The cacophony in the Public Square. An observation on the Plaza de Armas of Santiago

One of the things he has learned, with some surprise, is that the Plaza de Armas can be a good place to read -you can sit for hours, if it is a good sunny day is enjoyable, and one can combine concentration (no one bothers) with distraction (observe your surroundings). At least for me it is still a worthy alternative.

Doing this activity today I was able to realize something that is obvious but had not thought of under that framework above: the juxtaposition of disjointed activities that happen in the Square is one of its best points.

Today to one side, the Choir, was a meeting of the cueca, and to be able to see a whole side of the Square full of people dancing cueca on a Saturday in November do not stop calling the attention. At the same time you could hear, if one wanted to, the preaching of the gospel. And this, in all its variety, from those that focus on the threat of hell and the glory of God and the need to submit to him those who are more interested in the resurrection. I don’t subscribe to the beliefs of the evangelicals, and there are several that seem to me to be something abhorrent, but I can’t help admiring the conviction in the fact of standing up in a public place to try to convince someone knowing that most don’t even stop to listen, under the vague hope that someone will actually be saved. And all this without counting all of the people who perform other activities in the Plaza (those who lie, those who use the sink as a swimming pool, the lady who sells tea and coffee, the painting, the chess players in one of its corners, and so on).

The result is cacofónico -and today this was literal in the combination of music and preaching. But this cacophony, this diversity is not collected under unit, occupying spaces very nearby without clogged among themselves, does not cease to be an expression of urban life in contemporary. And the fact that it happens in the plaza de armas of Santiago indicates that, in spite of all the criticisms that we make to the city, because ultimately, it is a city with urban life.

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