Monday, March 1, 2010

Carnaval: The Best of Both Worlds

Hamburgers, hot dogs, cotton candy, candied apples, and fried yumminess…sound familiar?

Carnaval in Cádiz had all the food, bright lights, and silly toys that American fairs have! So, on the surface, it was somewhat familiar. Walking around and diving into the Sunday afternoon festivities, though, brought out the Spanish in it. The cabalgatas, or parades, were not huge floats of Egyptian sphinxes like in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Rather, they were just mini-bleachers on floats full of silly-clad people singing silly Spanish tunes. Also, in addition to the typical draught of beer, Spaniards love to carry around bottles of sherry during Carnaval…I think that would make me sick, but more power to you if that’s your flavor!

Carnaval, as opposed to Halloween in the U.S., is when all the Spanish people use their creativity for costumes! I saw lots of Avatars (maybe not so creative), Stewy from Family Guy, various insects (butterflies, bumblebees, ladybugs), various food items, green tea bags, and a complete bathroom. Yes, I’m still talking about people dressed up!
Among our group there were a couple of chickens, a mime, a superhero, Elvis, pink-wig chicas, and me, the fortune-teller. It was less creative thinking and more just an excuse to wear Mifalda…my beloved skirt.

So, we dressed up Saturday night, the following weekend from our Sunday day-time trip, and planned to stay in Cádiz until the last train back and maybe have a few drinks in Jerez. Well, we missed the 10pm train and the next one was at…8am! What’s more, it started raining around midnight. Very few of the bars were letting people inside, so we were stuck in the streets, no way out. With a little bit of luck, my roomie Monica, Emma, and I found a nice, warm Irish bar to hide out in until morning. Thank goodness bars in Spain stay open until 6am!

When we boarded the train 45 minutes early, it was dark and already full of sleeping pirates and beasts and inanimate objects. We each found a nook and nestled down with the rest of them. An absurd ending to what turned out to be a pretty normal night. That is…if all-night drinks with Elvis and a chicken could ever be considered ‘normal’.


Marci said...

I would have loved to have been there. I can just imagine all the giggles and oohs and ahhs of seeing all of the costumes. Sounds like you had so much fun. I love little Irish Pubs.

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