“Carnaval” in my little town is a tame third-world Mardi Gras for the Mexican masses, who leave behind a life of poverty and despair for a weekend of mediocre live bands, cheap beer, and pathetic parades.

I’ve lived in Baja for three years and have always avoided the downtown area on this particular weekend. This time, however, Mr. T was in town and we were hungry. I suggested a seafood restaurant in the downtown area, one block removed from the rickety amusement park rides and beer stands. It was 2:00pm on a Saturday, and I was certain we could get in, eat, and get out before the masses arrived for the evening festivities.

We drove into town and Mr. T commented on the lack of parking spaces in the blocks around the restaurant. I summoned up my Universe-given powers to find the perfect parking spot and moments later pulled into a spot vacated by an SUV. I gave Mr. T a triumphant look and we walked half a block towards the restaurant.

We had a lovely lunch and as we prepared to leave, we noticed a large group of people gathering outside the restaurant. Some moron with a microphone and verbal diarreah was rambling on about the joy of the festivities, and we noticed that the street where my car was parked had been closed off for a parade!
car held hostage my car 2

So much for getting in and getting out! My perfect parking spot had been turned into the perfect viewing spot for a procession of homemade floats, dancing girls with flabby stomachs, carnival kings and queens, and the occasional town lunatic. Mr. T’s words said it all: “Your people are a very strange bunch.” For once, I won’t argue.

king and queen our lady of the collagen lips

The King and Queen        Our Lady of the Collagen Lips

police girls

Mr. T’s comment after seeing this ‘float’: “Um… Your country is mainly Catholic, right?”

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