Posts Tagged ‘Carnival’

Sounds vaguely salacious doesn’t it? Well, it is only meant to intrigue you to hear more about San Miguel during the week before Lent.

Why the City of Fallen Women? Because the cobblestones are so uneven and the sidewalks so erratic that turned ankles are the norm, with even bruised knees on occasion.

 A cobblestone street is of those things in life that looks pretty, but is pretty impractical. But of course, there is a made in SMA solution (by a local female entrepreneur): The San Miguel “Combat Cocktail Shoe” pictured above. It comes in a myriad of colours and styles: the common elements are sturdy rubber souls and ankle supports that wrap you securely. Not unlike Spanx for your ankles, and that’s how exactly how it feels.

 Now you never really confidently stride in San Miguel, head high and arms swinging. You still need to watch out for hydro poles, slide by others who share the narrow sidewalk, avoid water coming from the decorative downspouts above, and of course, side step the  doggy do. (Nothing, nobody and nowhere is perfect!)

 New Orleans celebrates Fat Tuesday in the week before Lent with its world famous display of decadence and debauchery. SMA has Harry’s,  a New Orleans’s styled bar, which acquitted itself reasonably well on the licentious  scale (I did a moderate amount of  first hand research, just to be sure)  Most Latin American countries have their own customs for the week they call Carnival:  in Ecuador, you run the risk of being doused by water pistols.   

Here in SMA, children dash around the central square, called The Jardin, dodging grownups and gas lamps, attempting to smash coloured eggs on each others heads. The eggs are beautiful shades blue, pink, yellow, or red, and are filled with confetti and sliver dust, which the kids shake out of their hair and clothes all day. Hundreds of eggs are piled high in huge baskets:  I suspect that they must carefully collect them all year round in preparation.

Around the Jardin, local women sell whimsical handmade dolls which have brightly colored costumes and hair, and hold umbrellas, balloons, or miniature musical instruments.  Clowns are the most common dolls but there are dancing ladies as well as masses of   brilliantly coloured paper flowers, the size of dinner plates.  The whole effect is joyous, bright, and happy, and should serve to erase the bitter winter wind and snow from your mind, at least for a moment or two. Enjoy.

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