You may not know this but Semana Santa (Holy Week) is a very important religious holiday in Mexico, and among the many events that take place during the course of the week, the so-called passion play is one of the most popular — and well-attended. It consists of a representation of the via crucis, and involves everyone, from workers, students and housewives who become actors for one day to play the roles of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the Nazarenes, the apostles — and other characters (not all of them strictly Biblical) including a spy, a dog, and a wandering Jew.
In the play, when Christ gets captured, we see him carrying a cross a long way and until he reaches a location that represents Mount Calvary. In the most famous of these representations (the one that takes place in Iztapalapa) we see Christ carrying his cross from the town’s main square to the nearby Cerro de la Estrella in the heart of Mexico City.
Unfortunately, not all Mexican towns and cities have a mountain or even a hill around, so they resort to crucify Jesus on pretty much any location, including an electricity pole. This, as you can imagine, can have bring about some funky accidents.
So, I’m back in Mexico City, this time – unfortunately – on a not-so-happy family emergency. And while I juggle my time between work, family gatherings and hospital visits, I try to roam about the city as much as possible to try to figure out how the so-called “digital nomads” are transforming my beloved D.F. (Spoiler alert: Not in a good way.)
I see a lot more signs in English (and I’m not even in Roma or Condesa) and prices of pretty much everything have gone to the roof. Yet, the food is glorious and my people are kind.
I’ll be here for a while, so expect more Mexico-related posts vs. the usual Bad-gringo food ones. Oh, and if you’re around, hit me up for a semi-happy hour or something.
Photo: Laura Martínez, Colonia Nápoles. March 2023.
Nope, I’m not making this up. Today, Monday, September 19, 2022, at around 1:07 pm local time, Mexico City residents were shaken (not stirred) by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake, that killed at least one and damaged a lot of buildings across several states.
I first learned about it not on Twitter, but on the family WhatsApp that was going nuts with voicemail notifications from my brother and sister sounding really really scared. The first message, from my brother, came through at 2:08 pm/EST and it simply said “Está temblando,” two words any born and raised Mexican knows all too well.
Then came my sister with a 7-second message saying it was really fucking bad and then I sort of panicked.
I had been in transit but as soon as I got home I called to make sure they were OK. Thankfully, everyone was unscathed. Scared shit still, but unharmed.
Barely 7 or 8 minutes later, the memes started pouring in. It was – once again – my people’s way of dealing with calamities, from highlighting the HUGE coincidence of the September 19 date to celebrating the inevitability of our demise.
I’m just gonna post a few examples below to give you an idea of what’s going on today post-sismo, but feel free to follow this blogger’s Twitter feed to keep up in real time.
After 1 year, 7 months and eleven days, I’m finally back in my beloved CDMX (formerly known as D.F.) and while many things have changed -and Covid was truly devastating for many Mexicans I know- the simple beauty of my birth city and its sights & sounds remains undisturbed.
Since October 8, 2020, I have not only lost one job but two of them, and while things look pretty challenging right now, I’m very lucky to be back and to be able to hug my friends and family once again. Yes, I’ve been hugging people left & right… Take that, #PincheCovid!
Also, and given the extra time life is affording me right now, I have made some very important resolutions, like updating this blog sangüichero as often as possible and catching up on some very important reading material (see below.)
I’m not really sure what’s next. But first things first: I’m off to Ajusco for some sopa de hongos. ¡Ahí se ven!
Mexican electoral authorities are calling on chilangos (as Mexico City residents are known) living abroad to take part in the 2010 election and vote for a “Diputación migrante.” What this basically means is that migrants hailing from the city capital will be able to cast a vote for representation at the Mexico City Congress.
And what better way to convince chilangos to take part than using some of the things that make our heart beat the hardest? Tacos al pastor; tortas de tamal and trajineras.
As Mexico’s Electoral Institute (INE) inform us on a dedicated Website, being a chilango without a voting document is equivalent to really dull things: Like a taco al pastor without pineapple; a guajolota (torta of tamal) without bolillo or a trajinera without a name.
This blogger better go sign up for this thing ASAP.
NOTE: These images are not mine. I was fortunate enough to be elsewhere when the Sept. 19, 2017 earthquake struck. I just thought all of what has happened so far in my birth country should serve as a great reminder of how Mexicans can come together in times of crisis and tragedy, no matter what the so-called leader of the free-world would want you to believe.
According to a very reliable source (i.e. Mexican Twitter) these cardboard “celebrities” exist — and coexist — at El Ocho, a restaurant in my beloved Mexico City (aka CDMX, though it will always be El DF to me.)
Mexico City looked like a scene of an apocalyptic movie on Wednesday afternoon as a powerful storm hit Mexico’s capital, flooding entire avenues, several subway stations and even private homes and shopping malls.
Apple has launched its first commercial for its not-yet-widely-available wireless earbuds (aka AirPods.) And what better way to show how cool something is than by having a freestyle dancer roaming my birth city while listening to music?
There are several things that give it away, but it’s mostly the signs — and overall beautiful decadence of La Capirucha.