This is the Algeciras equivalent of a band of merry carolers. This same family shows up every year about this time. And every year they play the same mash-up of Jingle Bells and a super popular Spanish Christmas carol called La Marimorena. Usually there is a trumpet too. But this year he must have managed to get the holidays off.
I don’t live in an utopian suburban neighbourhood. Merry carolers don’t skip from door to door, with rosy cheeks and Gap commercial style toques and scarves. We have four lanes of traffic running through a maze of locked nine story buildings.
So what they lack in musicality, Algeciras carolers make up for in volume. Our carolers come with an electric piano and generator. They crank up the sound system so you know they are coming from about a kilometer away. The band consists of one piano player, a kid with a box to collect coins and one old guy who smokes cigarettes and supervises. They stare up at the closed windows expecting money to fall.
There is nothing merry and gay about this gig. The pianist and junior money catcher look like they would rather be picking tinsel out of their belly buttons. I am sure the old guy with the smoke dragged them out because he owns a generator but can’t carry a tune.
Throwing coins from nine stories up seems like a great way to take out a windshield. I didn’t hear any glass breaking, but I didn’t see anyone throwing money down either. But I could hear the same song, over and over, for about half an hour.
“Ande Ande Ande que es la nochebuena”