First day in Mexico City. AUS > DFW, DFW > MEX. Sister and I flew first class thanks to our uncle who works for airline. A classic rags to riches scenario. Two kids dressed to the nines for the occasion, but not able to figure out right away how the seat gadgets work. Out of our element, we asked hesitantly if the alcoholic drinks were really free, not wanting to rack up a bill. Bloody Marias and high-fives ensued. We arrived at our destination and snaked our way through airport to the metro. Two Mexican-Americans swallowed up by a sea of people. A city sweltering, busting at the seams. Grime, sweat, dust and dreams. An hour trip. Two line changes and an arrival at our stop <em>Insurgentes</em>. A confused walk around the rotunda. Thank you universe for the app Maps.me. We dropped the bags off at our bed&breakfast. The young guy at reception had a nice vibe about him and we chatted with him for a while. Turns out he and his family drive once a year all the way to the outlet mall in San Marcos, Texas, to stock up on clothing. We received word that our uncle would join us for a couple days in the burgeoning capital but we had a few hours til then.
I can’t just sit down and relax when I arrive in a new place, no matter how tired. I feel there’s so much to see in an exciting place. 5 blocks away to restaurant Casa de Toño. Forty plus people outside waiting to get in during lunch hour. We took a numbered ticket and 30 mins later we were eating some of the best Mexican food we have had the fortune to lay our tastebuds on. Gigantic prehistoric-sized flautas. Afternoon Micheladas verdaderas, not those cheap beer and lime numbers found in the States. Huge liter micheladas packed with clamato, sauza inglesa (Worchestershire), and lime. The glass rim covered in delicious tamarindo chili powder.
Thus newly energized by a caloric intake beyond daily recommendation, we walked to Chapultepec park. We sat on a cool, hard, intricate wrought-iron bench. My sister took a siesta and became an unwitting model for my artistic photography attempts.
Our feet throbbing, we found our way to said uncle’s hotel at the appointed hour to meet at. I played a trick on him by calling from reception in an angry voice speaking Spanish telling him to come to reception immediately… or else. The sun setting, refracting off the haze and smog of the city, we went to the Zócalo. The main cathedral, as with many colonial cathedrals in Latin America, had a dark energy to it. Most likely because it was erected by and in spite of the blood, sweat and tears of the indigenous. We downed some otherworldly tacos Al Pastor at a tiny joint and we meandered back to our area of lodging.
Not one block south of sister and I’s hotel was a bar that surpassed our hopes for in a cool nightcap locality. Swings instead of seats. salsas made from various fruits, an array of artisanal Mezcals and sweet music. Se llamaba el <em>Guapachoso</em>, Avenida Oaxaca, metro Insurgentes. My company didn’t seem to have the same enthusiasm for the earthy spirits that I do. A few tragos and we called it a night. A whirlwind of a first day in the capital city. A journey begun, many more mescal-fueled songs to be sung.