We are coming to the end of our time here in this marvellous varied country, the next adventure beckons in New Zealand.
We spent until the 18th January in our familiar shack, Casa Rosada in San Cristobal. We had some good times there, though we were both a little lonesome and blue around Christmas. The dodgy boiler and cabbagey smell were not among the highlights either, but we had some good tequila nights with our neighbour (who has seen Elvis, The Doors, and met Tom Waits). I had many moments of Hummingbird delights in our little garden and started up a new website which displays images much better. (have a look, do – http://www.franriley.com). So, on balance it was all pretty good. The major excitement in our last week was Matt hooking up with an excellent guitarist and very nice guy. They played Gypsy Manouche music together playing three gigs and the sparks just flew!
We flew to Mexico City, after deciding against the bone numbing coach journey, to stay once again with our dear (and very patient) friend Angeles and her sweet cat Zaha. One of the lovely things about being return visitors is that Zaha went from hiding behind the furniture to sitting on my lap at any opportunity, I felt most honoured. Matt was nobly wading through 46 Queen songs so I went off adventuring on my own, continuing my Frida Kahlo pilgrimage.
I went to the houses that Diego Rivera had built for them, consisting of a big pink one for him and a smaller blue one for her joined by a walkway to the roofs. She was miserable here and I could see why, it felt like a functional industrial unit, such a contrast to the soft quirkiness of her family home, Casa Azul. I did some serious pavement pounding that day and got lost numerous times, I developed a bit of a system in asking for directions, if four or more people agreed it was one way then there’s just a chance it could be. They are so obliging most Mexicans, but they can’t stand to admit they might not know the way, so they just make it up! At one point two traffic police joined in the earnest discussion of where I should go while the traffic waited in chaos.
We said gracias to Angeles and moved into an apartment in the city (after getting lost in the taxi!) From the outside it looked really grim and squalid, but was surprisingly clean and comfortable inside. Again I went off on art adventures while Matt was manacled to the computer and Queen. They have some mighty impressive museums and galleries here, I went to the beautiful art deco Belle Artes with murals by all of Mexican big boys. Matt finished his work and we went out exploring, among our finds were the most fabulous post office in the world, a meteorite, a bizarre perfume shop straight out of Harry Potter, a magical cafe with a scary waitress, an Escher exhibition and a modern milagro (miracle) featuring Lila Downs.
On our last day we battled our way through a crowd clutching plaster Jesus’ posted some cards, Matt checked out a street of guitars, drank beer in the sun and I had a ‘limpia’, a traditional Aztec cleansing involving herbs and lots of incense. I then went and un-cleansed myself with more beer!
Now we’re packed and ready for LA, then NZ… see you there.
Gallery of pics Click on any pic below to see full size slideshow and also check the video at the bottom of the page too!
Video of the Zocalo in Mexico City