Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jaime Sabines - a great Mexican poet

Digo que no puede decirse el amor...

Digo que no puede decirse el amor.
El amor se come como un pan.
se muerde como un labio,
se bebe como un manantial.
El amor se llora como a un muerto,
se goza como un disfraz.
El amor duele como un callo,
arturde como un panal,
y es sabroso como la uva de cera
y como la vida es mortal.

El amor no se dice con nada,
ni con palabras ni con callar.
Trata de decirlo el aire
y lo está ensayando el mar.
Pero el amante lo tiene prendido,
untando en la sangre lunar,
y el amor es igual que una brasa
y una espiga de sal.

La mano de un manco lo puede tocar,
la lengua de un mudo, los ojos de un ciego,
decir y mirar.
El amor no tiene remedio
y sólo quiere jugar.

Alabanza - Song of Praise

Give me the sound of water, some copper-coloured earth, verdant landscape and some lazy cows, and I am happy.






Song of praise - for everything in 2009. And blessings for 2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Se acaba el año - The year is coming to a close

I recently sat down and idly leafed through my 2009 diary. It made me laugh, and remember all the things that have happened this year. 2009 has been a giant monster of a year. A year of growth. And I have to admit I´m exhausted!

I found looking through my diary somehow therapeutic. It was a moment to pause and remind myself that my fatigue does come from somewhere, and that actually, it´s time to rest up, after this wonderful, chaotic year, full of changes.

Here are some snapshots of the scribbles throughout my 2009 diary. Maybe this won´t mean anything for the outside observer, but for me it was nice to jot some of this down.

Life is very fast, and I believe these moments of pause at the end of the year are times for calm and comfort. Merry Christmas everyone! especially to my family. See you in February. Miss you lots!

Budget - 43,000 pesos November!; Drinks with Chapman and friends; Armario/Alacena, NIsh´s wedding!, Reyes Magos; Call HURIDOCS, Lee Docs EPU; Evento Carmen Aristegui, Reserve Room UN Palace; Ometusco 10 # 8; Supper @Margarets; Agendar Reunión Amnistía Internacional; G & G; Centro Budista; Carta - Rodolfo y Teodoro; Rolling Stone Fact Checking; Solicitud OMCT; Fiesta Javier; Curso Meditación; Atenco/Oaxaca; Mi Cumpleaños 26!; Press Contacts Geneva; News Ad - Atenco, Merida Initiative; Write neatly maddy!; Cobadonga; H & M arrive!!!; Itzlan, 2pm, Fiesta Carlos; Chicago; Meditate: survivor; nomasabusos.org; Diagonal San Antonio 1684 #13 entre Vertiz y Cuahutémoc, Campaña, PAY GAS; Blues Fest; PRESS KIT; Josh Pyke downloads, CALL NAB BANK; Mari - paella preparation; Finnish reportage; Joint Statement VAW; USB, Jacinta, sandwiches; co-sponsors, interpreter, Carlos? Texcoco, write to Camilla; Viduldo; Rupert; Apunta detalles James; Llama Commission Nationale Francia; Rosa Luxemburgo (Torchtaser Exit, 8pm); Mem, Winstrasser 62; Anniversario Tlachi!; UNDERSTAND URIBE! (ask JC); Fiesta - Quetzal, Cena con Nury; Office - Microsoft!; Hermanos Loxicha; SEGOB; Ir a ver a Margaret; Dad´s birthday; Embajada EEUU - Tortura; HRW; Noche Brasileña; Kenziah Jones; BB Shower Tania; Misa Jesus; Study Climate Change!!; Vidal Embassy Security Check; Cachito de texto; DIPLOMADO!; Obra de Lulu; Antes de que se nos olvide - Caifanes; Blood Type?? Visit Judith Macgregor; Hilltop Hoods - Still Standing; NOUR - sell jewellery!; Ring hannah - bday; SALSA; Nueva York!; Richard´s housewarming; Cecilia USAID; Copenhagen pre-summit events!; MILIBAND!; www.kyron.com; Dr Vladimir - Ginecologia; Guitarra 7-8pm; Mum´s 60th!!; Ibero - diploma: Away Day.

