Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mariachis To Go


On our second night in Cuernavaca, we decided to take it easy as Marite was a little worn out from the party she hosted the night before.

Sidenote: at said party I finally figured out that it´s really lame to say “encantada” when you meet someone (in Spanish). Every time I introduced myself to one of her sassy friends with my little greeting, they would muffle a giggle and shake my hand, flashing a huge smile. I finally asked Marite what the story was and she told me the term is comprobable to saying “enchanted to make your acquaintance” in English. OMG, I was "that girl.”

That´s what I get for learning my Spanish salutations from a high school text book circa 1991. Damn! I can still picture the lesson:

Esteban*: Hola, Carmen. Me llamo Esteban.
Carmen: ¡Encantada, Esteban! Me llamo Carmen.

*Esteban´s little cartoon body was always kind of pudgy. And he didn't grow out of it in the Spanish II book, either. Pobrecito.

Anyway, the three of us drove down the mountain to the center of town in pursuit of a quick taco dinner. As we were pulling into the parking garage, I noticed a gathering of men hanging out under the overpass. They were dressed in elaborate Mexican costumes and carrying an assortment of guitars. Marite explained that these guys were Mariachi performers that the locals would pick up and bring to their impromptu house parties. What fun!

I thought to myself how, back home, our last-minute party purchases consist of a few extra bottles of tonic water, a couple of lemons and maybe an overpriced candle for your kitchen table. The idea of pulling up next to a group of strange men in the dark and hoping they´ll get into your car so that they can entertain your friends at your house later that night isn´t really our thing.**

Well not in Mexico! You just head down to the bridge, stop your car and as many men as possible pile in. I love to imagine a Mexican wife´s to-do list as she checks off the final √≠tems for her fiesta prep:

__ purchase [insert shockingly large number] bottles of tequila
__ pick up men in costume from under bridge

The rest will take care of itself...

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**How funny would it be if we COULD pick up bands on the side of the road to bring to our parties? Depending on the mood you wanted to set, you could pick up an angry punk band, a sensitive indierock band or maybe a more refined jazz band. Then if they sucked, you could just invite them to join the party and send someone out to get a new band. It would be your own, drunk version of American Idol! (excuse overuse of footnotes as I’m currently reading Consider The Lobster and can’t help myself)

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