Bloody annoyed

Last night was wet and miserable. I debated staying in or going dancing. Niño Bien or Club Gricel would be my choice. At about 10:40pm I decided dancing was the thing to do and given the time, and that I hadn’t been for three weeks, Niño Bien was the place to go.

A number 12 colectivo got me to within a few blocks and I scurried the remaining distance, thankful that the rain had eased off. Despite getting a fairly crappy seat I danced most of the tango and one of the vals tandas until deciding I was all done at about 3am. None of the dances were spectacular, only one was disappointing and it wasn’t the one with the shortest partner.

On the way out of the milonga and not for the first time I stopped and admired photographer Daniel Flores’ tango related prints. He displays them every Thursday at Niño Bien, and some nights at Salón Canning too. There is one favourite that always catches my eye and a couple of others that get a second look. Daniel appeared beside me and began chatting about his work. The prints were $50 (pesos not dollars) each, for three only $40 each. I had more cash than usual in my pocket – I had come prepared for a taxi one or both ways and possibly a second milonga if Niño Bien had turned into a flop. Getting them back to the UK undamaged may be tricky but the prints will look nice framed and hanging on my walls. So I splashed the cash and left with three very nice black and white prints for $120 in a plastic bag. A bargain. Or so I thought.

Outside it was raining hard. I had just enough cash left for a taxi but opted for the colectivo. Half way to the bus stop I changed my mind when a taxi turned the corner in front of me with his red light on. “Santa Fe and Malabia” I said. My daysack went on the floor, the prints flat on the back seat next to me. In the five months I’ve been here I’ve taken three taxis except for the two weeks when Sam and Jo were here. When I was sharing a cab with them I’d usually ask for Santa Fe and Scalabrini Ortiz, it was just easier, but given the rain I thought I’d ask for the closer option – only a quarter of a block to walk instead of three quarters. Standard operating procedure would have been for the driver to tear down Cordoba, playing the red light game, hang a right at Scalabini Ortiz and then left at Santa Fe. I got the not-boy-racer driver who took a more sedate route along Soler and then decided to get sneaky and try to nudge up the fare by crossing Scalabrini Ortiz and Malabia and then having to  turn down Armenia and double back along Santa Fe – adding two blocks to the fare. I objected and when we pulled up at Santa Fe and Malabia a minute later he knocked half a peso off the fare. Irritated and distracted I paid and climbed out taking my prints with me.

When I walked past the mirror in the lobby on the way to the stairs I half thought something was wrong. It was only when I got upstairs, into the apartment, through the kitchen and into my room that I worked out what was wrong. I went out with one bag, I arrived home with one bag. My daysack containing my tango shoes and a few other odds and ends was not on my back. It was still in the back of a taxi last seen driving off along Malabia. The odds and ends included my Ixus 70 compact camera. So my three prints for £20 actually cost a pair of shoes, a digital camera, a daysack and some odds and ends. Another £250 or so. Damn. I am bloody annoyed.

Mental notes to self:

  • don’t buy things you really don’t need
  • don’t be lazy and take a taxi just because it’s raining
  • notice and remember the taxi number when getting in
  • don’t forget to take ALL your belongings with you when getting out of said taxi

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8 Responses to “Bloody annoyed”

  1. Sam says:

    Oh Mark, how annoying. Is there no way of tracking the taxi? You wouldn’t get the camera back but maybe the shoes? Hope things get better.

    • Mark says:

      Only if I had made a note of the taxi number when getting in or out. I don’t expect to get any of it back. I’ve reported the loss to the police, just in case the driver hands the stuff in. If not I can try to claim on my travel insurance. Right now I’m off to buy a new pair of shoes…


  2. Cherie says:

    Oh what a bummer! But truly it wasn’t the fault of buying the prints. The important point in your list is the last one: don’t forget to take all of your belongings out of the taxi; be sure to check the seat as you close the door.
    So sorry. 🙁
    It’s an experience most have at least once.

    • Mark says:

      I know, it was just an unfortunate sequence of events starting with buying the prints. They’ll still look good when I get them framed and on the wall.

      Chacho at 2×4 alpie had a rather good August and has no shoes I like left in my size and won’t have any until October. I’m pleased for him but Grrrrr! I’m not so bothered about the camera but I loved my 2x4s. I’ll have to go buy something else and slum it until I can get someone to bring a pair to the UK or until I come back.

  3. Cherie says:

    Would love to know which prints you bought!

    • Mark says:

      Only one is in Daniel’s online gallery. If you happen to be anywhere that displays his prints look for “Stephanie at La Catedral”. In one she’s bending down over a bandoneon, in the other crouching on the floor with a pair of bandoneons in front of her.

  4. Cinthia P. says:

    That sucks Mark! But it happens..beautiful photography and bad taxi drivers can be distracting. See you on Wednesday.

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