It was a cloudy night in the Zocalo, not exactly cold but far from warm. The smog wasn’t something tangible but more a lack of freshness to the air. Four different genres of music flood the air from several directions. All around festive multi-coloured lights brighten the sky. A brief glance crosses a dozen policia in various states of diligence. A few are tautly alert, but most lounge absently, smoking or chatting idly with a street vendor. On stage a man in a Castro mask joins G.W. Bush supplicant at the feet of a reasonable facsimile of Mexico’s current president. The crowd’s jubilant laughter turns to raucous cheering as the play suddenly transforms into a bass-heavy rap extravaganza, complete with semi-choreographed dance routines and loaded with very short skirts. Fifty yards away a tall, neat man wearing glasses and a suit watches a dozen Mexican teenagers perform mostly unsuccessful skateboard stunts. He is flanked by a short, denim-clad farmer in a cowboy hat, and a young Mexican with an elaborate mullet, skin-tight jeans and a pierced neck.
None of this concerns the young couple lying on the pavement making out, or the little girl selling trinkets off a blanket in front of Hugo Boss. The unattractive middle-aged man dressed as an unattractive middle-aged woman is too busy doing the salsa and picking his thong out of his ass to notice.
Now that you’ve got a taste of Mexico City atmosphere, here are some notes from my first couple days:
The Metro (subway):
– is the fastest/cheapest/easiest way to get around the city
– can be absolutely chaotic, although following no discernable pattern
– is clearly marked and easy to navigate
– smells like a tortilla fart
I met a group of British guys playing drinking games….with no girls in sight.
Dick jokes = “puta” jokes = big laughs
“A Little Different”
People buying bags of nuts at the football (soccer) game – the nuts and money pass through half a dozen hands, before the vendor then physically climbs over rows of spectators to squeeze some hot sauce into the bag.
On Saturday afternoon on the side streets near the Zocalo PEDESTRIAN traffic was literally reduced to a standstill in places. Except for the inevitable 4 ft tall bowling ball of a woman who would use her momentum to continue breaking trail, upsetting the laws of physics and bruising tailbones.
“What the #!$*?”
A couple Mexican guys drinking at a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant had obviously, judging by the table full of empties, been at it for a while. With one in the can (for a suspiciously long time, I might add) boredom apparently triggered hiccups in the other.
Well, that was clearly a problem, but nothing compared to combining them with an uncontrollable sneezing fit. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse – that’s right, nosebleed! Dios Mio, what next? So he does what any person in that situation would do, constructs a neat little napkin cylinder, inserts in the damaged nostril and then proceeds to violently shake his head until he a) spilled his beer, b) fell off his chair and c) lie on the floor stunned, staring at the bloody napkin resting obscenely next to his ear.
That’s all for now – I think I’m going to travel to Oaxaca tomorrow and I’ll give you some details on my first professional soccer game next time.