I spent a bit over a week in the capital of Mexico – an overwhelming place at the altitude of almost 2300m where traffic decides whether you will have time to do more than two things per day or not. I had the bad luck of being “sick” and having to run errands, so three mornings were cut out of my Mexico City schedule. However, as visiting a place isn’t about ticking the box of the tourist attractions for me, but rather trying to get a feeling of what the people and the athmosphere are all about – I think I got my proper dose of the big, crowded, anguish filled city and the chilangos.
Ady took me to the house of Frida Kahlo, which was beautiful and interesting but very sad at the same time. Just the fact that this amazing woman lived her entire life in sadness and pain – and then became an inspiration and muse for such a vast amount of people. It bothered me how her painful story is a huge reason to why she is so loved, I do get that it is her strenght, depth and endurance that inspires – but it’s still complete strangers giving the crying self-portraits of Frida Kahlo some kind of catharsis function, feeding on her pain.
As if Frida’s obsession with her own uterus and paintings of her body pierced with spikes wasn’t bizarre enough – I visited a market where puppies in small cages were crying out for love along with exotic monkeys, lizards and colourful parrots. Just next to this terror of animal abuse were stands with animal heads, statues of saints, herbs, voodoo dolls and “magic powders” to cast spells of love, hate and revenge. The market was sickening in many, many ways – but it needed to be seen and showed how there still is a big demand based on superstition and jealousy. One interesting spell was that of “Con nadie más podrás” which basically translates to, “You won’t be able to with anybody else” and is a powder one (always the woman) is supposed to put in a drink of the partner for him not being able to have sex with anybody else. Ever. Then of course there was the “closing mouth” spell that will stop people from talking about you, which I understand could be pretty useful in a soap opera society, the straight up “hate” powder, and then the “regresa a mi” powder for the lost lover to come back. How is that supposed to work, anyway? Is it during the “So, I thought we could have a last coffee together” that the obsessive woman is supposed to throw the powder into the drink? It was all awkward and pretty ridiculous, but mostly sad. There is a considerable amount of people who turn their hopes of revenge and hate to magic powders, instead of letting go of their latino drama and caring about the suffering of animals instead.
The city in itself, its buildings and architecture, was beautiful, and we went up the highest tower to have a look at it from above. Mexico City is a neverending carpet of houses squeezed together in a valley, hosting a bit over 21 million people. That’s entire Sweden times two. I was with Chema and two friends who also lived in the same apartment in Barcelona in 2011 when we all were there – it was such a nice reunion! During all of the time as we walked up the tower, sat there, and came down again, a big group of people were dancing non-stop in a traditional ceremony. I was watching, taking pictures and would have loved to stay for longer, but then we kind of had to rush home because it would take us more than an hour to get there. Gah! At least the food was wonderful and the company good fun, even though some actually call their own city Mexico Shitty, and I’m not very surprised – it can be a frustrating place.
The last photo is of Chema’s toys. Next time I’m close to them I’ll make sure to have enough time to play.