Tag: Gaiting

Fun Jardin Quirks #2

Fun Jardin Quirks #2

Because one is never enough.

The Jardin Horse Gait

Here’s a video of a horse performing, what I’m calling, The Jardin Horse Gait (described in the first Fun Jardin Quirks).


This town has a disproportionate number of parades. I feel like most towns average one or two per year. Three seems extreme. Jardin averages one or two per month. We’ve already seen four in our short time here. Thus, if I’m doing my math right, which I’m probably not, Jardin averages between unnecessary and overkill parades per year. Everett and Paheli have already been in two. See video of one below.

Will They or Won’t They

The school district here decides the day before what hours they will be open the next day. Or if they will be open at all. It’s written daily in the kids’ notebooks. If we don’t check the notebooks, we don’t know the hours. In addition, seemingly, there’s no such thing (or gig) as a substitute teacher here. If a teacher is out, class is out. Our kids haven’t completed a full week of school yet.

We don’t understand the rhyme or reason of the school schedule. If there is one. We also don’t understand how parent(s) can work with an ever-rotating school schedule. But perhaps that’s just the United Staters in us. The locals don’t seem to mind.

Non-Chicken Chicken Buses

Does that make them tofu? Jokes.

Chicken busses, named because, at least back in the day, folks brought their chickens on the busses to sell at various markets, are bright and brash and brazen reconstructed school busses that drive at the speed of sound throughout Central America. We’ve almost lost our lives to several in route to South America.

They call ’em “Chivas” in Colombia. Chivas are much like their Central American counterparts, with two notable differences: One, they’re open air, and two, they’re incontrovertibly more annoying. It’s almost as if they thought: “You know what? Those horns on those chicken buses in Central America aren’t annoying enough. We can do better!” See video below.

Caballo-Friendly Restaurants

Forget bringing your dog to the pub. Bring your horse!

Instagram Photos

I’ve decided to combine Instagram accounts. I’m too lazy to manage both. I also suppose I want to share more than just photos of vintages cars and birds. Here’s the new account: @blindbalakay. Follow along at your peril.

Fun Jardin Quirks

Fun Jardin Quirks

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.

Posterizing Horses

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.

Kid Horses

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.