After a five hour flight, made extremely pleasant by AeroMexico, we arrived in Mexico City and took a taxi to our hotel, where we slept and woke to a bright, warm sunrise.
A neighbor was hanging up his laundry on the roof. In another building, pigeons flew in and out of an abandoned apartment on the top floor; they seem to have made a roost near an old water heater. We are staying, as we did last year, in a real neighborhood away from the touristic city center. In themornign at 8:00, we hear the voices of children in a school courtyard calling "Buenas dias!" in response to a teacher speaking through a megaphone; then they all sing the national anthem. Not long after, the calls of the street vendors begin, and we're enticed down onto the streets ourselves.
For these northern eyes, the banquet of color is like a feast for a woman who has just crawled out of the desert. I cannot get enough of it, and fortunately there is more than any one pair of eyes could possibly take in. The jacaranda trees are in full bloom...
...carpeting the streets with violet and adding yet more brilliant color to the rainbow already present.
Palms sprout from the streets like giant pineapples.
But it's the Mexican people who are the real source of the warmth I feel. I never feel more white than I do here, but everywhere we are greeted with smiles and our own desire for connection is met with generosity and mutual attempts to communicate, via our rudimentary Spanish and their occasional bits of English, and lots of sign language and laughter. These two women, a mother and daughter, were making sweet pancake-like cookies cooked on a tortilla grill, and we stopped to talk tot hem and try to ask questions. They gave us samples to taste; the cakes are made of tortilla-flour corn and sugar and other ingredients and are delicious. After some conversation about ingredients, and then about where we were from, the daughter smiled at us and said, in Spanish, "You are in love, aren't you?" We said yes, for more than thirty years. She said, these cakes are special for lovers! and then we noticed that the larger plastic packages wer decorated withhearts. Of course we bought some; a small package of stacked cakes rolled in paper twisted at both ends.
We met them in the mercado, or market, of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, where we spent most of that day, and is a story I'll have to save for another time. Right now we are back in our hotel room, drinking tequila, and looking forward to a shower and sleep. Until tomorrow, then.