First thing after breakfast, we trundled over in a mini-bus to a big-city design house that hires Indigenous artisans throughout Mexico to weave and embroider their garments. The founder and Artistic Director of the label Carla Fernandez comes from Saltillo, Coahuila, a place known for it’s woven serapes. Now based in Mexico City, she and her team have built a collection of couture and ready to w(e)ar pieces as well as other objects and accessories. I just had to buy the Tecúan mask made by artisans from San Francisco Ozamatlán, Guerrero. Angélica García was kind to model the garment that was worn in the women’s march on Washington DC in 2017. Need I say more?
Moving from downtown to historic centre, we found ourselves in awe of the architecture and marvelling at the crown jewel of Mexico City, the Zocalo, just as the guards were taking down the flag for the night.
Dinner was swell, despite being creepy.
Drops of rain drip down through the yellow tarps over covered stalls in narrow streets. Mango shakes and plantain are the colour to match. I’m reminded of the banana I put in my bag before the flight, now a certain brown. As the yellow taxi passes by a pair of golden arches, my stomach rumbles and I eat it anyway.
After checking in to the Red Tree House, I meet my fate of a migraine. Our tour guide, Ana Paula tells me later that the altitude in Mexico is about 2000 ft higher here. It explains the marathon runners I’ve seen coursing through the meandering paths around the centre of La Condesa. I meet Alex, a kind stranger at the hotel from UK, who recommends Ojo de Aqua, the first meal I’ve eaten in 12 hours (Mango Chutney Chicken sandwich and papaya juice–OMG).
Happiness is a yellow dog named Romeo. My host Pepe tells me my room is called Los Amigos, or in my case, it is Las Amigas. I meet my roommate Sharon Moodie in the lobby and we hit off with experiences of Canada, as the only two northern people on the trip! What a coincidence. We commiserate about the high cost of studios, uglification/gentrification, and long flights to get out of the country. ;) Sleep is imminent and we say “beunas noches.”
The next day, I wake up to a delicious spread of sweet breads, fresh fruits, juices, and offers of homemade omelettes. If I was ever worried about what I’d eat in Mexico, it has completely dissipated. The only anxiety I have now is how I’ll keep up with our fast paced tour schedule and still fit in all the recommendations I’ve been generously supplied by friends back home in Edmonton.
Pepe gives me directions and I am excited to go see the Museum of National History in Castillo de Chapultepec this morning before we start the official tour, although I lose my room key in the first excursion! Ha.