It’s 9 AM on October 31, 2021.
On Facebook, there are people commenting on some big parade that’s supposed to happen to celebrate the upcoming Dia de Muertos Holiday in Mexico City.
Personally, I wasn’t entirely convinced on showing up to this parade.
While some carnivals I have been to in Latin America were cool like the Barranquilla Carnival in Colombia here.
Most others I have been to were “alright.”
Not really worth a visit.
But maybe this one will be different?
After all, Dia de Muertos is a very important holiday in Mexico.
Surely they wouldn’t fuck up the parade?
Being a bit tired too, I just wasn’t sure if I really want to put in the effort to see this parade.
Still, I get my pants on and think “fuck it, let’s check it out.”
Especially as the parade does have extra importance this year given that they cancelled it last year due to Covid shit as you can read here.
At least I can check out some parks in the area too that I can take photos of for this blog.
Because, for those who don’t know, I’m going to be visiting the US again for, at most, 6 months starting December.
And I’d like to turn the chapter on my time in Mexico and begin traveling Latin America afterwards.
Plus, as you can read here, Mexico is now apparently deporting gringos and making it harder for us to do visa runs.
And other life events that I've written about recently.
So, all around, I think it’s really coming time to “turn the page” on Mexico soon and begin traveling again.
Maybe come back to settle down here long term or maybe Chile.
Time will tell.
But I have realized that I should finally cross off the “list of touristy things to do” since I’ve never really been a tourist in this country.
And that was honestly one of the bigger motivations for why I got off my ass to see this parade.
Was it worth it?
Well, let’s get to it!
Arriving to the Parade in Reforma
As I said before, Mexico has been deporting gringos for not having their papers on them.
Granted, most deported seem to have been folks taking the bus or in Cancun maybe?
Among some gringos getting questioned in places like Condesa or Roma Norte close to where I was today for the parade.
So, while trying not to be paranoid, I did keep my eyes open for any officer.
And have thought to myself “what if I do get questioned for my papers?”
Thoughts have run in my head like run away similar to the Joker scene here.
Could I outrun them?
Most Mexicans are fat just like most Americans.
So it wouldn’t be hard to outrun a Mexican.
Maybe throw some tacos de pastor on the ground as a distraction as I run away with the sound of a cop behind me going OINK OINK OINK OINK.
It’s a strategy I’ve considered.
Anyway, I noticed right away that the metro ride to Reforma was pretty full surprisingly.
But I assumed soon enough that most were just heading to the parade like me obviously.
And here I was in these photos as I left Insurgentes Metro and carried on forward with my eyes open for any migration officers.
Quite a lot of people!
If I hadn’t eaten already before arriving, I definitely would’ve bought some food.
You had some VERY cheap tortas being sold for 10 pesos (50 cents) a torta.
Even though they were half the size of a normal torta, that’s still a good deal!
And they didn’t look bad.
But I didn’t buy any food.
I kept on walking as you can see in these photos here.
With plenty of gringos around me also.
More than I’ve seen in a LONG ASS time.
It almost felt like I was in a mini gringo town.
Granted, obviously most folks were Mexican but I’m just saying that I hadn’t seen so many gringos in one place in quite a while.
Might’ve been the most I’ve seen in a single day in my entire 4 and a half years in Mexico.
Which, to be honest, made me feel a little bit good.
If the migration officers are looking for gringos to deport, I probably have less chance of being picked out with so many for them to choose.
Some more obviously gringo looking than me with blonde hair and speaking English loudly.
So I carried on towards the sound of some drum beating in the distance.
Right away, I noticed some mini band playing as you can see in these photos here.
Afterward they finished playing a few songs, I carried on and took more photos of Reforma Avenue as you can see in these photos here.
And the memories came back.
Mostly of shenanigans I’ve had around these parts.
Specific spots I’ve taken dates to like that movie theatre a few times.
Or the Wendys that used to be open in this area but not anymore (I like Wendys a lot).
To my nights walking alone down this avenue as I collect my thoughts on different things in life.
Without question, this stretch of Reforma Avenue from Chapultepec Park to Angel of Independence is one of my favorite areas of Mexico City.
Probably just because of all of the memories and some nostalgia I hold for the place.
Anyway, I found myself getting closer to Chapultepec Park.
I was told that the parade will be going from Zocalo area in the Historic Center to some point past Chapultepec Park.
As I walked closer to the end of where the parade will finish, I obviously found more spots where I could get a closer view of the parade.