Christmas Concert


My guitar teacher Pablo hosted an informal Christmas concert in his house last week. Pablo is a very soulful guy, with lots of love to give to everyone. We had kids, adults, a teenage rapper who writes his own lyrics, amateur pop-singers, all together enjoying a few hours of musical appreciation. I sang a song by John Lennon and one by Bob Dylan (not with guitar - not yet advanced enough!), and I played tambourine and back-up singer for Pablo on "Have you Ever seen the Rain" by Creedence.

FUN!
Here's to a 2010 full of music. Grateful for the little angels in my life like Pablo.

In my neighbourhood IV


Teenagers in romantic embrace in the Zona Rosa


Construction of the world's biggest christmas tree, on Paseo de la Reforma. "That bloody ***ing tree", as it would be come to be known by many, for the traffic and circulation problems it has caused. I personally have harboured a smouldering disdain for this tree. At night it gets lit up with some pretty lights, but overall it's a huge Pepsi promotional gimmick, and the whole of Paseo de la Refoma has been Pepsi-fied as well, branded up to its eyeballs. Bah humbug. Give me a good Mexican piñata any day.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy 60th birthday Mum



I remember a few years ago Mum had an experience on the street in the middle of Sydney. A friendly man walked by, took one look at Mum and said "you´re still beautiful".

Happy birthday Mum. 60, Beautiful and inspiring as ever. I love you and miss you!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

who can pick the glaring contradiction in this?

U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver a speech next week in which he is expected to reveal a new strategy for the 8-year-old war in Afghanistan, one that is likely to include an exit strategy as well as a fresh injection of troops....

hmm..

Currently reading "The Great War for Civilisation - The Conquest of the Middle East" by awarn winning foreign correspondent Robert Fisk. Gripping stuff.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A good road trip is a wonderful thing

Last weekend I had an incredible road trip adventure with my best mate Steve. In two days we had such a variety of experiences, and all within 2 hours of Mexico City.

We bussed out of DF on Friday night to the little town of Amecameca, to head up to Popocatepetl and Ixtacihautl, Mexico´s 2nd and 3rd largest volcanoes the next day. These two volcanoes are the stuff of legends - the white dormant mountain representing a lady, and her lover, the smoking active volcano, looking over her.
(4500m and over 5000m, respectively - we were there in the non snowy-season)


On the saturday evening we headed out of Amecameca, faithfully following the locals´ instructions to link up with the buses passing on a nearby highway, under a bridge, which were supposed to take us to Tlaxcala (another state). We waited under the bridge in the absolute middle of nowhere in the dark, only to be offered a ride by a reasonably unsuspicious looking sort of man. We accepted the hike and climbed along. Zooming along the highway, our driver told us he was a Federal Policeman and used to be in the Army. After we got out of the car 45 mins later, on the side of the highway, Steve said to me "Pinche Maddy - I know you too well. As soon as the guy said he was a cop, you froze and went silent in the back seat, so I had to do all the damn conversation." Hehe. Steve later admitted that he was also imagining what his final words would be as the policeman kidnapped us and held us for ransom before execution. Ha! On the side of the road in San Martin (we didnt know whether we were in Puebla or Tlaxcala state), we were told that it was a quick crossing of the highway to where the buses left for the town we wanted to get to. The "quick crossing" ended up being a hair-raising dash through a 50cm hole in a wall between cars on the highway going 120kph! Phew.

We finally arrived in beautiful, enchanted Tlaxcala on Saturday night and enjoyed the charming town, its history, colours, old ladies hand weaving, adorable little Bulls-plaza, and excellent coloured lighting. We felt we had stumbled across a well-kept secret. Mexico has so many of these.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

3 small examples of why living in Mexico is amazing

1. I head down to the market at Balderas to buy a few books and a new hammock. As I come out of the metro I decide to make a detour by the plaza del son to watch the die-hard fans of son (slower, yummier version of salsa) taking a whirl under the Saturday sun. A dignified senior in a suit asks me to dance. I put down my shopping bags and spin a couple of songs around the fountain with him, watching everyone else and admiring their stylish steps. I thank my dance partner and continue along my with day.

I get to the market and the man that sells me a hammock tells me that he´s been in this same market for 40 years, that he and his wife were orphans and have been married for 58 years and have 11 children, who have all sorts of professions, from surgeons to lawyers. The hammock man has travelled all around europe, USA, but he still believes that "we´re living the glory in Mexico".

