The Circus

You forgot that in Argentina, you probably didn't need to book a taxi online and ahead of to take you to the airport for a 5:25 am flight. At 4 am, taxis crawl the streets, a nocturnal rush hour. The drivers are wide awake - no hushed radio stations here. Your cab driver gestured so big with both hands when he spoke that he almost hit a bus. 

You forgot that in Argentina, life continues at 4 am as if it were lunch time. You drove by street corners where people sat at plastic tables and ate hamburgers under fluorescent lights. Groups spilled out of bars onto fractured sidewalks, clutching liter bottles of beer. There was a free concert in the Plaza Serrano and more people out than had been at 4 pm. Street lights and shadows are a reverse alarm clock. 

At 4 am, the airport, too, was busy. People seemed to ignore the time of day. A woman wore bright green eyeliner and leather pants; a family with a small child ate croissant and drank coffee

Today is the Memorial Day for the Malvinas/Falklands War, and Friday is Good Friday, and Sunday is Easter, so people are getting out of Buenos Aires to the mountains in the south and the vineyards in the north and they made the airport bustle with good-natured energy. 

Still, you can't get out of your head what you saw at an intersection near the airport in a sort of highway no-man's land: three scrawny guys wearing sweatshirts and faux Adidas shorts, taking turns juggling at red lights for the hope of a coin from these people on their way to vacation.