Wednesday 27 May 2020

A gain, and a loss

Well, it's been over a month now since my last post (about, er, hearing the Last Post) so I suppose it's time for another. Quite honestly, though, stories about travel feel both irrelevant and a bit sad during this time of Covid-19 lockdown. Despite having done pretty well here in New Zealand - no new cases today for the fifth day in a row, no-one in hospital, only 21 people currently infected, the same number as have died altogether - travel is still looking a long way off yet. Our borders are officially shut (though essential personnel like those involved in filming the Avatar and Lord of the Rings TV/movies have apparently been slipping through) and trips overseas won't be possible till there's a vaccine.

Domestic travel is now allowed, though, and a trans-Tasman bubble is a strong possibility for the nearish future, meaning we can go to Australia, and vice versa - though that hardly counts as overseas. But the industry is struggling, and freebie trips for people like me will be way down on the list of priorities, even if publications had enough advertising to pay us for the subsequent stories. So, instead, we return to the theme of this post (see upper right) about how travel stays with you forever after, just waiting for a cue to prompt a memory.

The thing is, that would be all very well, if your (my) memory worked as it should/used to. Sprawled on the sofa watching TV the other night, I got a glimpse of a street with umbrellas hanging above it, and thought, "I've seen somewhere like that! Now where was it...?" Drilling down through the brain cells to locate it took so long that, by the time I'd triumphantly identified it as a street in the San Telmo district of Buenos Aires (which those of us brought up with Sesame Street would expect to be spelled rather differently), I'd entirely forgotten where the original umbrella shot was.

Worse, while lying there, another connection to Argentina occurred to me - but I can't now remember what that one was, either. So that pretty much destroys the whole premise, right? Sorry about that. 
Oh well. I've enjoyed remembering about the Sunday market there, in Plaza Dorego, which was classically colourful, busy and varied, and included satisfyingly local offerings like a man in gaucho gear selling terrifying bits, plus bridles, cruppers, martingales, drop nosebands and fancy browbands (see, I can remember all those terms from my distant horsy past). I was amused to see a man dwarfed by the huge bundle of feather dusters he was selling. There was art and food and music, and - oh, yes! I've just remembered! Jewellery, including pendants made of cut-out coins, including one from neighbouring Uruguay featuring a capybara, which I bought because I like capybara and got very close to one called Roderigo, up the Amazon in Peru. And I was wearing it the night I saw the umbrellas on TV. So there you go: happy ending.
Except, looking at my photos, I've just been reminded of the shoes I saw on one stall and wanted to buy, but they didn't have my size. So now I'm sad again. Damned memories.


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