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24 April 2014 @ 10:49 pm
down Mexico way  
The other day Gay and I went to the airport and flew to Atlanta, but then changed our minds and turned around and flew to Mexico City.  Actually, we'd been invited to a convention, the Feria Internacional del Libro de Azcapotzalco.  Kind of rolls off the tongue, if you're an Aztec.

We were picked up at the airport by José Ramó Calvo, who has been our guide for all of the considerable driving around we've required.

We came early  to Mexico City, knowing it would take a day or two to get used to the altitude.  Good thing; after two days I'm still panting a bit and not feeling like the young 70 I was when I stepped on the plane.

Mexico City is fascinating, though, and we do have friends here from science fiction.  Gay has two degrees in Spanish and speaks it well.  I personally can order a beer and maybe a taco.

We had dinner out with old friend Paco Taibo II, but I was still too tired to do the Aztec soup justice.  We went up to Paco's place and admired his book collection, huge and gorgeous.

This morning I started to feel somewhat normal.  We had breakfast out on the terrace of the hotel's sixth floor, in the shade of the Cathedral, on the Zócalo.  Bright and sunny, with a vast variety of food on offer.  I had bacon and eggs but also a fruit salad that had fresh mango and papaya; frijoles refritos (black beans cooked and refried), exotic fruit juices, and a strange pancake made with corn flour and a raisin-like red sweet fruit, with honey.  Lots of sweet strong black coffee.

We had the company of hummingbirds and one fat black pigeon.   The view was both impressive and foreboding – even at the break of dawn, the pollution affects visibility.

We rested for a bit and I worked some.  Then we met with a group of the Feria's organizers who had just brought another guest of honor from the airport, Luis Britto Garcia from Venezuela, and we all went off to the Restaurant Cardinal, to feast on their specialty . . . ant eggs (escamoles).  They look kind of like rice and are pretty good fried with maguey flowers, rolled up in a tortilla with lime juice and washed down with white wine.

They do have a distinctive mild flavor not quite like anything else I've eaten.  Never catch on like chicken eggs, though.

In the early evening José drove us out to Coyoacan, a sort of artsy area, very beautiful with a kind of GreenwichVillage intimacy, lots of young people hanging around doing young people things.  We peeked into an old church and, our appetite for culture assuaged, sat at a lovely outdoor café where they were roasting gorditas over a heavenly-smelling pine fire.  Good beer, but I think it may be hard to find bad beer in Mexico.

Tomorrow I will explain why.

Obstructionist Husbandthewayne on April 25th, 2014 06:17 pm (UTC)
High altitude can definitely knock the wind out of your sails temporarily. When MythBusters came up here in 2008 to film at the observatory, Adam Savage had a hard time with the altitude (9200'. Not to mention four (that I know of) medical problems related to living at high altitude because there ain't as much air and you don't have as much atmosphere protecting you from radiation.

(sorry for the anonymous comment, I had to reboot my computer yesterday and forgot that it kicks me out of LJ when I do that.)