This is going to be a tough one. We didn’t do a lot today so not much exciting to report and it is Super-Tuesday in the US and so I am veeeeery tempted to venture into politics. I have, however, made to solemn promise to myself before starting this blog to stay away from my two favorite obessions: politics and religion – at least politics and religion in the US.
And then, there were more peacock feathers, by all reports the last of this Carnaval season.
With that out of the way: we saw more peacock feathers today. It was the last, the biggest and the hottest (temperature-wise) parade of the Carnaval. Some genius came up with the idea to have it midday. Now, all the Meridians seem to have thought it a little coolish as they where walking about in their tight long pants and long sleeve shirts but for these temperate climate dwellers it was scorching (mid to high 90s Fahrenheit, in the low 30s Celsius). The whole things was about to start at noon but by 10 am the bleachers and stands were packed. More and more people came streaming in, foldable chairs, umbrellas, gallon sized water bottles, buckets full of food and gandma in a wheel-chair in tow.
By 11 am one could barely move left or right and the food stand with the cold Diet Coke and the tamales about 15 feet away could just as well have been on Mars – there was no way of getting to it. Superbly prepared – not – we showed up with a 1/2 liter of water and an old lollipop for Max that I found in my camera bag. At 11:30 I left my two muchachos to their own devises somewhere in the back under a tree and headed, badge-waving onto the street and found shelter – a bit of shade that is – in front of the tribune for the disabled. The sun was burning down and the parade was late, very late in starting. In the distance I saw Max’s and Uli’s head bob up once or twice, Uli looking sort of desperate and I noticed that the crowd had gotten so thick that there basically was no way of getting through to them or communicating with them in any way (how helpless we mortals are without our cellphones).
To make a long, hot story short: the parade started 45 minutes late, many befeathered people threw Coke cups, roses and cheap candy into the crowd and I was lucky enough to look so pitiful that one of the Coke-girls had mercy with me and gave me a can of Coke Zero. Never before has water with brown coloring and a bit of aspartam tasted so good. 45 minutes into it I called it quits. I knew Max was tired and hungry by now, as well as Uli and it is hard to say which one has more unpleseant ramnifications. Uttering “permiso, permiso” constantly I fought my way through the crowd, stepping on toes, leaning on the shoulders, hands, and arms of total strangers and getting bunches of puzzeled looks – after all, I had been hopping around the parade just a minute ago and now I was leaving – I must be mad!
We reached the safety of our house and I have to admit, I am not disappointed that the whole song, dance and peacock feathers extravaganza is over. We still have about 10 days here and I haven’t yet read of any fiesta scheduled for that time. I am a bit surprised by that I thought for sure they would have come up with something. But, actually, its rather okay by me.
Yesterday we encountered or first, well, irregularity since we have been here. After returning from Celestun we decided to use the time we had left on our rental car to take a quick trip to – you guess it – Wal-Mart. Uli did a bit of a unorthodox maneuver sort of ending up the wrong way in a one way street. This wouldn’t have been too bad if not for the Policia on his motorbike who spotted us. There was talk of a ticket which got dropped after Uli agreed to casually drop a 200 Peso note (about 20 bucks) into one of the whatever-you-call-these-storage-things-people-have-on-the-back-of-their-motorbikes. After that was taken care off he drove in front of us and showed us into the Wal-Mart garage. Not all is well in Maya-Land but at least $20 is a reasonable price for a bribe.