Can’t Be A Parade Without Feathers

It was Feb 9th and I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous. I was about to do a choreographed routine in front of hundreds if not a thousand people. Not too nervous per se, just unsure on what to expect and if I was going to be judged by officials of the carnival on my quality of dancing, because let’s face it, Faith is no professional dancer.

The streets of Igualada are normally pretty quiet. There is always someone walking around the narrow streets, but it is in no way a “hopping” town. Carnaval is a whole different story. We took our spots in the long line of floats. Each float was blasting their own music and let me tell you, they love Gangnam Style here. Our tractor, equipped with our own stereo, was situated between two very different floats. In front of us was a board game float with 200 people behind it dressed as board game pieces and dice. I think this was a school-related group because there were many middle school aged children dressed as various colored parcheesi looking pieces with larger parent pieces. They even had dice the size of large TV boxes that they were tossing around like beach balls.

Large Parcheesi Board float in front of us.

Large Parcheesi Board float in front of us.

Behind us, there was a much smaller group dressed as zombies. Baby zombies, children zombies, and adult zombies were practicing their zombie routine before the parade started. Then, there we were in the middle, looking fabulous in our white tool with sequins and feathers, white pants and shirt, and of course a colorful mask. The downside: we did slightly resemble chickens, but the fact that our voluptuous sleeves looked magnificent as we did our dance made up for it.

In reality, I was expecting a parade similar to 4th of July Farragut parade. Come to find out, it was much larger and only got better as we made our way through the streets. The streets are so narrow that you could high five people as you went along if you really wanted to. More people than I realized even lived in Igualada lined the streets. After realizing that Igualada has a population of almost 40,000 people, however, I take that back. Everywhere was packed and the kids were all lined up in front to see the action. I kind of felt like a rockette with my poofy arms and everyone watching as we did our routine. I also realized how tiring smiling and dancing for two straight hours is. Let’s just say, while my experience with entertainment dancing was fun for a night, becoming a rockette will not be my plan B as a career. The other au pairs were in the crowd and ended up getting some lovely footage of our dance. My “host aunt” was in the crowd also and called my name as I walked by.

CE - AU PAIR - SPAIN - CATALONIA - Faith Lindsey - parade

CE - AU PAIR - SPAIN - CATALONIA - Faith Lindsey - parade 1

Feather sleeves galore!

The crew!

The crew!

In action! We had two lines with the kids dancing in the middle.

In action! We had two lines with the kids dancing in the middle.

Other examples of costumes. Everyone eating dinner post parade.

Other examples of costumes. Everyone eating dinner post parade.

 

Post parade exhaustion.

Post parade exhaustion.

 The parade ended at around 9pm and for a treat, all the paraders got a free dinner. It was funny to see egyptians, trees, fish, and all other sorts of costumes standing around eating dinner in the plaza. Come to find out, we were being judged. The prizes were announced and although we did not win one of the top places, we did win 200 euros! At this point, it was around 10pm but the night was still young, especially during Carnaval. Therefore, I joined some of the other au pairs at a bar. This bar happened to be owned by a couple who swims with me each week at the gym, so I was forewarned that there would be karaoke. I came prepared, singing voice ready, and the au pairs joined together to sing, “Dancing Queen” by ABBA and “Wannabe” by Spice Girls.

IMG_1056

The very busy and fabulous day was followed by the most unproductive day I’ve had here. Maybe one of the most unproductive days I’ve had in my life, if you don’t count post-op days. It’s one of those pajama days where you only move to eat. Instead of allowing myself to be upset because I could be doing something productive, I fully embraced my laziness and had no regrets. The family was gone for the weekend, so I slept in, made myself some meals, and watched movies.

It was great to have a lazy day but I was ready to get back to real life. Who am I kidding, living in Spain isn’t really real life either, just a great way to spend six months. I love it here so really just back to a little more structured life and normal weekly schedule: work with the kids at night helping them learn English and playing, teaching English classes, going to dance and swim class, going to intercambios (speaking Spanish half the time and English half the time with a local), and volunteering at a local school.

Faith Lindsay is currently participating in the CE Au Pair in Spain program.

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