La Capital: The Biography of Mexico City by Jonathan Kandell
I went to visit my friends in Mexico City! I had a great time down there for reasons including but not limited to the fact that you can buy desiccated bat corpses by the pound down there. Here are a few more of my observations about the largest metropolis in Latin America:
-It’s not as dangerous as people say it is. However, it has a bad reputation and few Americans vacation there. For that reasons, most of the Mexicans I spoke with assumed that I am from Italy or Germany. Most Europeans I met thought I was Mexican, which I find odd because I look like this.
-It’s similar to New York City, but with way more mangy street dogs. Also, everyone in el DF speaks Spanish, unlike in NYC, where only most people speak Spanish.
-Punk (“Ponk”) is very popular in Mexico. Popular “Ponk” imagery includes but is not limited to safety pins, emo-hair, mall-goth bondage pants, the Rolling Stones logo, Doors/Beatles album covers, and swastika arm bands. I even saw a pudgy teenage girl working behind the counter of a cyber cafe near Salto del Agua wearing a t-shirt that said “SKINHEAD” in big, bubbly letters.
-The marketplaces are wonderful. I bought a mirror with the illuminati’s “Holy See” image printed on it for twenty pesos! Other strange ephemera available for sale in markets: live peacocks, hypnotism cream, luck juice, dried monkeys, etc.
-The ultra-wealthy neighborhoods in el DF smell like trees. The regular wealthy neighborhoods smell like car exhaust. The slummy neighborhoods smell like sewage back-up.
-Don’t flush toilet paper down the toilets. I questioned several people as to why this was the case, and every answer was the same: “the pipes just can’t take it.”
-I took a shitload of pictures and uploaded them to Tumblr. They have since been liked and reblogged by dozens of Mexican teenagers, because that is Tumblr’s target user base. Look through them here. I also filmed a pretty crazy fight between some cats on the terrace of Frida Kahlo’s family estate and put it on Youtube.
Because I have severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (self-diagnosed), I took it upon myself to read this hulking, out-of-print history that I found at The Strand before embarking on my trip. Here are a few half-remembered facts I sort of recall reading:
-Aztec clerics kept strict birth records of their citizens. They divided the year into twenty astrological signs, of which four are considered “slave signs.” When they needed bodies to sacrifice, they would flip through the records, find citizens born under those signs, arrest said citizens, and rip out their still beating hearts. Another way they chose sacrificial victims: cowlicks.
-Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata are often considered peers, but Zapata was a pretty cool guy, and Villa was uncool (KEY: uncool=commits arbitrary murders/skirts genocide).
-One Mexican president was assassinated by a struggling revolutionary artist who was trying to impress women.
-Most Mexican presidents are assassinated by their own security detail.
-Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo housed Leon Trotsky and his wife at their estate. Diego Rivera slept with Leon Trotsky’s wife, so Frida Kahlo slept with Leon Trotsky. The Trotskys left the estate on bad terms, and it is hypothesized that Leon Trotsky was then murdered by a gardener who had also been sleeping with his wife.
-Diego Rivera died from cancer of the penis.