Saturday, April 25, 2009

a night at the opera

I went to a cat house and found a dog.

Just be patient, and all will be revealed.

Friday was a day of Mexico firsts. Two of them were bound to occur; the third was merely a bonus.

And that is where the first first shows up. We were on our way to the local theatre for a dose of culture. To save driving around a block, my compatriots urged me to reverse a half block. I should have objected. I have no depth perception. As a result, I am almost blind when driving in reverse.

You can already see it coming. I couldn't. I drove right into the bumper of an expatriate's car, denting their bumper and tearing off a piece of my truck's trim.

At least that got my first accident in Mexico out of the way.

Getting that resolved, we headed off to our cultural event. Before I mislead you any further, we were not on our way to the community theatre to see the latest production of Hedda Gabler. We were on our way to see a transvestite show.

Melaque is not Milan. And the theatre was not La Scala. Farm building would suffice as a description. Corrugated metal ceiling. Open sides.

The show included "free" food. Just as it arrived, so did a small nudging on the side of my left leg. There is a bordello in back, and I thought someone was freelancing. I looked down and found a cute cocker spaniel, who did his best begging routine. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a photograph.

The show was adequate to good. Most of the acts were adequate. Two were good.

I would like to say it was an entertaining night. But the best I can say is that it was my first Mexican transvestite show.

But the surprise portion of the show came from the audience. A fellow by the name of Jessy, who claimed to be a wealthy, former futbol player from Brazil, (you may insert your own doubts here) decided to interject himself into the performance.

There is no way to describe the fellow. But here he is. Feathers in his cap. Bling chain of beer cans. And several details I will omit in this G-rated site. At least, he appeared to be enjoying himself -- in an obnoxious, drunk sort of way.

But there was one more first. I had some trouble
figuring out the formatting for the .mov files on my camera. (And I never resolved the problem.) I felt a slight brush on my ear. Certainly the cocker had not followed me home.

I looked at the floor to see what I had knocked off my ear. And recognized it immediately. It was an Africanized bee. On its way to an immediate execution.

Then the pain started in my ear. Coughing. Hoarse throat.

My colleagues helped with a sting wipe, an antihistamine, and a baking soda poultice. All of it was probably unnecessary. I have suffered many a sting. But it was nice to have the assistance.

Thus the third Mexican first.

And I had to leave the dog at the cat house.


Felipe said...

So how did this cultural event come to your attention so swiftly after arrival?

Calypso said...

Well I have been here five years and never had any of those three firsts - most of which I am thankful for - I think.

How did you settle the car accident? You were lucky to hit a gringo I think - I am assuming you plopped out 200.00 US and went on your way - but details please.

Try and stay out of trouble and brothels - that would be my immediate advice.

Steve Cotton said...

Felipe -- The woman who owns the house where I will be staying promised me "the time of my life." She has been planning the trip for months. Knows the staff and performers well. Fortunately, she knows the owners of the car, as well. They leave it on the streets for the six months they are in British Columbia. As far as I know, the bee was a stranger to her.

Calypso -- We still need to resolve the financial end. The car is old. The damage is slight.

As for brothels, have no worry. I he show had not been there, I would not have drawn nigh.

Islagringo said...

I have to admit, I'm disappointed in the lack of photos in this post. Drag queens make such good subjects! If they ever do a "beauty pageant", run, don't walk, to it with camera in hand! Melaque is a swinging little town!

Babs said...

Geez, I've been to Melaque numerous times and never heard of, or had any of those three experiences. Venture on my friend!

glorv1 said...

Be careful you don't encounter the swine flu that is going around. You should stay home with Jiggs. This way you don't get stung by bees or "other" things. :) Take care and be well.

maria luz said...

Awww, jeeeezz! Welcome to Mexico!!! The land of equal opportunity bees, dogs, and transvestites.

Now, just how did you know it was an Africanized bee? I really want to know so I can steer clear.

You have now moved light years ahead of the pack and can now pass go. Most expatriates have to wait years to accomplish these feats.

Congratulations! and stay out of reverse.


Steve Cotton said...

Islandgringo -- I have about 20 more photographs. But we were sitting looking toward the sunlight -- a photographer's nightmare. (Whoever heard of a drag show that starts at 5:30, any way?) I had two great videos, but I could not get them to upload properly.

Babs -- The bumpers, bees, and faux women await your next visit.

Gloria -- If you have seen the number on my bathroom scale, you would think I have a terminal case of swine something. I have to admit, I have heard nothing about a swine flu outbreak. In Mexico?

Steve Cotton said...

Maria -- I am considering having reverse removed from my transmission.

In truth, there is no way to know for certain if the bee was an Africanized bee or simply a poor European honey bee who lost its way in the middle of the night. But it does add a touch of color to an eventful evening. The sting from either bee is still painful. Fortunately, for me, at least, not lethal.

Laurie said...

Wow. Drag Queens. Accidents. Bees. Steve! I admit I had my first accident on the very first day I purchased a vehicle in Honduras, indeed the first time I drove the thing off the lot. I was on a very steep slope, which are everywhere here. And I couldn't find the correct gear, and slid into a SUV. Fortunately the only damage was slight, and it was to my bumper, not his. I have not been to a show with female impersonators or been bitten by a bee. Only bitten by virulent strains of food poisoning. And I work with a guy who sings falsetto soprano with the best of the 70s disco queens.

