Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day of The Dead

Dia del los muertos, in Spanish.  We call it All Souls Day in English.

In Latin America, this is the day to visit cemeteries where loved ones are buried.  They bring flowers, food, cigarettes, booze, anything the loved one may have cherished while here on this earth.

My first experience with this tradition was being dragooned into hauling my girlfriend, her aunt, mother and bratty little nephew all over Panama City.  I barely spoke English and they were all shouting directions at me as I gripped the wheel and swerved down narrow passageways past the rusted gates and wrought iron of Panama's Baroque boneyards.

Every time I made a wrong turn or passed by an entrance, they would shout louder in the vain hope that volume would overcome the language barrier.  All the while little Ray, the pampered brat, was crawling over my seat back, hanging from the rear view mirror like a little spider monkey, it was hot, no air conditioning, I was nervous and sweaty because most of the cemeteries were in really bad neighborhoods.  My love for Mari was all that kept me from  abandoning them car and all.

I was a rat, scurrying through a cobblestone maze to a chorus of incomprehensible babble.  They steered me down an extremely narrow dead end street.  Oops!  Panamanians are terrible at directions.  "Turn around!" they cried.  I was in despair of ever getting out. I really would have escaped at that point, but I couldn't get my door open without bumping the house my car was now nuzzled up next to.  I hit a cinderblock house turning around, the whole damned neighborhood was out now, goggling at the crazy, sweaty gringo with a carload of clamorous women, "go forward!  Go backwards!  Turn the wheel!"  

Luckily, Panamanians are good-humored people.  No blood no foul on the house I bumped.  It looked like it had seen better days anyway.  A shirtless man looked at me knowingly and handed me a beer through the drivers side window as I crept back up the street.  I thanked him for his sympathy and chugged it down as I made a left turn out of the neighborhood, with Mari, her mama and aunt assailing me with a chorus of "Turn right!" 

I don't have any pictures of that fateful day, but I do have a few pictures of Dia de los Muertos from Otavalo, Ecuador.


Proof said...

OMG! The Day of the Dead is November 2nd! How fitting for the Democrats!

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...


Funny coincidence yes but I believe and correct me if I am wrong Silver, that the day of the dead is to HONOR them so not actually very fitting at all.

p.s., I have voted, a straight G.O.P. ticket as I have no other choice in the Peoples Republic of Michigan given the choices. Rick Snyder will easily defeat the male version of Jennifer Granholm.

I am so pleased to that witch go!

Silverfiddle said...

Technically, Christopher is correct, but as Proof alludes to, I did post it on purpose.

I'm sure there's a political allegory in there somewhere...

WomanHonorThyself said...

lol@Proof..on my way to vote Silver..gettin rid of the dead beats..heh 310 million people in our Nation deserve a heck of alot better than the terrorist sympathizers in govt!!!

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