I was born on Cinco de Mayo and frequently joke that in Calgary it always snows for my birthday. This year is no exception and in the days leading to the 5th of May, snow fell from the sky like it was pouring rain… I now know what the term “snow showers” means.
The snow-covered the city and was rather beautiful. I felt like I was in the midst of Narnia’s perpetual snow and that a faun would appear at any moment carrying an umbrella and packages.
Even though there is snow, it’s not cold and birds are out playing and enjoying themselves in the piles of snow on the trees.
All this said, I rarely stay in Calgary for Cinco de Mayo. Last year we were in Dublin. The year before, Spain. This year I was in California for the day of the holiday.
It’s more of a celebration in the U.S. than it is in Mexico. As one local explained to me:
It’s about one town in Mexico (Puebla) where a handful of farmers kicked the asses of the French during a battle (El Día de la Batalla de Puebla). The French left gathered reinforcements, and came back and kicked the asses of the Mexicans and then ruled the country for an additional three years. No one in Mexico celebrates except in Puebla. In the U.S., people drink a lot and there are a lot of arrests.
It’s one of the holidays where you can utilize the AAA Tow to Go program.
I didn’t drink but I did eat a lot of good food throughout the day like chile rellenos with smokey tomato sauce, which the chef staged for me (from a pop-up eatery that I wasn’t expecting to find):
And, some kind of spicy shrimp dish on cabbage leaves, which were strangely addictive (from The Big G… and yes, people do eat well at The Big G):
And a marginal arroz con camarones, which I know I can make better (from Fiesta del Mar):
I’m backdating this post to May 5, sorry if that confuses anyone. I wrote it but didn’t post it because on May 5th at the end of the day I fell ill with a severe case of vertigo that left me completely immobile for two days.
This was a bonus birthday present because when these things happen, it reminds me to live a full life while I’m still able… and not hide away and leave the life-living for another day. It also reminds me to slow down, enjoy the moment, and live at a manageable pace and not the 100 miles an hour speed that I normally strive for.
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