I should be in Pátzcuaro.
Or, at least, that was my plan six months ago. I was going to spend my winter on the coast and then head to the mountains in March.
Somewhere along the line, events intervened. A job offer. A broken ankle.
Around December, I decided that I would stay in Melaque through April for one reason -- I wanted to see the much-vaunted semana santa: Easter holy week.
If you have been reading the blogs of my colleagues in central Mexico, you know that Mexico has taken a Mediterranean love of Easter as the big holiday of the year -- and pumped it up on steroids.
During my year here, I have learned that the coast denizens celebrate holidays a bit different from their highland cousins. Christmas. Day of the Dead. Independence Day. In the highlands, Cecil B. DeMille would feel at home.
On the coast, we celebrate lite. At least, the ceremonies are light.
San Miguel de Allende has religious processionals that could star Liz Taylor on a mobile sphinx. In Melaque, we have the type of religious processions that look a bit like the neighborhood kids putting on a show in the barn.
Sincere. But hardly High Religion.
However, re-enactments of Cleopatra were not the reason I stayed for semana santa. I wanted to see the Calcutta-size teeming masses on our beaches. Beaches that through most of the year could act as a stunt double for the sands of Gilligan's Island.
So, here I am -- four blocks from the beach. I can hear all types of activity, but I am stuck indoors waiting for Raymond Burr to bury his murdered wife.
After church today, we had a potluck at a hotel run by one of the congregants. When I looked up and down the beach, I expected to see packed crowds. There were more people than usual, but it certainly was not India. A few yachts. The Navy patrol boat. That was about it.
The Easter Bunny. Santa Claus. Mass hysteria in town during semana santa. Just another cultural myth, I think.
But it was a great combination for me. To celebrate my faith in a non-processional manner -- and see the crowds that make this town a matter of interest at Easter.
Now, I can look forward to celebrating my next semana santa with the highland clans.