Sunday, February 26, 2012

Carnival night in El Port de la Selva

At eleven o'clock last night we tore ourselves away from Inspector Montalbano, the Sicilian  detective, who is the creation of author, Andrea Camilleri. I've loved the books for years, and the TV series in Italian with subtitles is brilliant. But tonight is carnival parade night. With Inspector Montalbano safely in record mode, we quickly dressed in our Venetian costumes and walked down to the village to join the festivities. Excitement has been high all week and music had been blasting from the town's loud speakers since seven in the evening.

Luckily, the night was a warm eighteen degrees celsius as the six homemade floats and accompanying marchers took quite a while to pass by. There were wizards, pirates, cheerleaders and blackened, wigged African dancers all taking their time, having the odd drink of beer and chatting to the onlookers. We made a good impression with our choice of costume; some people in the parade came over to have their picture taken with us.

We tagged along at the end of the parade as it wound its way  to the local pavilion, which was decked out with strobe lights, a stage and a live Spanish rock band. There was a bar serving beer and mixed drinks but no wine. Beer was kept cool in an ice filled rowboat. People kept coming and coming until there were probably four hundred of all ages in the gym. The singer in the band had pretty swivelly hips, which he put to good use once things got going. With a mixture of Spanish and North American music he led the audience in a number of dance moves just like a zumba class. Most often you didn't dance with a partner you just followed along mimicking the singer.

Our anonymity didn't last very long as every time I had a sip of my beer I had to lift up my mask. We said hello to a number of people we knew, all dressed in their costumes. Our butcher was a rather busty nurse and our insurance lady had a beautiful tarty, gold lame, skinny dress and huge afro wig.

By three o'clock the band still hadn't had a break and people were still arriving, but we decided to take our leave. We didn't see any drunks just everyone enjoying themselves. Once outside we had to make our way through another hundred partyers who had their own music and beer served from one of the parade floats. It was a really fun night and we are already thinking about what to wear next year.

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