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El Brujo has killer contraband

The market district, that occupies maybe 10 by 10 blocks east of the Zócalo (central square) should be renamed Needful Things, because if there is something you really want, you will find it. I’ve been looking for more good, wooden book-holders since I was given one for my 21st (thanks guys!), but I was looking for a specific kind. There was one stall out of hundreds that had them, and only one kind: the exact kind I’ve been looking for during the 7 previous years. I went to haggle, and found they were already half the price I was expecting with gringo mark-up. (And yes, I have been called gringo already). Naomi and I spent the better part of one of the three days I had to tie up loose ends before leaving Melbourne tracking down GP boots. I found a street today that only sells military surplus.

The Zócalo itself has much to see, and I still have to investigate the museum of the main Aztec pyramid that Cortes demolished most of, and the Palacio Nacional, but what I did see was an amusing juxtaposition: the Catholic Catedral Metropolitana. Inside it has a statue, the Señor del Veneno, which has the power to magically suck poison out of potentially assassinated monks. Outside, brujos (witch doctors) cleanse the souls of people with branches and incense. I stroke my beard at this. The building itself is beautiful, and how should one make an impressive European-style church more impressive? Bolt two together to make an uber church!

I like it here because despite the fact I stand out (and so would most everyone at home, except Ivan or maybe anyone extremely Mediterranean), you don’t get hassled, like in Beijing for example. I’ve been approached three times: once by an undergraduate who was hoping I was maybe an Americano, once in the market to buy a t-shirt, and once by some high school kids who wanted to interview me and take my photo for their homework (and I still have my wallet).

The city itself is much less crowded than one would expect for its 22 million inhabitants. This, I think, is because the greater city sprawls extensively.


The San Fran gallery is finished. Link on the right.
Also, people! Feel free to comment!

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