I came back to Mexico. After almost a year out, I found myself in the heart of Mexico City for some weeks. I have mixed feelings; I am delighted to see my family, minus one; my beloved cat died last year. Thus I could only visit the ashes and the plant they turned her into; I am also scared.
I have written before about the implications of being a woman in Mexico City. Right now, I am out of practice. I do not check over my shoulder, which makes me easy prey. I feel like a foreigner in my country, which is an improvement. I used to feel out of place. Now it is certain I do not belong (the problem is that it raises the question, where do I belong?)
I arrived last Thursday, and as the plane landed at 4 am, I felt my heart pumping, the mixture between local blood and out-of-place soul made me a little bit dizzy. Cities can be recognized by our five senses. For example, Bulgaria welcomed me with its smells. Most of the aromas there were really pungent. I remember the streets, tobacco smoke, the food places, garlic in everything, parks, trash, and humidity.
Mexico is not recognized by the smells, but by the noise, vendors in the street yelling sale prices and good deals, "todo a 5", "llévelo, llévelo", "pásele güerita"... the loud public transport, could be metro or bus, and the motorcycles cutting thru the traffic. Food vendors, elotes, tamales, tacos, pan... depends on the time of the day. My favourite and probably one of the most iconic is the whistle for tamales oaxaqueños, and plantains. Remember to be quick; that sound is from blocks away, so you need to chase the sound to get your food. They are mainly out in the late afternoon-early night.