A Memory of Mexico City

Holy week, Mexico City 2013. The water supply for most of the city had been cut off for several days so maintenance could be carried out on the pipes. My buddy Carlos and I loitered on this street, waiting for Micro (who was, naturally, a big guy) to arrive.

The three of us were going to look for a bar that sold pulque — a milkshakey alcoholic drink made from the maguey plant — because I’d never heard of it.

Pulque for Carlos, Micro and I. I think we had the piñon (pine) flavour. Mexico City, 2013.

Along the way the guys were teaching me Spanish by translating lyrics from our mutually admired English songs into Spanish. There was a lot of Simpático por el Diablo, and Peligro Bebé. U2 songs were a favourite because:

1. We could all agree on U2
2. Their song titles are grammatically sound
3. As are their lyrics, mostly

We found a hole-in-the-wall bar that was open, after a long while of walking in the heat, in a neighborhood usually known for thieves. But the city was dead, Holy Week being when everyone (even thieves) goes back to their families elsewhere, and most businesses are closed.

I ended the day with random chunks of U2 lyrics (en Español) written all over my hand and forearm, as no one had paper. Pulque, flavoured with pine, pistachio, or tomato, was a sweet, welcome drink in the fierce, dry afternoon.

At the start of pulque-fueled Spanish lessons. Sadly I have no pictures of what my arm looked like at the end. Mexico City, 2013.