Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's Been So Long Since I Last Saw You

Well it just wouldn’t be a month in Mexico without a visit from one of my grandparents. No matter that I spent six uninterrupted weeks with them around the holidays, or that I will likely be spending two weeks with them in April when Mommy and Daddy go on vacation without me (Mommy having declared that taking me on a trip to South America without any grandparents or Aurora is really no vacation at all). Dada just couldn’t wait to see me, and being retired and spending most of his days on the internet, he was able to find a cheap and last minute deal to come see me.
As are typical of Dada’s visits, Mommy and Daddy didn’t feel the need to entertain him much, figuring he would be content to sit and make beaded necklaces with me, take me to the park and help me ride my bike. Still, having him here was a great excuse to explore more of the city, so last Saturday we took him to Coyoacan. This quarter in the southern part of the city has a bohemian feel, with craft markets, musicians and street performers in the plazas. Despite the various types of live entertainment (during our lunch at a sidewalk café our ears were overwhelmed with three different types of musicians competing for tips: a melodic saxophone player on the street corner; the tribal drums accompanying a native-inspired dance performance in the nearby plaza; and an accordion player and his band serenading café patrons), my favorite entertainment was the 10-cent motorized rides reminiscent of those found in U.S. supermarkets in the 1980’s.

We also took Dada back to Chapultepec Park, to find the Castle we were unable to locate during his first visit. The Castle was once the home to emperors and Mexican presidents, but now houses the National Museum of History. I was thrilled just to ride up the hill on the train, walk around the grounds of the Castle, and take in the beautiful views of the city from atop the hill. So Mommy, being the budget-conscious woman she is, decided that we didn’t really need to spend $5.00 a pop to visit the museum on a day I hadn’t had a nap- though we later discovered that seniors (i.e., anyone over the age of 60) and children under 13 would have been free. That made Dada so happy that he didn’t even mind being called a senior citizen!
Of everything we did, though, I think my favorite moments with Dada were those spent sitting around with him and eating cookies or digging in his shirt pocket for Tic-Tacs.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Museums and Movies

After living in Mexico City for nearly 10 months (of which I admittedly spent 3 on trips back to the U.S.), I am a bit embarrassed to confess that I had never been to the world renowned Museo Nacional de Antropologia (National Museum of Anthropology), even though it is only six blocks from my apartment. So on Friday I joined some of my fellow Newcomers members and our wonderful tour guide, Lynda, on a tour of the museum. To give you an idea of how big it is, we spent four hours there and covered about one fourth of the museum, stopping to see only those exhibits that would help us understand the history and native culture of the pre-Hispanic people living in what is now known as the Mexico City area. That means that there is still left for future tours the history and culture of the indigenous people of five other areas of Mesoamerica, as well as an entire floor on the culture of indigenous descendants currently living in various parts of Mexico.

To be quite frank, I had never much cared about the history of MesoAmerica, not being of Latin American descent, and only having focused on Egyptian and European history in school. Now that I am living here, though, I find myself a lot more interested in Mexican history and fascinated by the various cultures of different geographical areas of Mexico. I suppose it is only natural - and I have to say that our informative and entertaining tour of a quarter of the museum has left me feeling a lot more connected to this city, and with a better appreciation for the symbols and art I see all around me, from the flag to the currency to the murals throughout the city.

After my knowledge-enhancing morning, I was left pretty exhausted (standing around for four hours without having consumed breakfast or that all-important morning coffee, because I was running late as usual, can do that to a person). So when Sonny returned from his week-long business trip to Puerto Vallarta (probably feeling a bit guilty at having had so much fun without me) and offered to take me to a movie that night, I jumped at the chance.

Anyone who has read his post The Luxuries of Mexico City knows that Sonny will no longer sit in a regular section of the movies in Mexico (hating going to the movies anyway, he’ll be damned if he can’t use that ten bucks to get in a good two hours’ nap). One of the consequences of sitting in the VIP section though - aside from the annoying “waitresses” that are constantly delivering food/beverages during the show - is that there are significantly fewer seats than a normal theater. For us this meant that our first choice was sold out, and we ended up seeing “No Country for Old Men.”

While the critics gave it great reviews, and the MPA nominated it for an Oscar, I have to say that as an average movie viewer who simply likes to be entertained and rarely agrees with critics, I was thoroughly disappointed in this film. I won’t spoil the ending but let me simply say that I was left feeling like someone forgot to finish the ending - there was no closure in the film, no justice for the audience and no point to the ending. There went two hours of my life (which actually felt closer to four) that I will never recover.

Still, I suppose a night out is night out.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

And We're Back . . . .

Well, we are finally rejoining the blogosphere. Sorry for the extended hiatus. Truth is, we had forgotten a bit what it’s like to live in Mexico since we were in the US for so long - from Christmas through the end of January. Mommy, Daddy and I had a terrific holiday with our family, and we actually got to relax a bit, since there were no weddings, housewarming parties or religious events for a change. We got to see all of our family, most of our friends and just hang out (I spent most of my spare time at Chuck-E-Cheese’s and the merry-go-round at the mall with my grandparents).

While the trip itself was wonderful, it started out a bit bumpy, with our flight out of Mexico City getting delayed twice and then canceled, and Mommy getting her purse stolen. That, combined with the fact that Mommy and Daddy were still suffering from a serious flu that had lasted about 5 weeks made for interesting travels. I was on my best behavior to help them out, though, and held up without any tantrums or hysteria after being shuttled on and off the plane and around the airport for a total of 9 hours, without ever having left the ground.
So now that we are back in the Distrito Federal, we are settling back into normalcy - for me that means no more staying up until 10:30 at night, waking up at 9:00 a.m., skipping naps and eating a dinner of chicken nuggets for days at a time. Mommy is convinced that, as great as it was to be in NJ, 6 weeks of this behavior can’t be looked upon too favorably by the likes of Family Services. So for the foreseeable future, we are staying put.
With somewhat of a routine and schedule in our lives, I think you'll also find that we will be blogging a lot more (for those few readers we have left).