Merida, Mexico - A man in a white tank top, black drawstring shorts and flip flops drags a beat-up bike from the front room of an abandoned house on a wide boulevard lined with mansions.
Vendors came by with caramel apples and pink and yellow cotton candy on a stick. A clown kept the crowd entertained with a dance routine that called for the audience to mimic his and a partner's moves. "Dancing with the Stars" it was not, but still lots of fun.
Linger long enough and you might get lucky as I did and see a troupe doing "La Danza de la Cabezade Cochino," the dance of the pig's head, a traditional ceremonial dance in which the head of a barbecued pig (made of plaster these days) is passed around on a platter balanced on the heads of the male dancers.
Note: The U.S. State Department has issued an extensive new travel warning about safety in Mexico. The report is the most detailed the U.S. has published to date on the effects of drug-related violence. It's fortunate for anyone thinking of visiting the Yucatan that Merida is on the list of many cities where tourists can expect to travel safely.