Tuesday, November 3, 2009

a hat on the head is worth two on the floor

Today is Cuenca's Independence Day. I'm not really sure what that means, but since yesterday was Día de los Muertos it has just been a party all weekend. We went to this sweet fair and fireworks show last night to celebrate and it completed me. At the fair there was an inside part that was in this huge house that is now a museum for the arts that used to be Lorena's grandparent's house. What?! Pretty cool. I bought several things that were not expensive but that I didn't really need (story of my life) and also saw this fantastic couple that I am in love with. They reminded me of the couple in Away We Go and I want to be a part of a couple like them. Here is a creepy stalker picture I took of them (the man is in the blue hoodie and his wife—or pregnant girlfriend?—is next to him in the black sweater):

At the fair we were standing on the second floor looking out into the patio watching and listening to this mariachi band (and secretly observing said amazing couple) when these people came out and lit these sweet paper hot air balloon things and sent them up into the sky. They lit around 5 or so, all different shapes and colors. Apparently they do it to show that there's a party going on. When we went outside we could see them all hovering in the sky far away. It was cool and I kind of wanted one, but all I could think of was that it was bad for the environment because once the fire goes out they fall back to the earth and become trash on the side of the road or in someone's yard or farm and that animals could try and eat it and die. Why can't I stop thinking about these things and just enjoy cultural quirks?
Outside Lorena's grandparent's old house there were tents set up by traveling Peruvians who had come down for the festival days. They were all dressed in traditional dress and they were awesome. I seriously coveted the men's knit hats, but alas they did not have any for sale. We talked to one of the guys and asked if we could buy his, but he said no. He did say that he would bring some the next day and we could buy it for $10. I was pretty stoked about that since before we came to that agreement he pointed us to another tent that had slightly different traditional hats for sale with tassels and white beads sewn all over that were $80. They told us that they took 3 months to make and it was all done by hand but still. $80? What the freak?! The picture below is one of the hats I was in love with. Note the white buttons and sweet strings hanging down. Amazing.
In the plaza outside of the house by the outdoor tents they had these weird structure things set up that were wired with fireworks. It reminded me a little of Las Fallas in Valencia, but way way way way WAY smaller. We were all waiting around for a while for it to start and people were going up and taking pictures right next to the thing, so after a little bit our group decided that we should get a picture. So all of us, a bunch of white girls and our little Ecuadorian host family go up to get our picture taken, and right as we are smiling for the camera they set off the fireworks. We ran away. Very fast. Some of the girls were screaming. I think that everyone there thought we were amateurs, which, to be fair, I suppose we are. Here is the thing mid-fireworks explosion. It was very smoky.
Cortney and Libby and I went back to the fair this afternoon to get some things that they didn't have in stock yesterday, notably the Peruvian hat. We went to the tent where the guy was that said he would bring the hat for me, but he wasn't there and the lady who was there with him didn't know what we were talking about. So we wandered around and I saw another guy with an almost-equally sweet hat (basically it was identical except that it had less buttons and shorter hanging strings). I asked him if he sold hats like the one he was wearing and he took his off and offered it to me. I bought it for $17. That's right, I bought a Peruvian hat right off a guy's head. It completed me. Here I am posing with him. When I asked if I could take my picture with him he put on a different hat from the many they were selling—I kind of wanted it to be me with a hat and him without, but I respect his need for head covering. Plus, he sold me the hat off of his own head so he will always be a 10 in my book.

1 comment:

Steph said...

cassi! Sweetest hat ever! I want that... Also I can tell you are getting more tan! Good work