Monday, August 22, 2011

Never a Normal Day in San Miguel

First, a couple of days ago, I asked for the usual - two egg and frijol quesadillas (with salsa, got all the food groups covered) from the friendly lady with hands of iron - she turns tortillas, lifts metal spoons from bubbling pots of guisados, shuffles gorditas with her bare, unblistered hands - on Calle Nueva.  On my side of the food cart, I spooned on salsa.  I oversalted (in Mexico nobody glares at you if you do.)  I bit my torta staring at the taco stuffings I could have ordered...liver, chicken in tomato, papas in chile pasilla, mushrooms in cream, when a paper was thrust in front of my face.

"Dibujo del dragon," offered a man who looked like he hadn´t slept much in past hours.  He wore a shirt over a shirt, warmup pants over jeans, had a rather trim moustache.  The drawing was done in black and purple crayon. "Me lo compras?"

"No, gracias."  I didn´t want to buy a dragon drawing.  The man moved on to the next taco stand, and then the next offering his drawing to those breakfasting on tacos.  At the final stand, the guy gave him a taco de cabeza.  The artist tucked his drawing under his arm, and ate.

Then, yesterday, I finished my Mega shopping, and found, when I tried to pull out, the parking lot exit blocked by thousands of frenzied teens.  A huge line of them walking toward the center of town.  First came the green team.  Green t-shirts, sweatshirts and shoelaces, chanting something.  Fist pumping.  What could have them so stirred?  Then came a white-faced clown, riling them up even further.  By now, the blue group was passing.  Then purple, then yellow.  Thousands of teens, hollering and cheering.  There was a banner.  A God banner!  Along came some kids with the head of Jesus on their bags.  Someone yelled something.  The crowd answered, "Si, Cristo vive!"  They were deliriously happy about it.  I thought of those Baptists who sing and whoop and swoon.  I've never seen Catholicism expressed in such a whoop-de-do way before.
Today, officials say the teens numbered 7,000 and came from towns outside San Miguel.  I´m still trying to figure out what their final destination was.
I got out of the Mega parking lot after 25 minutes.  

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