Jardin has some fun quirks. Thought I’d quickly share a few.
Just Leanin’ Around
The town, like many colonial-style towns, is built around the main square. The Basilica de la Inmaculada Concepcion (Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception) new-gothic cathedral casts a shadow over the square, likely judging all those vendors hawking knockoff Western sneakers.
Most of the business happens in the square, especially on Sundays when the smaller villages surrounding Jardin come into town to sell their products and do their business (both kinds, seemingly). And as business is conducted, everyone else not conducting, is sipping coffee, rum, cervezas, or often a combo of all three, and ogling the spectacle while leaning back in chairs against the colonial buildings surrouding the square.
This is, partly I posit, because the chairs, straight-angled and wood-framed and wrapped in leather, aren’t comfortable. Leaning takes off the edge, quite literally in this sense. I find myself wanting to lean, not only for comfort but also to posture that I understand the local customs. We are living here for nearly three months after all (that’s the sarcasm italic).
Free Range Horses
Three horses live in town. I’ve never seen their owner. And they free range wherever they darn well please. Perhaps they’re on the city’s payroll. They do a remarkable job keeping the grass lining the roads trimmed.
Horses don’t walk here. Or trot. Or gallop, cantor, or lope really. Their gait is unique — though a quick internet search revealed it may be called the Classic Fino Paso Fino (or some different combo of those words) gait. It’s basically a rapid-fire march. Sounds like ten not one horse marching up the street. And since the steps are short and staccato, it takes the horse a minute to travel a block.
How the caballeros riding the caballos don’t suffer perpetual and permanent back pain, I’m not sure. But they clearly enjoy the attention, as do the horses, both marching with the bravado of Sven in front of his new sleigh in Frozen (one of three kids movies we have downloaded on our iPad — probably should’ve downloaded more).
On the weekend, they step up and swagger and have a, sort of, Pitch Perfect (another downloaded movie) march-off on one side of the square. Horses Classic Fino Paso Fino gait sideways, backwards, and forwards, occasionally pausing to posture. Everyone slops it up. An ever-present dance circle of spectators envelop the spectacle.
I’ll video a clip of the gait and add it later.
The first weekend we arrived, seemingly every kid road into town on a stick toy horse. A festival of unbeknownst origins (to us). Was cool to witness nevertheless.
We live across the street from Pahel’s school — Everett’s school is a few blocks down the street. We are indeed lazy parents, but this wasn’t intentional. Just happened to the apartment we found. Fortune favors the loafers.
Jardin’s high school is also kitty corner from the apartment. Every morning, as the procession of kids parade through the streets to the school, they blast Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C-Minor. Can be heard for blocks. This is the famous “done done done done” number.
Part of this piece is kinda energizing, like Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyers”, but other parts are kinda enervating. Daunting really. I can’t quite get what the Director of the school — whom we’ve had the pleasure of meeting; an affable dude — is going for. Excite them. Scare them. Intimidate them? All seem covered in this symphony.