WE DRIVE down the mountain every week to the state capital, mostly for shopping at Costco and Superama.
And to grab a lunch.
We rarely go directly into the center of town because traffic is snarly, and free parking is hard to find.
Yesterday, while my child bride was doing chores, I drove downtown for a look-see. That array of sidewalk tables sits across from a music conservatory called Las Rosas.
When I lived in the capital for seven months in 2000, I occasionally ate here. At the time there was only one establishment on this end, and another on the far end.
Those in the middle were not there.
Mexicans are fond of protesting in the streets and highways. More often than not, it’s teachers who want guaranteed jobs and the right to bequeath those jobs to unqualified relatives at retirement. Teachers also loath competence tests.
To counter these malcontents, police often take to the streets en masse. That’s what you see in the second photo. They were just standing there in body armor and shields.
I saw no impending strife nearby, so …
Being a cop must be very boring at times.
Sidewalk restaurants, cops and churches. The state capital is full of churches. That’s one just above. I snapped the photo while sitting on a bench in a plaza of yet another church directly behind me. Churches galore.
We sit at sidewalk eateries. We want guaranteed jobs. And we kneel and pray everywhere. All of those things happen in quantity down the mountain in the state capital.
NAT KING COLE sings You Made Me Love You on the music machine as I sweep the veranda on this overcast day.
It’s cool, but it’s ever cool in our mornings.
After the brief trip to Mexico City, it’s nice to fall back into a routine, which is a very relaxed one. At least mine is. My child bride doesn’t understand relaxation.
I understand it all too well — and always have.
Check news on internet. Drink coffee, eat bagels — or sometimes croissants like today — chores, shower, dress — and, in the case of my child bride, wrestle with curly long hair forever — and on Sunday go somewhere, do something.
That something today will be a ride down the mountain to the state capital for shopping and eating. Sunday’s a good day to do this because perpetually unsettled socialist “teachers” normally take that day off. No highway obstructions.
With luck the overcast will clear soon, introducing blue skies. As I head to the shower, Julie London has replaced Nat King Cole on the music machine.
Chet Baker’s warming up in the bull pen.
I hear a train in the distance. And I think I spot the sun.
BEING IN A Mexican family occasionally entails social obligations, mostly regarding the Catholic Church or, as my mama would have said, the Catlick Church.
I’ve been asked numerous times over the years to be a godfather to babies. I’ve always dodged that duty, mostly due to not being Catholic, an easy out.
No matter. Occasionally, I have to make an appearance on the Vatican Trail, and recently I did that when a nephew passed some sort of Catholic threshold.
They have names like First Communion, Confirmation, Confession, Holy Blessing from On High, Walking on Knees. I confess they’re a jumble in my noggin’. They all entail indirectly coughing up some pesos for the Pope through his priestly minions who dress like medieval womenfolk.
Well, anyway, there I was, sitting in one of those Catholic pews with the little kneeling rail at my feet, which creates problems for my long legs, plus I do not kneel.
As the two priests droned on and on, the recorded music rose and fell, the incense burned — I liked that part — the people prayed, we stood, we sat, more droning, I took the photo above of the girl and her parents, sitting dead ahead.
Sitting to my left was my lovely child bride, to her left was her sister, to her left was the poor guy who’d been suckered into Godfatherhood, and then finally, abutting the aisle, was our kid decked out in farcical white, head to heel.
The little angel that he isn’t.
After an hour and 10 minutes, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I stood and left. I was hungry. I bought a couple of street cookies, sat on a steel bench outside the church door and waited.
Not long after, the priests ran out of ideas and ended the hoopla. My people came out. The kid looked the same.