IT WAS LATE afternoon on Sunday. We were walking the block and a half from the Hacienda to the barrio plaza.
I was wearing saggy, gray sweatpants, a newer, gray sweatshirt, a gray, wool beebop cap and, incongruously, tan loafers by Dockers.
You look like a Gachupín, said my child bride in español, using the derogatory Mexican term for a Spaniard. Maybe I did.
She is not fond of Spaniards, a sentiment shared by many Mexicans.
It’s similar to how Social Justice Warriors feel about Chris Columbus and the crews of the Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria, hauling their Spanish privilege.
My child bride studied six months in Spain in the middle ’90s. She loved the food but concluded that Spaniards, for the most part, are sangrones. Grumps and arrogant. Her favorite dishes were paella and fabada Asturiana.
She also went to a bullfight in Madrid, more to watch the people than the bulls. It wasn’t until a decade later than I attended my first bullfight. I went with her in Mexico City at the enormous Plaza México.
In Gachupín mode, I continued with her to the plaza where we sat on a steel bench facing the ancient church. I had my Canon, so I shot the video. Were it not for the minivan the scene might have been filmed a century ago.
The church — 16th Century, I’m guessing — is undergoing renovation.
You can’t see it here because they started on the roof. Contributions were solicited from neighborhood residents months back, and we ponied up 1,000 pesos even though we never use the church, and I’m no Catholic.
The music was coming from behind us on the far side of the plaza. Mexicans usually get dressed up on Sundays and walk around their plazas, but the people in our hardscrabble barrio don’t uphold that tradition.
After sitting half an hour, we moseyed home and watched a movie on Netflix. I traded my Gachupín gear for pajamas that were not gray.