Saturdays are tough, man. It’s the day where our week SHOULD be ended, but we both drag ourselves through one.more.day. In our little town, it’s the day that all the folks come in from the hills to sell their vegetables at the market and run their errands. So Mr. Crônicas has to open the store, come hell or high water, and I have back-to-back ESL classes with all those people that only come into town once a week. 6:45AM and we’ve rolled our half-asleep kiddo into the car, and we’re off. Grocery shopping at the farmer’s market and a full day’s work. Come 3PM we’ve already put in a full eight hours, and we’re beat. Nevertheless often we come home and there’s something else that needs to be done on the farm: caring for the cows, mending the water lines, tending the garden, etc. Saturdays are rough, man. Rough.
Given these conditions, come evening-time no one wants to cook on a Saturday. So more Saturdays than not, we wander into town to catch the nightlife and a bite to eat.
What is the nightlife in our sleepy backwater? Basically, there’s 3-7 restaurants (depending on whether or not you count fast-food joints), two ice-cream shops, and an açai joint. Aaaand not much else. So everyone goes to the plaza to watch everyone else also not doing much. People get dressed up for this, of course.
Another important aspect of our nightlife is the youth in cars. If you’ve got enough money to have a car (or your parents do), the cool thing to do is to drive that car ’round and ’round town with the music bouncing out the windows. The route is a circuit of approximately 6 blocks. Kids outfit their cars with super-size speakers that take up the entire trunk so that they can do this even better. I described it once to an Argentinian friend and she laughed and said that at home they called that the “rooster’s circuit.” Pretty much.
This Saturday night we found ourselves in the revitalizing park by the açai place. With a new hamburger joint and a meat-skewer vendor with some tunes, it’s becoming the happening place to be. Roosters cruised by periodically, slowing for the speedbumps and to see who was in the park. Kids played on the public exercise equipment standard in most Brazilian parks.
And then a special group of roosters rode by a few times, you know, because if you don’t have a car you might as well show off with what you’ve got.
Just a normal Saturday night in Cowboy Country.
Some things remain the same wherever you are. Sounds like a Friday night in my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, with Central Avenue as the circuit!
Ha! I would have never imagined that with a city as big as Phoenix. But if travel teaches you anything, it’s that people are just people no matter where you go. Humans gonna be cruisin’!