Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark | Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus Day

What a strange holiday it's always been, a day off without any celebration, any tradition, nothing more than that long weekend that comes every year. Fall Break. Here it's the same; Buenos Aires had the day off - most restaurants, clothing shops, flower shops were closed today, and all banks and schools. But, though every other feria here - Mother's Day, the Day of the Student, the Day of the Secretary - is marked by parades through the streets, those big bouncy houses for kids and cotton candy for sale, there was no evidence of a feria today. It was a dead day, a day with dark clouds and quiet streets and parillas shut tight.

Yesterday, Vicky told me, was an indigenous feria. "They celebrate it every year," Vicky said, "especially up north - Salta, Jujuy." Yesterday, the day before Columbus Day, marks the last day of indigenous independence on this continent. "What a sad day," I replied, and Vicky nodded and hurried me across the street.

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