We went to see the Children’s Parade and dress competition held in the Plaza del Carmen on Sunday. It was a beautiful morning, and the kids were awfully cute dressed up in their traditional clothing. Proud grandmas were cooing and fanning themselves, mothers were giving instructions, fathers were taking pictures, and the rest of us were able to suppress the mild boredom with extremely cheap beer. It was a perfect Sunday morning, and everyone seemed intent on having a good time.
Almost everyone. In front of us, a gang of older ladies were doling out their own version of curbside justice. Their ringleader, a snarling and ugly woman, had evidently had enough of people trying to cross the street at the place she was standing, and had organized a water-tight defense. If someone approached with the intent of cutting through, she and her pack of lady-thugs would block them — even shimmying side-to-side if need be.
We couldn’t stop watching her — it was awful. I had to admit, though, she was even-handed in her vicious border enforcement. The young, middle-aged and elderly alike crashed against her wall. We couldn’t help laughing in shock, horror and, perhaps, respect as she refused to let an old man pushing a baby carriage through.
We’ve found Valencians to be extremely relaxed and easy-going. That, apparently, isn’t always the case.