2. I'm sitting in the back of my friend's car and suddenly I cry out "sí, por favor!" and lean out to a flower seller standing at the traffic lights in front of us. My friend has just received some great news and as a joyful gesture we grab two enormous bunches of flowers - about 30 long stemmed roses among others - for only about $4AUD. I reach out to pay and the vendor stuffs the flowers into the back of the car so that it´s overflowing with colour. The lights turned green and we keep speeding on. Love it.


3. A heartfelt waling session with Andrés on guitar and my old Centro Prodh chums, all singing a melodramatic song of misery from José José, one of Mexico´s most famous singers. Everyone just goes for it! Well this video says it all.


As Margaret would say, now that is what you call the spice of life.

A fin la tristeza es la muerte lenta de las simples cosas..

Sunday, November 8, 2009

20 years on

In November 1989 I was 6 years old and no doubt thinking more about the lollies in my local shop than one of the most significant events of our generation.

20 years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall, what does it mean for me to have grown up in a post- Cold War world? I am a product of consumer capitalism, for better or worse. Be as it may that my political views tend to rally against the excesses and abuses of capitalism, I cannot for a minute deny that this much hated and much loved system is also responsible for the economic growth that has pulled many nations out of poverty. But of course it would be far too simplistic to put it like that. Inequality has generally soared throughout many parts of the world and the environmental cost of this beast are plain for all to see. However I continue to speak in platitudes. I am a mere law/anthropology graduate without any formal economic education. The closer I get to working on economics through my different jobs, the more I am flabbergasted by its complexity, by the necessity of trade but also the cruelty of it, by the need for competitiveness, but at what price, and the overall thing that seems to hit me is that you can´t be simplistic with economics. Who is to say that nationalising a company is bad for economics? Who is to say that private is necessarily bad or public is necessarily good? These are questions that rattle in my head and prick me constantly. They have for a long time, since working with the campaigners of Oxfam to witnessing the corruption of some Mexican unions to hearing the heartbreaking tales of Mexicans crossing the US-Mexico border in search for a future to feed their families. Sometimes I just say, oh sheesh! Bloody economics!!

On occasion of this anniversary, the BBC has published an extremely interesting and ambitious survey of 29,000 people in 27 countries to gauge the general reflections on global capitalism. The report card shows a thumping disappointment with capitalism.

I would tend to go with the yellows here. Yep. Capitalism cannot be the best model we have, surely.



Based on this survey above, the Mexicans and French show up as deeply confused: they have the highest rate of disapproval for free-market capitalism, however both countries have given support to clearly right-wing governments. Oh but dammit, who is to say that free market capitalism is the monopoly of the right wing? O gawd, take me back to the class room now!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos)

Wonderful Day of the Dead comes around again! Here of some photos from my trip to the market to get my altar supplies:






And my altar dedicated to my grandparents. I even found a skeleton of a man driving a race car, for my grandfather who was a car mechanic and enthusiast. A businessman skeleton for my other grandfather, two lovely ladies with flowers for my granmothers, and other touches. yay!

Learning to Think

A few weeks ago I went to an exhibition of the English sculptor Anthony Gorman. It was one of the stand-out exhibitions I have seen recently.
Here is one of many sculptures of Gormley. He really plays around with space and bodies, and our consciousness within all of that. I wish I could have gotten more photos, but they were kind of forbidden. Everything was so participative. One of my favourite works was called "Learning how to Think", which was a number of life size sculptures of bodies suspended from the ceiling from their shoulders down (so their head was missing). I loved it. It made me think about the few meditation classes I´ve taken this year. They´ve taught me that the more we turn off the mind, the more we learn how to think. The more we re-enter our body, focus on it, realise its power, we enter our consciousness, or even our unconscious, and we learn to leave all the discourse and noise of our head behind.

I´m currently attending a short course on "Managing the Unconscious" that my good friend Nury raved about so much until I went along with her. It´s taught by her philosophy teacher and quite interesting stuff. Funnily enough, on the first class we did a really cool meditation and then the teacher asked us to draw a picture of ourselves. Afterwards she started talking about the different shakra points in the body and where are energies are. We looked at our self portraits. She took one look at mind and just said "you are all heart and all mind. Where is your grounding?! You gotta remember your body!"

