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ah, mexico…

October 22, 2007

spent a week in mexico… my first time and it was even better than i’d imagined… guess i didn’t really expect that much since my knowledge on the country was practically zero… however what i saw and felt, especially thanks to our wonderful promoter orly beigel and her wonderful assistants, in mexico was really overwhelmingly beautiful…
the first gig was in guanajuato, small town that’s seriously under developed… it pretty much felt like korea back in the ’60s… not that i was around then but you know what i mean… all the small and colorful houses were packed on the hill side… tons of people selling things on the street… so many colorful fun looking vegetables and fruits i’d never seen… the town was built under and around old aqueducts from 500 years ago still looking sturdy… don’t remember seeing traffic lights in the old part of town… mariachi bands dressed in beautiful uniforms marching around the town followed by tons of people singing along… felt like an idiot for not being able to say a thing in spanish…
then monterrey… the second largest city in mexico… definitely more modern and crowded… had a day off and did 3 things that i’d never done… went on driving go carts… just to let you know, i don’t know how to drive… for some reason i thought it was something like bump cars in amusement parks but when i realized that i needed to know the basic driving skill, i kind of got scared… but it was too late… i already strapped myself to the car, maybe not that securely but manageable… it was a bit scary but fun… then went to play mexican bingo… yes, bingo… i really wanted to do it because i’d never done it in my life and always wondered how to play that game since i’d seen it many times in movies… however all the numbers were in spanish, obviously, so orly ended up shouting the numbers as soon as she heard the numbers… it was crazy fun… and addictive… i could see myself getting totally hooked on it unless i stopped immediately… i’m pisces, you know… we didn’t really win anything but it sure was fun… it was a bit scary to see people eating, smoking and doing everything in front of bingo machines though… then went to eat roasted baby goat shoulder at this king of goat place right by the hotel… sorry if this image is grossing you out, my vegan/vegetarian friends but have to say it was really delicious… not fatty, tender and really good wrapped in soft taco… yum… probably it was the most money i spent on food there but sure was worth it… and the restaurant was filled with kitsch stuff… like stuffed two lions jumping up as if they were about to bite into each other’s neck… and photos of the owner posing with many famous, i assume, females and they all looked a bit horrified by the guy… wonder if anybody sued the guy for sexual harassment… maybe they got free goat out of it… not bad…
however the highlight of the trip came on the following day… since our day off fell on monday i couldn’t go to marco, contemporary museum in monterrey… so i had to go there the first thing in the morning… first of all, right outside, it had the best walk sign by cross walks… cannot explain it without sounding boring but the next time when you are near there, check it out… it’s really funny… basically the guy in the sign starts to run as time runs out… and the beeps get faster and faster… i’m silly to find these things funny, i know…
the museum building itself was gorgeous… looked like just out of surrealism book, with high ceiling, things hanging from above, courtyard filled with shallow water… then i went into julio galán exhibit and my heart basically stopped for a second… it was so beautiful and touching and tragic… i’d never heard his name nor seen his works anywhere… don’t think even my well informed friends really knew him… he died tragically last year at the age of 46… his paintings were about his identity, dreams, guilt, desire and soul… in a way he was very narcissistic or self obsessed which doesn’t always work for me but his works were touching because it all had that innocence… lots of his paintings feature him like frida in many different settings… and many of them utilizes mixed media such as glitters, fabric, leather, plastic ornaments and so on… my favorite was this piece called “thinking of you” where the title of the exhibit came from… oh, all of his titles were so poetic too… this piece showed him sitting on a chair naked except his socks and shoes, with his head leaning back with his eyes closed… over lightly striped background and bold black scribbles on top… and the facial expression he painted was so beautiful and mournful at the same time… ah, just thinking of it makes my heart ache… really hope more people will get to see his work… they didn’t even have the catalogues yet at the museum shop… somehow i found this catalogue from his new york show more than 10 years ago… looking forward to getting it in mail soon…
ah…
anyway…
then we went to mexico city where orly lives… and she was more than generous to show us around the town… we went to diego rivera’s house which was connected to a house he built for frida kahlo by a bridge on the roof… and went to a great tacqueria and ate like kings (or pigs)… before that i went to palace of arts on my own and got to see many great murals done by him… unfortunately i didn’t get to see so much of frida’s work… however after the last concert, we went to this plaza where tons of mariachi musicians hang around to get hired and it was just magical… so many musicians dressed in that beautiful outfit with sexy trim on the side, playing their hearts out when someone hires them even for a tune or two… we heard a couple of tunes from one band and it was pretty great to hear live music right in front of you like that… then we went to orly’s favorite taco place, standing only, and it was sooooo delicious… seriously if i lived there, i could eat there three times a day no problem…
the following morning when were flying back, orly took us to witch craft market and whole sale toy market… it was barely 9 in the morning yet the place was filled with many people and vibrant energy… many crazy looking fun toys for so little money… thank god i had only little money, otherwise i would have spent a lot more money… it was really fun and exciting to see the real local people doing what they do… apparently they do celebrate both halloween and the day of the dead, so everyone was gearing up for a long stretch of spooky fun…
then i came back…
wow…
it was so magical and alive there… cannot wait to go back there…

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One Comment
  1. now u make me wanna go there… and i just missed a chance playing there… :(— Chern Hwei

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