If I’m asked what to do, where to eat, and where to go in Mexico City then I’ll waffle on forever with a billion suggestions. If I have to narrow down my response to a single sentence with no more than five words? Go and see Lucha Libre. Is there anything more ‘Mexico City‘ than Lucha Libre? Methinks not. Food recommendations are all well and good, but the truth is you’re never more than a ten minute walk from a dozen damn fine places to eat. And the guide books and leaflets in hotels will list all the main tourist sites – there’ll be more than you can ever hope to visit. Sheesh, I spent six years trying and still have places to go.
This is Year of Mexico here in the UK. To celebrate, there have been plenty of exhibitions and events organised. Most of which we’ve missed – they are largely London centric, and it’s a bit of an expensive trek to get up there every weekend. But we weren’t going to miss what we consider the big double header. First up, a Lucha Libre event at the Royal Albert Hall. In a couple of weeks, the Mexican Folklore Ballet company are putting in a performance.
The Royal Albert Hall is a somewhat posher venue that the Luchadores are used too. If they feared the atmosphere would also be somewhat politer than is normal, then they were in for a pleasant surprise. A packed hall featured plenty of Latinos and Latinos who provided the profanity. And a couple of Englishmen dressed as nuns provided the luchado baiting. Frankly, us Brits do comedy drag better than anyone. Finally there were some masked up Aussies behind us who provided enough politically incorrect wrestling suggestions to last a lifetime. In short, the atmosphere rocked.
Lucha Libre is great fun. It makes no pretence as to what it is. It’s theatre, comedy, light entertainment. With some gymnastics thrown in for good measure. Even those who think that it’s not going to be there cup of tea are usually pleasantly surprised. We had some pretty good seats, just four rows back. But it’s tough to photograph from a few rows back though. You can check out my efforts on Flickr though, just by clicking here…
I keep my eye out for all things Mexican. Anything will do. Just in the hope I’ll get a temporary fix of home. It usually ends in disappointment. Mexican just isn’t Mexican without Mexico. Lucha Britania is on in Bournemouth soon. The word Lucha raised my hopes. Britania sounded dubious. The trasiler just made my heart sink. I mean, for a start….you need a strong stomach and a gimp mask? That isn’t Lucha Libre. For Mexican wrestling you need strong language and a gaggle of outraged old ladies.
And for the love of god, where are the dwarfs in monkey outfits?! You have to have the dwarfs! And if someone has the nerve to tell me the show actually has got dwarfs, then why the hell haven’t they both been murdered by prostitutes in a seedy, rent-by-the-hour Tlalpan hotel room?! Pfft. I’m keeping my money in my pocket. Lucha Britania will have to jog on. There are times when only the genuine article will do.
For this weeks Ciclothon, there was a Japanese flavoured treat on Reforma. Which included, rather bizarrely, a Lucha Libre contest. I’m still trying to figure out how this is Japanese. But what the hell. I like Lucha Libre. Ok, so they didn’t manage to get Mistico to turn up, but it was still a bit of fun.Vodpod videos no longer available.
Today we had a lazy wander around Coyoacan, a really nice tranquil part of the city full of churches, pleasant parks, restaurants and coffee shops, and home to two cool museums well worth a visit. The second of these, the Leon Trotsky museum, I had been to in 2003, so for photos click here. Journal date 20th July, and there are photos in the gallery. The first visit of the day though was to the Frida Kahlo museum, with many of her most famous works on show, and you can stroll through her house that is now a fully integrated part of the museum.
From Coyoacan, we went to Paola’s dad’s to be taken to see Mexican Wrestling. Its along the same lines as the British wrestling that we used to have but with a little more glamour and a lot more passion. It surpassed all expectations (admittedly low!) and turned out to be a really good evening out, one I will happily repeat. And as her dad, brother and nephew are all big fans, I dare say I will get plenty of opportunities! Paola’s family are all very friendly by the way, if a little puzzled by the concept of a Europeaner coming to live in Mexico City! Apparantly they were extremely doubtful that I would actually come despite Paola’s insistence that my ticket was booked. Seeing was believing for them!