We hadn`t been sitting long at the kerbside table outside Voulez Bar in San Telmo when a high-pitched voice came from the table next to us. `Ah, I am so happy! ‘Yesterday`s election was an historic day for my country. A breath of fresh air! Do you know?’
‘Look around you !’ she said, glancing left and right. ‘ Look at my country, it’s beautiful but neglected, left to ruin.’
We looked around at the faded, crumbling grandeur of San Telmo and understood her point.
‘Argentina should be the greatest country in the world, this country has everything. Good land, coast, mountains, oil..so much oil. But look at it, corrupt and bankrupt !`she said blowing tendrils of hair from her eyes.
Well dressed, with red wavy hair pulled back from her face into a pony tail, she looked Irish but was a proud Argentine who wore her heart on her sleeve.
‘In every country in the world you can buy things on the internet, but not here, not in Argentina. Everything is taxes , it’s too expensive’
We believed her. Darragh had looked at runners in a mall yesterday and gasped at the prices.
We sat and spoke a while with Lola, she was friendly and keen to practise her English.
‘We will have a ballottage in November, a final election show down between the last two presidential candidates. You see, Argentina is changing. I have prayed and prayed for this. I didn’t vote for either of these two but now I will. This vote was a lesson. A lesson for the politicians, it is not their country, it is our country. Now they know, they have to change.!!’
Her eyes twinkled as she stood to leave. Her red hair framed her round smiling face. ‘Ciao Ciao, happy holiday!’
She wasn’t crazy, just very happy.