Beat It

Trip Start Sep 07, 2012
Trip End Jul 15, 2013

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Thursday, October 11, 2012

After a pretty non-descript day attempting, and failing, to soak up a bit more spanish we had arranged to go out with Wolfgang, Tom, Hannah and Sabrina to watch a Candombe. A Candombe, from what i can gather, is a traditional form of dance/show they have in these parts, whereby a load of people bash the living daylights out of some drums whilst walking through a part of the city and a load of people follow them dancing.

We had arranged to meet at 5.15. Wolfgang turned up at 5.30. For a German arriving late is, i would imagine, near enough to failure as you can get. And did he show it - he came rushing in, face red like a tomato, brow sweating heavily and rushed us out of the door. Poor fella was gutted he was late. German efficieny is a myth.

We got there for 6 which was the stated start time. Nothing. The place was dead. We made the fatal mistake of forgeting that we were in south america and time here is a very elastic concept. So an hour later the 'show' started. I say show in the broadest sense, as the first 3 hours was basically a campaign by an indigeonous group to have more rights in uruguay, and that the invading Europeans took away all their beliefs and identity and stuff. It was about an hour in when it dawned on me that we were the exact people they were campaigning against, and i then realised, after a scan round the crowd, that indeed we were about the only Europeans there. I clapped a little harder to the speeches after realising this funnily enough.

Bored to the back teeth, we jumped at the chance to have a cup of tea with another student of the school that we had bumped into, and the Uruguyan family of his girlfriend. We were sat in their kitchen when we heard, or more accurately felt, the tambores (drum players) start. We went outside and watched the procession, which was impressive. The drums were deafening (i doubt you'll get an appreciation from the video) and everybody following them down the street, some dancing along, others watching from the pavements drinking mate and others watching from open doors and windows all the way along the street.

It was cracking to be honest and the first time that we've really seen what the Uruguayans are all about. Not bad at all.
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