This morning we wake to a spindrift of yellow tissue confetti, drifting under the threshold, and across our creaking hardwood floor. A new day. A new month. A New Year.
We emerge, fresh into the bright light of morning, to find the old year still in mourning, deep in the dark slugs of bacchanalia. Out, to wander the quiet, narrow steep streets of the old colonial quarter. The ‘Ticos’ are roused, stotting off the high granite kerbs, sliding around corners on the polished granite cobble setts. Indestructible dodgem cars, their sobriety questionable. The party still flows, clutches of lost revellers prop the Corinthian columns of the cloistered arcades around the plaza, drape the steps of the Catedral: snoozing, snoring gargoyles yet to notice the change of date.
Slowly the nascent year emerges, new from its chrysalis. The Latino Sunday best-dressed mothers-in-law, cradling the cribbed doll, marching to the Templo de San Blas, to crave a blessing, the wish for a grandchild. The artisanals setting out their woollen wares, the polished pendants, the ‘Pachamamas’, the ‘Inca cruces’, the woven bangles, arrangements on multi coloured blankets, that litter across the pavement. Quechuan mothers with their daughters, bright in traditional dress, each with garlanded lambs and llamas: ‘por una foto’. The yellow of plucked marigold petals that were scattered last night, now in a tidal fetch, drifting around wall founds and etching out the street cobblestones. The traders constructing a river of blue plastic to sun or rain shade, as the weather moods dictate, today’s goods.
‘Yesterday: Yesteryear‘, pleated wheatsheafs and photocopied euros, yellow boxer shorts and yellow sombreros, yellow spectacles and yellow thongs. Squibs, rockets and an ordinance of bangs.
‘Newday: Newyear’ it’s a return to an old fare of Nke (sic) knock-offs and spurious Puma, of panetone and evaporada; the fruited loaf that dries out but never goes off, the tinned milk that tradition dictates, required fodder to sweeten or moisten the swallow. A hand-propelled merry-go-round builds as the scaffolders dismantle last night’s stage, the table footballers uncover their pitches as the mega amps and decked speakers depart by lorry. The legion of street sweepers have already laundered the plaza of old night, flushed out and cleansed into new day, all before the emerging tourist creeps from their hoteles, hostals and hospedajes.
A melange of out with the same-old and in with the same-new, only it might take more than one day to effect; they’re still decommissioning the ordinance, there’s still going to be some sore heads, for a few more days.