Posted by Jane G on April 7, 2007, 9:54 am
For those of you who have left & wonder what you’re missing this week…|
La Manzanilla is packed! While there may be slightly fewer pedestrians on parade this year, there definitely are more visitors in cars, SUVs, & pick-ups trying to make their way – very slowly – up & down Maria Asuncion. Combined with the regular flow of personal vehicles & delivery & construction trucks, yesterday’s traffic gave new definition to the term “cluster f**k.” On foot was the quickest & easiest way to get from one end of town to the other.
The traditional Good Friday procession through town representing Christ carrying the cross confused things even more. Apparently someone forgot to take the usual precautions of stopping traffic along the parade route. Vehicles continued to pass, pushing the faithful into a narrow line down one side of the street. Fewer people seemed to be participating in the event this year as they made their way past the office. Maybe they just gave up early on, finding faith to be potentially life threatening.
Later, the Transitos finally tore themselves away from ogling bikini-clad beauties on the beach & attempted to create an orderly flow of traffic. There was much whistle blowing at Palapa Joe’s corner as one of them directed outbound vehicles down Calle Perula, while incoming vehicles were allowed to progress down main street from the entrada. Occasionally a truck or bus made it through the back way, only to be forced to back up against the steady stream of opposing traffic.
Inevitably, this over abundance of vehicles begat at least one incidence of road rage. During a rare lull in the traffic in front of the office, a new Ford pick-up passed at normal speed. A new Nissan raced down the street in pursuit, creating the ubiquitous cloud of dust as the driver zoomed around the truck, pulled in front of it, & slammed on the brakes. The people got out of the car & stormed back to the truck. The people in the truck got out to meet them. I don’t know what precipitated this action, & they were too far away for me to hear what they were saying, but there was much arm waving & aggressive body language before they moved.
There’s personal rage, as well. Although I missed the fight, I did see the victim, a Mexican man I didn’t recognize with blood streaming down his face & spattered all over his shirt. Apparently he was ganged up on by a few other Mexicans who attempted to beat the crap out of him. I don’t know where the perpetrators went, but the victim gave a report to the Transito, & the police eventually arrived.
I’ve never seen the beach more crowded. From one end to the other, the only things visible are colorful umbrellas & canopies, & people. What appears to be thousands of bodies are jammed together from the fronts of houses & extend into the surf. Waves are moderate & murky brown in color.
The smell & smoke of various meats being barbecued cover town like a blanket. Food & souvenir vendors spill over into the street, contributing to the havoc. Parking places on main street & its tributaries are virtually impossible to find, & often necessitate parallel parking when available.
This is just what I’ve witnessed from the office. Missing this year are the discos booming into the night. Or if they exist, I haven’t heard them from home. I have heard that the jardin is packed at night. Not having ventured out the beach road, I don’t know what’s going on out there either. Perhaps others can contribute to this report.
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