Thursday, April 26, 2007

Premier in Mexican press

OH how funny.

This is what you get when your friend is a reporter who is mexican with a touch of irish blood - completely mischievious and eccentric. Love it - went to a human rights screening the other night and before I knew it I'm in an article penned by my mate Fede!

Actually, this is not my premier in mexican press - it is my second time, ha! we were on a flash on the TV with my neighbour at a soccer match too.

Now all I have to do is conquer the airwaves.....

Life crazy at the moment - looking almost certain I will be living in this country for longer... more explanations and updates to come friends.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

SILVIO RODRIGUEZ and the ballet... two wonderful performances

In the last few weeks I have been to two amazing events-

Firstly, Swan Lake by the national ballet company, on an actual lake in Chapultepec Forest (the massive párk in the centre of town).
What can I say? We couldnt take any photos, but it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. The ballet danced among weeping willows, in the forecourt of actual castles in the park, there were horses, fireworks. I got teary from the beauty.

I also got majorly teary when I took myself along to SILVIO RODRIGUEZ. He is one of my favourite singers, and a latin american icon. He should be a world icon.

I was introduced to the music of silvio 3 years ago by my costa rican friend ricardo.

The music is trova - which is a uniquely latin american (predominantly cuban) style of guitar and voice, mixing traditional latin rhythms, classical guitar and at times a touch of flamenco.
I would say that Silvio is the Bob Dylan of Latin America. But, (here goes nothing) I am going to go out there and say he is so much better than Bob. With such humility, without drugs or hazy mumbling, he delivers the most stirring melodies and wonderful lyrics. Of course a lot of it is political, as he is cuban and has had to deal with castro through his whole career. Trova is inately political.

Again, what can I say but it was breathtaking to be in the national auditorium with thousands of others, all singing along with Silvio to the classic 'Te doy una canccion' - (I give you a song).

'I give you a song, and a discourse, about my right to speak
I give you a song, with my two hands, with the same that kill
I give and I say -homeland- and continue speaking for you
I give you a song - like a shot, like a book, like a word, like a guerilla,
Like I give love.´

The house lights went up, and Silvio just kept coming out and playing more. there were about 5 encores!

This sunday Silvio is giving a free concert in the Zocalo (main square). SO pumped!

The adventures of Chapman and Penman Part 2

Okay, so long time no write! Have come back from uni holidays flooded with things to do (but that is for my next post, first for a recap).

Chapman and I continued our adventures around Mexico, in one of the craziest times of the year - Semana Santa (Easter week) - when the whole country goes mad and floods to the beach! We made our way through the interesting state of Michoacan, passing through easter events on the way. Besides watching a good friday reenaccion procession (see photo below), we found ourself in a tiny town where a young man dressed in a very scary red mask was running around the main square terrorising the kids by chasing after them with a big rope. It's a tradition where the thorny looking devil guy represents Judas. Man, the mask was scary, especially when you saw the guy approaching you on the side of the road! (Joe has the photo of the mask dude.). We also went to a lot of mask making workshops, which were brilliant.

Anyway, zooming along - to our adventures on the central pacific coast - or the story as I would like to put it - 'THE APOCALYPSE, THE TSUNAMI AND THE PLAGUE'. (great title, hey?).

After jumping through a ridiculously packed beach town on easter saturday and partying with this lovely group of mexicans pictured below, Joe and I found ourself on what was supposed to be a very isolated and beautiful beach called Maruata. Sure, the beauty of the place couldnt be denied, but when we arrived it was certainly not isolated. The beach was chock-a-block of people camping, hammocks, cabins and a general feel of Byron-Nimbin drugged out seediness. We were not very impressed on first impression. But oh well, we slept in a cabin that night and over gin and tonics prayed that the next day there would be a massive APOCALYPTIC EXODUS from Maruata, with streams of holiday makers leaving the beach in a traffic jam of solemn faces.. while we would be relaxing in our little paradise. And that is pretty much what's happened! Easter sunday saw the place a lot more quiet, while all the hoardes returned to the city to work. Satisfied by being survivors at the end of the world, we rented a tent on the beach for $1.70 each and dug into fresh chili prawns, playing cards and books. This happiness lasted a couple of nights, until the biblical events kept happening, and next came what I am calling the 'TSUNAMI'. (not really). A series of huge waves culminated in a huge one coming right into our tent, and wetting all our stuff. Ha! all my important stuff survived in tact though, (camera and ipod thank god!). So, that night we slept in hammocks - the worst sleep of my life! at about 2am in the morning the breeze was bloody freezing, I had no dry clothes.... aaargh. So the next night saw us a few hours up the coast drinking margharitas and stuffing ourselves at a resort... until, poor Chapman was smited by a PLAGUE of stomach yuckness, or Montezuma's revenge or something.

Anyway, last weekend found us back in mexico city after a good-time holiday, but one that was certainly not without hiccups and rather absurd incidents. There is a lot more to describe, but hey. this is just a glimpse.

The last weekend was a great chill out of going to the soccer, enjoying such great meals in my neighbourhood, mariachi bands (pictured below) and a good jazz club.

Chapman is now in new york on his way to live in London for the forseeable future with his girlfriend and a great crowd over there. After this trip he has become my adopted brother! Love ya work Joe.

Monday, April 2, 2007

The adventures of Chapman and Penman part 1

My good mate Joe Chapman arrived last week, for my two week uni holiday. We are spending time travelling around the country and also in mexico city together.

It is just great to have an old friend here - to know each other's sense of humour and to be able to make wise cracks and giggle at silly things together. Good stuff.

Joe is quite discerning with his cosmopolitan taste (having lived in Tokyo for a year rubbed off on him a bit), so we have been stretching ourselves to really 'disover' the 'happening' nightspots of this town. That has been fun to explore with Joe, as I dont always get the opportunity to do that with my mex friends. Joe should really start up his own nightclub review site.

Anyway, here are some happy pics. We went to a gorgeous town called Guanajuato. Wonderful.
The middle photo is of the Alhondiga, the a huge old granary which was the site of one of the biggest battles for Independence from spain. The rowdy masses gathered outside while the Spanish shut themselves in this big building inside. After the battles were won by the independence mob, they hung the heads of spanish in large cages outside the Alhondiga.