Recently, with friends, we headed out to celebrate el dia de los muertos. The day of the dead. Day. Keyword. I’d been anticipating this day all year, I was so looking forward to witnessing this event in an old cemetery. I’d seen pictures, the celebration looked remarkable.
There is no cemetery in the little town where I’m located. There is, however, one close enough. This one friend and I had planned on visiting it on this day. This famous day… She told me about a week prior that another good friend wanted to join us. Basically, we were to head out at sunset. “We need to get there way before the sun sets,” I told them “Otherwise, I’ll never get good pictures.”
“Don’t worry,” they told me “If we leave by 7pm, there will be plenty of sunlight hours left.”
This is where I could kick myself. I could have checked it out, searched it on Dr Google. But no, I didn’t rock the boat on my friends’ plans, and simply agreed. Here’s how it was set out in a nutshell: we were to leave the marina at 10 to 7, pick up our friend at her house, and head out to the cemetery. Easy enough – what could go wrong?
Once at our friend’s house, she tells us we must swing by the marina (what?) to meet up with her friends. So we backtrack to the marina, and off she runs to get them. She couldn’t call them, they don’t have a phone. They return, and ask if we want to follow them, or if they should follow us. “Let’s follow them,” I say. Boom. Taking the lead from the passenger seat.
We head out, and drive by the cemetery. “Don’t worry, we have to go beyond it, and make a u-turn,” my friend who is driving tells me. Two lights later, I turn around and ask our planner what’s going on. Meanwhile, the lead car is still zig-zagging through traffic.
“We’re going to the cemetery in Puerto Vallarta,” she says. Of course! Why go to the closest one, 10 minutes away, when we can drive for one hour?
The friend who is driving and I both paused, and stared at each other, long enough to nearly lose track of her driving. We shared a moment. One where each of us is having the same thought, and it went something like this “What the fuck?” But we didn’t share that thought out loud, so I can’t really speak for her. I believe I was mad. I believe I was kind of pissed off, and felt like a kid who’s parent say “Sorry kiddo, there is no Christmas this year.” But maybe I’m being a tad bit dramatic. Or not. I mean, remember when I told you about four hundred words ago that I’d been looking forward to this day for a whole year?
So yes. I was livid. Being the kind of people pleasing person that I am, I nod in agreement to everybody else in the car “Yay, let’s go into town!” as I look at my camera wondering why I thought it was a good idea to bring it with me. Finally, after a few u-turns and detours, we make it to the cemetery. And face a locked gate. Remember when I said the keyword was DAY? We (USA and Canada) celebrate Halloween NIGHT, but in Mexico they must celebrate the DAY of the dead. How clear is that?
“Let’s just go hangout on the Malecon!” everybody says. And you know what? It was a wonderful evening, celebrating the living on the busy boardwalk.
To be continued… Coming up next, we discuss about how much I’ve changed in the recent years, and question about how or why it happened. We also wonder if I’ll ever stop being such a people pleaser.
This week’s prompt at the Studio is PLEASE.