24 December 2011

Bethlehem Barbie

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In Tijuana, you don't swerve over to the side of the road at 3 a.m. on Christmas Eve to take a photo of just anything.

Only for Kodak moments comparable to what from afar looks like a little voodoo garden growing in the median, like this one across the street from Santa Maria Estrella del Mar Church in Playas.

I had stumbled upon not just Bethlehem Barbie but her entire extended sect of family, friends and neighbors, a Smurfy village of no fewer than 30 plus one extremely wide-eyed Sailor Moon. All planted in front of tiny plywood housing, redressed in handmade Bible garb, plastic arms aimed at the heavens in touchdown pose, eagerly awaiting the birth of Bebe Chuchito.

This is surely a time-honored Playas tradition that has gone up every year for many a number of years. But it was new for me.

And it was like walking into a nightmare. Complete with looped MIDI rendition of "Jingle Bells."

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