IT’S MARDI GRAS weekend or, as it’s called in my hardscrabble barrio, el Carnaval.
I’m an old hand at Carnival, Mardi Gras, whatever you want to call it, due to living in New Orleans for 18 years. You want Carnival, go to New Orleans. There is nowhere else like it, even in Rio where, I’ve been told by a relative who went there, the hoopla is confined to a few square blocks. In New Orleans, it’s a citywide riot.
I would love to experience a New Orleans Mardi Gras one more time, but I doubt that will happen, so I’m left with drunken memories.
Likely would be less fun sober anyway, eh?
Here on the mountaintop, no neighborhood embraces Carnaval more enthusiastically than my hardscrabble barrio. Lucky me.
The banners over streets went up yesterday. The first bone-rattling concert will take place tonight. Then another tomorrow night. Then another Monday night. Then another Tuesday night. And at least once that I recall there was yet another on Wednesday night, a pure sacrilege.
That’s Ash Wednesday, for crissakes! Get a grip.
But when a Mexican faces a choice between the Virgin Mary, the Vatican and a fiesta, the fiesta will often win out. We do love our parties and the incredible racket that goes with them.
Here at the Hacienda we will sleep with silicone earplugs nightly through Tuesday, perhaps even Wednesday if they cannot apply the brakes.
Why don’t we leave town till Wednesday? I stupidly accepted a reservation at our Downtown Casita months ago before realizing the significance of the dates. They arrive Sunday. We’re trapped. I will not make that mistake next year.
Were I still a drinking man, perhaps I would enjoy the festivities, but I’m not, so I don’t. Feel my pain.