Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Tuesday 2 June: to walk to the Franz Mayer

We set out to go to the post office and then on to the Franz Mayer Museum.

As usual lots to be seen on the way. First, as usual, to cross Av Madero, where the usual suspects are shooting the breeze before the afternoon crowds arrive.

Once beyond Madero, the serious guys wend their way back to the office after lunch.

a monument to Aztec heroes

At the place where a writer produced a magazine
 to campaign against the long dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz

We went back to see the excellent artisanry of this man and others in the lane behind the post office

It really really does help to have an ear for the Spanish around you.

I had waited in a queue for stamps from this charming lady below (the one you can hardly see beyond the bronze grille). The man ahead of me took forever fiddling until she eventually asked him if he could move to the side a little to organise his papers. I then went and asked for some nice estampillas por postales a Australia, diverses estampillas por cince pesos al postale (stamps for postcards to Australia, different stamps adding up to 15 pesos each postcard) and the lovely lady began swiftly laying out an amazing array of beautiful stamps in 14 peso lots, with a sheet of one peso stamps to top each up. We were in the middle of a joke about how I would not have room to write on the postales because the stamps would take up all the space... when suddenly the previous customer appeared at my shoulder, announced to the lady that he thought she had beautiful eyes — and fled.

Her eyes fell to the stamps, when they came up again we exchanged gentle smiles.

Somos en México

Moving west, in front of the Bellas Artes, security police were marching in to take up ranks, armed with shields and helmets

I asked the jefes below if they were expecting a manifestacion. They looked puzzled. I said there had been some demonstrations on Reforma the day before.

Oh no, they said in chorus, it's just a simulacro

Relax, Phone, Eat.. all in the normal day's work...
 I find if you speak politely (usted/ustedes, not the informal tu) to police they sometimes jump a little because nobody talks to them, but they become refreshingly good humoured...

The centro of the centro of the city is intensely guarded and mobile patrolling is heavy wherever else we have been. It is a huge city, there are vast numbers of poor and desperate. I do not photograph disabled people or others begging. They are many. The overall situation requires high security, else the centre be swallowed.
When we were with the jefe of the Balderes Metro police on Sunday someone dropped something heavy somewhere, with an ambiguous bang, and three officers went sprinting.

Across the street (Hidalgo) is this oasis outside the Museo Franz Mayer (also, to the right, not in photo, the museum of prints)

The guys on the left below were just beginning a game. Chess masters. The white shirt a Venezuelan lawyer working in D.F. In the black shirt, a Mexican surgeon.
I asked the Venezuelan about politics at home (difficult). 
I asked which side he found himself on in Venezuela's politics. 
There was a long pause.
I said: Vive in Mexico. [You live in Mexico]
He said: that is the correct answer to your question.

Later we saw more evidence that there will be elections on Sunday 8 June: cheery waving

and this perhaps also evidence of elections coming. security concerns... army units

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