Mexico City was a truly a joy to visit during the Navidad week especially in the competent organization talents of Charter Club Tours of Ajijic. I had taken some tours with them before so was totally confident in me having a truly memorable time in this city that has MORE people living in the metropolitan area than ALL of Canada!
Arriving in the late afternoon of the 21rst I was pleasantly surprised to see blue sky and sun in what I thought was supposed to be one of the most polluted cities on Earth. Well, yes, there continue to be bad days and periods but the sun was certainly shining on us when we arrived at the Sheraton in Zona Rosa. Well situtated in the very heart of this muy interesant area, the service and attention to detail by the hotel staff and concierge was definitely up to Norte Americano standards. The rooms were a bit on the small side but the amenities and cleanliness was top notch. My only complaint was regarding the functional but noisy air conditioner that was of the old style.
Zona Rosa itself is a funky, eclectic collection of shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs and features many pedestrian only streets for easy walking. The sidewalks are indeed pinkish and the area is known as a gay area of the city. Well lit at night, my amiga and I went out our very first evening to find a restaurant por la cena and found Papa Bills, a lively sidewalk sports bar that had passable but reasonably inexpensive food. At that first meal we learned that a 15% gratiuty is automatically added so tipping for good or exceptional service is not an option. We were also charged for the usual taco chips and salsa which generally speaking is typically gratis with a meal.
After two days of riding two complete routes of the double decker red Turibus around the city I topped off my last two days with a movie. At Cinema Diana, just a few blocks from the hotel I saw El Incredible Vida de Walter Mitty starring Ben Stiller and on my final night in District Federales I saw El Hobbit. Personally, I’m already hobbitted out from the first one of two epics but The Secret Life of Diana was at 10:15 and I was leaving for SMA in the morning. I really did like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, though. It was one of those feel good Christmas movies that was a remake/update and also had Sean Penn who played one of those distant Bridges of Madison County type photographers who chase the sun, volcanoes and in this case a very rare snow leopard.
I really liked the scene where Sean Penn up in the Himalayas stalking the snow leopard actually DOES have a sighting but chooses not to snap a picture that would probably be worth thousands of dollars. He tells Walter that sometimes he just ‘stays in the moment.’ This struck a chord with me as at the outset, I wanted to chronicle my life and times day by day, hour by hour in Ajijic and Mexico City but ultimately I was busy being ‘in the moment’ punctuated by some cel phone pictures of the special sites we visited or my special times. I live, I record, I reflect. I think I’ve decided to live and reflect and not be obsessive with recording and chronicling every single detail.
It always amazes and mystifies me how some/many/most first person narratives are so incredibly detailed right down to day to day, hour by hour dialogue. I’ve pledged to read at least one book a week during 2014 and my current choice is ‘Orange is the New Black’ and the author is unrealistically gifted at recreating every single scene of her year of incarceration. The poor Million Tiny Pieces and Pennies for Schools was castigated for fabricating and embellishing their respective first person narratives. Honestly, I really don’t know if such total recall is in fact even possible without using some type of auditory or visual recording not just memory or journalling. I would personally have some difficulty accurately describing what I did this morning in detailed chronological order let alone what I did during an extremely stressful period in my life.
More text and pictures to be posted later…but not too much later. Time for another coffee and snack for sustanence!