Feria De Mataderos

Kids ready to ride the Subte!

Our First Collectivo (bus) Ride
Sunday morning we had plans to meet some expat friends at their Subte stop, only to find out that the line we needed to ride was closed for the day.  Interestingly, this is not an uncommon occurrence around here. There are days when bank ATMs just decide to be closed.  That's it.  No sign that it's getting fixed, it's just closed.  And in order to put minutes on our local cell phones, we rely on kiosks resembling corner stores.  The day I was attempting to add minutes, I kept being turned away.  I thought it was due to my mispronunciation or wrong choice of verb tense, when really they just weren't recharging them that day - at all.  Hmm.  In the states, people would be irate!  Here, they just seem to go to plan B, which is what we had to do about the Subte.  Luckily our friends are old hats with the collectivos (city buses)!  So we set off to the nearest bus stop.  Only 1.20 a ride!  That's like $0.30!!

After a 45 minute bus ride outside the city, we were dropped off right next to the "Gaucho Market".  Every Sunday for the past 25 years, this market has been a place to shop and be entertained by dancers and gauchos (Argentine cowboys).  The Feria De Mataderos, is said to be a more traditional fair, visited by locals and tourists alike.  Rather than the stereotypical Tango, the performers and locals dance in large groups.  Couples stand across from their partner, and cross back and forth with dramatic courtesies and arm movements.  At some points, the men add in fancy footwork, accentuated by the tapping of the hard heels of their traditional shoes.  

Lined up and having a great time!

Traditional Gaucho Dance

Since we arrived around lunchtime, the kids were getting a bit grouchy.  We opted to stop in the food section of the fair for some more of the meat that Argentina is famous for.  It was here that we also found our first tamales and deep-fried empanadas - delicious!  While we were eating, Michael's chair tipped backward into what could have been a disastrous crash.  Luckily, he was alright, albeit shaken up.  The reason I even mention this is the unbelievably kind response that I got from the people surrounding us.  Within milliseconds, vendors and visitors were around us, checking on Michael, feeling his head, bringing us ice.  I was humbled by the care and kindness that these strangers offered us.  They continued to check on him, one man even reminding us not to let him sleep for two hours and to keep a close eye on him.  It was so touching, truly touching.

Once Michael recovered, we continued into the vendor areas.  Here we found gorgeous craftsmanship in leather, wood, and cloth as well as local honey and olive oil.  The textures and colors were breathtaking. After our window shopping in San Telmo, this time I came more prepared!  I had a list of things I wanted to buy and a pocketful of pesos!  Let the fun begin!

Below are a few photos from our shopping (and eating!) at Feria De Mataderos.  

Handmade Leather Belts

Chorizo on the grill

Olives and oils from Mendoza


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