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The Banquet

I was 5 years old and it was my first time in Mexico. At least it was the first time that I remember.

After
35 years, the memory of that visit is a mosaic of people, places, and
newness. Being in front of my grandfather’s house and watching my great
aunt selling nuts and candies from an old card table. I still remember
the little metal tins that held the nuts, small and as hard a thimbles.
I should know since I tried to bite into it. The spoiled U.S. kid that
I was, I wanted all of the goodies on the table but was told that it
was the way she made money. It didn’t keep me from wanting more though.

Then the mosaic cuts to my brother playing with Easter eggs. These were real Mexican Easter eggs called cascarones
and were filled with confetti and meant to smash over people’s heads.
My brother learned that he could inflict maximum pain on my cousins if
he smashed them point down. The crying of little girls was heard for
blocks.

Then I remember going to a feast at another house with a
large courtyard. Who’s house was it? Was it a friend of the family?
Another relative I didn’t know? What mattered was the incredible
spread. There was a long banquet table an on it was all likes of
Mexican delicacies. What struck me most was the intense colors of the
food. Incredible pink sweet bread or pan dulce, Mexican
candies, and fruits every color of the rainbow. I don’t remember eating
the food but I still think of that banquet table whenever I see Mexican
or Central American art or clothing with rich vibrant colors. Colors so
rich you can almost eat them with your eyes.

That visit was a long time ago but I still eat the bright (yes, pink) pan dulces and always remember those times.

~~~Originally posted on NaBloPoMo on July 1, 2008~~~

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