11.2 Argentina : Walking Dead

"When they ask me what I liked best I'll tell them it was you"
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As we rode the bus to the Recoleta Cemetary I told Eli "Don't you think it's kind of like the epitome of greed - that these people need fancy things even when they are dead?".

Before going, the cemetery seemed like a monument to things I don't believe in, and I'm not talking about God. This property is the most expensive property in the entire city of Buenos Aires and no one who sleeps there is even alive. It's a place steeped in hierarchy and classicism; one of the simplest mausoleums belongs to its most famous resident, Eva Peron. Even though she is the most noted woman in the history of Argentina, earned women the right to vote, fought for the condition of the working man, and was later memorialized in a film staring Madonna, she was a bastard child and other plot holders threw a fit when she was buried there. It seemed like a luxury gated community for the dead.

But, as I'm starting to learn here, a person can't make assumptions about things from the details in the travel books (especially if that person already had a preference toward cremation). As I walked the paths lined with ornate cement squares, wrought iron doors, photos and flowers I began to realize that this place isn't so much for the people buried in it but for the people who visit.

It's not about having possessions even in the after life, it's about having a place that still holds a piece of someone you love. It's more than just staring at a gravestone, it's an actual location; It's a place to gather, a place to remember, a place to visit and say I miss you and nothing is the same since you've been gone.



p.s.
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also the Cemetery was full of kitties! They even leave little bowls of food out for them because they're residents. I think they combat the rat problem that is inevitable when you have all sorts of underground space full of corpses ...

2 comments:

  1. a little creepy, very intriguing and i'm sure was very beautiful. thanks for sharing, i love reading about your travels!

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  2. This reminds me SO much of a cemetary in New Orleans that I visited when I was down there with my fam circa a DECADE agao. Humid, cement, inside a city.

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