Tag Archives: subte

Guilty shopping

On my way out shopping today I bumped into the guy from the fruit shop around the corner. He greeted me like an old friend, made me feel quite guilty. You see I now buy my fruit from the chino opposite. It is close and he always picks out the best fruit for us and will often reject something I have picked out as not good enough. This morning though Viv wanted some chop suey, which he did not have.  He watched me as I shopped in the chino so I had to buy my fruit off him. Then I had to conceal my fruit as I went to the next fruit shop, which had chop suey. Life is never this difficult when you just go to Tesco.

It started to rain as we set off for Nuevo Chique so we decided to get a bit closer on the subte. Viv was not too keen on the two changes needed if we used the H line, so we headed into town and used the C line. This would have been Ok if it were not  for the crowds, we were all but locked down by them. The change at Pelerini took an age and when we got off at Plaza de Mayo it was packed. I did not know how to get to Lima station and we emerged in the middle of 5 Mayo. The bodies were just a mass, we were in the middle of a demonstration and I just could not navigate. By the time I had worked my way out of it, then consulted the map, Viv rightly said we could have walked from home.

It was a time for last dances and saying goodbye. We actually stayed longer than ever and I even got a glass of Champagne from Dora, but we are happy in the knowledge that we will be back next year. We had a funny conversation with Marcella before we left; She asked why we were all leaving at the same time, I told her it was Macri’s fault, he will only let us stay 90 days. “Macri Gato” she jokingly said. I told her that that was the contraseña for El Revolucionario WiFi.

Then it was off to El Revolucionario for some beer and hamburgers. The place was crowded out due to the demonstration and the service was somewhat lacking. Again I have to say great food and beer for less than £15. Just one problem today, for the first time, they overcharged me by 100$ar. I don’t know if it was deliberate or not, but now I have a better grasp, I challenged it and my money was soon returned.

We will not be back this year, but I live in hope it was a genuine mistake, because we have enjoyed this place and would hate for it to be tainted.

 

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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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New best Empanadas in Buenos Aires

We travelled out to Flores today to have lunch at Maggies and were joined by Mimi, Semiha, Hubert and Paloma. The first thing I had to do was take stick from our French friends for the Rugby. Of course they bribed the referee, how else do you explain that ending? The mood was light hearted though.

Language soon defaulted to Spanish, and we learned why Paloma is so good at it, she has Spanish parents and the household language is Spanish. So we have no hope of competing there then.  It seems everyone is better at it than us, even Viv seems to understand more than she admits. Still it was unfair that she was put in a class with Semiha, who is better than me even though I was in the higher class.

We had some tuna and anchovies in cream sauce, I never thought Viv would eat it but she did and enjoyed it. Still surprising me after all these years. Yesterday I said I had the best empanadas in Buenos Aires, well that was before I had Maggies home made ones. I have to review my opinions now.

We drank a lot of vino tinto and champagne after and during the food, but it’s OK I don’t have to drive the train back. When half five came we were ready for the off. I can take Spanish at this level for a while but for this long I find it exhausting. It is a shame I cannot have an hour a day then I might improve, but after two hours my brain switches off and nothing computes any more. We were helped, of course, by Mimi Maggie and Hubert, but even so my brain can only take so much. Still we had a great time and good company even a little dancing.

It took us over an hour to get there and I said “Instead of taking the subte all the way back, let’s get off at Castro Barras and walk” so we did. The total journey time was less than half an hour. Let the legs take the strain I say.

As we walked to Fulgor tonight we saw a guy sitting in a doorway changing his shoes. I thought it strange, but when he came in he seemed to know everyone. Turns out he was an American Named Richard, he was later joined by a German named Ute. They danced very well unlike the tall couple who were also there. They took giant leaps around the floor, never looking where they were going, too intent on their feet.

I got Bebe up for a dance and spent most of the time trying to avoid the tall hazard. I said to Bebe that when I first came here, I had to audition for Roberto in order to be allowed into the Club. Standards have dropped now, it seems. I suppose this is understandable as the numbers here are nothing like they were  in 2008. In those days if you were not early and had no reserva, you would not get a seat.

