Oct 31, 2007

Mc Calabash

It doesn' t matter how far away you go and how small and remote the village you end up in is, it seems like Halloween reaches the far corners of this world. Trick-or-treating happens here too, i just witnessed it. My dad says you know you're in a small village when there is no police, i say you know it's small when the library opens only for an hour and a half once a week (here it's from 4pm-5.30pm on fridays). I never thought i'd see Halloween celebrated in Caunes-Minervois. I might have to change the way i think of Caunes and accept the fact that, despite it's appearance, it is not as remote as i think it is. There's a French twist to the traditional pumpkin' though — here, all sorts of giant cucurbitaceae are displayed: an assortment of Mc calabashes. Nice. France does big things too.

A few weeks ago when France was playing against New Zealand in the quarter-final rugby game, Caunes-Minervois' pub, the sole one in town, was packed with all sorts of people: underaged, elders, men, women, the village idiot (no kidding)... There were two televisions, blasting speakers, lots of drinking and way too much smoking (some turn into a pumpkin after hours, here you turn into an ashtray). Each time France scored points the young people in the crowd would start humming "Seven Nation Army"! I like how pop culture bridges nations and helps make small villages look bigger. Vive les White Stripes! On the other hand, during each game break the pub owner would turn the sound on the t.v. off and play a musical piece that sent me way back in time, years away: a piece of traditional Spanish music with sounds of guitars, clarinets, drums and castanets! At that moment i felt like the village was shrinking back to its original size.

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