Thursday, October 23, 2008
On October 2nd, my visa was supposed to be ready. I just got it back from migration services today. So, I decided to celebrate and go to the Franz Meyer Museum. I went to see an exhibit of the 2008 Best Press Photos. Many of the pictures stopped me in my tracks: the female, Kurdish guerrilla fighters, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, and the US soldiers in Afghanistan coming face to face with the villagers. In the end, I wandered out of the exhibit slightly shell-shocked to recuperate in the courtyard where they had an exhibition of posters, as you will see in the photo above.
While I was walking to the museum, I saw a sea of policeman standing in the streets close to Reforma. I wondered what the hullabaloo was all about and curiously made my way into the crowd. Once again, it was protesters gathering to denounce the privatization of the Mexican oil comp
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Last Friday I finally escaped from the loud, fast-paced, polluted city and went to Tepoztlan. Tepoztlan is a town in the state of Morelos, about an hour outside of Mexico City, which makes it a popular weekend getaway for city folk. It sits at the base of the Tepoztlan valley so all that you see are breath-taking views of mountains that have eroded over the years in a very unique way; "...[they] look like the work of some abstract expressionist giant" (Frommer's Guide). The town is filled with artsy people who line the streets, selling their artisanal goods. I was eye-balling some typical Mexican blouses with embroidered flowers around the neck, but I held back. In due time, I will start making purchases. The problem is: where do I begin? There are too many neat things and too many talented people producing them.
Tepoztlan had a fabulous open-air market in the center of town. I am quite the fan of markets as they are part of the identity of a country. So, on Saturday morning, Carlos, his mom, Sylvia and I went there to get food for the rest of the family. We were given a list of 24 quesadillas or so, to bring back to the house. The three of us decided that we were entitled to eat right then and there, as we were the food runners, so we did. Gabi, Carlos' cousin, told us to go the heavy-set quesadilla lady, stationed next to the man selling fresh juices. We sat down in front of the grill and ordered. I ate my favorite blue tortillas again with flor de calabaza (the flowers from gourds) and one with mushrooms. To top off breakfast, Carlos and I split an "agua fresca" made with lemons.
A couple of hours later, we arrived back at the house with the food to be recieved by his starving family. After everyone was well-fed, we lounged by the pool, read, soaked up the sun and listened to Pati's Spanish boyfriend play guitar flamenco style. I was quite pleased to be in a bathing suit, laying outdoors and letting the sun beat down on my bare skin. Back in Mexico City, it has been overcast, slightly cold and rainy. It is not the Mexican climate that I imagined. But, the weather in Tepoztlan was.
The other beautiful characteristic of Tepoztlan is that it gave me the opportunity to reflect. During the week, I go to work, follow around doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, etc. and then return home immediately to write field notes on the days' observations. In other words, I get in the grind and do not take time to reflect on my life outside of work. Being in the valley, surrounded by gigantic, weirdly shaped mountains brought me peace. As Picasso said, "I don't look, I find." This weekend I did not have to look for peace, as I normally do in the city, rather I found peace in nature and my surroundings.