Sunday, November 18, 2012

Aroma

Double espresso macchiato with soy at one of our favourite places (Aroma) on a gorgeous sunny day.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mēxihco-Tenochtitlan


Mid-October me and my husband went, once more, to the 20+ million urban sprawl that is Mexico City.  The reason:  personal (a wedding) and professional (a promotion).

This year life has taught me that, sometimes (SOMETIMES? HA!), things don't develop as one expected.  This trip was no exception:  the wedding had to be postponed, the promotion didn't materialise (a colleague of mine compares the process of getting promoted to a yearly ritual of passage with great similarities to The Hunger Games), and yet it was a fantastic trip nevertheless.  Let me elaborate on the whys of this trip's awesomeness:

- I turned a year closer to 40 while there, and I had plenty of opportunities to celebrate, over and over and over... with some very close friends visiting me at my sister's place, my dad organising a (extended, amended and incorporated) family gathering at his place, a good friend I met in Beijing organising a very special and cosy dinner at her place, my husband saying an unqualified YES to all my requests the day of my birthday (even though that implied copious walking and a search for BLUE tlacoyos to eat - YUM!), and him giving me a book of photos of Persia from the air (probably one of the very best gifts I've ever received, ever)...  I must say, I'm a very lucky person, and though I always feel loved and welcome when I visit Mexico, this time I felt it even more so.



- I always seem to rediscover some part of the city.  This time it was the turn of the Museo del Templo Mayor, a museum built on the site of the biggest temple of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire, destroyed in 1521 by the Spanish.  It's a must:  the collection of ancient artifacts and art is simply astonishing, and it's not too big to be able to appreciate everything in one single visit.  Among the pieces that had my jaw drop (and I've seen plenty of collections, if I may say so) were the Tzompantli (a wall of skulls signalling the entrance to the underworld, the Mictlán), some beautiful battlements in the shape of sea-shells (and signifying life), the Coyolxauhqui monolith (a stone sculpture of the leader of the star gods, decapitated by her newborn brother, the god Huitzilopochtli), a sculpture of Xipe Tótec ("our lord the flayed one", this was a disturbing stone head representing a priest wearing another man's skin as a mask), Mictlantecuhtli (the god of the underworld, with his liver hanging out of his open rib cage) and the jewel of the museum: the Tlaltecuhtli monolith, an immense stone sculpture of the earth goddess, who gives everything that man needs but requires human blood to keep producing, who had skulls for knees and elbows and who devours the sun every night.  This is hard, astonishing, brutal art.  Loved it.


- Fun.  Fun.  Fun.   After our participation in the "Hunger Games" process I referred to in the beginning of the post, one of my colleagues (who also happens to be a very dear friend of mine) and me went for a drink at a place called La Xampañería at the hip Condesa neighbourhood.  We were joined later by a friend of hers and some friends of his.  And a drink became two, and then three, and not much later we were already dancing the night away at some gay nightclub in the posh Polanco neighbourhood.  It had been years since I had last gone clubbing in Mexico City,    and we had an absolute blast!


- Family.  Spending time with lots of family, getting to know my sister's and my dad's partners and their families better, as well as my husband's family, celebrating my nephew's birthday, finally seeing my brother after longer than we should have allowed...  I may not be much of a family man (or so I think), but this was one amazing opportunity to reconnect.  Real good.

All in all, for me at least, this one was one fantastic trip, no matter what.


P.S.   Mēxihco-Tenochtitlan is the Nahuatl name of the capital of the Aztec empire, now modern Mexico City.

Monday, November 05, 2012

ELEVEN: from eh to zeta

I posted our 11th anniversary trip updates like many others: interspersed with posts about many other unrelated things.  So here all the posts of this single, wonderful trip, in one place (clicking on the title below each image will take you to the original post):

 
















*I'm ante-dating this post, written in July 2013, because I want it to appear closer to the date the last original post on this trip was published.