Family, Frida, futbol, lucha & una gran sopresa
Trip Start Nov 06, 2009
354Trip End May 28, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
It's wonderful to be back Mexico City. Although in a way it's very sad as it signifies the culmination of our Big Adventure, what better way than to end it here with my family.
We've spent most of our time here hanging out with family. We've been staying Tita's house. She's very frail and has good days and bad days and needs a lot of rest and constant care, but she was in good spirits when we arrived, wanted to hear all about our trip, and has even been chatting with Risto in English.
We've really enjoyed spending time with Ane, my aunt. She had a fall a few months ago and has been pretty much housebound with her leg in a cast, but the day we arrived was told by the doctor that she could start taking it off and even go swimming.
On thursday we walked with her to La Posta, a great restaurant next to her house (which used to be the house where my three great aunt's lived), and had a great afternoon catching up and swapping travel stories with Ane who's very well-travelled and avid reader of this blog.
On Friday Anne my cousin took us to Coycoacan, my favourite Mexico City neighbourhood. Last time we were here the zocalo was all ripped up and under rennovation. Now the work is complete and looking lovely.
In Coyoacan we visited La Conchita, the little church where my parents got married. Unfortunately the inside is under rennovation so we couldn't go in, but we wandered around the outside which is very pretty.
We also visited La Casa Azul, (the Blue House), where Frida Kahlo grew up, worked, spent her dying days, and where Diego Rivera lived for a while. It's also where Trotsky (allegedly her lover for a bit) lived when he first arrived in Mexico from Russia.
Although I don't much like Kahlo's paintings I've always found her life story fascinating, and first visited La Casa Azul 13 years ago when I was researching her life and work for my A level Art History coursework dissertation. I'd forgotten a lot about it though, so it was interesting to go back, and also see other rooms displaying hers, Rivera's and other artists' work which were only opened four years ago.
We ended our visit to Coyoacan with a visit to the rennovated mercado de artesanias, and an mango and chamoy ice cream in the famous heladeria on the plaza.
On Friday evening Yuyi and Salvador took us to Mexico City's Arena stadium to watch the Lucha Libre. There were five fights in all, each with 4, 5 or 6 fighters at a time - I hadn't appreciated that it wasn't simply one on one like regular boxing.
They all have funny names like 'Angel Azteca', 'Skandalo' and 'Super Comando', even funnier costumes with crazy capes and elaborate masks, and the 'fighting' - although ridiculously theatrical and rehearsed - is hilarious and actually very impressively acrobatic.
The atmosphere in the stadium was great; people come from all over the country to watch these shows. And although they are all show, the fans appear to take it all super seriously, yelling and screaming (mainly very rude but very funny Mexican obscenities) all the way through. It's like pantomine, only it's more difficult to tell who are the baddies and who are the goodies and who are the winners and who are the losers.
'Super Porky', 'Maximo' and 'Toscano' vs 'Negro Casas', 'El Terrible' and 'Rey Bucanero' was a particularly entertaining match. Super Porky, as his name suggests, is on the rather large side (although he's still remarkably agile for one so wobbly). We were on his side as they had prettier outfits, and the opposition, 'El Terrible' and his motely crew wore too much eye make-up and looked vicious. I think Super Porky & Co won in the end, although it was pretty close.
Just when I thought we were watching possibly the most ridiculous thing I've seen in my life, they brought out the midget luchadores. The penultimate fight was between 'Averno', 'Ultimo Guerrero' and 'Ephesto' versus 'Blue Panther', 'La Mascara' and 'Mascara Dorada' (the latter a very camp luchador, dressed in black spandex with fushia pink trim, rather like Daffyd out of Little Britain). Each side had a midget mascot - one dressed as a fluffy blue teddy bear and the other as a feathery green parrot. Each team abused the opposing team's midget, then the baddies, led by 'Ultimo Guerrero' started beating up their own poor little parrot man, which seemed rather uncalled for.
The whole spectacle is so ridiculous it really has to be seen to be believed. Unfortunately however cameras are prohibited in the Arena stadium so, dear readers, you'll have to use your imaginations for this one.
Saturday was party day. My uncle Pepe had organised a surprise birthday party for my aunt Chelo. He'd been planning it for months and the effort paid off as the whole thing was a massive success. Pepe had organised about 150 of Chelo's family and friends to get together in the very elegant club Libanes in Mexico City to celebrate Chelo's 50th. When they stepped into the room it was obvious that he'd done an amazing job and Chelo hadn't suspected a thing.
The party was a lot of fun, involving much fine drinking and dining, a fantastic 'This is Your Life' style photo powerpoint presentation, and some very very funny fancy dress dance-offs. Once we'd all been suitably fed and watered (or beer/wine/tequilaed), Sr. Freddy Okon - MC and choreographer extraordinaire - really got the party started by splitting the guests up into boys and girls and raiding his fancy dress box.
First it was the lads turn. With a drum roll and a swift wave of the magic mike, most of the male contingent were transformed into Elvis (some great thrusting from both Fers Sr and Jr and Patricio)/ Michael Jackson (excellent moonwalking and thrilling breakdancing from Diego, Gon &
Then it was the ladies turn. On strutted some stunning Shakiras (including Paty & Lalita led by Chelo in a great feathery headpiece), Abba (Yuyi's pink jumpsuit and feather boa were simply
That warmed everyone up and the rest of the evening was spent dancing some more, drinking some more, eating some more, and generally having a very jolly time into the early hours.
Sunday was another party day; this time a house-warming party at my aunt and uncle's new place. Everyone gathered there to watch the Pumas (Mexico City's favourite footy team) match on telly (they won), and to inaugurate Javier & Cuquis' beautiful new ultra-modern state of the art pad.
It's amazing. The entrance hall has an entire wall covered in hanging pot plants with their very own irrigation system which trickles water from the top down three times a day. Chris now wants a bath/shower/sauna room which is rigged up to a sound system in the master bedroom so that you
After a lovely afternoon hanging out with family and enjoying Cuquis' delicious-as-ever spread of ceviche and cochinita pibil, Risto and I said a temporary adios to Mexico City and set off with Pepe, Chelo, Danny and Diego to Leon, Guanajuato, for a few days...