It is Sunday, Election Day, and the streets are teeming with people. Perhaps they are packed every Sunday, but probably not with the massive police presence surrounding the city center. Honestly, I feel extremely safe. I have yet to feel threatened or unwelcome in any way. Yesterday, we spent the entire day in Chapultepec Park at the Modern Art museum, and then perused the Mexican History Museum at Maximilliano’s castle. Twenty plus years ago when I would travel to Mexico during the summers and other holiday vacations, I had the privilege to be taken to what would be considered the most important places in Mexico City by my old friend Lisandro. This time, I am revisiting some of the same places with my family and I get to play tour guide for my girls. Yesterday we rode the subway and a public bus, ate street food, and learned a bit of Mexican history. In the afternoon, we met up with Lisandro for coffee. All of the things that I loved about Mexico 20 years ago, I still love today. The people have all been extremely helpful and friendly, always glad to tell you about their city and guide you in the right direction. And of course, there is the food. It amazes me that regardless of where you go, the food is always outstanding. Last night we popped into a random restaurant to get out of the rain, and were surprised with the best dinner we have had yet. For three days in a row we have randomly picked little hole in the wall cafes for breakfast, and we walk away in shock at how good it has all been. From bakeries to food stalls at the market, the food is simply out of this world. Needless to say, thank goodness I walked about 5 miles today, otherwise my pants would cease to fit.
Today we trekked a few miles through the ‘Quinceañera District’ to El Mercado La Lagunilla. La Langunilla is the largest Sunday market in Mexico City and it was a trip! There were hundreds of stalls selling everything from clothing and jewelry to antiques and furniture. There were thousands of people walking about, and after Marty making me spend too much money, on top of walking down endless aisles with blaring music and screaming vendors, I was ready to call it quits. However, it wouldn’t be a real market experience without food, so we stayed to consume fried plantains, crepes, and huge stuffed blue corn ‘gorditas’ topped with noplales, queso, y rajas (o chiles). The two-mile trek back about did me in, except that we got to window shop down literally 7 blocks of shops catering to nothing but Quinceañeras. I kid you not, I know kids back in the states have quinceañeras, but here it is a BIG deal. There were even stores that rented out pink Hummer limos and an even bigger ‘ride’ that was pulled by a semi. It was astounding and Carmela commented that she would not be wearing one of ‘those dresses’ in a million years. I will be sure to hold her to that.
Now we are resting back in the hotel trying to recuperate. In an effort to cause pain to their parents, I am sure; the girls continue to cough incessantly. I would imagine Mexico City and the pollution here is not the best place for children with bronchitis. Oh well… we carry on and hope for the best.
Tonight the election results should be announced around 8. We will stay inside around that time, just to be on the safe side.