Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dancing on the Basketball Court in Chacala

The huge tree outside the church, from which the church bell hangs.
The final day of the San Rafael celebration started with a long perenegracione on the beach road, to the Church.
The local guys are carrrying the statue of San Rafael,
which is usually in the Iglesia, the Church

The two nominees for Princess of Chacala or something like that.
Jessica is on the right and I can't remember the other girl's name right now.
Some of the smaller member of the crew.

Last night was the annual dance on the playground of the Chacala Primaria School. On the volleyball/basketball court. Every October 24th most of the town celebrates the actual day of San Rafael, patron saint of Chacala. This was my third San Rafael's event.

Plus, in the past I've been to a bunch of parties with bands and people dancing and celebrating other events here in town. I love watching people dance, expecially married couples I have never seen even talking together before. But this dance was a novelty. Something very different, at least for me.

It even started out differently than usual. For one thing, this was the first dance I've been to in Chacala with a live band (good enough) and a decent lighting system. And the sound level was almost bearable, but easily heard all over town until 2:30am on the school night.

By the time I left at about 1am, there were about 400 people there. Sitting around white plastic tables in white plastic chairs provided by the beer distributer. Sometimes the tables and chairs are provided by Coke, but this time with was the beer company. The early part of the evening was the crowning of the Princess, who was Jessica this year.The kids did a dancing and a tumbling exhibition and wowed the crowd. Bad lighting and an imcompetent photographer resulted in almost no good shots of the event.The little girls in pink were part of large group of dancers who were practicing all week. I don't know if I missed their show or if it didn't happen. There were alot of kids and babies, young mom's with infants, and young adults and older couples, single guys, and me.But the highlight of the evening was the intermission show. A torch-singer transvestite. With the comedic relief of another, smaller, man, also dressed as a woman (kind of like a country-western singer gone bad). The second guy, apparently drunk out of his mind, was kind of the groupie in the act. The actual singer did three songs, each with a different long wig. And ugly, slinky dresses. She was lip-synching, and after the first song on the stage, she went into the audience and tried to sit on men's laps.

Apparently this person, the singer, did some shows during Easter Week, but somehow I missed that event. Everyone at the dance except me seemed to know that was coming, I think. I have the impression transvestites are called something like "Juko's", but I may have gotten that wrong.

The women in this audience mostly seemed to love the show, and maybe half the men seemed to be enjoying themselves.. The other half were scared to death "she" was going to try to sit on their laps and they would have to defend their manhood (s). Jessica's father, who was drunk out of his mind all night, tried to beat the singer up. But was restrained.

Generally, a very entertaining show, and not what I espected in Chacala. There is a small group of three transvestites who hang around Chacala, one from Zualcupan, and one from L.V., plus Chelo, whose aunt (?) owns one of the restaurants in Chacala. It was quite a night. The stumbling-around little guy was so wasted he could hardly stand up, but he was kind of sweet. He's the guy who lives in an apartment at the collectivo stop in L.V.

Chilango, formerly and currently of Delphin's, and Leo of Koko Bongo's, were very gracious the first time she came around to lap-sit, but the second time Leo was prepared and flashed his lighter at her wig, and she quickly retreated. Quite a night. Chacala always surprises me, and tonight was a good example of that. I was glad to see how friendly and welcoming the audience was.

I love all the kids and babies and young adults and young married with babies, and grandparents and aunties. There always seeme to be someone to hold the babies while their parents dance.
Guadalupe, escaped from her Mom and her dress-up clothes.
Her Mom, Miriam, has just started a new restaurant next to
Polo's Taco Restaurant on the beach road.
Oh, and the cockfight promoters, who usually to set-up their arena down at the far end of the cuestos on the beach road, are right next to Tres Mars restaurant this year. For five or seven days. It's so disgusting. Gambling on which rooster dies. Or dies first. It's sick. Just my un-humble opinion of course.
This is the morning after the Dance and Princess Crowning Ceremony,
and Jessica, the new Princess, is playing on the playground
with the 4th,5th, and 6th graders. She is the second from the right
Jessica, the newly crowned Princess, wore four different lovely gowns/dresses last night, and looked very sweet. She handled herself very well, especially considering two years ago she was not allowed to go to school, so her mom could work while Jessica took care of her three year old brother and cooked for the 3 or 4 other boys in the family and her Dad. She is now a sixth grader, and very posed for her age. And very competent. Jessica's life has changed alot, and I am worried for her future.

I actually hate the Princess thing. The girls or their families put little decorated shoe boxes in all the stores, and you vote with money. I don't know if it's a fund raiser or not. Being special because you were lucky of enough to be born pretty doesn't seem like a great idea to me. But, then, if I had been one of the beautiful ones, maybe I would feel differently about the whole subject.

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