Saturday, April 07, 2007
What A Difference A Week Makes
I was in the thick of the crowd before I realized there was even a crowd, before I had time to avoid the teeming masses. I instinctively put my left hand over my wallet, which I’d slipped into the left pocket of my expensive new Barcelona coat.
And then I was stuck. I pushed on, with no way back and no clear way forward.
What was going on? Was the Easter Bunny about to make an appearance? Or was I going to see Barcelona’s Easter Parade, perhaps a uniquely Catalan take on bonnets?
No. It was a religious procession. Something for Good Friday, perhaps, as it was the Friday before Easter and the shops were closed. That's Good Friday, right?
I know very little about Catholicism, but I assume this was a Catholic procession. First came men in black robes with black pointy hats. Then some drummers. And finally, a life-size replica of Jesus dragging a cross down the street. I took a few photos and pressed on, passing what looked like an especially gory statue of a dying Jesus being held by… Mary? Mary Magdalene? Every single person reading this outside of Kuwait—heck, probably even in Kuwait—knows more about what I was watching than I do.
Uncomfortably, I snapped a few photos and left the area as quickly as I could. A week ago, I was in a part of the world where paintings of holy people don’t even have faces. And here there were especially graphic images. What a difference a plane ride can make.