IT’S FAT TUESDAY, Mardi Gras or, as it’s called in my hardscrabble neighborhood, Carnival!
But we will dodge most of it because we are in Mexico City, or will be later today via bus, the wonderful ETN line. We are staying at the Hotel Milán in the stylish Roma neighborhood, which is not far from the famous Zona Rosa.
We have to be in the Zona Rosa tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, at noon to renew my child bride’s U.S. visa, which expired — after a 10-year run — last October.
You can renew it up to a year after its expiration. Otherwise, you have to start from scratch, which entails standing in a long line outside the U.S. Embassy on the elegant Paseo de la Reforma in the pre-dawn darkness. No joke.
There’s nothing Barry’s boys love more than abusing us Mexicans. First, the Gringos steal half our nation, and then they make us stand in line at dawn for permission to visit!
It’s an abomination!
The two of us have not set foot above the Rio Bravo since early 2008, which is to say that we have never experienced Barry’s America first-hand. We likely will continue our hurdle over these nasty eight years, landing perhaps in 2017 when, I hope, the nation will have returned to its previous fairly good sense.
When I made the appointment a month ago for the visa renewal, I did not realize that we would be missing Carnival here in the barrio. It was pure dumb luck. Our nutty neighbors erect a huge sound stage on a plaza less than two blocks away and, for four or five nights, blare
music racket till the early hours.
They started Saturday night. We slept with ear plugs. It continued Sunday night. We slept with ear plugs again. For last night we decided to sleep in our downtown casita, something we had not done in a few years.
Having lived in New Orleans, I can tell you that what my neighbors do pales in comparison, style-wise and numbers-wise, but they make up for that in pure, bone-cracking noise.
Sometimes the Carnival momentum is so extreme that they cannot apply the brakes at midnight Tuesday, the dawn of Ash Wednesday. They are in such a frenzy they throw another party on Wednesday night, abusing all rules and regulations of the Vatican.
But what’s it to us? We’re in Mexico City for a spell longer. When we get home, all the bodies and beer cans will have been swept up, and everything will be back to normal.