Friday, 11 June 2010

Mexicana Psychadelia

Nothing quite tingles the sensory buds like a stroll through the kaleidoscope that is Market Square, San Antonio. On first invitation I was a little weary of braving what was described to me as an area crammed with stalls and food. The thought of trawling through all of this with an alternately wilting and rambunctious three year old under an unforgiving afternoon sun was not my idea of fun. But then, the words covered and air conditioned reared their beautiful heads and I was on the red trolley line quicker than you could say pay-one-dollar- and-a-dime-please-signorita. Enter Cory's friend from home accompanied by her mother and another friend and the three ladies, experienced shoppers took it in turn to lead us around the market and occupy the young Sam. In fact, Tammi's mum, Pat, known to the young as Grandma Pat if you please, formed quite a bond with the young chap. She insisted on keeping him busy whilst I shopped and, after I had purchased a recycled Mayan shirt in its new incarnation as a Colourful bag I was greeted by a small guitar on legs. Sammy's head popped out of one side with a beaming smile to boot. Thank you Grandma Pat. He has not put the thing down since, though every effort on my part for a decent tuning has been aborted and so the tunes are all wonderfully a-tonal...I should give my mate Sting a bell.

My eyes really were popping out of my hard head. Between the day of the dead statues, the metal work mirrors, rows upon rows of Mexican shirts, skirts, hats, belts, Frieda Kalho shopping bags, tiles, ceramics, jewellery. It really was a shoppers playground, especially one with a penchant for bright colours. Along the stalls we also came upon a tiny accordian for all of around $20. It will suit my Sardinian lady's show perfectly. I can't play yet, but I had fun practicing whilst window shopping. Never a better way to detter pushy sales staff. One of whom, gave a lengthy description of why I ought to visit his shop. 'Cept it was in Spanish. It took both of us a second to realise that there was a language barrier. My skin is changing colour you see, chameleon like I am trying to blend in to the town, though in truth I still look more Iranian medical student than Mexican signorita. One colourful cloth bag ain't gonna cut it. Back we returned on the trolley once again, bumping up off our seats at the back. Sam-boy deep in a heart to heart with Grandma Pat on the whys and wherefores of Thomas the train and swimming pools.

Which is where we decompressed this afternoon. 2nd floor. Pool. Relief. I had had a successful shopping trip you see. I have finally found suitable swimming attire, and, though I am the first to say I look more like Esther William's chubby older sister than Gina in her full glory I will admit that feeling dressed up to go for a dip is much more fun than feeling half naked. Its a polka dot number, more of a little dress than a lycra wotsit. Suits my imaginary world just fine. I had had a few hours to myself whilst the boys ran themselves ragged at the children's museum and our guests trawled the antique emporiums. They had treated us to breakfast at the renowned Menger Hotel. Another beautiful relic, at its centre a two tiered atrium, be-colomned with the fading beauty of a Southern Belle. It had the ever so faint whiff of decay, and, inside the breakfast room, past the pictures of the same space in its black and white hey days, there was that familiar sense of the wrong end of old-fashioned so common in many sea side towns at home. It wasn't quite Fawlty Towers or anything. Certainly quite a few ghosts roaming around is all.

Apparently there are funny things going on in our hotel too. Tonight, for the shear sado-masochistic love of it all, Ry, who is playing the creature in the show, is staying in The Room, in hopes of meeting other creatures. On check-in, one of our company managers noticed that his clock was counting downwards and twice, his door swung open, even though he had shut it. Its the kind of door that needs a card swiped in order to open. On both occasions there was nobody visible, or audible in either direction of the corridor. Turns out the room opposite to his has had so many funny goings on that the staff no longer rent it out. When Ry requested it, they politely informed him that it is not usually for guests. He explained that he was fully aware of the situation. I will drill him tomorrow.

All this after I have taken our boy to The Match. Yes sirs, tomorrow will see England beat the USA "team" (sorry, I couldn't resist). After which, boy and I will strut down the San Antonio streets waving our flag, his face painted regulation shades and donning his prized England uniform. Trouble is, I really do think he utterly believes that he will actually be playing the match. On the TV. Live. He has told his grandma so, many, many times. I hope spectatorship will be just as exciting. If not, there's always potato chips. Crisps I mean. Oh no, it's happening, I'm loosing my roots....Not up top, they are definitely showing my age.

Luckily, whilst working on the show Hounded, first of 13 episodes aired today on CBBC, the kind hair designer fixed me up with more than a dozen wigs to suit the thirteen different characters I played, each belonging in parallel universes. Think of Saved by the Bell meets Dr Who and you are almost a quarter there. It was written by the comedy writers at the BBC and everyone has high hopes for it. I scrambled the internet to see what was being said about it, if anything, and was overjoyed to find a quick mention at the end of one article, informing readers that the "youngsters" Colin Ryan and Eva Alexander make appearances. Ego basking in the light of fairytale people. Youngsters. You gotta love it.

So here I am, about to spruce up our home for our guest this evening. Another friend from Cory's home town, who now lives an hour away form here that I had met some years back in New York City. Cool cat.

I type, briefly reminiscing about the crazy salon I stepped into for some facial maintenance, and the large transexual who brightly greeted me and the peroxide blonde voluptuous woman who performed the torture, I mean waxing, pressing her belly and bosoms into my clavical to reach over, all the while telling me about her boyfriend. It was the first time I had had my eyebrows brushed before being pruned. With a full size comb. Perhaps I shouldn't leave it so long next time. On the chair next to me, the original greeter washing a young guys hair was listening to him detail the demise of his relationship with his boyfriend because of new love found on the internet. Behind the heavy heavy foundation, but a hint of stubble poking through, the greeter made suitably sympathetic noises whilst carrying out the washing with the industrious speed of a locomotive. Now that's what I call a girlie afternoon folks.

Tomorrow there is the promise of a proper good ole Mexican fry-up for breakkers. We will be showing our friend the mugshots we took of ourselves dressed up as cowboys down at the arcade. Yes we succumbed. All for the purposes of the blog of course you understand. Hopefully he'll still stay the night and take us to his favourite haunt tomorrow. Oh geesh, that word again, and its almost the witching hour too....

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