What a night. After my dinner, I walked to the casa where I was supposed to meet the Argentinian guy who would travel with me together in the truck to Remedios that the friend of my host had organized. Half an hour later, he was finally there and the senora led us to a casa of one of her friends who owns the truck- apparently there would be more backpackers joining us. We were sitting in a garden, and more and more people joined us. There was an Israeli couple, a Mexican guy, a Frenchman, the Argentinian and me. Especially the Israeli couple, the Argentinian and I had nice conversations. Although I was a bit scared to tell them that I was German (uhm uhm…), they declared right at the beginning that they were Israeli but that they do not agree with the politics of their government and that they want peace. Puh, no fucked up conservatives (little note on the side:I hope you followed the election-disaster in Israel this week….). After a while, the senora declared that the truck was ready. And oh yes, what a truck. I had never seen such a thing. It was super old, and there were some simple seats in the inside where things used to be transported apparently. It was loud, the whole truck was shaking and we were soooooo slow. On our way, we also collected an Italian group and it was actually fun. After about one hour we reached Remedios. It was incredible. A typical street festival with… different street food. Grilled pigs (yes, entire pigs) were placed on tables without any fridges or protection. The men selling the meat did not wear gloves or any of it and simply touched the meat and put it on bread with their hands. A nightmare for every hygiene lover. Everything was covered in fat and oil. I was disgusted (I don’t eat meat). Oh, and they also sold apples. Why? Just because. We walked towards the ‘fun area’ after we had gotten some beers. It was hilarious. The most ugly and useless toys were sold there. Dolls that look like they were from the Soviet era and then hit by a bus. Then the best part. They also had a couple of primitive gambling games. My favourite one was the following: Rat Roulette There was a box in the middle that was surrounded by a circle of boxes. Every box in the circle had a number on it and a ‘price’ (a can of Coke, a small plastic ball,…). The guy collected money, and then at one point started turning the box in the middle. Then, the box stopped and the guy opened the cover. A white rat ran out of the box and towards into one of the boxes of the circle. The person that had bet on the box where the mouse went into won the price. Hahahaha every Animal Rights organisation in Europe would go nuts!
It was so much fun. Just walking around with the Israeli couple and the Argentinian, looking at those bizarre games, taking pictures and laughing. So apparently, this was not only strange for me, a girl raised in Western Europe, but also for people from other backgrounds. ”Cuba es Cuba”. We also noticed that a lot of the decoration was not even ready, although the festival had already started! There were pieces and tools everywhere, and construction workers still working on it. How strange! At midnight, there should have been fireworks. But it was almost 1 a.m. when there came an announcement via speakers ”The person responsible for the firework should come to building xyz so that we can start with the preparations.” The PREPARATIONS?? After a 1 hour delay? Oh wow. Then finally, the fireworks started. It was an absolute chaos. The streets were completely packed with people and the firework was totally unorganized. The fireworks flew very closely, some landed in palm trees, others in roofs of houses… It was crazy. Then the craziest thing happened. We were basically in the middle of the festival when suddenly everyone started running in one direction. It was loud, people moved very quickly. I thought that something happened at that it was like a panic attack. But then I noticed that people were actually smiling and then I saw a little cart with fireworks on it in the middle of the crowd- and the organisers just pushed the cart and ran around with it chasing people while the fireworks from the cart went off! The only thing I was thinking about in this moment was that all this was super dangerous and that certainly people would get hurt that night. It was crazy. And as if all the loud noises from the people, as well as the music was not enough, there were also speakers which played a track with (seriously, I am not kidding) firework sounds. To make it more dramatic. HAHAHAHA awesome. We had to leave pretty early though, and so at around 2.30 we went back to Santa Clara with our super slow truck. What a great and crazy night! I was sure that I wouldn’t forget this Christmas Eve, ever.
*note: The video of the Rat Roulette is available on my Facebook account. Unfortunately, the video format cannot be uploaded here. Send me a message or leave a comment if you want to add me on FB or if you want me to send you the video. Cheers!