What a day, this Lunar New Year’s Eve, here in La Paz, the first day of their Carnival, the kids squirting everyone with water, watery soap. It’s a wet day, and would have been better if the sun out. The sun did tease us of course, in and out.
Liz, this smiling woman out of nowhere to invite, both Tom and I, to the Children’s Parade on the Prado (main boulevard through Centro).. I wasn’t clear on it, was early as always, then late as I walked all the way down to Alexander Coffee Cafe, nothing was open around Correos Centro. Liz called several times. She speaks very good English, and found me via a post at maybe www.couchsurfing.org, I’m not sure. With her waiting for me at Centro Correos, besides Amil, Francisco the husband or ‘sig. other,’ Francisca, a German woman just arrived. Amazing, confusing, a cultural adventure! This is their version of our Fat Tuesday-Parade/Mardi Gras (New Orleans, La., U.S.A.). I think this has to do with Lent in Christianity, exploding before imploding.
There was the dancing, showing off your costume, dodging water from squirt guns. It was the classic letting off ‘steam’ after being closeted for the ‘winter’ In this case the ‘summer.’ Confusing, as what are they celebrating, I think the end of the rainy season (summer), who knows? Sometimes we celebrate to celebrate life. The younger kids were amazing, from a dancing Count Dracula (all of maybe 5-years old), to a live baby bee! So, cute these seriously costumed children, I ran around trying to get an angle. Liz, an extrovert, directed many of our fotos. All now uploaded and available at www.cyclingpeace.org GALLERY.
We stopped at a party restaurant (for kids), waiting for the parade. Tom, Francisca, and I had coffee, they had a clown sundae that you have to see the picture of… (www.cyclingpeace.org GALLERY)
What an interesting group we were, from everywhere, about everything!
What is life about anyway? Discovery, growth, ultimately over coming the Ego, Supreme Bliss, the Guan Yin (in 2013, or 4710).
I tried to pay the tab for our snack, but Tom got there first.
On to the parade, something I wouldn’t likely do without a good reason — amazing the power of women (Liz got me here). There were seats, we Tom, Francisca and I stood behind Liz, Amil, and Francisco.
We got ‘shot at’ a couple of times, BIG SQUIRT GUNS in vogue with the young boys, plus cans of spraying soapy water. This is similar to other festivals in other cultures like Nepal, where they have ‘Holi,’ (sic), the day kids do the water thing. But, I only know the No. Hemisphere versions.
After so much parade, and so much dodging soapy water, I begged off, thanking Liz for inviting me. I was eager to get the the Chinese restaurant, I’d picked out where to celebrate the ‘Year of the Snake!’
I turned out to be pretty good, the decor far beyond the food, that ended with jello and no chopsticks. I did see an old Chinese guy on my way out, who must have been the owner. I had had ‘Tofu de verduras’ con arroz. I savored the idea of the ‘Spring Festival’ ritual, eating dumplings with your grandparents on S.F. Eve. I did such with the Zhaos in Shanghai (2006). This meal in La Paz wasn’t exactly dumplings, but close enough to remind me of many good things about my five years living in China.
Afterwards, I did my Alexander thing, and now they know my order so well, they don’t even ask, just bring it. Of course, I’m a generous tipper. This place could have another ‘Hutch’s Corner.’ (Note, first at The Mate Factor, Manitoidville in Colorado, U.S. A., then Uddevalla, Sweden, Utrecht, T.N., Kathmandu, Nepal, Xining and Liiang, China, Perth, and Adelaide, Australia, Invercarlgil, N.Z., Santiago, Chile, Lima, Peru, and now, Namas.Te, San Pedro, La Paz, Bo-Land.
Back there at Nams.Te, the ‘Honeymoon’ continued all afternoon, Supreme Bliss!
The Snake… We’re giving birth to the Snake, from Serpent, from Kundalini. The Yin is Rising, the male is waning, ultimately the (traditional) roles reversed, the men giving birth. Yes, change beginning…
Outside my bedroom window, the kitchen kids got into the spirit of things. I never saw, but only heard the yelling. pleading, a rubber tub, the sound of running, water through the air, screaming, boys and girls playing! Later, when I closed my outer door, I saw evidence, a veritable ‘flood’ on the walkway.
Tom and I had withdrawn, doing our thing, and then I ate dinner (one-half avocado, one muffin), and then this…
P.S. There is pounding ‘rock ‘n’ roll,’ in the b.g.