Paola has gone off to Zacatecas for a few days with friends, leaving me in peace and quiet to explore the city. I had intended today to go to the Ciclothon and make a video of the weekly bike ride. But things didn’t go well. First of all, a blind music CD seller on the metro decided, having waited at the open doors for two minutes, to stop the doors when they were closing and squeeze into the carriage with a very athletic jump for someone who can’t see. He went straight into my bike, taking it and himself to the floor in a heap. He said something I didn’t understand. I’m sure it was rude. I just wish I’d been able to remember the Spanish for ” look where you’re going next time, you blind twat”. I know you’re supposed to be a little easier on those with disabilities, but they can be idiots sometimes too.
At the Zocalo it became apparent that a big section of the normal ciclothon route was closed for some reason. That put a dampener on my video idea. Then I discovered I had forgotten my tripod. Annoying, but not an insurmountable problem. Shortly after that discovery, I turned my camera on, to make one last discovery. The memory card was still in my computer. Video idea scrapped till next week.
But I did still have room on the internal memory for about half a dozen or so shots. Including the one below. Aside from the fact it was Palm Sunday, which meant a lot of people wandering around with god on the mind, and bits of *twigs in their hands, it was also the 28th of the month, the day when thousands of people carry these statues (which can be bought in small, medium, large, extra large and monstrous sizes) Of St Jude to the Church of St Jude (I assume it is so named) in some sort of mad pilgrammage.
The Catholic Church in Mexico City is a fairly perverse organisation really. I guess I can mean that in two ways, given recent events. But I am today referring to the bizarre way that the Catholic Church in Mexico, or at least the believers, officially and unofficially, have adapted little ‘extras’ into their religious leanings. Some come from the pre hispanic period – Day of the Dead for example. Other bits have been taken from more modern historical ‘events’. I’m thinking of the Virgin de Guadalupe. Whilst others yet…well, I don’t really know where these ‘extras’ have come from.
There is Santa Muerte, the Saint of Death, which has a rather macabre undertone to it. And some fairly unsaintly and unsavory followers. And then there is St Jude, the patron saint for lost causes. Which has been interpreted by some to mean he is the patron saint for thieves, drug dealers and other criminal types. The church has officially poo pooed this idea. But it is easy to ignore the priests and bishops when it suits. I must say, I was tempted to go and buy one of these little statues. After all, every other person at that end of Reforma was carrying one. Would it work? Would I exit the church and find the tripod in my bag after all, and the memory card in my camera? I had my doubts. I wrote off my video plan as a totally lost cause, beyond saving even by St Jude, and accepted it. Till next week…