La Virgen de los Desamparados

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Today’s calendar of events is unclear at the moment.  There is a possibility that we may have lunch with Pepe and his mom at his place, but that has yet to be confirmed.  We may attend a live performance tonight or we may take in a movie.  We are waiting for another phone call to make the final decision.  Whatever we end up doing, it will be a fun day.

Yesterday Susan had her morning Pilates class and afterwards she went out for lunch with her fellow classmates.  The conversation was animated and the noise level was deafening.  It was a very pleasant experience and everyone had a good time.  I just raided the refrigerator here for lunch since I was still full from Thursday’s rather late dinner with the guys.

We worked on various projects during the afternoon and early evening and at 10:00 PM we made our way down the street to Mantequería Chisbert to join Nacho and friends for the visit by the statue of La Virgen de los Desamparados that would be making a stop in front of his store.  When we arrived there were already a goodly number of people inside the store and the number would grow as the evening progressed.

Nacho is the unofficial mayor of Calle Borrull.  He appears to know everybody and everybody appears to know him.  Among the guests was Victoria who hails from North Carolina and Valencia.  Her dad lives here and the rest of her family lives in North Carolina.  She has been in town for a while living with her father and earning some pocket money by serving as an English tutor for Nacho’s friend, Paco, who is a doctor.  Victoria is returning to North Carolina on Sunday where she will spend the summer working in hopes of gathering enough funds to return to Valencia in the fall.

Paco’s wife was also present as was Paco’s good friend, Vicente.  We also met two young women and their children who, as it turned out, had spent three years in North Carolina when their dad was sent there by IBM.  Nacho’s sister came by with her son and her husband.  There were also another half dozen people in attendance, but there were too many names to remember.

Beer and wine flowed freely during the evening and we each had a very typical bocadillo called a blanco y negro.  It is made with two different types of sausages – morcilla and longaniza – and, as was the case last night, was served with a tomato sauce on top of all.  The sandwiches, to say the least, were very generous, but we managed to eat all of them.  We were all engaged in conversation when someone entered to tell us that the statue was making its way down the street preceded by some aerial fireworks and just before her arrival in front of the store a mascletá.  The statue arrived carried by a number of the faithful and followed by several members of a marching band.

We all threw rose petals and applauded the arrival of the Virgin.  Everyone took photos and a number of neighbors had emerged from their houses to witness the spectacle.  It was little before 1:00 when Susan and I made our way home and it was close to 2:00 when we finally got to bed after a most interesting foray into Valencian tradition.

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