One day after work I came out late with a particularly pestering and buzzing mind. I went straight down to the Angel of Independence, where the sky was like nothing I´s ever seen. I took off my shoes and stuck my feet deep in the grass next to the Angel. connecting with the earth, somehow. Somehow, learning how to think. I hope.


A couple of weekends ago I went to an old convent in the pined woods around Mexico City. I hugged a huge old tree and just breathed and turned off the mind. Who knows how to think, in the end. But I do know that these sorts of things, that I am only waking up to, work for me.

Viva México


Photo courtesy of Jorge, a UNAM student (National University) I made friends with at the light show in the Zocalo as part of Independence Day celebrations last month. It was such a funny night - with so many people there was quite a lot of hubbub and a few situations that were just so Mexican.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I never was much of a fan of "our Nic" but this is cool and applaudable:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ihYo1g9OBhtoTU6vivBGPdiEEudA

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Isn´t there a better way to do things Kevin??

Australia May Expand Detention Center Amid Influx of Refugees


By Ed Johnson and Jesse Riseborough

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The Australian government said it may further expand its offshore detention center for asylum seekers as the opposition blamed weak border controls for an influx of refugees from countries such as Sri Lanka.

The government has added 200 beds at the center on Christmas Island, more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) off the northwestern coast, where refugees are held while they undergo checks, the Immigration Department said today.

The capacity may be further increased “as part of our contingency plan,” Immigration Minister Chris Evans told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

The opposition says 41 boats carrying almost 2,000 refugees reached Australian waters since Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Labor government changed asylum rules in August 2008. The issue of illegal immigration is politically sensitive for Rudd, who is accused by the opposition of weakening the policies of his predecessor John Howard.

“This Labor government is soft on national security and has completely lost control of our borders,” Sussan Ley, the opposition justice and customs spokeswoman, said in a statement. “What kind of message is this sending to the insidious world of people smugglers?”

Since winning office in November 2007, Rudd has moved to dismantle Howard’s “Pacific Solution” policy of detaining refugees in island camps and has pledged to speed up the process of assessing claims for asylum. The government last year closed detention centers on the Pacific island of Nauru and on Manus, a province in Papua New Guinea.

Intercepted at Sea

All asylum seekers intercepted at sea are now detained on Christmas Island, where they have access to legal assistance and an independent review of decisions. Asylum seekers who make it to mainland Australia are locked up only as a last resort while they are processed.

The opposition says the new policy has made Australia a more attractive destination to asylum seekers and boosting people smuggling.

The number of refugees on Christmas Island this week reached more than 1,000 and a further 56 are on their way after their boat was intercepted two days ago, the Immigration Department said. Capacity has been increased to about 1,400 from 1,200 and there are “contingency plans in place” to further increase accommodation on the island, the department said in an e-mailed statement.

The government denies its policies are attracting asylum seekers and says conflicts in countries such as Afghanistan and Sri Lanka have led to a global increase in refugees.

Global Problem

“This is a global and regional problem,” Rudd told ABC radio today. “Our approach to people smuggling and our approach to asylum seekers is tough but humane.”

The prime minister said he speaks regularly with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on how to tackle people smuggling.

A boat carrying 260 Sri Lankan asylum seekers was detained by the Indonesian navy at the weekend after Rudd asked Yudhoyono to intervene, the Australian newspaper reported.

The refugees, who boarded the boat in Malaysia 13 days ago after flying there from Sri Lanka, yesterday threatened to blow up the wooden craft if the Indonesian navy forced them to disembark at the port of Merak, according to the report.

Australia says it’s working with countries in the region to stop traffickers smuggling people from the Middle East and Central Asia through transit points in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

R.I.P. Mercedes Sosa



"Today, from the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, we have to inform you that Ms Mercedes Sosa, Latin America´s most important artist of popular folk music, has left us."


- from her family´s press statement.


Gracias a la vida. Thankyou life.




And I encourage you to listen to this song, and turn it loud, as it continues to build and build up, and the drums come in, and you feel like you can take on the world: Todo Cambia. Everything changes. In these faraway lands.

DEPECHE MODE, MEXICO CITY, Oct 3, 2009



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"How would you rate your overall call quality?"

Tonight I rang my sister for her 28th birthday. Bursting with pride for my dear Mem over such wonderful reviews for her "tour de force" play, I was so excited to wish her happy birthday.

