Sunday, 1 November 2009

Finding Macondo

Many days later, as she faced the airport departure lounge, she was to remember that distant afternoon when her friend took her to discover Macondo.

Which began with a bus ride to an unknown destination, through checkpoints and past the endless banana plantations. The banana plantations that held so many brutalities amongst their leaves, and under the rickety shacks which still shelter the hanging fruits by the roadside. And stepping down to strange looks by the bicycle rickshaws, and over the train line which did or didn't carry the bodies from the scene, towards the house where it all began.

The quiet streets seem more tired now, with paint peeling from the porches where rocking chairs sit, abandoned in the midday heat. Silver-haired men drift in and out of the billiard hall, leaving an air of exclusivity in their wake, while neatly painted adverts sell everything you could never need. Yet modernity still tries to wake the town from its slumber, setting up speakers along the main street which blare a soundtrack too fast for this place.

And so we go in search of the house of a hundred years, which everyones knows yet we cannot find. Until a padlocked gate appears, and a girl shouts to a man who comes with a key, and there we are. Standing under the tree with more roots than Aurelianos, which seem to go deeper than the seven generations of Macondo. We do not sit for fear of madness, and are taken instead to listen to an inexplicable tale, by the white-washed walls and freshly painted shutters. One that has inspired some to cross the heavily guarded borders of their reality, and embark on a journey which has left in its wake this clutter of accidental anecdotes, In Search of Macondo.