I’ve been so busy with this writing workshop and all of the festivities related to Day of the Dead that these last couple of days have been a blur. As I sit here in my apartment and listen to the sounds of mariachi music blaring from the dive bar on the corner, it brings a smile to my face. Even on a Tuesday evening, this place is a non-stop party. And the energy and enthusiasm is contagious.
So where do I begin? My most memorable day so far has been Sunday, a day we went to Zandunga, the home of a musician in the country outside of San Miguel for a concert. The venue itself is unbelievable– someplace you have to see to believe. From the moment we walked in and were greeted with a tray of mango margaritas, I instantly felt the welcoming vibe. We were serenaded by a band playing a combination of classic rock and more traditional Mexicann tunes, and since the margaritas were flowing freely it wasn’t long before the dance floor was packed. They also had a free buffet of blue corn tortilla tacos (with our choices ranging from chipotle chicken to carnitas to poblano pepper), and it was difficult not to stuff ourselves. It was probably a good thing that we filled up on tacos though, because we needed something to soak up all of the alcohol that we would consume later.
Once we were back at the villa where the workshop was being conducted, we had our faces painted and immediately started making more margaritas. Everyone was in a jovial mood and we soon realized that it was difficult to take each other seriously with a face full of makeup. After posing for multiple photos, we stumbled down to the Jardin (thankfully only a stone’s throw away from the villa), and wandered around, admiring the altars and stopping to take photos of other visitors. It reminded me a bit of West Hollywood on Halloween, except the costumes in this case were infinite variations of the skull makeup. Some people went all out, and were rewarded with hordes of people asking to take their photos. My camera got a workout too, and I was also amazed at the beautiful sight of La Parroquia, the colorful papel picado blowing in the wind. It was a night that I won’t soon forget.
Once the festivities started to wind down, a handful of us decided that we wanted to find a place to dance, so we wandered around the streets of San Miguel, searching for a venue that offered both flowing drinks and a lively crowd. After many attempts we finally gave up and landed at a dive bar at about 1 am. At that point we could barely keep it together, so one drink (and more photos) later we finally went back to our respective homes.