropical. Now it was definitely time to leave.

We got down to the subte at Peru and realized we were the wrong side of the tracks. There was a train in, but by the time we got to the top,crossed the road and down again, the doors shut just as Viv was struggling with her sube card. The next train was right behind, so close it had to stop halfway along the platform. It gave us some faith in the automatic systems. I did notice that there was a cross over tunnel at the end of the platform, I was not ready to risk going on the platform and not getting across, I really must remember next time.

We found our restaurant not far out of the Bulnes subte station.  We ordered the Wok de Pollo and a salad, and, of course, some black beer.

The TV was on all the way through showing The Fantastic four and The Silver Surfer.  No sound but in the background cumbia was playing. This was distracting enough, but then they put on Andrea Botticelli. Am I the only person who thinks this is madness, You put on a musical concert and play something else. I do not want to watch a classical orchestra and a blind singer, whilst listening to cumbia. I think I would prefer it the other way around, or, now here is a radical idea, we could watch what we are listening to. This applies as much to The  UK as here.

OK rant over, the food was good and so was the price. The rain even eased up for our walk back, and it did not feel as far as it looked on the map. Still too stuffed up when we got back. Our pudding will have to wait.

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Last minute shoppers

I tried phoning the welder man, I got no response. So I decided to walk over just to check. There was a woman tugging on the lock, so I guess no one was there. No point in wasting a walkabout, I walked up to Corrientes and along to Sweet Victoria. The lady in there remembered me, but not that I do not wear boxers. Still she had some briefs in, looked old stock to me. They were only $500 hopefully they will get some more in, I will be back for more at this price.

Later I came out again to go to the carneceria at the chino. I got my 2kilo of bife de lomo $512 and it should be enough for four meals.

Off to El Beso today. We got to Medrano station and the platform was packed. Thinking there would be a train soon we rushed onto the platform. Then we saw the board, the next train was twelve minutes away. People were still crowding onto the platform and when it finally came it was already full.  It was a real shoulder to the wheel job to get on. When we passed Gardel I managed to get a bit further in, but ended up standing on one leg, because I could find nowhere to put my other foot. Puerredon gave no relief, even though it is a connection, as many got on as off. When we finally got to Callao it was a relief to get off, but Viv was stuck on the train. I thought for a minute I was going to loose her, she only just made it when the doors closed.

Beso today was not the best, I think everyone is staying home for Christmas. We left early, but not before the raffle. I won, a ticket for one for tomorrow afternoon. As we are there anyway later, I did not want to go twice in a day. I tried, I really tried but it seems no one was interested. If I could not give a free ticket away, I cannot see it being worth going anyway.

After our usual coffee at the Coffee store we took a slow walk back. We needed some veg and a couple of other things. We managed to get every thing on our list, even managed to get rid of all the change, but the streets were manic. Everyone, it seems, is last minute shopping.

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Gudfellas Band

Saturday night is Los consegrados.  Tonight though had a different feel. There were very few we knew here tonight. Strange but Viv actually danced rather a lot, but I was having  a difficult time, and so after three hours we decided to call it a day. I danced with one rather attractive lady, she told me her name was Julia and she had Norwegian blood. I was shocked when she told me she was 80, just shows, tango keeps you young.

We took our new route on the E line to Correo Central then joining the B line for home. We came out at Carlos Gardel for a change one stop short. Then we walked up Corrientes on the left hand side. We stopped at a restaurant called Alcala. We have been here before in previous trips and have always enjoyed the food. Tonight when we got there we found it was a special night. There was to be a band playing from nine, a free glass of champs and a raffle for a Christmas box.

While we perused the menu unable to decide, the waiter talked us into the offer of  Beefe de Chorizo, well, when in Argentina. They even had black beer here. The food and service was once again excellent. Definitely worth coming back for the food. But the show: We were still eating at nine, the saxophonist was sat on the floor  serenading himself quietly. Then by half past he had given up and someone was walking a round with a bunch of leads. By then we had finished our food and I was on the Gin and Tonic. By ten the guitarist was now playing to himself, I must say that individually they sounded good. Gudfellas Band was the name.

