After a week here and as many fiestas we run into by accident I can confirm that the Meridans love to party. Any occasions seems good enough to put up a stage, hire a band, get the food and toy sellers out and have a grand old time.
At the moment we are caught in the middle between the big arts festival from Jan 5 to 21 and the beginning of Carnaval on Jan 30. But why slow down, let’s have some after-parties and a bunch of pre-carnaval parties to bridge the gap.
Yesterday we went for dinner at nearby Santiago Park. The main attraction is a number of foodstalls that sell Yucatean food (surprisingly not at all spicy although it is served with spicy salsa on the side) and a market that sells all sorts of meat, fish and veggies during the day.
For about $10 the three of us can eat and drink diet cokes and horchatas (Max’s favorite sugary, cinnamony drink). I thought of it as a quick bite but as we were getting closer we heard the band playing and as we entered Santiago Park there was a big crowd of mainly older gents in pretty outrageous-cool costumes: hair-dresses, feathers, glitter, high-heels and they were living it up. I am trying – unsuccessfully – to picture any of my older female family members in tight fitting, colorful, short dresses, golden pumps, feathers on their heads and gold-glitter eye-shadow dancing the cha-cha-cha or my older male family members swaying their hips and twirling those befeathered ladies around. Just isn’t flying – not even in my imagination. But dance they can – I have to admit, there were ladies on the dance floor who could easily be my mothers shaking their substantial hips, twirling and cha-cha-chaing with the best of them.
Needless to say the Latino Dance Sensation, also called “Maxi” loved it. He was on stage in minutes, hopping around, running around on the dance floor, his hair wet with sweat his eyes wide open, all exicted. I was wondering whether it was actually a good thing to expose his young impressionable soul to so much fun and flood his little body with so much adrenalin. But he was on a roll. We finally dragged him off the dance floor and under protest and I stuffed some food into him. While we were eating the band packed it up and the befeathered ladies went home without Max really noticing it, as he was sitting with his back to the dance floor. After a while he turned around, ready for the next round of dancing and saw what has happend. He was completely incredulous: “Everybody went home although it was so much fun!”
I caught myself just in time before launching into a lengthy monologue about how life is like that and this being a lesson he better learns early and it just not being fair but what can one do about it ……. and used the opportunity to introduce the radical idea of actually going home as well now and going to bed.
Today we went to the zoo and main park. Needless to say there was a pre-carnaval extravaganza as well which we skipped in favor of letting Max drive around on battery powered motorcycles and riding merry-go-rounds that looked they already greatly amused yesterday’s befeathered ladies when they were kids. As usual Max got enough attention from the ladies (generally his parents or grandparents age) to last for at least a couple of years. His blue eyes keep attracting attention and a whole group of women today stroked his hair and told him how “guapo” (handsome) he is. He generally hides behind my back his head between my legs until the storm blows over. Can’t even blame him.
Tomorrow we’ll go see some more “pyraminen” in either Chichen Itza or Uxmal – two very famous sites with Maya ruins. I’ll probably wont be able to write as I do not expect wireless Internet access out there but hopefully I will finally get around to taking some decent pictures of pyramids. And starting Wednesday Carnaval will be upon us in earnest with more fiestas than I can possibly count.