Battle of the bangs


BANG BANG! Oh shit! what was th . . .? Oh yeah. Fireworks

You have just witnessed a scene which happens around once in every half an hour in Mexico. Welcome to my life.

Mexico is already famous for being one of the pyromaniacs of the world, but nothing can prepare you for the    constant explosions which send you running for the Anderson shelter. It is also famous for a lot of naughty violence and guns, which is what makes the explosions all the more terrifying.

I remember spending New Years eve in Buenos Aires and it sounded like down town Baghdad for about 8 hours. However, it is nothing compared to the festivities here. Mexicans will celebrate anything through the medium of loud fireworks:

Football matches (regardless of the result)
Weddings / Funerals
Girls turning 15
A Sunday
When a new donkey is born
When a fresh batch of tortillas has been cooked
When a man's moustached reaches critical bushiness

Pretty much anything.

About as crazy as fireworks get for British kids
Most fireworks are made in a state just north of Mexico City, where factories seem to have fatal explosions every year, but the profits keep rolling in from the sheer volume of cheapo bangers that they shift.

The kids in my friend's neighbourhood bought a whole packet of small fizzy mini Catherine wheels for about 5 pesos (20p) and then proceeded to light and throw them at each other while laughing maniacally.

To celebrate the importance of fireworks in Mexico, here is an extensive lists of famous bangs.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (an awful Val Kilmer film about a man with a gun for a penis)
Bangkok
The American word for fringe
'Bang' Ki Moon - The UN chief dude
Bangk of America
Bang & Olufsen
The Big Bang (which has nothing to do with a shit TV comedy series about nerds)


I have seen a few firework processions to celebrate carnival or other special dates in the barrio. Essentially they run like this.

Step one - Buy a shit-ton of fireworks for about $2
Step two - Build a structure similar to the one pictured and strap millions of fireworks to it.
Step three - Put cotton wool in your ears then climb inside
Step four - Light it and run around like fuck.

If you want to get a better idea of this phenomenon, watch this amusing clip of 'An Idiot Abroad', with a slightly falsified, but funny portrayal of those crazy Mexicans.

Other regular occurrences are the sounds of bangers going off in different sections of the town, one after the other. It is a bit like marking territory:

Tercera sección -
BANG BANG!
"We are having a fun time in this barrio. Are you?

Septima sección -
BANG BANG! BANG BANG!
"Oh yeah, we've got explosives too you know."

Segunda sección -
"You forgot about us!"
BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! 

The reason it seems territorial to me, is that most of the fireworks are set off during the day, so the visual effect is completely lost. That is if they aren't lighting fuses at 4 a.m. (a disturbingly common event).

Oh well, I'm off for another night of beautifully undisturbed slee- BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG! BANG BANG!  . . . . oh for God's sake.

P.S. Bang.