Obviously, the other spots seen as I arrived here had way too many people for me to realistically enjoy the parade.
Much less take photos for this blog.
Some people even recommend that you show up a few hours before it starts.
Eh, I wouldn’t recommend that unless you absolutely want to see it by Zocalo area or Angel of Independence statue.
I showed up 30 minutes before it was set to start but obviously I was set to see it later given the time the parade needs to get to my area.
But I waited at most an hour as I soon found myself a spot by Chapultepec Park closer to the end.
As I walked towards that spot where I waited, I was slightly confused at first regarding which side of the street I should be lining up against as you had people facing both sides of the street.
However, I asked a cop which street will the parade go down and I found an appropriate spot afterwards.
Here’s some photos of my walk over to where I eventually found myself waiting for the parade.
Thus, the waiting began anyway.
Waiting for the Parade
Thankfully, the spot I chose was covered pretty well in the shade.
There was some dorky dude that seemed kinda autistic standing next to me with his dad.
And a large family next to them that were speaking as if they were from Spain?
Very strong Spanish sounding accent.
To the other side of me, you had some mother with three children.
The boy didn’t care for the parade and told the mom that he would rather sit down behind her.
The mother seemingly irritated at his lack of care for the parade and said “fine, your sister will replace your spot!”
And went on another 30 seconds about how he’s “going to miss out a lot.”
Though the boy seemed more interested in whatever toy he had in his hand.
Some electronic device or something.
Not sure what it was?
Kinda reminded me of when I was a kid with Gameboys.
But obviously kids these days don’t have Gameboys anymore.
This ain’t the early 2000s.
Anyway, the wait began.
Soon enough, some female police officer wanted my attention.
She wanted to stand where I was.
Didn’t even say that she had the spot beforehand.
Felt more like a “bitch, I’m the police. Give me your spot” moment.
And I said “sure” because there was more space literally next to me closer to the autistic dude that either one of us could’ve stood in.
So I moved to the side slightly and let her have it.
Even though she didn’t use it?
She stood there for maybe 30 minutes and then left to eventually stand in front of the gate once the parade got closer to starting.
So I’m not sure why she was firm on wanting this spot.
“Soy la policia. Tengo poder. Ayyyy q ricooo”
Or some shit like that.
Anyway, I got my spot back anyway and that was it.
Soon enough, the parade began.
Beginning of the Parade
This was the first bit of the parade to come by our area.
Then we had these military folks coming by here.
As you can see in the second photo, there’s a military woman who isn’t even playing her instrument!
Probably taking in all of the attention like women always do.
Surprisingly, she had no phone out to take photos for her Instagram or Onlyfans.
Woman – you had one job. Play the instrument!
Anyway, jokes aside – jokes? – the parade continued.
Here’s some photos of what soon came our way.
As a side note, I did like the few cool cars they had driving down. That seemed more interesting to me than the costumes these folks were wearing.
Then after that?
They had some folks carrying flags of other countries as you can see here.
Not sure why that’s relevant to a “Dia de Muertos” Mexican holiday to show the Azerbaijan or Irish flags.
But I did appreciate them showing the American flag!
Though I am a little bit disappointed that they didn’t represent my country properly.
After all, the woman carrying the American flag shouldn’t be wearing such normal clothing!
To represent the greatness of American culture, she should’ve been wearing an American flag themed bikini with big tits.
Maybe carrying the American flag in one hand and handing out beers with the other?
Regardless, I’ll forgive Mexico for culturally appropriating my nation’s flag and not even representing it with the respect it deserves.
But, after the international flag portion of the parade, we all soon found ourselves with no more parade!
The Waiting Returns
For some odd reason, the parade began but then seemingly ended.
And everyone had to wait another 30 minutes literally.
As you can see in the photos I took here, the crowd looks bored!
Many of the folks thinking “what the fuck? Where’s the rest of the parade? This sucks monkey balls.”
Even the Spanish family close to me was joking about it.
“It ended! It ended! Time to go home!”
And, as you can see here, we had some workers walk down the street from time to time.
Whenever they did, the crowd at large would joke about waiting more by clapping for the workers as a way to pretend that they are somehow part of the parade.
“YEAH!! YEAH!! VIVA MEXICO!!”
With laughter to follow always.
You know, I’ll say this as always – can’t go a full day in Mexico without something fucking up.
Even their very important parade is not done very efficiently.
They couldn’t manage a parade properly?
But I was actually wondering if the parade already ended?
Like was that really it?
But, while some people were leaving the crowd, most stayed.
