In Mexico, good food everywhere

Here, the people speak, and the state listens
Under construction
Long live death!
Are you winning, son?
Currently not available
Rising up
Through the hearts
Bags aplenty
So much to choose from
The Mexican holy grail
Finding a calling
Metal flower
Which way to the Museo?
Can we go in?
Pyramid of the sun
Pyramid of the sun
Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque
Late night shenanigans
Fancy church
Philosophical dog
Ready to learn
The oldest public library in the Americas
Free Gaza
Popo is smoking
Are we not men?
Floating away
Ready? Fight!
I'm not a man
The light shines in
I kiss the grape
Am I pretty?
Today, here, now
Magic's in the air
It's a bloco!
Memories of yesterday
I'm posing with the man with the funny hat
Newfangled michelada style
The micheladas are getting out of hand
Mexican carnival
But which to pick?
I'll have the sheep's head, please
Feeling it
Gone but not forgotten
Visions of Indy
Nothing is labelled. Nothing is priced.

Natalia needed to be in Mexico for a meeting, right during carnival. That’s almost blasphemous for Brazilians, so to make the best of it, I booked myself on the ‘ultra low cost carrier’ Arajet, the flag carrier of the Dominican Republic, and got myself to Mexico, too.

‘Ultra low cost’ apparently includes to mean that no food or drink, whatsoever, is served, which, on my 14 hour journey, was unpleasant.
Then, at my stopover, the airport in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, I encountered a new stage of capitalism; virtually nothing, in the shops and restaurants, was priced. You take, or order, what you want, and then pay the mystery price for it at the till. Sure, ‘you can ask what it costs’, but when was the last time you had to do that when shopping in a supermarket, or ordering a meal?

Meanwhile, the regular sized screwdriver, which I need for this little project I’m working on, made it through two luggage screenings. Though not on the way back; the Mexicans didn’t see it fit for air travel.

In terms of food and drink for the journey back, we had come to the pleasant discovery that excellent, tasty, huge, and cheap, sandwiches are a staple of Mexican City street food. So, I made sure I was provisioned properly for my return journey.

Upon arrival in Mexico, we first only had a short night in Mexico City (in a love motel, featuring rooms with bubble bath and, ehm, ‘love’ chairs), as we had to leave early, ahead of traffic, to make it to a friend in Tepoztlán, not too far from Mexico City, for the local carnival, and before that city would go on lockdown for their festivities. We made it, but only barely, as getting to the friend’s house meant driving through the town’s main drag, if only for 50 meters, which was already packed with stalls and people by the time we got there. At a snail’s pace, we made it through.

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We were under the impression that Mexico doesn’t really celebrate carnival, and that the festivities in Tepoztlán were an exception, where locals dress up in grotesque versions of colonial administrators and dance the day away. Here, the micheladas, beer with a shot of lime juice, with the rim of the beer glass covered in salt, were post-modern, with the salt replaced by a, rather disturbing, sweet fruity paste.

The street party in Tepoztlán was comparable to a Brazilian bloco, a street party where a parade is lead by a group of musicians, followed by dressed up, or not, locals, chased by individuals trying to make a few bucks with beer sales.
It was fun.

Then, after Tepoztlán, after we drove with Popo, Popocatépetl, in full view, we got ourselves to Puebla, the location of Natalia’s meeting, where we found chinelos, the name for the Mexican carnival dress, a common sight there, too. And we even stumbled into a late-night dance-off of carnival troupes, with particularly one, deploying participants dressed up like devils, or demons, reminding me of European pagan rituals.

Next, a return to Teotihuacan, where nothing much seems to have changed since my last visit, a mere 16 years ago. Still, the venue leaves you awed.
The Pyramid of the Sun, the largest pyramid on the site, was named as such by the Aztecs, not the original builders of ‘the place where men become gods’. And, now, more recent research, amongst others finding a fresh spring underneath this pyramid, suggests that perhaps this pyramid was dedicated to a water god, not that pesky old sun.
And why is the site’s main avenue off from true north by so many degrees? This paper makes an interesting and convincing case, that the orientation was based on magnetic readings, identifying ‘true’ north at the time of its likely design and initial construction, around 400BC.

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We finished up with a short whirlwind tour of Mexico City. Very pleasant, though traffic can be horrendous, while the metro system is still excellent, if perhaps a tad busy.

On our walks, twice did we encounter large public gatherings, specifically for, it seemed, attandees to purchase and smoke weed. These places appear to be authorised specifically for exchanging weed for a donation, and then consuming the new acquisition, on the spot.
We didn’t get tempted, but we did by the many street food offerings all over the city.