Why is it that you never have a camera when you need one? We were walking around the little town of Bourg des Saintes on Friday morning, just people watching and sidewalk shopping, no real purpose except walking exercise. Have to get off the boat and do that sometimes.
Down the main street (which is pedestrian only, closed to motor traffic) we see a guy dressed up like Jesus. He had a crown of woven vines on his head and was dragging a large wooden cross over his shoulder. This was our first realization that it was Good Friday. He is walking down the center of the street and people were beginning to line the sidewalks watching him. At first we thought it was a planned reenactment.
Nearby there was an inebriated gentlemen sitting and leaning against the side of a building with his eyes barely open. When the Jesus dude got closer, the drunk wobbled out to the center of the street and laid down to block the path of Jesus dude. Then he got up on his knees and bowed to Jesus dude and started kissing Jesus dude’s sandals. Their exchange of dialog was in French so we didn’t understand any of it. This interaction got the attention of the local shopkeepers.
We walked on down the street a bit and went into a bakery for our daily baguette. The bakery shop clerk and all her customers walked out into the street to watch the action with Jesus dude and the drunk, so we stepped back into the street to watch with them. They were thoroughly enjoying this little show. Their enjoyment was likely enhanced because they know these two local characters. After all, this is a tiny island and all the residents know one another.
Jesus dude walked over and placed his large wooden cross safely out of the way against the side of a building. Then he went back to the center of the street and tried to help the drunk to his feet. The drunk was having nothing to do with this; he wanted to be left lying there. Jesus dude finally picked up the drunk and slung the drunk over his shoulder and walked away.
The bakery shop clerk and her customers were laughing heartily at all of this and walked back into the bakery. This little scene was oh too funny. It showed us the local religious fanatic, the local drunk, and the “I don’t give a damn; c’est la vie” attitude of the rest of the locals.
Saturday it was so windy we never got off the boat; would have gotten wet trying to go anywhere in the dinghy in all that wind. So much for that weather forecast that said no wind until Tuesday. We sat reading in the cockpit most of the day and watching the other people in this harbor.
Bill was laughing out loud at two small children swimming off the stern of a boat anchored just in front of us. The little girl looked to be about four years old and her little brother was about two and a half. She would jump into the water; then he would yell as loud as he could and jump in after her. She would paddle to the swim ladder and grab on with both hands, then stick her left leg out behind her for the little boy to grab onto. She would pull in her leg until the little boy could grab the rail of the swim ladder; then she would climb up back onto the stern of the boat, with her little brother following right behind her. They would do this routine over and over again. Bet they were ready for nap time!
When we were walking around town the other day we did not see any Easter basket type items. Guess they don’t follow that custom for the kids here. We saw nothing giving any hint of Easter except for Jesus dude and the drunk.