Friday, September 26, 2014

I had to come to Mexico a little early this year to renew my Resident Card.

I'm glad I did because I was, for the first time, able to wish my landlord and friend, Raul, a happy birthday.  I was quite excited about this.  I had purchased him a new cigar lighter, the kind with three flames (more like jet burners) and a few of his favorite cigars - White Owl Grape.  We had a nice dinner and small party.  Tomorrow would be Mexico's Independence Day celebration, and that would be the big party.

We booked our seats at a Cantina in northern Cuernavaca, and arrived about 8:30 PM.  Parties seem to get started a little late here in Mexico.  We were lucky and were seated right next to the Mariachi Band.  Now, although the entertainment was advertised as Mariachi, the band was not wearing the traditional Mariachi attire.  You know, the Mexican Sombreros, and pants with gold stripes down the side, and those smart looking jackets.  The lead singer wasn't even wearing the real (unloaded) 45 caliber gun and holster.

Their instruments weren't quite Mariachi either.  Instead of a guittaron, the bass player had a 5 string electric bass.  The guitar was played by a keyboard player, and the horns came from another keyboard player.  There was also a drummer playing a full set of drums.  The lead singer was hilarious because he had a fake moustache that kept falling off all the time.  He did wear a sombrero at times though.  I must admit thought, they put out some pretty good Mariachi Music.

The price for this extravaganza was a total of 175 pesos each.  This included about a 5 course meal, and everyone had to pay the minimum price, but it was based on how much you drank.  If you drank only 100 pesos of drinks, you paid 175 pesos; and it you drank over 175 pesos of drinks, you paid that amount.  I found it extremely difficult to drink my full amount because they recommended we drink Michalada's that were in mugs that held one full litre.  After two of these, and all the food, I absolutely couldn't drink another drop.

About 10 PM, the band took a break, and all the TV's in the Cantina were turned on to watch the opening ceremonies.  At this time, everyone was given a treat that I wish I could one day see in Canada.  All of the Parliament, including the President, were on-screen yelling "Viva Mexico" and acting like a bunch of idiots.  Just like regular people.  I thought this was really neat.

While the band was taking a break, a rather large transvestite entertained the crowd for almost an hour.  She/he wandered throughout the crowd and sang traditional Mexican songs.  It still always amazes me that everyone here knows all the words to so many traditional songs.  Even though the entertainer was large and not very good looking (even for a guy), he/she was a fantastic singer and entertainer.  She joked with the crowd constantly.

We decided to leave around midnight, just before the band was getting ready to start again, and headed home in the Cuernavaca rain.  Oh, did I forget to mention, coming to Mexico early this year has given me the opportunity to experience the rainy season.  It should be over in a few weeks, but I'm enjoying the clean air and also the thunder and lightening shows every evening.  Only two downfalls.  Some of the streets are getting washed away and driving is trecherous.  My morning walks can be dangerous walking on wet pavement/rocks/gravel/slime...

As we left the Independence Day Party, people were just starting to get wound up.  I guess they planned on welcoming in the sun the next morning.  Hope they didn't get too rowdy without us....