Chinese New Year a la Mexicana
Last week was a slow week and thus there was very little to report. However, the growing influence of the Chinese Lunar New Year has made its way into Mexico City, into what is colloquially called, “the Chinese neighborhood” (which in truth is little more than 2 city blocks long and equally as thin).
And if I ever had any doubts about the density of the city, dear reader, let me put your mind to rest and say that yes, this is indeed one of the largest cities in the world. The was very little by the way of “celebrations” – what my cousin and I found was a veritable marketplace with stalls on either side of the street and the throngs of people so thick that one could only pass going sideways.
We asked about three different people if there would be any sort of events aside from the various chinches and bags of fortune cookies – but the only response we got were the inconsistent ones that perhaps, maybe there would be a show at one, three, four o’clock. So much for Chinese New Year a la Mexicana.
Given that I am not one much to feeling like a sardine, my cousin and I decided that it would be a better spend of our day to go someplace else. Given that I have already been (by my count) to nearly all of the museums in Mexico and much of the touristing – it took a moment to find a place to go. Where we settled was the Palacio de Mineria, which apparently only takes guided tours anymore. All well and good, since aside from the giant stone buildings of all of downtown Mexico City, it would be hard to tell the history from it.
Heres a fun fact: the building took 16 years to build (the Mexican war for independence occurring during this time) but only took 9 months for the weight of the building and swamp land of the city to cause it to start sinking and sinking. No worries, the neo-classical architecture building still stands (albeit slightly askew). And what a beautiful building. Classes originally were tiny, as the requirements to joining were super strict and reserved for the upper echelons of Catholic Mexican society. The original purpose of the building – that is studying geology and mining – has been outsourced to one of Mexico’s universities, but what I probably found the coolest was that the building still currently holds a 14,000 ton meteorite of unknown age and origin. And if that is the size of the rock that actually made it into the atmosphere to land, the original meteoroid must’ve been some dozens of miles long.
Mexico City really is a foodie place if you know where to look, and my cousin took us to eat fish tacos; because obviously having lived here her entire life, she knows the best places to ferret out a meal. Which while at the time of lunch was delicious – to someone with a more sensitive stomach (aka me) it was a hard evening having what felt like elephants on parade in my intestines. Not that I regret it, not one bit. The place we went to for coffee was also tremendously hip – barring the fact that to get there took swimming in what felt like a literal sea of people. But hey, we sat and talked over our green cappuccinoes and modern 3 leches cake.
Sunday morning we went to the Modern Art museum, which was housing a few eyebrow raising exhibits. What I find curious is that they allow you take pictures, but the moment you want to take video, the guards come and stand over your shoulder until they are sure that you deleted the picture. If the admission is free (on Sundays) and art is to be shared, then I remain flummoxed at why or how this distinction comes in. Alas. I did manage to snag a few interesting pictures of Kazuya Sakai‘s work, but the museums held little else of interest for me.
In other life updates, this morning I bought my ticket to Cancun, Quintana Roo to visit my cousins and probably also soak up some sun while I am there. I will be leaving in just under a week’s time and will be staying for a week – just long enough to celebrate one of my cousin’s birthdays. It has been about four years since I saw them last – and I am looking forward to eating more seafood, sand between my toes, and taking the penultimate week in Mexico for all that it has to offer.
Between then and now, I believe there to be a trip to Tequisquiapan for some sort of cultural festival that will be happening this weekend.
I almost can’t believe that we’ve made it to February, and that my trip is more than halfway through. Still, I look forward to what Mexico has to bring almost as much as I look forward to burying my face in my kitten’s fluffy belly.
Much love from Mexico, and stay tuned for further adventures!