I went up to Ciudad del Carmen this weekend again to visit my husband, and this time I went on a Thursday instead of the Friday. I was kind of glad to leave Veracruz; the Navy was practicing daily for the Navy day last Friday, and it felt a little like living in a war zone. Not that I ever have, but I think it was a ´light´version of it. Canons going off, helicopters flying over really low, parachutists jumping out of planes, warships on the sea everywhere you looked, etc. The current President was going to make one of his last official appearances and host the day. I expected the city to be full of spectators and since I had seen it all several times anyway, I decided to go a day early. And that was lucky! Otherwise I would have missed my first Mariachi experience!
It turned out that the office in Carmen organized a celebration for the 50th anniversary of Fugro. Even though it was not for spouses, I was allowed to tag along anyway. (FYI: I worked for Fugro for 5 years and just missed the Dutch celebration, so I didn’t feel that bad.) It was a lunch at a new restaurant on Playa Norte in Carmen. The air-conditioning was cool as was the white wine. Excellent choice.
The lady who welcomed everyone was dressed up in a nice costume and I was the only one who didn’t have a clue what the message was. This is a cultural thing. When I saw the girl I was wondering why she was wearing a Tirol outfit. They told me that when they were buying the outfit online (from an American company), this is what they titled Dutch. Everybody knew it wasn´t, but she looked totally cute and that was the most important thing. I was so flabbergasted that I forgot to take a picture, I apologize.
Then while we were eating, drinking and being merry, the trumpets sounded from afar. Everybody sat up straight and a loud YEAH was uttered. The Mariachi men were here and everybody was up for it. And for a darn good reason: Mariachi is FUN. The guys gave a tremendous show and sang and played very well. The locals explained what the songs were about and some got up to dance on the happy music.
A big change from smartlappen (typical Dutch songs) that sound very whiny compared to Mariachi. Even though the topics are more or less the same (lost love, being drunk, finding love, party etc.), the Mexicans put all that drama on very happy music. They played for about an hour (or so?) and I decided I could have a Mariachi band every day!
After lunch we all went outside to see the sun go down in the sea (just like in Holland). Ciudad del Carmen is one of the few places on the east coast where that is possible (you can check it on the map). Then we hung around a little more, actually until midnight. So I guess some things are just the same everywhere…