Steve Cotton said...

Laurie -- Adventures abound SOB -- especially for those of you who are further S than the rest of us. Hills and a New Orleans upbringing certainly do not mix well.

el jubilado said...

Siboney's is famous and they have two shows a night. The early one is usually attended by the less adventurous and first timers (located on the "Zona"). After the second show it can be quite wide open - I hear.

I've been a couple of times, once to see it and others just to meet people. Not one of my favorites but a must do once - especially if you live here

Constantino said...

Well you certain have created a benchmark for your new life. I cannot image how you could top that?
You said the show started at 5:30, must be early so that when they finish they can go home for dinner.
Sounds like little Malenque is more cosmopolitan than old boring we only have shows of violence...
Now you will understand why so many cars look the way they do down here. Lots of people back up and have the same vision issues, nothing to worry about!

American Mommy in Mexico said...

Back on MX soil and just caught up!

Your MX Adventure is already in full swing.

Welcome Amigo!

Felipe said...

Less than a week and already sunk into a life of depravity. That Salvation Army uniform probably has never been shed so fast by anyone.

I am appalled! Shocked! Unnerved!

Jonna said...

Wow! I'm in awe. You really have jumped right into your new life. I'm only missing one of those experiences, I'd let you guess but... nah, I've never been stung by a bee here.

Drag shows seem to be a big part of life and are not confined to the gay set as is more common up north. I see them on TV, on the DF channels, and they are popular night club acts.

You should read up on this new flu, it is worrying. Not time to panic but it is smart to take some precautions.

Steve Cotton said...

El Jubilado -- We stayed for both shows. And, yes, it does get a bit wild at the end. Between shows a good band played. Good until the local Vic Damone put on his impromptu act.

Constantino -- I thought the jumble in the parking lot last night would result in even more fender benders. It may have.

AMM -- Full swing may be a true euphemism.

Felipe -- Even Christ dined with the sinners. But my experience sounds like a remake of Guys and Dolls.

Of course, I should respond to your Claude Raines impression of "shock" with: "Your winnings, sir."

Jonna -- Drag queens appear to be as much a part of Mexico as they are in Britain.

Nancy said...

I wonder if every day is going to be so exciting!

I want to hear who you are meeting, how long your brother is staying, and what's going on with bugs, heat, dog, etc. Ya know, the settling in stuff.

We have a bunch of dents in out car but unfortunately they all have to do with our narrow garage doors.

Have fun,


Brenda said...

Sounds like an interesting day. The only transvestite show I have seen is one that was held for a baby shower, if you can imagine that.
No bee stings or accidents here yet.
Immersion is indeed turning out to be quick.

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,

Great blog updates! Question: how's the Spanish coming? I ask that because of the show you saw last night. In Spanish, English or a combination?


Steve Cotton said...

Nancy -- If every day is as exciting as yesterdy, I am going to have a roller coaster time here.

Good suggestions for blog topics. I already incorporated some for tomorrow.

Brenda -- A baby shower would be even more exotic for me. I have never been to one. Doubt that I will get invited at this stage of life.

Alee' -- Nothing more on Spanish, but I need to get to work. Almost none of the people I will need to rely upon speak English. I am going to learn the hard way.

Anonymous said...



Thought I would forward this link with an update on the outbreak of influenza in Mexico/USA.

Take care and stay healthy,


Felipe said...

Regarding having to speak to the locals there, just do what a friend of mine here in Pátzcuaro does: Speak to them in English and ignore their puzzled expressions.

It´s a whale of a lot easier to do that than to actually learn Spanish. Study is a danged nuisance.

Steve Cotton said...

Kim -- Doing my best not to grow a snout. We almost orget that the swine flu non-outbreak in the 1970s was one of the failures of the Ford administration.

Felipe -- I think the best incentive will be the puzzled look on the maid's face as I try to explain tasks.

1st Mate said...

Such an adventurous fellow you are! Must have been fun to share it with your brother. Glad you're not allergic to bees.

Steve Cotton said...

First Mate -- Having Darrel here is a blessing. Perhaps the most fun we have had together since we were kids. As for the bee, it was good I was stung rather than Darrel. Darrel and my father are highly allergic to bee stings. This sting affected me more than others have in the past. I hope to meet up with The Captain later in the week.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the Siboney? I am surprised to hear that you would drive given your location?

Steve Cotton said...

Anonymous -- All things considered, a great suggestion.

Steve Cotton said...

Anonymous -- All things considered, a great suggestion.

Anonymous said...

That show is so much fun, I was there in February and went twice. Daniella is my favourite (she does a good Cher) and loves his/her picture taken!.

Elke said...

Great, you got to experience the performers at Siboney! We've been there several times and got to meet Daniella, she/he is amazing. Vern took quite a few video clips of the performances and I have tons of photos. We copied them to a disc and gave them to her/him and this was very much appreciated. Welcome to Melaque, Steve!

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks for the welcome, Elke. Our visit to Siboney was interesting. I look forward to meeting you when you return.