Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hustling in Puerto Veracruz

I'll say it. The Puerto de Veracruz is NOT pretty. It's a pretty rough place - a genuine cargo port, industrial, with polluted beaches and a stench coming off the sea that made us gag more than a few times. Not that that put a crimp in one local gig - throwing coins off the malecon (sea wall) and diving down to retrieve them. Veracruz is famous for its music and the air is constantly filled with music ranging from marimba to mariachi music to son veracruzano. The bands play for tips or charge you for a few songs or your choice as they cruise the cafes. The different groups seem to be competing to make more noise and the result is a sort of merry cacophony punctuated by vendors blasting reggaeton from boom boxes in that theory that this somehow will want to make you buy a tour or a t-shirt that says: "Soy chingon."
Various vendors have different strategies for catching your attention - see forthcoming entry El Guero ice cream shop. Here are a few:

Video from a tourist strip by the malecon near downtown - I was pretty entertained by the dancing Mickey.

Nothing says generic pharmaceuticals like a man in a huge creepy suit dancing on the street. Yes, I did get a hug. Yes, I was scared.

I had to admire this guy's chutzpah. I watched him rig up his own tight rope, yet passerby were so nonplussed, he was whistling to try and catch people's attention.

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