Monday, November 29, 2010

Los Gigantes de Guadalajara

Did you ever have one of those days that was so full of activity that the concluding event seemed to be separated from the initial event by days, not hours?

Yesterday was one such occurrence.

Since November 23rd, Centro Historico de Guadalajara has played host to "Los Gigantes." Yesterday was the final day of this once in a lifetime event, and we wanted to make sure that we were there to bear witness. After a delicious brunch with friends following the Walk for a Life Without Violence, we parted ways and embarked on the long walk to Guadalajara's Center, where we found three sleeping giants:

"The Mexican Giant"

...the dog, "Xolo"

...and "the little Indian Girl"

Why were they here? Glad you asked!

To celebrate the bicentennial of Mexican independence and the centenary of the revolution, the Royal de Luxe Company brought it's world famous giant puppet show to Guadalajara.

Royal de Luxe is a French mechanical marionette street theatre company. They have performed in France, Belgium, England, Germany, Iceland, Chile, Australia, and, now, Mexico.

It all started on November 23rd, when a mysterious painting appeared in el Centro. The mural told the story of a giant girl who had been separated from her uncle during the war of independence. The mural predicted their 2010 reunion in Guadalajara.

Over the next few days the giants would meet in the streets, to the sheer enjoyment of all witnesses. Publicity and word of mouth resulted in the spectacle drawing huge crowds. Huge crowds. As the parade time drew closer, personal space became a thing of the past.

TJ and I have had a running joke ever since he gave me my Nikon D5000 for my birthday that I would one day win a Pulitzer. We also know that the only way to win a Pulitzer is to photograph something horrifying. When these kiddos hopped up on the roof to get a better view of the parade route, I just knew my Pulitzer was on its way. But the little buggers didn't fall. Oh well. Maybe next time.

Despite their success in the matter, neither of us were willing to climb a wall, so we sought refuge from the crowd and the heat by finding a shady spot some distance away form the crowd and by purchasing a drink called "Rusas" from a street vendor. It looked like he made it with 1tsp sugar, the juice from 1/2 lime, and 2c of Squirt soda. After tasting the vile concoction, however, we realized it was salt, not sugar...And so now we needed refuge from the crowd, the heat, and the Rusas.

TJ soon discovered that he does not like coconut milk. I discovered that Coke still tastes pretty good.

Feeling refreshed and knowing that it wasn't going to get any better, we jumped back into the crowd and impatiently awaited the arrival of the giants. And I am so glad that we did.

The giants' finally concluded their journey here in Mexico when, awakening from their siestas at 3:30pm, they took one final walk down Avenida Alcalde.

A we say goodbye to The Giant, take a moment to appreciate the mechanics of this endeavor. To make him walk, a succession of crewmen had to jump from the vehicle, marionette strings in hand. Dangerous? Exhilarating? Art?

All of the above, my friends. All of the above.


  1. hey Aaron, thanks for visiting my blog. This sounds like an interesting event! religion, too? Wow. As a convert myself, you should take my advice with a grain of salt, but here's the good news- Hanukkah is a pretty low key holiday. All you really need to celebrate is a menorah and some candles. Hopefully you brought or can find one. And if you like, a gift or two. Latkes, donuts, 8 presents- all icing on the cake. Happy Hanukkah!!

  2. I am so jealous. Giant marionettes would make any day more awesome.
    For example:
    Giant marionettes + Guadalajara = awesome

    Giant marionettes + the sound of music = Raider of the Lost Ark (Awesome with Nazis getting it in the end.)

    Giant marionettes + Hanukkah = 8 days of awesome.

    Thus, you guys need to get some giant marionettes ASAP.