Ben and I are regularly lying to ourselves about 'getting in shape.' 'Getting in shape' is antithetical to our love of food and our now typical hedonistic New Orleans lifestyle. It is also pro-antithetical (yes, that's right) to the fact that yesterday's 'lets walk until we drop' day was Mardi Gras Day.
If you've never experienced Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans (and I don't mean on Bourbon Street), there is a lot of 'walk til you drop' included in the festivities, as most public and motorized transportation is severely limited by lack of available employees, parades and crowds of organized and not-so-organized people wandering the streets. We spent the entire day walking around El Centro (not in honor of Mardi Gras, but because we wanted to see El Centro), the historical downtown area of San Luis Potosi, looking at the gardens,
an interesting decorative cistern with a statue commemorating the men who would carry water to all the homes throughout town,
and trying to get into the Museum of Masks, which was unfortunately closed for structural repairs. So, after a good three hours of walking in circles in the heat, we decided to call it a day.
I've been mopey for about a week, because as the Mardi Gras season was soon coming to a close, more and more facebook photos of all the fun that all my friends in New Orleans were having was making me a bit emo. So, surprisingly, two blocks after getting on the motorcycle, what do I spy but a Mardi Gras parade!
Heck yes! Ben and I quickly turned through two lanes of traffic and parked the motorcycle to follow the parade for about an hour. There were musicians playing, and they followed the parade for a while, until they climbed up onto the top of a bar and played,
while the young men in costume (few others were dressed up), danced in a circle around another man, dancing with a bull costume over his head,
different guys took turns at being the bull and dancing spastically, as though they were the bulls that one imagines in the bullring of a Hemingway novel.
Eventually, prizes were given out for best costumes, which became a desperate fight to get trophies.
And everyone up on the roof started throwing oranges and bottles of fruit juice at the crowd. After being pegged enough times at parades in New Orleans, by plastic beads, and not oranges, Ben and I tended to duck more than try to catch the throws.
During those minutes when the oranges were being thrown and caught, the air smelled of citrus zest. It was intense, serious pushing and shoving as the circle of guys ran back and forth down the street, circling the bull-man. After about an hour or so, we decided to go back to Aldo's house, as we were already exhausted before finding the parade.