Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Moments like this are supposed to happen only at the movies.
I went searching for the mystical circus on Tuesday afternoon. One of the message boards I read gave very precise directions. "On the highway into Barra. Next to the chicken man."
That is how we give directions around here. No numbers. No street names. With a number and a street name, the best you can do is get lost -- without the aggravation of looking for the blue sign with the bull on it.
It turns out I have been around here long enough that I recognized the spot where I was supposed to find the circus -- even though it seemed rather cramped for a tent, animals, and patrons. And it was.
The first notes of the overture to The Magic Flute had barely sounded when the circus tent appeared. Mozart and Barbum. A natural pair. Both show men par excellence.
Nothing was happening around the tent. There were a few ponies, a horse, a dog, a kangaroo, and a coatimundi. But none of the reported big cats. Or zebras.
The animals up front were well-fed and in the shade. And apparently content. With the exception of the coatimundi. He was obviously bored. Chewing his right paw -- like some frustrated teenager who cannot figure out what else to do with his nervous hand.
I finally saw a young woman wandering aimlessly -- perhaps, looking for a parasol and a high wire. She told me that there will only be four performances in Barra: at 6:30 and 8:30 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then the tent will be struck and the show will be on the road.
I think that was our conversation. For all I know, I agreed to marry her and live in Paris. And that would be fine, as well. She could bring along the coatimundi and we could pretend to be Scott and Zelda -- she wrapped in a coatimundi, he chewing the paw.
She also told me that tickets sell for $100 (Mx) for a box seat and for $70 and $50 for less desirable seats. For much less than the price of a movie ticket in Salem, I can pretend to be the King of Spain in his box seat and see acrobats and animals -- live. Up close. Personal. I don't need no stinkin' CGI Avatar.
I had planned on attending the circus on Tuesday evening. But I did not want to miss my Bible study group that fell right between both performances. My box seat will await me on Wednesday.
On the way home, I stopped by to listen to the crowd. The sound system is great. And the crowd was obviously involved with the performance. More importantly, I saw both the tiger and the leopard that are part of the circus -- both being chauffered about as if they were feline Rockefellers.
So, I still have at least one day of discovery ahead of me.
But I cannot let my one big discovery of Tuesday pass by unnoticed. In November, I noted the complete lack of women surfers and skimboarders on our beaches: gidgets wanted. Locals told me women surfers show up -- now and then.
And they were correct. I spotted my first today.
Persistence pays off.