It was a random weekday morning, Tuesday or Wednesday I think, and I was walking back from Spanish class and nearing the Modelorama (the Canadian equivalent would be a Labattarama) when I passed a somewhat unsavory-looking fellow leaning against a truck. He was tipping back one of those giant 750 ml beers Mexicans drink when they want the last few sips to taste like a A-Rod’s cousin’s “good” urine. That song, you know, the one they play in Mexico, was blaring out of the truck as he glared at passersby with squinty, ornery eyes. Picture a cross between me (drunk), Jaime (drunk) and that enterprising fellow that digs the cans out of your garbage. Anyway, like an Oscar-caliber movie it was more fascinating for the parts of the story I didn’t know than those I did. Because all I know is that when I passed by again the next morning the truck was still there, empties were scattered around the box, there was a pile of orange peels on the seat and a pair of pants lying on the sidewalk as though they had just been too exhausted to go on.
Following some a/c troubles in our vehicle I had some trouble hooking up with the local air conditioning guru,
always just missing him, or getting there before he could tell me anything new. As it turns out the problem was that he didn’t realize Daylight Savings Time had kicked in and the time had changed…..two and a half days ago. In his defense, it’s tough enough to get someone to settle on an exact day around here without picking a particular hour. If you were to tell someone you’d be somewhere at 10:45 they’d look at you like you just suggested you help them check their prostate.
Semana Santa: roughly translates to Holy Week, and is probably the biggest holiday of the year in Mexico. School is out, the whole country is on vacation and traveling around helter skelter, usually to some type of beach. Kind of like this one. This holiday has been a topic of conversation ever since we first got here. Everyone seems compelled to describe all the crazy shenanigans we should expect over this absurd two week extravaganza. Which, of course, means that it couldn’t possibly be as wild as we were expecting. Which it was not. However, that’s not to say it wasn’t pretty crazy, and that we didn’t see a lot of weird stuff. Especially in comparison to the usually subdued atmosphere here in La Penita. Rincon de Guayabitos, as usual, was quite a bit rowdier, but that was nothing new for them in their role as the wisecracking, somewhat unscrupulous, neighbor in this little Mexican sitcom.
It started with a gradual traffic buildup, both vehicle and foot, followed by a huge increase in signs advertising rooms for rent, and eventually random tents began appearing on the beaches, popping up out of the blue as unwelcome yet inevitable as anal warts after a big weekend of partying with NKOTB.
For whatever reason the big push didn’t really hit until Monday morning, which was when the bulk of the tour buses started showing up. Watching the buses spew their groggy, irritable cargo onto the street like a drunk tricking his gag reflex into a preventative bout of pre-bed vomiting, we could tell that some had traveled a long way to visit our little slice of redneck beach heaven. We’ve been on enough long bus trips to recognize the disoriented walleyed look in their eyes as they huddled together on the sidewalk, gazing around suspiciously like paratroopers unexpectedly dropped behind enemy lines with no weapons and only a handful of condoms that they’re going to have to share.
For my money, though, the party officially started with the carload of young drunk guys that pulled up to the busiest intersection in Guayabitos (just a 4-way stop, but still) at 8 am and apparently decided they’d “arrived”. After pulling clumsily over and leaving their back bumper poking obscenely into traffic they burst forth like pus from an overripe pimple, immediately engaging in a joyous, clumsy dance, waving their beer around like they were guiding the Duff Beer blimp in for an emergency landing. Other than the fact this so-called dance took place in the middle of a busy street, it could have been described as a combination of the ever-popular Running Man and that embarrassing airplane thing multi-millionaire professional soccer players do when they want to show the world that their goal shocked them as much as it did us. You’ve only scored three goals this decade, you get paid 11 million dollars a year, and that’s what you’ve come up with? You couldn’t have taken just a couple hours out of your busy schedule of scowling at tabloid photographers and banging strippers to think up something even vaguely dignified, or at least original, to do on the off-chance you actually scored someday?
I may just be an amateur but, personally, I like to yank my underwear out of the top of my shorts triumphantly and then fire them at our fans (both of them) like an elastic band.Of course, if it doesn’t work on the first try it ends up feeling like someone is yanking out your pubic hair one by one, resulting in what you soccer fans out there will recognize immediately as the Cristiano Ronaldo face.
All in all, though, Semana Santa was a fun experience. Sure, it was busy, crowded and hectic, but in reality no different than many more popular beach resorts are on any given day. Try to make your way down Waikiki on some random Tuesday in, say, September and tell me that dodging tents, half-buried grandmothers and perplexing sand holes on Guayabitos is “overwhelming”. Mind you, in Hawaii I don’t remember haven’t to detour around homemade outhouses made of driftwood and black garbage bags.
Well, we have now stayed in La Penita far longer than in any one place on any previous trips so, naturally, as our time draws to a close it is time for a new LIST. Thing we’ve been here long enough to notice:
– Fruit has come in and out of season
– Children have gotten noticeably older
– Daylight savings took place (as Saskatchewanians, our very first)
– The angle of the sun has moved to the other side of the pool
– Birds have headed north
– The river dried up
On the other hand:
– I never got around to surfing
– Laynni still says “botella” wrong everyday in restaurants
– It still hasn’t rained (in three months)
– The gaping 3-foot deep hole on the beachfront street hasn’t completely filled with garbage yet
Feliz Semana Santa!