Visiting Mexico –
Anyone who has been to the Federal District of Mexico City knows that there is a street which runs through the centre of the city. Paseo de Reforma is just under 15km long and you would be right in thinking of the Champs-Élysées while you wondered down the tree-lined, art infested avenue. It was, after all, influenced very heavily by the Parisian boulevard. Except that if you venture out on a Sunday, you will notice the difference in an instant. First of all, it is closed to cars. Instead, it is filled with cyclists of all sizes and all ages. You will see people on roller skates and dogs running around playing with anyone who is willing to pamper them. It is here that a little chihuahua can confront a Great Dane or a St Bernard and feel like it has come out on top.
If you happen to walk past the Angel (who by the way, did not fall off her pedestal this time when the earth shook for her) you may be pulled into the open tent to dance while modern Latin Rock music plays at full blast. As you twirl and jump and raise your fists to the music you will see a Mexican princess having her picture taken with a local Lucha Libre wrestler. As you continue to walk up the street you may pass a little old man swaying to the mariachi music blaring out of the speakers on his ancient looking bicycle. If he opens his eyes as you walk past him, he may swoop you up in his arms and do a quick jig. With your head filled with merriment, you could continue up the road while listening to a soulful violin player’s rendition of La Vie En Rose. You will find the focus of mind and body coming together with exercise where ever you look. You can do a free first aid course on one corner while on another corner learn about bicycle maintenance. There are kids throwing hoops and jumping rope while waiting their turn to learn to ride a bike. At every traffic light, you will get a quick reminder of road safety tips for cyclists young and old. You will find lime and peanuts being sold next to chapulines (the delectable grasshoppers sold as a delicacy) and you will stop and take it all in.
It is in Mexico that my story really began, and as life has its funny little quirks, it is in Mexico that I finished the draft of my book. It is here that I find myself stitched into the fabric of life. It is in this city that I learn the differences between my heart, my soul and my fantasies. They come together and pull apart and teach me life lessons that for some reason I can’t find anywhere else. If you are there on a Sunday I suggest that you breathe in the ambience of the city. Feel the life. Connect with the humanity and never let it go.