He regresado

24 06 2011

Sheesh its been a long time since I wrote. Of course lots of stuff has gone by that I didn’t report on.. Things are good and pretty busy. Been playing a fair amount, 2-3 times a month lately. Still enjoying myself and my time here immensely. In fact, the longer I am here, the more I like it. I guess that’s the right direction. I certainly have no regrets and feel lucky that I got sent down here. I like to think my spanish is improving too- I’ve finally started taking lessons again! (happy Lisa?)

Didn’t report on a couple trips to DF, but I was down there back during Semana Santa with a bunch of PCVs, and it was a ton of fun. Really spent time in the cool parts of town I thought, and avoided the touristy bits. Mostly spent time in Condessa, Roma and Coyoacan- although we did get to Teotihuacan, about as touristy as it gets! Thats where the massive pyramids are about an hour outside of town. Very impressive place. But dang, it was a long day of sun, heat, walking, and knick-knack vendors. Lots of vendors. Got a funny story from our guide about what to buy and what to avoid. The ceramic objects they sell- all kinds of things including jewelry, flutes, plates, etc are locally made and support the indigenous artist communities in the estado de Mexico. But unlike in Taxco, all the silver stuff is made in China! Note to self- although Mexico is famous for its silver crafts, its actually tough (and expensive) to get stuff that’s actually made here these days. So if you find silver products here that aren’t wildly expensive, they’re probably as Mexican as moo goo gai pan.
Speaking of which, I actually had decent chinese food last night! My first (and last) time eating it was shortly after I got here, over on Zaragoza, a major commercial street here in Qro. It was kind of a chinese cafeteria. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was just as horrible as it looked. At the place last night which was in the centro, we had a good meal and an entertaining time trying to figure out the proprietor’s heavily chinese-accented spanish. As he didn’t have a liquor license, we thought he invited us bring our own beers, although he seemed kinda horrified when we picked some up and brought them back. Of course one of the many benefits of being a foreigner (especially American probably) is that you can usually get away with playing dumb, apologizing if necessary, and just doing what you want. I hate to say it but people are pretty likely to treat you like some slightly dim relative who just doesn’t know better. For better or worse, its pretty convenient!

Also spent a few days in DF when Kirsten came down from NYC- we had fun, and we made it to Xochimilcho- the canal area south of town. I’d heard a lot about it – its slightly cheesy but basically very interesting and worth doing. And we got to stay with a friend from the embassy in her beautiful apartment in Polanco, which was hella nicer (not to mention cheaper) than a hotel somewhere. I’m just bummed because she and her husband have just moved on to their next posting! Kirsten and I also hit Guanajuato for a few days, and all in all a fun week away from work.

Tomorrow I’m going up to Pachuca for the weekend- the Junior World Cup is happening in cities all around the country and we’re going to catch a couple games, including USA vs. New Zealand! Also, the US is playing Mexico in the finals of the Gold Cup, which I had never heard of, but has got people really excited down here. I actually hope Mexico wins, just because they’ll actually care, and will probably go crazy if they do. Somehow I don’t think the Times Square vendors will be working overtime on Monday selling Gold Cup tshirts if the US wins.
Couple other interesting things recently: played a show a couple weeks ago in a little pueblito about an hour from here called Colon. Turns out it was this girl’s 18th birthday party. People said it was basically the same as a quincinera, which are of course a big deal down here. Apparently sometimes girls will delay their party until they turn 18.  Anyway we got there around 4pm and it was in the town auditorium, basically like a big gym. Lots of tables set up and all her family and friends were there I guess. They served us lunch, and everybody was kind of staring at us, like we were the freak musicians. Nobody was drinking but they went out and brought us some cases of beer and a bottle of tequila. I guess cause everyone knows musicians need booze!

Just like quincinieras, the girl was all dolled up in a really fancy but sort of ridiculous dress, big and poofy and purple with a black leather corset. I thought she kind of looked like cinderalla if she was into S&M.
After dark, the actual party got started and i think practically the whole town was there. The girl had like 8 dudes wearing tuxes who seemed like her attendants or something, and they did this kinda weird performance with classical music and r&b songs. She kind of danced with each one for a few mins, and it was kinda strange- they all had glasses and were served their first ‘official’ drinks apparently. They also did all these moves like you might see a bride and groom doing at a wedding. But while they were all dancing she also kind of played the guys off each other. It was maybe like the bachelorette if it was performance art instead of a tv show.

Anyway, at about 10 we finally went on, played for almost 2 hours. It was a pretty good show, with a really fancy stage set up, spotlights, even fog machines. Although no monitors so kinda tough to keep track of the music and how we were playing. But the huge crowd of kids was pretty into it, dancing etc. I was exhausted by the end, and didnt get home til close to 3. Long day out in the campo, but fun to see another slice of culture down here.

Will try to put some pics up sometime soon..



One response

25 06 2011
Anne P

Drew does Mexico – I like it – there’s a film in your future, hermano. When’s then next pulche bar?!

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