Saturday, November 18, 2017

the dog that didn't bark

Someone has stolen the Mexican Revolution.

Yeah, I know. Every Mexican politician makes the same complaint. But, that is not what is missing around here.

Revolution day is on Monday. 20 November. It is 117 years since forces rose in northern Mexico to overthrow the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz. In a mere three days (by local reckoning), our little village will be celebrating the event that defined how Mexicans think about themselves, their country, and the strangers who live outside their borders.

In the past, stands and carts filled with Mexican flags, fake moustaches, and very loud fireworks would have spontaneously sprouted throughout town. The market is certainly there. The village is filled with tourists who have been disgorged from convoys of first class tour buses to enjoy the three-day weekend.

But not a stand is to be found. I had noticed the dearth of revolutionary merchandise on my walks and drives during the past two days. Just in case I missed something, I drove around the village and found empty space where stands are usually erected.

While I was scouting, I ran into my friend Jorge, one of my best sources of local news. He was just as surprised as I was that the stands are missing. Maybe tomorrow, he said.

That is a possibility. I have served on several projects with my Mexican neighbors. My northern neuroses kick in during the planning stage that nothing seems to happen until the last minute. But when it does happen, everything falls into place. It is a great patience tool for me.

So, maybe tomorrow there will be plenty of places to bedeck oneself as a Pancho Villa wannabe or a Emiliano Zapata doppelganger. And I always know where I can buy fireworks that will make the Battle of the Somme seem like an ambassador's tea.

Even if there is no patriotic paraphernalia to purchase, I know the local schools are ready for the parade in Barra de Navidad on Monday. On my Thursday walk, I saw one school taking a break from classes to rehearse their marching. As a Mexican teacher friend told me, marching always outranks arithmetic.

I missed the local Independence day parade when I was up north indulging in my 50th high school reunion. Covering the Revolution day parade for you will help me make my cute kids quota for the year.

At least, that will not go missing.

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