Monday, 24 May 2010

The Sun is Out.

The sun finally came out, just as I was making my way to the southeast. The ride was smooth and the countryside beautiful. Endless fields, rivers and streams, palm plantations and Estancias, horses and cattle. Villa Florida is the only town on my map and a string of other villages follow the same pattern. A bus stop, little shops in color and lunchonetes, a couple of dirt roads perpendicular to Ruta 1, the national road we're on, and a few houses, small and white with kids playing football and women on the porches. The sun is out and everybody's busy, in that typical understated way.

Men are busy with their horse-carts, busy on their farms, busy repairing old cars. Cars in heaps, steels carcasses in mechanical cemeteries waiting for their reincarnation. In one village all the shops sell footballs, in the next one hammocks. And at every stop, old ladies hop on and off, chatting in Guarani and young men board and sell bread, empanadas and drinks. The sun is out and the ride is sweet.

But the ever present scene is the clothes on the fences. Every house, every hut and every fence is adorned by this neat, colorful array of trousers, shirts and socks. You see them by the road, you can spot them in the gardens, you can guess their presence among the trees. Endless ones, beaming like children's drawings on the wall, no start, no end but obvious purpose. The sun is setting and life goes on.