Next they all sat at a table and started drinking. Over two hours from their start time and without evening clothes, we were starting to get cold. We asked for the bill, the waiter asked why we were not staying for the band “No Tengo suficiente vida” I said.

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Poco Mujeres

First job of the morning, is buy a new fridge. We know what we want, just a matter of doing the deed.  When we asked, the guy said”con tarjeta?”  I said “si” and he disappeared. He came back after a few minutes with a fresh fridge all wrapped up, then he plugged it in.

Next came the paperwork, I was, more or less ready this time. I gave him my credit card and my passport. Then we get the difficult questions “numero de telefono” I have no local number now. Then he asked something else that I did not catch. Viv said “I think he said llevar”well  we were rather hoping to get it delivered. This is not a full American fridge freezer, but I was not about to carry it eight blocks on my back. Anyway we managed to get them to use a flete and it will be delivered in the morning. I have no idea what it will cost for delivery, and I do not know how much is charged to my credit card, I just know that tomorrow we will get a new fridge.

Next job is to get the last chair welded.  To be honest, they are rubbish and if I had not just recovered them when the first weld failed, I would just have bought new ones. But we are going down that road now, next failure and they will be gone. I left it with the man this time, I can pick it up in the next day or so. Maybe when I get it back, I will paint them and possibly make soft backs.

Off to Nuevo Chique again today. When we got there there was hardly a woman, and it did not get much better. At one point I counted twelve men sitting down and every woman was up dancing.

Now this was bad for me, but I am not complaining, as I always say “When the wife is happy, I get no grief, and so I am happy” I did miss tandas, but not that many. Viv never missed and by 6;30 she was ready to go. Miguel was not letting her go though, he still wanted his Pugliese.

French Anna arrived so just for a change I danced Pugliese with her. I enjoy dancing with her and it would be a shame to not dance with her this afternoon. She said she also avoids Pugliese, but I think she had a real feel for it.

We left just after seven and headed for the bus. The bus, it seems, is not running. I have no idea why, usually it is because of a demonstration, but we can see no sign today. We could head over to the subte, but this time of night it will be packed. So we decided to go to Vitorio for some food and wait it out.

Again they have no black beer. The waiter said you can buy it in the supermarket. We told him in Almagro all the bars have it. They did have a choice though so we went for Brahma. Not Stout, but far better than the Crystal. We had two mini beefe de chorizo, because for some reason they did not have the Beefe de lomo.  It was very tasty though and we left well satisfied.

Still no buses had passed so we walked to the subte. It was still packed but maybe not as bad as it would have been at seven.

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Correo Central

Well it was a nothing sort of day, lazy Saturday morning. I did a little shop and not much else.

Off to Los Consegrados today, but Viv did not want to take the bus. So it is a three train subte journey. When we got there there was a class going on and no one there to take our money. I thought that 3:30 was early to start. Seems I had read the time of the class not the milonga, That starts at 4:30. Still it gave us some relaxation  time before the dancing began.

The first hour I did well but I was short of women I knew and I soon began to struggle. Now there may not have been many women we knew but there were a lot of men, so Viv did really well. I was getting many beginners, but among all the new partners there were a few good dancers. As luck would have it one was available for Pugliese, so unusually I danced a Pugliese tanda.

Still not milonga fit, we left soon after eight. We stopped for a coffee on the corner of San Juan. This was a mistake; we asked for two media lunas, but the guy was trying to get us to have a tostada. I made the mistake of using the word “solo” meaning solo dos media lunas, of course when they here the word Solo they think solo cafe, so after a long wait we just got coffee. Luckily we did not get cafe solo, as Viv will not drink it without milk. As it was she did not drink much of it anyway. It was arguably the worst cup of coffee we have had here.

My intention had been to walk up San Juan to Jujuy, but as we had stopped so close to the station we dropped straight down again at San Jose. Since we were last here, the E line has been extended all the way to Retiro and that gave me some food for thought. If it runs all the way to Retiro, then it must pass the end of the B line. I checked on the map and this was, indeed the case. We could carry on, on the E line and get off at Correo Central and there join the B line. It was a slightly longer journey but, only one change, and we got onto an empty train, so we had a seat all the way home. We may travel down this way next week although there is no doubt we will not get a seat travelling down the line.

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