Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Contradictory Evidence

In Spanish when you say you have "mixed feelings" about something, you have "sentimientos encontrados," which, when I parse the words, I end up with feelings that run into each other on the street. You know, like that Reese's Peanut Butter cup commercial from eons ago where one person is walking down the street with a chocolate bar, and one person is walking with an open jar of peanut butter. And voilá, a candy (that I don't particularly like) was born.

So, mixed feelings, contradictory evidence. Spring, or not spring? Make up your fool mind, Santiago. Yesterday I celebrated the arrival of spring, even posting pictures of blooming trees. Blooming trees, I tell you!

And yet here I find myself listening to the traffic zzzzz over the wet pavement, ominous clouds hover over the city (though strangely, seem to be centralized over the Moneda, or presidential palace), and I'm bundled to the teeth, having just baked oatmeal scones and fruit compote and drinking not unsmall quantities of mate out of a nontraditional tiny yellow mug. It appears that the proverbial marmota (groundhog) has seen his (presumably also proverbial) sombra (shadow).

So it's not spring. But yesterday I popped into the grocery store and was met with the July 4th display. You know, the 4th of July display. Red, white and blue streamers, white stars on a blue background. But wait. Flat-brimmed black felt hats, and tiny dresses with aprons pinned on the front? Not the 4th of July at all. The 18th of September. Fiestas Patrias (national holiday). You probably mark the arrival of spring with the arrival of Cadbury cream eggs or peeps. Here it's the national holiday, the holiday of giant empanadas with more meat than onion, kebabs (called anticuchos), the dreaded alcoholic drink called a terremoto, tons of skilled and unskilled dancers trotting out their best cueca steps, and every little boy and a few little girls with giant carretes (reels) in their hands, spooling thread out with a diminutive dancing kite on the end and a few waiting in the wings for when their kitestrings get cut.

So, I have contradictory evidence. Spring and notspring. Which is fine, because I've always had mixed feelings about spring anyway. At least I have my mate. Slurrrrp.

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