It´s funny how skype asks you after your calls, "How would you rate your overall call quality?"
Exellent/Good/Average/Bad/Terrible.

Sometimes after calls home I think skype has it all wrong. Dont they know they are servicing those living on the lonely planet? Far away from loved ones?

The post-call question from skype should be the following:
"Exhiliarating and euphoric/Warm fuzzies/Nostalgic and sentimental/Homesick/Heart Wrenching/Just plain upsetting"

Ah. I did pick a very far away place to be.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Film clip of the year



oh oh oh oh oh I love this new album from Sarah Blasko. I am so impressed by it, by its heart, its fragility, its truth in so many ways, its strength. It´s so spot on.

This film clip is a triumph.

Arriba Sarah!!

Acto Público

On Saturday we organized a public demonstration alongside other human rights organizations in relation to the bleak impunity for human rights violations in Mexico: Torture, arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances.

Here are some graphics and photos.







So much to learn, so much to grow, human rights defense and advocacy is a long road and I´ll never stop reflecting and learning. Yeah. Peace.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Oscar Chavez

On saturday night I went along with some mates to see the classic singer of Mexican trova, Oscar Chavez. I think I have referred to trova in earlier posts (political acoustic songs derived from folk traditions).

If you like trova, you love it. You crowd around with friends singing the greats: Silvio Rodriguez, Óscar Chávez, Fernando Delgadillo, Luis Eduardo Aute, Pablo Milanez, etc etc. The small amount I know from the universe of trova, I love it.
Trova is probably one of the most unique contributions to music from Latin America and Spain. It can mix in boleros, sons, rancheros and other genres into a very nostalgic, empassioned, haunting mix.

Oscar Chavez is one of the older trovadores, with a big booming deep voice, he rouses the crowds in his usual khaki get up and ponytail. Here are two of his classic songs. The first one, "Por ti" (because of you), is not advised to be taken in concentrated doses. It is a bit of a bomb, and gets the audience almost at weeping point. This is a very glammed up TV set video and not usually what Oscar looks like, but it was the best recording I could get on youtube:



"Por ti, yo dejé de pensar en el mar. Por ti, yo dejé de fijarme en el cielo..."
"Because of you, I´ve stopped thinking about the sea. Because of you, I´ve stopped noticing the sky.."...
Uff. We heard the song played by Oscar´s co-performer in the first half of the concert, and then there was an interval, and we had a tequila, and Oscar sang "Por ti" again. uuf, the effect of the song was even more potent after a good tequila.


Now, this is also a classic song of trova. Hasta siempre. SO many people sing this song, this famous poem dedicated to Che Guevara. I happen to think this version by Oscar Chavez is one of the best. Check out this video, it´s tremendously entertaining!
"Aquí, se quedará clara
La entrañable transparencia
De tu querida presencia,
Comandante Che Guevara"

"Here it will remain clear,
The loveable openness
of your dear presence,
Commandante Che Guevara"

When this song is played sometimes you´ll see the audience all silently raise their hands with a closed fisted salute.

__________


And whilen Í´m at it, I cant help but post a song from my most beloved trovador, Silvio Rodriguez. From the most bass of trovadores (Oscar Chavez), to the most tenor (Silvio), here is Te doy una Cancion, a song I have also spoken about on this blog. And if you continue on this video, you get another really lovely song from Silvio. Enjoy!

New York Times

I thought I´d post this link to a story in New York Times a couple of weeks ago where I was inadvertedly quoted!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/19/world/americas/19mexico.html?_r=1&ref=world

Thursday, August 27, 2009

In my neighbourhood - Part III


Right next to Centro Prodh we have a wonderful old building of apartments, un vecindario. I love it.



Okay, maybe I am cheating on my rules. This is about 12 blocks from my house instead of about 10. Bosque de Chapultepec (like Central Park but bigger. The Mexican president lives inside this park, in his own forest. There are about 10 museums inside the park).
This photo was taken after having a 3 hour breakfast with my friend Javier. suffice to say we didnt jog like this guy.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Watch out...





There is a sequence here. Colombia > México. Uufff.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Se me está quedando bien






I had a few work friends and their partners over on friday night. Good times.

Here are some shots.

