Thursday, June 11, 2015

Day Two in DF: Barragan, Teeth, and Rules

This morning we ate breakfast at the Coyoacan market and Matt nearly managed to eat it without looking green. We bought a lot of fruit from a saleswoman who gave us tastes of everything...some of which were gross and some of which were divine. Eventually, I had to walk away for fear she would continue to cut pieces of fruit for me to eat. What a tough life, right? Oh and the cut flowers! A dozen roses for $3 - I can have flowers in my house every day!

We ate breakfast in the market as well at a place called La Perla Perdida (the lost pearl) which had excellent enchiladas although the coffee wasn't worth drinking. They also had french fries and so Violet was able to stave off starvation for a little bit longer.

We had a 12:30 appointment at the Luis Barragan House Museum, we took a taxi which started to drive us all over the city before the driver realized that Pepe was watching google maps and so then he pretended he was lost. We still got to the museum an hour early and so we went to a playground which smelled a lot like what I imagine hell smells like.

30 minutes before our entry time to the Barragan house we started our walk back up the street where we saw a 4 car accident. It apparently required 30 police officers to address the accident. Three of the officers were dedicated to simply asking that passing cars no longer park and stare, but at least pretend they were still moving.

The Barragan house was amazing, we took a tour in Spanish that I tried to translate for Matt but managed to miss enormous chunks of. I have no idea how those simultaneous translators do it because you have to be translating what you have already heard at the same time that you are listening for the next thing to translate. I'm sure I sounded like a kindergartner as I forgot all of my English grammar and turned into Google translate.

After the Barragan house we walked over the park Chapultepec and took a circuitous route to the palace. We saw the baths of Montezuma and the Monument to the Ninos Heroes as well as a wonderful relaxation garden where water is misted, silence is golden, and the chairs are all loungers. The squirrels are very friendly and hardly frightened of people. They range from frosted gray to black and brown and I wished that I had brought handfuls of nuts because I could have made an enormous number of furry friends.

As we continued our walk to the palace, I had to stop and drink a coke because I hadn't had enough coffee and I get withdrawal headaches. Sad. I hate coke, so I drink it really fast, but the carbonation makes that difficult, so I swirl it around until it's flat...and I can't think of anything more disgusting than a flat coke. So, I suffer. In any case, the palace is really beautiful, the views from the terrace are amazing if nothing else. You can see the whole city laid out before you...well, what is visible despite the smog. There are such a number of helicopters pattering around that it looks like something impressive is happening, but it turns out that is normal, as is the jammed traffic, and the bizarre rule enforcement.

So, what I have noticed in Mexico is that you can get away with rubbing your hands on the works of art but when I tried to use a handicapped bathroom stall, despite the fact that there was a long line and not a single person in it needed that stall, I was told in no uncertain terms that I could not use it. Better apparently for the stall to remain empty. They seem to believe that a handicapped stall isn't something offered but rather reserved. I also tried to go right when circulating through an exhibit but apparently left is the only way...and a line of tourists all believing a certain opening was the point of entry and each having to be individually told it is not, doesn't require any rethinking of the circulation or additional signage.

When we left the palace we skirted over the Museum of Modern Art. Violet and Pepe waited outside because Violet was eating some sort of chili covered junk food and, frankly, Pepe was sick of modern art. Despite the fact that over 70% of the galleries were closed, the remaining portions were fantastic and so it was well worth the fee. It was such a refreshing way to view modern art, each piece being so unique and each absolutely enthralling. The museum building itself was worth the visit as the center is domed in such a way that the slightest whisper is elevated to a resonating command. I decided to sing in the center and it was as if the sound became 3 dimensional, I hardly had to raise my voice and yet it filled the air. I wasn't just making the sound but completely enveloped in it. It was wonderful.

After the museum we found what may be the only honest taxi driver in all of Mexico city. It was an accident, of course. We learned that all legitimate cabs will have plates that start with the letter A, B, or M and if they don't they aren't on the up and up. We also learned that instead of 260 pesos, it really only costs 60 pesos to get to our house from the center. Pepe has started sitting up front with the taxi driver and being obvious that he is checking the route via google maps so that they know we know where we are. We got this drivers number and plan on calling him whenever we need a cab.

The taxis in DF are being painted pink as part of the new government's plan for...something. Apparently every time there is someone new in power, the taxis all have to be painted as part of their plan. Of course.  There isn't anything else more demanding of the attention of politicians, clearly.

Once we were home, we headed out to get ice cream and by luck found an amazing place - the cheesecake ice cream was hard for me to stop eating. I will be enormous when I get back to the US, but I will be happy! I bought a beautiful skirt made with Indian silk (because I come to Mexico to buy clothes made in India...) and afterwards the sky turned menacing so we turned for home.

In the morning we had bought squash blossoms, mushrooms, potatoes and a variety of other things to cook for dinner, which I dutifully did. However, given that we are using a guest kitchen, it was hard to find enough bowls and plates to prep and cook, so it took a long time to throw the food together. It was good though! Add a little tequila bought at a local store to the fresh squeezed orange juice and we were having a good time. Of course now the apartment smells like garlic, so we'll see how enjoyable that is over the long run.

By the way when we were at the palace, Violet's gums started to bleed near her loose tooth. Well, when we got home, after eating chocolate ice cream, I was cleaning around her mouth with a baby wipe when it accidentally hit the tooth and out it came! Finally! Although she is disturbingly upset that she no longer looks creepy. I have tried to reassure her that she still looks creepy to me, but to no avail.

Violet is sleeping in her own room which is pretty amazing, but I'm not sure Pepe can handle her independence. He misses her when she doesn't need him.

And another bit of good news: it turns out my father did NOT break his ankle, instead the x-ray showed an old break and since he had been told not to put any weight on it, he didn't know it didn't they are still going to be able to come and visit us! So, more adventures to come in the mid-term future too!

I feel like I do more in a day here than in a month back home and that here I haven't even written about the half of it. I need to do it thought to jog my memory because life is so much, well, 'lifier' here in Mexico. It's exhausting but invigorating at the same time. It's late now and yet I will still be up early in the morning, ready for another full day, the real challenge is to see if I can capture and convey even a tenth of it.

Good night!

1 comment:

  1. Does Matt always turn green at food there? Is he a fussy eater like Violet?
    Did Jack come with you or did you sell him?
    Are you still in Mexico City? And where to next?