Sunday, March 04, 2012

A Supposedly Fun Thing We'll Never Do Again

We should know better by now, but our lust for a good chicken souvlaki overrode our common sense, and we decided to go to the Foreign Community Festival Expo/Food Court. Sigh. The name may contain the word "Foreign," but this thing is 100% puro Mexicano, starting with map on the Festival's Facebook page, which says it's directing you to the correct address: Melchoir Ocampo 3, Santa Rosa Jauregui.  And if you were from out of town - that is to say, a foreigner - you probably wouldn't notice that the map takes you to Melchoir Ocampo Street in Querétaro Centro, about 20 miles from where you want to be. ("Powered by Bing!"  Thanks, Bill Gates!)  

Frankly, if we'd just walked over there, six block from our offices, and sold hotdogs from a steam tray to all the people who were showing up thinking it was the expo, we'd have had a better and more productive day.

Being something of a hybrid between foreigner and native at this point, we at least knew more or less where Santa Rosa Jauregui is - which is not to say we knew exactly how to get there, or to the Parque Bicentenario, where the expo was being held. Fortunately, the signs on the highway are well marked. Unfortunately, someone pasted a "Festival de las Comunidades Extranjeras" flyer over the arrow, so we almost missed our exit.

Luckily, there was a cop on the aide of the road with a flashing sign saying "Festival de las Comunidades Extranjeras," and an arrow pointing straight ahead. Why he was positioned 50 yards past the right turn we were supposed to take is something of a mystery, though please see our comment above about "100% puro Mexicano."

Ultimately, the Expo proved easy to locate - just find the endless traffic jam and sit in it. Traffic, for some unfathomable reason, had been routed right through the center of Santa Rosa, a flyspeck of a town with a serious gridlock problem on a normal day. Remember that long aerial shot of the traffic outside Altamont in Gimme Shelter? It was like that, but without the catharsis of Hell's Angels beating people into comas with pool cues.  After more than an hour baking in the hot Mexican sun, we got to the front of the five-mile traffic-snake and were informed that the parking lot was full.

(You know, amigos, just as aside... back home in midtown Manhattan, we have our own little Foreign Community Festival every September.  It's called the "United Nations General Assembly."  Heads of state from 175 countries, all of them with entourages, motorcades and security details of their own.  Sometimes the pope shows up.  And, if you live more than five blocks away, you'd never know it was happening.)

Anyway, we managed to find a space on the street in less than half an hour - right by the Cuban Pavilion.  We hope next year they'll be allowed inside the main expo. 

When we finally got to the park, the clusterfuck we'd been dreading had in fact come true. It looked like the line for Whitney Houston's funeral. Can there really be this many Mexicans interested in good falafel?

Confidently, we strode to the front of the line and in our best "My good man!" voice asked the guy at the turnstile where the Members Entrance was.

'Members,' Señor?

"Yes, members. Of the foreign community. We're members of the foreign community, from the United States of America. Do you need to see ID? Or can we just go in?"

As we walked back to the car, we were reminded of the old Groucho Marx joke about not wanting to belong to any club that would have us.  We stopped for a nice Mexican lunch in Juriquilla on the way.


Fidel Castro said...

That is nice parking spot you found for your 1950 chevrolet.

Zoe said...

Look at this this way; it gave you bling for your blog today. '-)