Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thursday April 15 2010 - Mexico City - Day 1

Sitting in the kitchen (?)
Eleven stories up … overlooking the city
Off in the distance to my right there is a shadow of the mountains that appear to surround the city …
Below me – in the immediate vicinity – are trees and vegetation – which seems odd – given the fact tat this IS the city
I notice a particular plant ( tree ) that is a lovely lilac colour …
Perhaps it is a lilac tree ?
Of this I am unsure
I must inquire if I can find anyone around who can actually speak English
Johnny is busy
Vince and Kenneth are too
I am so far impressed with all of their focus and work ethics
Mr Manzanilla staff seems friendly and eager to please us
The house ( apartment ) is like a labyrinth
All I can discern is that it is on the eleventh floor
We come and go and are contained for the most part to the service entrance and air conditioning areas.
No matter – that is what we are here for
The city bustles below
So much energy
It isn’t healthy though
In fact – its quite disturbing to me
When I flew in yesterday I had terrible flashes of the city on fire – mass confusion and destruction
I sense annihilation everywhere
Im cold
I have been since I got here
Somehow removed from the masses
Come here Marty – I need your help
Hold this while I put it together
Participating in the process
Yet not
I feel like Im going to be sick …
Thoughts swarming around in my head
Stomach churning
The staff whispers around me
Don’t they understand that I don’t
Even though there is a language barrier I can somehow ascertain much of what they “mean”
Body language speaks volumes
A look
A gesture
Even in a different culture it can and does give you away
I wonder what they make of my behaviour ?
I know they cant read what I write but if they could ….
The pounding stopped momentarily
Lots of chatter
From English to Spanish and then back to English again
Vincente translates
Or does he ?
Air Quality Control
That’s what we are here for
The haze thickens over the city
The mountains are all but “gone”
Im coughing now …
My throat is beginning to constrict
Mr Manzanilla comes thru a door I have yet to see him use
He observes the process and then vanishes
Suddenly – a fury of activity
Three other Mexicans arrive
One is Tomas’ father and you can tell – even thru the language barrier – of which we have established there really isn’t one – that he is a proud man / father
The kitchen is a buzz
The houseboy is wrapping things up for protection
The labourers are bringing in the ladders and equipment
Johnny is climbing up and down the ladder inspecting the situation
I glance out the window
The smog is clearing
I can SEE the mountains
They are as clear as day
I long to be out in the country side – perhaps even hiking them
My attention is drawn back into the kitchen
Loud noises
My head begins to pound
Visions of the Grinch with the drums in his head … LOL
Then – as quick as it started it was gone
The maid arrived with lunch
Sandwiches – from Starbucks
How amusing …
The quiet was almost unnerving
I guess the guys were HUNGRY
I sat on my perch and looked out the window
The bustle below me on the streets continues
The mountain view was now so clear I could reach out and almost touch them
I was indeed in a bowl
Both the geographically and physically
A fish bowel
I hadn’t noticed until now how much glass there was around me
The building curved
Again – like a bowl
Startled by a noise
The workmen are returning to the kitchen
Lunch is over
I wonder if there will be a siesta ?
Across the street I notice a building
It is about 5 stories high
There is a roof top garden on it
I can see large pots filled with plants , a lawn chair and some tables
No laundry hanging from the doors or windows which is amazing because even in this swanky part of town it seems to be the norm
A top of that there is a satellite dish and a bunch of mechanical devices which I assume service the building
I wonder who lives there and what they do ?
I retreat to the bathroom
Im not sure if it is because I am nervous or if it is all the fruit and beverage I have consumed but I am using the lavatory excessively
Ironically – as I sit on the pot – I notice a small round object on the floor
It is the missing vitamin I lost this morning when – at the ungodly hour – we had to get up and get ready for the day
Normally – I wouldn’t eat anything ff the floor but – ok – that’s a lie – but – typically – I wont eat something off the floor – but in this case – due to the obsessive nature of the staff in keeping everything so clean I felt “safe”
A helicopter just flew overhead
I watch it circle around
It could not be more than 200 feet from the building
As it navigates thru the skyline I extend my vision as far as possible to see what path it will take
One, two and then three circles around our peremiter it takes
All at the same or near altitude
Then – from behind – it is gone and I do not have the advantage of seeing where
I wish there was a balcony
I would love to just sit out there and watch and listen to the city
Then I remember the reason we are here
Air Quality Control
It doesn’t look terribly bad …
Just a little grubby / dingy
It has actually cleared up quite a bit I the past few hours
What is this ?
MORE food … and the helicopter – AGAIN !
This time the food is definitely authentic – Mexican for sure
Smells delish but I am stuffed – for now
Ok- where is that helicopter
Gone again …
If I cant get on line soon – I think I am going to go mad
I didn’t realize how addicted I am to the thing
Perhaps I should take note ?
My mind drifts back to this mornings breakfast
I was amazed to here the birds sing as the sun rose
Even though there is a park across the street from the hotel I did not expect to see or hear much in the way of wild life
A dog barks
Now how can I hear that from the eleventh floor – especially with all the racket going on ?
It’s a dog for sure
I can see him on the street below
He is barking at a person in the back alley
And look – there is a butterfly – yellow to be exact – flying over the top of the trees
I reach for my camera but both make their moves before I can make mine
The dog continues to bark
The unidentified person gets in their car and drives away …
The dog continues on his way
I lay my head on the marble counter top for what was to be for only a moment
I could hear the hustle and bustle all around me but it was essential that I withdraw
To my quiet place
I had to think – to feel – and to see the visions that were swirling around in my mind
When I lifted my head half the ceiling had been removed !
Horns honking
Its only three o clock
The clouds roll back in
Though the air remains mostly clear the day becomes dull and grey
Im craving sugar …
Jelly beans
I have some in my purse
They are Jelly Bellies
I spend the next 20 minutes trying out all the flavours
Entre Mr Manzanilla
Such a mild mannered man
Dressed in a suit coat and tie but sporting leather slippers he is the opitamy of refinement
His cologne is quaint yet understated
A pleasant change from some of the more pungent odors other men are wearing
It seems here in Mexico that is a pre requisite
Lots of talking gong on
Some in English but most in Spanish
I feel like I am in quarantine
All this plastic wrap
Reminds me of ICU …
Its after 4
The sun is making one last valiant effort to appear
There must be another kitchen in the house because I can smell cooking …
I raised my head again …
It was 530
Marty – start to pick up all our mess
I must have nodded off ( again )
A quick glance out the window
It has obviously rained ( drizzled ) as the roof tops are all wet
Everything has changed colour
It all looks “richer”
You cant see any precipitation from my vantage point so I must have slept thru it
I patrolled the site and picked up all the obvious trash
I took all his notes – which were strewn from one end of the service area to another – and placed them all in the briefcase
I gathered up all my belongings
It was time to go !

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