Happy Cinco de Mayo!! Apparently you guys in the US celebrate it more than Mexico... The reason Puebla celebrates it is because this is where the war against the French took place.
We woke up early with illusions of confetti, celebration, good street food, and lots and lots of fun. (Like last year!)
We got there and are hopes were trampled. Literally.
I have never ever in all of my life seen so many people. This was the 150th anniversary so it was a big deal. All of Puebla had shown up and supposedly 150 other countries. This is was someone from my church told me. I was skeptical until I saw all crowd. It was panic-inducing.
Nicole and I discussed what we would do if we were to get caught in a stampede and trampled. We decided we'd roll up into a ball then, after it was over, meet at the base of this Burger King sign:
The parade is usually in another part of town, but they had just finished constructing the ski lift so they changed the parade location to inaugurate it. It was terribly unorganized.
Never ones to miss an opportunity for publicity, there were people handing out fans, balloons, and propaganda advertising political candidates. Poor unsuspecting kids forced to advertise, haha!
They tried to give me one and I immediately thought of the comedian that refers to this as someone saying, "Here, throw this away for me."
Juderz and Nicole
Mexico has an army...who knew?
At one point, we got smashed into a crowd of people, to the point of suffocation. They'd blocked off the road so the the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, could pass through. The army guys kept telling us that any minute they were going to open the road up again so we could get through. Liars.
This old tamale vendor began cracking jokes. He had the crowd in stitches.
He asked Nicole and I, "Do you know why they won't let us through? It's because you two French girls."
I told him it didn't really matter how French we were because we were all going to die here together anyways.
The president's entourage
Dolores started getting hot and complaining that she was gonna "turn black" in the sun. Turning "black" is the Mexican's greatest phobia so I gave her my umbrella. She opened it...and opened it some more and inside out it went, sticking straight up in the air. So here we all are, packed in the road like sardines and Dolores is looking like a messed up Mary Poppins....or this:
Here she is after the crowd stopped laughing and she'd gotten the umbrella under control.
Oh yes, this is the umbrella that Pacatelas gave me!
And then in the midst of our doom, a wonderful thing happened! A white face appeared!!! Mis paisanos!! They had badges of some sort and were carrying backpacks. Poor things, they probably had never seen anything like this. Look at this guy!! He is head and shoulders taller than everybody else!
There were about 4 Americans trying to get through but were being way too nice about it. You won't get anywhere being polite in this kind of situation so I yelled over the crowd, "You gotta push and shove!! Become Mexican!" His response: "I don't want to hurt anyone though!"
Needless to say, they didn't get through.
At different times, the crowd would start chanting. Sometimes they would chant obscenities, other times they would shout "Abre! Abre!" (Open, open!)
One time a lady came shoving her way to the front (where we'd been the whole time). Everyone was shoulder to shoulder and yelling at her, "You don't fit!!!" When she had to turn back, everyone began chanting, "No pasó, no pasooooo-oo-oooo!!" Meaning, "She didn't get throuuuuugh, she didn't get throuuuuugh!!" Like we'd all banded together in twisted, competitive game of Red Rover and won.
I had images of being caught in some horrific human tragedy. Would I live? Would I get my lungs punctured? The thoughts began to overtake me and I began to get really. really. really mad. (After about an hour and a half). WHY are we standing here?!?!?!
Little ole Judah stuck in the crowd
Nicole got an idea of how to disperse the crowd. Mace 'em!
Finally free of the crowd. Do we look a little battle-weary?
Finally the parade started and airplanes started flying overhead.
I was really annoyed with the amount people and how unorganized it was. We left in the middle of the parade because we could not see a thing. This is what we got to see of the parade, as they passed over the new bridge.
Before heading home, we stopped at a little hole-in-wall for lunch.
We ate gorditas, which is basically a thick tortilla with onion, refried beans, cheese, and salsa on it.
Looking bummed out
So how was yoooouuuur Cinco de Mayo?? I don't understand it is such a huge deal in the States. It really is bigger there than in Mexico.