Monday, February 04, 2008
Events for carnaval have been going on for the last week, culturally and musically anyway. We were all set to go to the parade on Saturday with some friends; but both Roy and one of our friends got sick so we postponed it until another day.
Usually the parades are held at around 4 PM; but this year they decided to have one evening parade. It was supposed to start at 6 PM last evening.
We hopped a bus and got out a couple of blocks away from where the parade was supposed to be going. We found an empty spot on the curb and sat down to wait and wait and wait. As usual the parade did not start on time and we were expecting this; but if you wait until you figure that it will start then you can't find a place where you can see it very well. So we sat and people watched.
There was a cute little toddler right beside us playing with a balloon, which of course, popped on hitting the pavement. He looked so confused and couldn't seem to reconcile the shriveled bit of rubber on the concrete with his fun balloon. Everyone nearby was laughing at his facial expressions and looks of consternation and confusion. He didn't cry or make a fuss, just had the funniest looks on his face. The lady next to us, felt sorry for him and a few minutes later I heard her telling her older son to go and ask how much the toys/balloons were from a passing salesman. Her son was too embarassed at his age to go and ask so maybe 10 minutes passed. The lady finally felt so sorry for the little fellow, who was still looking for his balloon, that she got up and went and bought him a little balloon type toy on a stick and presented it to him. This lady did not know the little boy at all; but she just decided that she wanted to see a smile on his face again and he certainly did smile when she presented the toy to him. She didn't make a big fuss about it, just quietly went over and gave it to him and came and sat down again. Very nice gesture. Kindness of strangers at work. Oprahs "pay it forward" would have no problems getting off the ground here.
The toy/balloon salesmen were out in force, and also the food salesmen, whatever you wanted to eat was available within a 1 block area. Hot food, cold food, nuts, icecream, candy floss, candy apples, candies, potato chips, whatever you could think of, it was there. No one had to go away hungry. Naturally some of the men were walking around with their bags of ice and beer, during Carnaval it is legal to drink in the street.
Just a note here to tourists, this is the only time that it is legal to drink on the street, when you do it to look cool at other times you just look dumb. Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine.
Anyway after waiting for about 2 hrs. the parade finally arrived at our spot and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The children were throwing thin streamers, confetti, confetti filled cascarones, (cleaned out eggshells filled with confetti and then the opening is covered over), spraying canned spray foam, etc.. The people on the floats were throwing bags of confetti to the children who in turn opened it up and threw it back at them. A fun and messy time was had by all. Roy and I had managed to maintain our front row seats, so had the opportunity to be "danced" at/with by several of the dancers. Fun and funny.
This fellow got hit by the spray foam.
One of the floats, if you click on it to view it larger you can see some of the details.
It seemed that the parade was shorter this year, lasting only about an hour. The floats were nice, the music loud, and the dancers energetic and of course, everything was colorful.
After the parade, we joined the throngs, (it seemed like the entire population of Sonora was there) and went up the street to find a bus to go home. We had no interest in heading to the area where the bands were playing. The first year we were here we went and there were three bands playing at the same time, different music of course, all at maximum volume. You couldn't hear yourself think. Also, I do not love being in big crowds, so for me just trying to get to where the buses were staging was enough. It was wall to wall people, with no space to move and I was ready to get on a bus and go home. We did finally find a bus and along with about 40 other people we got on. It was packed; but everyone was laughing and happy. No one seemed upset about being squashed in like sardines, it was a fun ride home.
We hope to go back to the parade either today or tomorrow and get some daytime pictures; but we will see.