Woke up this morning in a very high bed in a huge bedroom with bougainvillea dripping down outside the windows and many dogs barking. Not in Kansas.
Annie and I are enjoying everything. We had a long walk around Mexico City on Monday, as the sky drew darker and suddenly erupted into a massive rainstorm. We dashed into a restaurant and had a cold beer and guacamole until it subsided, then strolled on to the historical centre, the Zocalo and the Cathedral and then back to a restaurant recommended by a friend of hers, where we were the only gringos. We watched a Mexican family at the table next to us, parents and two teens, as – just like at home – they all except the mother spent much of the meal interacting with their smartphones.
The flowers are dazzling, the smells, colours, handicrafts, gorgeous hand-painted and carved things. Street vendors line the streets, many tortilla makers or fruit sellers, but also people selling any and everything. The makers of heavy plastic do well here, as everything is quickly covered in the rain and then freed again.
We shared a small, pretty room at the Casa Gonsales, a very reasonable but good hotel, had breakfast in the airy dining room, chatted with two Mexican men at our table who were there for a high-school reunion and invited us out for dinner that night. We had to decline as we were leaving. A good start! Breakfast was fried bananas in lime, corn bread and scrambled eggs with refried beans. Mmm.
The bus to San Miguel was incredibly luxurious with cushioned seats that reclined and little movie screens. I watched “The secret life of bees” in Spanish – I understood enough to know it was not a great film – and then episodes of “Glee,” also in Spanish. Made me sad to see Cory Monteith, whose face was never happy. Surreal, to be hurtling along a Mexican highway watching a doomed young Canadian with a beautiful, sad face.
Annie’s friend Jim was a broadcaster in Toronto for many years, made money somehow – we must ask how – so has a house in Toronto but also a wonderful casa here where he spends most of his time. It’s high above the town, a luxurious and lovely place full of handicrafts. Annie and I not only have our own bedrooms but our own bathrooms. Annie speaks good Spanish, so translated for Jim this morning; he had a locksmith here because the house was broken into while he was back in Canada. There was almost nothing taken, but he wants more safety now. His garden is sublime.
And so the adventure begins.