It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote about Mexico City. The memories are fuzzier, but I thought tonight that if I don’t write them down now, i may never. Anyway…
The next day K and I went to the Chapultepec Castle, which is an atypical museum on the top of a large hill in the center of D.F. (which was the site of Niños Héroes – 6 teen age boys who died defending the city against the American army in 1847.) There I read a lot about the history of Mexico, the revolutions, the European powers, and the beginnings of Mexico’s grand tradition of racism.
Racism, you say? Every american is familiar with racism – we see minorities discriminated against all the time here. But I always assumed that Mexico would be different. A more accepting place. Nope. It turns out that Mexico City is more racist than any city here. The light skinned (more European) people run the show down there. (And by run the show, I mean dominate and exploit the poor in the most corrupt ways.) Darker skinned indigenous people are looked down on and have little hope of any real position of power or influence in the city. Odd. And sad. It was my second lesson: Racism is a global pandemic and it’s alive and well. Far more invasive and deadly than the swine flu.
On a lighter note, there really are a lot of light skinned, European looking people in D.F. We talked to a super nerdy red-haired guy working at Popeye’s and I would have sworn he was from Iowa. All of the normal fast food restaurants were pervasive there – all except one: Taco Bell. Thank God. As long as I could find an OXXO (Mexico’s Circle K equivalent) I was fine. Un red bull grande y una caja de ‘frosted flakes’. I am a caffeine and cereal junkie, btw.
That night we met up with my friend Mintel, who is a recording engineer in D.F. We saw some live jazz music at the center for the arts and then went out for drinks. We hung out with another group of really cool people including a canadian percussionist who spoke brilliant spanish, of course. I had several shots of premium añejo tequila, several beers, and several energy drinks. My bill? $16 dollars. what? Lesson three: Everything is cheap in Mexico. Seriously. Food is cheap, alcohol is cheap, even drugs are cheap. (Tangent: The reason why drugs like marijuana and cocaine are so expensive in the US is that we spend so much energy, time, and money keeping it out. People are dying all over the border towns because there is so much money to be made in the hyper-inflated drug market in our cities, thanks to our government. Am I pro drugs? Kind of.)
Anyway, that night Mintel repeatedly assured K and I that Mr. Meeble would be well received in D.F. Mostly because people in Mexico are huge fans of American and European music. (and partially because Mr. Meeble is amazing, he said. go figure.) Why is it that everyone wants something they don’t have? No one respects local artists – yet everyone will spend $15 to go see the exotic import of a band who happens to be touring from Japan, etc. That said, I would love to go play live in Mexico City, aside from the whole instability thing (more on that later.) Do I use parenthesis too frequently?
Sunday was Joy’s birthday and the grand trek to Xochimilco.
[ to be continued… ]