Saturday, January 01, 2011

New Year in Coatepec: El Viejo Goes Off


One of the things I most love about everyday life in Mexico is what you can do without anyone blinking an eye. New Year's Eve would be so much less without crazy pyrotechnics of the home grown kind -- not the "official" sanitised, authority-controlled versions that were stifling the lifeworld by the 90s.

So, after midnight, when dinner was over, we went into the street to burn off the old man -- El Viejo. To let the old year go out with a bang. El Viejo is sewn out of old clothes and rags, and stuffed with good flammable fare, including heaps of fireworks. Last year's one had catherine wheels and pretty lights as well as the bangers, but I suspect the lads had more of a say this year, so it was down to maximum sound effects.

The 4 flicks that follow show the old man getting fired up, then going off, and then nearing his end, as well as a brief look at the kids lighting up the evening with giant sparklers.

Across the road is an Elektra store -- home appliances and whitewear and the like. Well secured with alarms. One of the bangers set the alarm off -- twice, actually. But on neither occasion did anyone show to check it out. I guess they just assumed some Viejo had set the alarms off. I liked that.






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