Amsterdam was its usual jolly self with average weather and a few junkies wobbling around frantically. The low Dutch sky turned me into a herring addict requiring a few fish each day. In between my oily snacks Carolina and I caught up with many friends but we sadly missed Dan Tuffys band called BIG LOW performing at the Paradiso one evening. A few drinks were had in cosy Dutch brown bars which was super unfortunately it was not easy seeing everyone as we were running out of social steam and time.
After my herring banquet we flew over to Mexico City landing just when the Day of the Dead was on the calendar. A wild colourful celebration that decorates the city with skeletons, skulls made of sugar, cars adorned with huge red horns and the population party with death in mind.. as well as life. It made Halloween look a bit limp or should I say dead.
The Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos involves family and friends praying for and remembering those who have died. Now connected to the Christian holy days of All Saints day an All Souls day but actually much older as its roots can be foundwith the Aztec goddess called Mictecacihuatl (don’t ask me how to pronounce that) and in many other indigenous traditions all across the planet in fact.
Unlike some cultures where death is often avoided with drugs, cosmetic surgery, and various remedies here in Mexico DF things are different. Things are also very very busy with over 20 million people living (and dying) in this rich and chaotic megacity which has a pulse all of its own. The city kept us busy but in the end there was too much to see, taste, hear and feel; just like life really.
Most of December was spent in Argentina with Carolina potting around the cactus garden. Summertime was blowing in with grapes growing and the odd mountain storm brewing near by. We both enjoyed practicing the concept of home; a very pleasant experience after our recent frantic travels. I watched the fruit grow and we enjoyed a quiet rustic lifestyle with a few bbqs, three dogs running about and not a little vino. This calm and relaxing time was not to last sadly as that Ice has a kind of hex on me.
The festive seasonis now and I spend it preparing for another southern trip. Looking for warm socks, growing my beard and attending a few family food frenzies. There was a new years celebration, as well I believe. Next step is to Hobart to board the Amderma, alarge Russian ship that will whisk me across the Southern Ocean to the very small village of Mawson station. Until then.
© Stephen Eastaugh, 2019. All Rights Reserved.