So I assumed that it must be still going on obviously.
While we all waited, there happened to be a young man who collapsed across the street.
Soon enough, what appeared to be his dad lifted him up and took it across the street with police help.
Someone in the crowd speculated on what happened --- “por el calor?”
Because of the heat?
It was a little bit hot outside but not too bad as I was in the shade.
I suppose, in a way, it’s maybe a good thing that the parade had its delay?
So they could get this dude some help more easily by crossing a street that isn’t be used yet.
Anyway, more workers and cleaners kept on walking along and we all kept on cheering for them while waiting for the actual parade.
Then it showed up again finally!
The Parade Returns!
You know – it would’ve been funny if what we saw in the beginning was what all the parade was.
All these people for that?
As I wrote here, sometimes you just have to learn to laugh off stupidity when it happens in Latin America.
Thankfully, no laughing needed here!
Only more applause and a great parade to continue.
And, while the extra waiting did spoil the moment slightly, I found myself enjoying the parade pretty well as it began again.
It was pretty cool actually.
While the parade carried on, I was hoping for the 10 peso torta guy to pass by.
But he never did.
Only people offering chips or face masks.
Did make me think that, in the future, some street vendor could make a profit selling tortas in this area of the parade given the apparent lack of competition.
Hey – when you live in Latin America long enough, you spot business opportunities, you know?
Almost have to – being self-employed makes living down here easier as a foreigner in my opinion if you do it right.
Anyway, back to the parade!
Photos of the Parade
Here’s some photos for you to enjoy.
At any rate, those are the photos and some last minute commentary!
Final Verdict: Worth it?
Yeah, it was cool definitely.
All around, it wasn’t bad.
You had some cool live performances before the parade started.
Some cool vibes among the crowd.
Plenty of people chanting “VIVA MEXICO!” throughout the parade.
Plenty of very cheap and good looking food.
Only 50 cents for a torta!
One thing I did see lacking was anyone selling beer.
Not sure if they’d allow people to drink beer publicly during the event but I’d hope so.
Though, to be fair, I did see one dude drinking some beer outside during the event.
Also, another thing that I thought that could be better would maybe be to have a vehicle rolling down the street with some people handing out free “Pan de Muerto” during the parade.
Pan de Muerto being this type of bread that folks eat during this event.
Would definitely make sense to hand out some free “Pan de Muerto” for some of the people watching.
Outside of those suggestions about the Pan de Muerto and the beer, the only few things that could be improved that came to mind are the following:
- Maybe have some “private spacing” available on very specific routes of the parade for those willing to spend more money for a guaranteed good viewing without having to wait a few hours (granted, they might have that somewhere but I didn’t see any spacing like that along the route I walked down)?
- Some of the things I saw on the parade did feel a tiny bit weird. Like seeing something for “the European Union” or the flags of random countries. It wasn’t a bad part of the parade but it did make me think in the moment “how is this relevant to the parade?” Maybe replace them with something more relevant?
- Maybe a few less cameramen walking down the parade so that people can more easily take photos without them disrupting the view for our photos? Even outside of photos, I remember the little girl standing next to me having problems seeing a part of the parade because some cameraman was blocking her view. She had to be lifted onto the mom’s shoulders to see.
- As an American, having some street vendors selling bacon outside would be dope as fuck. But I get it’s Mexico and not the US. Still, who doesn’t like bacon?
- Thinking about it now, maybe have a reserved free space for people with physical disabilities to see the event? I can’t imagine the dudes in wheelchairs would have an easy time at this event. And perhaps make the space accessible for old people also.
- I’m not sure if that 30 minute delay was due to some technical difficulty or not. If so, I get it. If not, then I’d suggest that having a 30 minute delay is obviously kinda dumb. Maybe better logistical planning for this one?
- For folks looking to make some extra money, I imagine having some hustlers offering to take photos of you and your friends on the spot would be cool too? I remember being in some important plaza of Bogota in Colombia years ago with a former girlfriend and some dude took a photo of us that he printed out then. Was cool. Just a business opportunity perhaps for some. I’m sure some would appreciate it.
Anyway, let’s wrap this up.
Was the parade worth it?
As I said, I had serious doubts during the 30 minute delay as I (and a few others near me) were not sure if this was the end of the parade or what’s happening?
But once that delay was over, the parade was definitely cool.
Would I visit it again?
I wouldn’t be crazy excited jumping off my seat to visit it again but I would definitely be down for another visit if I had the free time.
And that’s all I got to say for now.
Enjoy this video here on the parade.
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