The place has definitely lost some sparkle, the music of Ruben does not help, but I think that many of the old regulars are either dead or too unfit to come now. Tonight we did not sparkle either, we left at ten thirty.  Let’s hope we feel better for our last couple of attendances.

 

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Eat your empanadas or you don’t get your salad.

As we travelled down to Nuevo Chique today on the subte, I noticed something. Apart from the fact that it was very crowded, every one in my line of sight was staring into a mobile phone. You might think that I am old fashioned, but why not talk to the person you are with? I now carry mine with me everywhere, but virtually the only time I look at it is to use the Spanish dictionary. Then, of course, the odd time I post a check in, but that is just for my fans at home.

Nuevo Chique itself was quiet today. We think it was partly to do with El Arranque re-opening, but again it was a mainly tourist crowd. Even the locals were complaining, funny how they have taken us in, and do not consider us outsiders. No pleasing Viv, she likes it quieter but now complains that there are not enough men. So despite our commitment to stay longer tonight we left at seven. She was bored.  I spent a lot of time trying to avoid Margarita. Not that I don’t enjoy dancing with her, but there are a lot of other ladies to dance with. I appreciate the attention, but it makes it hard for me to cabeceo other ladies.

After we left we headed for El Revolucionario again. We had “Scotch Beer” as there was no stout. “Still black but smoother” she said. More like brown ale than stout but still pleasant. They can’t get used to our way of eating, we asked for empanadas with our salad, but empanadas are served first and they would not bring the salad until we had eaten them. We had to go and ask for bread, as they did not bring any. As I have said “It is not a top class restaurant” that may be the case, but our girl is always pleasant and you can’t argue the price. £11 for a meal for two with beer, better than Weatherspoons.

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Sarmiento

We took the subte down into town to try again to buy some shoes from Flabella. Again it was shut, Darcos net door was open but full of old tired looking shoes. With the factory gone in Sarmiento, I think it will not be here long and the way Flabella is shaping it may well be another business that will crash. If they could see themselves as we see them, then they would come to realize that the ills of this country are all self imposed. Still nothing we can do.

Across the road is Suipacha 256 and Viv is tempted by some shoes here, but they are a bit “old woman” comfortable but with a low heel. We may yet come back.

We decided to walk on up Sarmiento and after about seven blocks we stopped at a bar “La Celta” well, it was calling us. They had tango music playing in the background and an olde worlde atmosphere that made us feel very much at home. I even had a sing along to “Mi Buenos Aires Querido” which I had learned in a distant Spanish class. After our coffee we carried on walking until we found Neo Tango. The shoes here were also tight on Viv. Too much time in boots and trainers we think. It may be that the “old women” shoes are the only ones that fit her.

Later that night we went to Pachi Bar again. We eat earlier than the Argentines and it says food all day. When we sat down though we were told that there was no food until eight. Nothing for it then but a Bottle of stout and some nibbles. By the time we got food we were on our second bottle. Strong stuff to be drinking by the litre on an empty stomach. Still we did not have far to go home.

Sunday night is Fulgor night and we see the return of Roberto. There are a few more here tonight and we wonder if it is because Roberto is back but maybe not. It seems to have appeared on the tourist radar Germans and French made up the additions. There was one old local guy who had my respect; he walked with a stick and I could see when he sat down that he had a brace on his leg. He was still up dancing though, close up tango for support and with his stick for the Tropical.

More stout tonight and a bonus glass of bubbly as Roberto reinstated the sorteo and again I won. He made it more complicated though; the three winners of the bubbly had to name a number one to twenty two and if it matched the number in the envelope you win 100$ar. Well I missed, but it rolls over next week it’s 200$ar.

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In The Dark Ages

So for once I got up early and to add to my woes; no lift, no water, no internet, we now have no electricity either. Well done Edisur on the installation of the new transformer last month. Along with another neighbor we harassed the stand in portero and found out that the locker for the water tap outside is not actually locked. So I fetched two buckets and filled them. Shame I could not do this yesterday when we had a lift. I also bought some more drinking water from the almacen where it is actually cheaper than the chino.

