Let’s not forget the real reason for the season: to sell shit. In this case, remote-control dinosaurs. Alas, this ain’t e-gadget-obsessed Tokyo. I waited in line at Tienda Inglesa Atlántida in back of, and in front of, shopping carts laden with slabs of meat, chorizo sausage, cheese and baguettes, the ubiquitous gallons of Coca-Cola poison, plenty of beer, potato chips, plates and glasses for vacation dwellings, deli sandwich packs, a head of lettuce and some tomatoes (RIGHT ON!), but… …not one remote-control dinosaur.
While even the impoverished in the north remain enslaved by consumerism, here the holidays mean time with friends and family. Granted, shoppers in Tienda Inglesa Atlántida aren’t the social equivalent of the unruly crowd waiting for free toy handouts at a Salvation Army in Pittsburgh. Nonetheless, there exists in Uruguay a family “glue” that will trigger a touch of nostalgia in USA-Americans of a certain age.
Personally, though their presence makes my life a little more difficult, and a lot louder, I really do wish for our seasonal visitors a really enjoyable holiday time with their family and friends, playing with a soccer ball or fishing during their endless hours on the beach. I think they understand that a remote-control dinosaur adds little to that experience. I hope so, anyway.