Ok I heard about this yesterday but, of course reactions are delayed and Buenos Aires was more or less closed for the census.
On another bright sunny day we took the subte into town, we had to get some shoes from Darcos, we had checked the address and got an address in Sarmiento and I always thought it was in Suipacha. The first thing we noticed was that the subte was free. My moneda card, so long sought was not needed. When we got off the other end traffic was normal on Corrientes, but there was a steady build up of crowd.
We walked to Suipacha and Viv wanted to go in but I said “first lets check out the address we have. After a bit of searching (the diagonal streets in the centre confuse me) we found the Darcos super store. It was a lot bigger and more airy that the other shop, but something else we noticed was that they were actually manufacturing shoes in the back in full view. The very shoes we wanted were there but only with a small heal, the guy in the shop said he could change them for Cubans while we waited, so we did. And we waited some more, there is a studio upstairs where you can have a coffee, so we went for a coffee (the cheapest in Buenos Aires only two pesos, I challenge anyone to find cheaper). Still they were not ready, the guy apologised and came over saying they would be another half hour, so we went out to find other diversions.
So we headed off for Florida, I don’t know why, it is a tourist trap full of junk that you would buy and throw away when you got home. Still we managed to get Viv some new tights. It was when we emerged out again onto the diagonal that we realised the crowds that were forming to say goodbye to Nestor Kirchner, ex-president and husband of the present President. The streets were closed off and people were marching down with banners proclaiming “Vive Nestor” and “Fuerza Christina”. What ever others in the world may think, he was loved here.
We stopped in a cafe for some wholemeal cakes and more coffee, and still the people came, helicopters passed over head it seems the whole of Argentina was here to pay their respects. We returned to pick up the shoes but still they were not ready, now though the guy who had been serving in the shop was rebuilding our shoes.
When eventually we returned, we stopped at 3986 Guardis Vieja to pick up the thrice repaired Sams. It seems the repair man could not get the exact buckle to replace the broken one, despite me saying “no importa” and trying to explain that you cannot see it when they are fastened he gave me back twelve pesos. Viv said she felt guilty and I said we must go back and buy some stuff from the shop, service this good deserves reward. Has anyone spotted our deliberate mistake? We were actually in the place where these shoes were made and could have had them repaired there.
We headed off to Tango 8 in Abasto, Viv looked at loads of shoes but one pair in particular were ideal for Joan, only they did not have them in her size. Despite trying others, when you find the ideal thing that is what you want. I asked if they had them in another shop, the girl checked the computer and we were in luck, they have them in San Telmo. Up until now I had done well with my Castillano but she was saying something I did not understand about one o’clock. It was time to call for the other guy, the one who talks english. What she was saying is that although the computer says that they have them they may well be sold and there is no one in the shop except from one till five and it was now five thirty. So we must come back tomorrow.
Thursday is a Fulgor night, so as usual we traipsed off to Villa Crespo. When we arrived there was no noise, not much light and no doorman. I was met by Ruben (Robertos son) he said that they were closed out of respect for the president who had died. I thought better of correcting him, not the president but her husband. So we had a think and decided that we should go off to Viejo Correo. The only trouble was we had come out without a map. I know where both places are but Villa Crespo is a maze and without going home and then to Caballito I did not know the way. So I ventured back into the club and asked for a tango map, Ruben kindly found me one in the back somewhere.
It was an interesting walk, along streets which were unfamiliar to us, and we approached Parque Centenario from the other side so we found some museums and places of interest that we made a note to return to.
Many years ago we went to Viejo regularly on a Thursday before we discovered Fulgor. Now we were glad of the chance to meet again the organiser Nina. She rushed over to us hugging and kissing saying “hace muchos anos” time has not been kind to her, she is suffering terribly and cannot dance as her foot was all bandaged, but her spirit is as alive and bright as ever. Moments in her company will lift the day of anyone.
We were early and sat with a beer while the class finished. We were amused to see that despite being told where we must sit because “mujeres solo estan aca, y hobres aca, aqui parejes” There were men with the women, women with the men, and even the odd couple. I do not quite understand why they altered the seating in here, to me it would have made more sense to have the couples nearest the bar as they are more likely to order food and drinks.
When the dancing started we were unsure, the DJ did not play La Cumparsita until halfway through the second tanda and we were already up. (DiSarli you just have to dance). There were some great tandas and it was hard to find time to sit, until inevitably they played a Pugliese and gave me a rest.
An asian looking guy danced past and Viv said “that is one of the Canadians” and when he sat down we saw his friend as well. After the next tanda I walked over to their table “You buy me a drink then not a call, not a message, I feel abused” I said in my best camp voice, they thought this was hilarious. We chatted a bit and thanked Nestor for bringing this about.
We were getting tired, but as the Canadians had just come back from Iguazu I could not be seen to crack first, luckily they soon left and we stayed for just one more tanda.
As we left, again Nina was all over us and we exchanged emails with a promise to keep in touch. Now whenever we go to Fulgor we may have to head straight for Viejo Correo afterwards.