Well boredom gave me a chance to wash up, but it was difficult with only a little water. Boiling water on the stove, sort of restricted the depth I could have in the bowl. Still most, if not all was to Viv’s satisfaction.

We went out for breakfast, a sticky factura and coffee at a confiteria on Medrano that Viv had been raving about. It was nice coffee and so were the pastries, and not as expensive as I thought they might be.

We saw them working on the power on the next block so we lived in hope. Sure enough by the time I had topped up my phone the power came back on. So we can use the coffee machine kettle and air conditioner, but the lift is still out, and we still have no water. The lift is not a great problem on its own, but with the need to carry water it is a pain, and we have to have a standing wash again today.

My hair is due for a cut, I may have to have a wash and blow dry just to get it clean.

Well we had a great time at El Arranque. I did find that many of my regulars were not there though. The cat lady was, and as there is shall we say an older crowd it put me in with a good chance, I managed to get two dances with her. Irwin was, as always, exceptional but I have just noticed I was not on his video, I will have to sanction him.

We asked Philippe if he wanted to join us later, but because of internet problems we left him little time and unfortunately he never got back to us. So we went on our own to El Rey Peruvian restaurant.  We got half a chicken a plate full of salad and a shed load of chips for less than a tenner, the beer pushed the price to £15 but with a pile of nibbles to start, there is no point complaining.

We left there full to bursting and walked up Corrientes. We came across the Carnival (Murga) for the first time this year. Because we normally get off the subte at Medrano we miss it. We stood for a while watching the antics and getting covered in spray before leaving to get some well earned ice cream.

When we got back the lift was working, and the water was on. You do not realize how much you depend on clean tap water until you lose it.

 

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Ah! Coffee

Finally I have found someone here who knows how to do business. We have bought a number of items from Casa del Audio, but when I went in to have a look around, I was pounced on. “Solo Mirando” I said but the guy followed me around, never leaving more than two metres between us. It was too much for me and I left.

Further down Corrientes we found Casa Dupuy on the corner of Billinghurst. The guy at the counter pounced and I thought “Not again” but I said “Solo Mirando Gracias” he said “Buen” and retired behind his counter. Fed up with the cost of filters we really wanted a coffee machine. There was a glass cabinet full  of them, with the prices  on the door. Nowadays the prices of these things are comparable to UK so there is no point in bringing one from home. We asked if we could look at two, the guy brought them out and displayed them on the counter for us. So we now have a coffee  machine, next job try it out.

Off to Milonga de Juan again today and we saw the return of Graciela. I am convinced she is quite mad and told her so. Every time I led her in front of me she would go off into a little routine of her own, then we would fall about laughing. Well she may not be the best dancer in the world, but for me she is certainly the most entertaining.

We had another DJ mishap again today; There was a slim lady who I had seen dance milonga with her partner, she was sitting with the Spanish lady I always dance with. So I thought I had a chance, The DJ Played  Pugliese but only two tracks the milonga was due and I was lining up to dance. Then the DJ played another Puliese track after that it was straight into milonga. The Guy who had got my victim up for Pugliese carried on dancing then gave her up to her partner. My chance had gone and by now I had Viv up. We had one milonga track and Juan stopped the music to apologize. Again I have to ask, why did he not wait until the Cortina.

Viv again danced every tanda, but complained that only one or two were any good. Crap dances, crap DJ and a deathtrap floor. I think we have given this place more than a fair chance, it is time for a change.

One lady warned me to watch my pockets on the subte and I said that this time we have had no trouble with ladrones, some things fate just knows. The subte was packed and is uppose we stand out as foreigners. There were two of them a lad, the stool pigeon and a girl, the pick pocket. The lad was pushed up against me and I noticed the fingers, she was quick enough to get her hand  away before I broke her fingers, but not quick enough to get anything. wrong pocket anyway.  In the scramble I could not, at first, work out who was who, but they knew that they were rumbled and left at the next station.

Now about that coffee; Ah! genuine Brazilian Coffee courtesy of Mauricio brewed in our new machine. Heaven.

 

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