Deep In Texas
The restaurant hawkers along the riverwalk in San Antonio were trying to lure pedestrians into their place of business for dinner. One old guy dressed in garb similar to that worn by the Tennessee volunteers who fought at the nearby Alamo cried in a grizzled voice to a lady walking her dog, “Hey lady, they let dogs in here!”
Then he reconsidered his comment and apologized: “Excuse me. I mean you can bring your dog in here.”
We journeyed south to Texas recently, trading the 20 degree temperatures in Michigan for the seventies of Texas. Never been to Texas before but I figured with gas being as cheap as it is, no time like the present to push a little farther into America’s heartland.
Could have even gone to Mexico, one fellow guest told us at a hotel where we were staying. Just park your car and walk across the border. Sounded fun. Did we need our passports, since we hadn’t brought those with us?
“Yeah, you do. Well, you don’t to get across into Mexico. But then you’d have to swim back.”
No, thanks. The water temperature is still pretty cold there in February. Mexico was tempting since one shopping goal of mine was to buy one of those “day of the dead” masks like those worn in the recent James Bond movie Spectre. In my mind, it’s never too early to plan for next Halloween.
And I had absolutely no luck finding a mask like that. I even browsed most of the 83 shops in the historic San Antonio marketplace that featured unique gifts. After a while, it seemed like every shop was displaying the same unique gifts. They had Mexican professional wrestling masks, but nothing that looked like an ornate day of the dead mask. Just lots of day of the dead knick-knacks, if that’s the right word (see photo).
This marketplace was one stop on a hop-on/hop off tour bus where you’re also educated on San Antonio’s history and culture. But as we sat atop the double-decker bus, one gentleman behind us did his own running commentary to himself and his family. It was somewhat annoying though not too distracting to the sights around us.
However, when the bus paused at the stop where you can board one of the riverboats to take the river tour, I felt a little relief when the annoying gentleman asked aloud, “Is this the stop for the river tour?” Two bus riders had risen to get off here and one of them bent over and told him, “Next stop.”
So he stayed on the bus. Apparently the couple leaving wanted more peace and tranquility on their own boat ride, figuring they could do without the man’s own running commentary there.
Anyway, I wondered why I could find no ‘day of the dead’ mask. Perhaps Latinos have too much respect for the dead to commercialize it so. That was my thought after I posed with a grisly life-sized skeleton dressed in pirate garb at a touristy restaurant so my wife could take a picture.
A middle-aged Mexican-American man approached and said, “You get your picture taken with him now, he hunt you down later.”