Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day Four -- Market Day

Thankfully M is staying at the flat with us, making life more simple for all. And the late night snuggles for me are priceless. We are birds of a feather. Getting up on Sunday morning had me moving as fast as I could. Today was San Telmo! I'd read about this market, and M had told me all about it too. My pulse was rapid, and I was ready! We started the morning with scones that Lara sent us -- quite a decadent way to start the day, then into the taxi. That, by the way, is truly taking one's life into ones hands.

I digress to discuss life in a taxi. How these people do not die on a daily basis (redundant??) is a grand mystery to me. The road could be 2 lanes, or 9 lanes across and there will be more taxis than the street can hold (they are tiny) and they drive like lunatics on crack. Or speed. Some sort of illegal substance. Maybe Mate. I never did get the chance to try this, tho I did ask for it once and oooh the look I got. Is it not served on Sunday? Add in the machismo that surrounds them like an aura and insanity is not a strong enough word. I didn't see accidents tho. They zip and they zag and will actually bump the driver infront of them if displeased, and honk ALL the time!! We decided it is the 'taxi toot'. I couldn't figure out why they honk -- there were a couple of rational toots I saw, but honestly. I think it's just for fun. In Israel the honking seemed just an extension of the conversation, but not here that I could see. I think it may be one of the 'just cuz' items in the world. To keep tourists like me from settling back in and enjoying the ride? That may be it!!

We arrived safe and sound however, and ready to shop. San Telmo is not just a shopping paradise -- we saw clowns on stilts, and so many other amazing street performers. The tango dancers older than time were there! M said they were famous, because they'd gone to the market every Sunday to dance for years. Apparently their picture is even on a postcard! Younger versions were there, but I still thought the old couple were darling, and the fact that the lady could still dance in heels on the cobblestones at an unknown age was quite impressive. I think that just about anything you could dream of would be on these streets.

We wandered out of the throng of tourists in search of 'meat on a stick' for lunch. Anthony Bourdain, the travel wise-apple from TV always says find where the locals buy their produce, then find where THEY buy their lunch. It may not have been as authentic as it could have been, but the cheap plastic chairs, beer by the liter, grilled chorizo with chimichurri sauce on top of sliced baguette at the rickety aluminum table right outside the produce market -- well it was heavenly.

We dove back into the fray and bolstered ourselves with that darkest and most delightful of coffees when necessary. One of the places had a true Argentine peacock. I don't know what else to call him. Of course Al was escorting two North American beauties -- but this guy was a hoot. Easily 65 -- shaved head, but with hmmmm....a shark's tooth around his neck? Maybe a wild boar's tooth? That and the gold chains, and shirt unbuttoned half way down, as the seriously machismo'd do... When we arrived he was facing away from us, and by the time we left he was practically -- well. It was silly. And it's a sad day for the peacocks of the world to lump them in with him. This was where I asked for the Mate and got the frosty look. It was on the menu, but being a silly tourist I don't know the protocol. It's not illegal...but I think in the states it would be. Ask me no more!!

But, we hung in there until the end, staying until the Brazilian drummers rolled up the streets at 6. What a site! Everyone within hearing distance dancing, and the drummers, young and old so proud. The sites, sounds, smells -- SO very much fun!! Thank you Melanie!! Another fun day!!

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