After a year in my apartment I have really started to feel it as my home, with a few touches: curtains, fun things, touches here and there etc, and I really like inviting people over to my little pad.

Monday, August 17, 2009

In my neighbourhood - Part II

I just love this old bicycle workshop. It is a real classic:


"Tonio and his friends"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Part 3 in the Infuriating Series on Women´s rights in Afghanistan!

DEPLORABLE


http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/08/13/afghanistan-law-curbing-women-s-rights-takes-effect


Human Rights Watch learned today that the amended bill was published in the official Gazette on July 27, 2009 (Gazette 988), bringing the law into force.

"Karzai has made an unthinkable deal to sell Afghan women out in return for the support of fundamentalists in the August 20 election," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "So much for any credentials he claimed as a moderate on women's issues."

A copy of the final law seen by Human Rights Watch shows that many regressive articles remain, which strip away women's rights that are enshrined in Afghanistan's constitution. The law gives a husband the right to withdraw basic maintenance from his wife, including food, if she refuses to obey his sexual demands. It grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers. It requires women to get permission from their husbands to work. It also effectively allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying "blood money" to a girl who was injured when he raped her.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

IMPUNITY

Today, that was it.

We just put a big black banner on the entry to our website saying:

IMPUNITY

The Mexican supreme court balks at their opportunity.

www.centroprodh.org.mx

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Templo Mayor


I was almost eaten by Aztec serpents today. On a Sunday afternoon I found myself in Mexico City´s Zocalo (main square), walking through the ruins of the main Aztec temple of Tenochtitlan, the great Aztec city that the Spaniards destroyed in 1521.

There was a general hubbub in the Zocalo today that was more intense than normal. The Aztec drummers reached a united volume that I hadn´t before witnessed, thundering on the stones of the ancient city. The Zocalo seemed to sway slightly, swelling with people and street vendors, and for a few moments I thought that the underbelly of the plaza might double in on itself, and the bodies of smouldering Aztec warriers might burst out from beneath our feet.



It was as if a magician had passed a magic sheet over the plaza and it could at any moment become airborne, lifting itself up like a hot air balloon and floating above the ground, freeing the nine underworlds and Mictlantecuhtli, the Lord of the Underworld below. That at any second there would be blue-painted frogs raining on us to celebrate the goddess Tozozlontli, or someone might make a dash for my beating heart and place it on an altar as divine food to the sun.

As the Spanish conquistador Bernal Díaz wrote in his journals, the sight of Tenochtitlan was beyond words and awe. Men who had beheld cities such as Constantinople, great sites in France and Italy, had never seen a city such as this, and the Zocalo inspired many words from Díaz. Great temples rising as pyramids out of a city built on a lake island.
A Mexican girl standing next to me in the temple ruins exclaimed "Sons of whores. Fucking foreigners", referring to the Spanish who had destroyed Tenochtitlan and used the stones of relics and pyramids to build their city.

My head was filling up with incense from the drummers and dancers in the square. The drumming got louder, louder, and I was walking in the old temple, feeling slightly giddy from the insence and the cleaning products I´d inhaled during my morning spring clean in my house. But I had been transported so far away from anything domestic or familiar; I felt drunk. A plaza that I knew so well, loved so dearly, was almost about to caterpault itself from within the temple, the entrails of history trampling on mere mortals like me.

The sky became overcast and the drumming dimmed, overtaken by the chiming of bells from the Cathedral, the Spanish grey monolith overlooking the square. The magic and the underworlds began to retreat under the sound of the bells. A light rain began to fall on the square. The street vendors covered their goods and scurried to shelter, calling our for the last sales of the day. The incense dispersed. The crowds scattered under the raindrops. The Zocalo stopped swaying and the magician laid his sheet on the table again.
Just as well, as we were all on the point of being swallowed by giant serpents.

I walked through the rain, out of the Zocalo, and warmed myself with a hot chocolate and churros in the Churrería el Moro on Eje Central. I came back into the afternoon.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My neighbourhood: Part 1.

I´ve decided to start a series on my blog dedicated to images of completely normal happenings, people and places within 10 blocks of my house.
The area I live in is very central - it mixes the old and the new, the foreign and the traditional of Mexico City.


There is a sculpture by José Luis Cuevas near my house.


Prostitutes on the corner a block from my house.

Early morning standing round a taco stall near a parking lot.