Thursday, 7 April 2011

Socioeconomic Measure of a Town: La Cumbre

La Cumbre, a polite town that sits towards the alpha end of a socioeconomic scale. My measure is based upon the 'croissant coefficient' and the 'impedimenta index'. Our empirical evidence being the availability of wholemeal bread and pond sieves, book exchanges and artists' studios. Then there's the bike hire with child's trailer and the reappearance of private school uniforms. When two shops can sell architectural and agricultural scrap, you know that you've entered a different type of town.

The maroon checked faltas, plaid kilts, hitched up to a revealing pelmet height for the ladies of the secondary, the juniors in gender segregated red and blue smocks. An old wooden cart and a rusting iron stove sit on the pavement, whilst another shop sells child sized terracotta urns and amphoras, rustic impedimenta for the designed garden. Paraphernalia, that to the west would find a second life mouldering at the back of the house, or blocking a hole in a fence.

Free WiFi at the YPF petrol stations
Cafes, or more properly coffee shops, swell onto the pavement, leaving narrow obstacle coourses through a throng of 'meet and greet' tables and chairs, and providing us with a moral dilemma. The YPF petrol station sits in the midst of this coffee culture, so do we keep loyalty, fidelity for all those times and occasions when they were the only choice, the only chance of a caffeine fix for miles around, or do we abscond, decamp to a new brand? The decision is taken from us; all their tables are full. We're disbanded and then re- branded.