Last week was Ascension. I believe that it is a Catholic holiday celebrating the ascension of the Virgin Mary to Heaven. A holy day, indeed. So naturally, we honor this age-old tradition by going out, getting drunk, throwing up on carnival rides, and participating in general heathen rowdiness.
I didn’t take part in the getting drunk or throwing up (or the heathen rowdiness, come to think of it), but I did have a good time. Wednesday night Carlos, Isaac, and I went out to see Macaco, who was playing a free concert in the park, where people of all ages were crushed together in a restless mass, and the smells of alcohol, smoke, sweat, and spring air mixed together in a nauseating combination…yet somehow I love the sticky sweet smell of carnivals and fairs, where dust and grass and popcorn and ketchup and cotton candy melt together into a fragrance that mimics the chaotic lights, flashing neon, beating music, bells and horns and drums and cymbals…pulpo and churros, screams of terror and delight, the cries of children mesmerized by hundreds of colorful prizes strung high across game stands, roller coasters, roasted nut stands, ticket booths, whizzing rides whirling nauseatingly around, high, low, up, down, in, out, around and about, enveloping everything in a too-bright, crazily-colored world where everything is sweet and the cars never go too fast.
I love carnivals.
I made Carlos take me on the Ferris wheel, apparently the tallest in Spain, and then to the bumper cars riding on shifty-looking electric nets, and then I bought a cotton candy and proceeded to muse upon how cotton candy could ever have been originally invented, and that, next to those candy dots on paper strips, cotton candy is the most amazing confection ever.
The weather, for the most part, was amazing, and people came out in droves to mull around the park, enjoy the sun, relax on a day off…and scream their heads off while being swung around in a giant machine at much too fast a pace, all while being tossed up and down with stomachs full of sugar. A wonderful day out indeed.
(Dang…I want to post some photos but I guess I’ll have to upgrade my account… 😦 We’ll see if I can get that worked out soon…)