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So much incense

So, the housemates and I went to the Texas Renaissance Festival today. It was Pirate Day, but I don't have a pirate costume, so I somewhat awkwardly wore boring street clothes. Housemate J has a swashbuckling pirate hat, so he fit in nicely.

Why aren't Renaissance festivals featured as Stuff White People Like? Yeesh.

There were a couple of artisans buried amidst everything - a basketmaker, some weavers, a ceramicist who happily said, "I could talk about mud for hours!" Blacksmiths, too. An amusing jousting tournament. And at least one genuine brewpub serving good beer.

But also, throngs of people and waaaay too much incense everywhere.

I appreciated that all of the Faire rides were non-mechanical - swings of various sorts, pleasant and whimsical but not nauseating. And then signs in the junk booths saying you could pay for things via Lord Mastercard or Lady Visa.

I doubt I'll ever go back, but at least the garb was more interesting than what's generally around in this small town.

It all made me want to watch more of this series on the Tudor dynasty, because my impression is that there could have been more opportunities to learn about old technologies than were actualized.

Oh, did you also know that there's such a thing as Renaissance Chinese Food and Renaissance Mexican Food? Me neither.


( 8 remarks — Remark )
Nov. 3rd, 2014 05:39 am (UTC)
I think it might even be restricted to Stuff People Who Think Of England As A Guiding Light Like.
Nov. 3rd, 2014 12:10 pm (UTC)
Oh man. I had a hard time getting past some of the language affectations. Apparently the standard greeting was, "Good day, m'Lady." I had a hard time NOT replying, "G'day mate! How you goin?" Too much time in Australia, I suppose. Actually, it was also tempting to say, "Bonjour, mademoiselle!" too. I can't really do fake accents, only genuine cultural affectations.
Nov. 3rd, 2014 03:24 pm (UTC)
Back when I was going to Rens multiple times a year, I was doing so in an outfit designed with circa-900AD vikings in mind: chainmail, knee-high leather boots, big ol' seax in a sheath, and people would be all "g'day m'lud" and I'd mumble the equivalent of "Yer mom" in old Norse.
Nov. 3rd, 2014 07:37 pm (UTC)
Shoulda just given them the traditional Viking reply: a playful swipe to the neck with your single-edged peacekeeper. :)
Nov. 4th, 2014 03:26 am (UTC)
Had they spoken old norse, they would've given me more space.
Nov. 3rd, 2014 07:41 pm (UTC)
There probably was Renaissance Mexican food. The Spanish controlled the whole area then, and the Renaissance did eventually make its way to Spain, and probably to its colonies. If there's enough evidence (documentary or archeological) we might even be able to eat like they did.

</pedantry> :)
Nov. 3rd, 2014 11:28 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the stuff at this Fair wasn't even trying to go that route, unfortunately. It would have been way more interesting if it had!
Nov. 3rd, 2014 11:42 pm (UTC)
Looks like we can eat like they did:
1520 -Bernal Diaz del Castillo (1496-1584), a Spanish soldier who came with Hernán Cortés to the New World, wrote an intriguing and detailed chronicles called A True History of the Conquest of New Spain. He also chronicled the lavish feasts that were held. From the article by Sophie Avernin called Tackling the taco: A guide to the art of taco eating:
The first “taco bash” in the history of New Spain was documented by none other than Bernal Diaz del Castillo. Hernan Cortes organized this memorable banquet in Coyoacan for his captains, with pigs brought all the way from Cuba. It would, however, be a mistake to think that Cortes invented the taco, since anthropologists have discovered evidence that inhabitants of the lake region of the Valley of Mexico ate tacos filled with small fish, such as acosiles and charales. The fish were replaced by small live insects and ants in the states of Morelos and Guerrero, while locusts and snails were favorite fillings in Puebla and Oaxaca.
So there you have it: yummy fish- and/or bug-filled tacos. (The page has a little more on what they ate, too.)
( 8 remarks — Remark )

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