I wandered down to the Romería on Sunday to watch Jésus have his annual parade around the place.
It’s nominally a thanks for the good crops and a request for more of the same please. I would have thought watching the moon cycles, not overcropping, and avoiding nasty chemicals might help, but clearly putting the responsibility onto an invisible deity is easier.
It was slightly cloudy and the atmosphere felt flat and strange. There didn’t seem to be as many decorated carts either.
I leaned against the wall. And waited. The frocks were interesting. The huge spotty ones of years ago are clearly out of fashion. No wonder my neighbour doesn’t wear hers any more. Now the designs can be plain, just one or two colours, or with flowers, abstract patterns, and some amazing flounces and frills. The dressmaker in me is fascinated. And, for once, flat boots are de rigeur, well, apart from a few idiots wearing heels. For those who don’t hitch a lift in a cart, it’s a fair hike. And I think flat boots look so chic.
No, roughseas did not wear a flamenco frock. She was wearing shorts as usual. And trainers.
When Jésus rolled up, the flowers seemed less than usual. Maybe the Catholic church is running out of funds. Last year there were glorious displays of white lilies, and this year the red flowers didn’t look as impressive. Plus, there were no flowers on the spokes. Definite cost-cutting going on there.
I stood by some of the bueys – draught oxen. They are huge animals. But so docile.
One year, we watched a buey person walking down our side street absolutely rat-arsed. He staggered from one side to the other. The bueys dutifully followed him, weaving across the street in line with his meanderings, occasionally bashing into the walls with their cart.
They pee like there is no tomorrow. I couldn’t believe the deluge that poured out as I watched them waiting to join the procession.
As the carts trundled down the street, a woman suddenly turned out of our street and drove her car into the middle of the procession. Seriously, WTF? She negotiated carefully between one processing cart, and one parked up waiting to join. She came to a halt when she was faced with a horse’s arse belonging to the three flagbearers. Where had she left her brain? Did she have one? She’s trying to push her car through a lot of bueys and horses. Bueys weigh at least half a ton.
I turned to the bloke next to me and we rolled our eyes and shrugged. But why did no one tell her to stop when she joined the main street?
Next up, I watched some nasty man start to hit one of his bueys. This, was so not what I wanted to see. The animals were not misbehaving, they were patient and waiting, yet he continued to hit one on the nose. As he swiped yet again, he fell, flying onto his front. The crowd gasped, waiting for the inevitable. A ton of bueys (ie two) plus a cart trampling and rolling over idiot features who shouldn’t have been in charge of animals.
Someone to the side of me told them to stop, I think, or maybe they didn’t want to walk over the abuser. Or they had no guide so they just stopped. Another man went to stand by them. It happened so quickly. The bueys waited patiently yet again. People crowded round the man and told him to go for treatment to his hand.
Oh no. He had to return to dominate his bueys. Spanish machismo. I couldn’t take any more. I left. Why couldn’t the police officer have told him to retire? There were plenty of other buey people around. Was he drunk at 9.30? Maybe? They start drinking early for Romería. Or, as my partner suggested, was he just out of control? Brute force isn’t the answer to problems. Look at this buey person taking over the guiding.
I had a bad taste in my mouth. And it wasn’t just the result of the colds we’ve both come down with.
Being in charge of a ton or more of livestock carries responsibility. Being in charge of a car does too. It was disappointing to see two older people displaying none.
The next day we walked the dogs early. And groaned at the amount of rubbish in the street. A half-eaten chicken, chips, a McDonalds’ bag, all chucked up and down our street. Within the space of a few hundred yards, there are two major rubbish bins and three small street ones. Sometimes I despair. I really do. The rubbish stayed there until Tuesday, awaiting the arrival of our very good streetsweeper to clear up the detritus of other peoples’ lives.