It’s an innocent piece of plastic, this size of a very thin paperback book, an open lattice of plastic. We first encountered it within moments of arriving in Argentina, as we came through customs at Santo Tome, lying at the side of the road. Obviously a discard, less obvious was its purpose. Possibly a one-off, for which we would never get an answer, something of no real account, of no matter. Only we would keep finding them, not everywhere, but in certain areas that we passed through. Places that would yield up a good number, but only in Argentina. A mild curiosity of no great import. Yet curiosities have a habit of growing, especially if your mind is configured, wired or afflicted for facts for facts’ sake. Neitche’s collection of information for an inner psychological enrichment.
The answer, when it eventually appeared, turned out to be more prosaic, more internal, physical enrichment. We’d been blown off the road by a wind storm, taken refuge in a room, decided against cooking in the toilet cubicle, resorting to bread, wine and cold cuts of meat. Instead of being sold in a cling-film covered Styrofoam tray, the smoked ham and sliced beef is sold placed on our mysterious latticed, book-sized white plastic piece. A somewhat prosaic, boring answer to a less than earth-shattering question, but my piqued curiosity is satisfied. Where a few clicks of a mouse, or a typed entry in a title box give access to an instant answer, it is refreshing to find a question that can’t be Googled or Wiki’ed.
Now we can go local and ditch it in the traditional way. That completed, I just have to find a new, inquisitive challenge. Could it possibly be the question as to why a roadside shrine to San Cetayano has four pairs of sunglasses in it?