Mexico City, Friday 12th February 1999


Diego Rivera Mural, Mexico City


I am writing this from the Isabel Hotel in Mexico City after a day’s sightseeing. In the second leg of the journey I sat to the left of an American “hero” father and his young daughter engrossed in a Windows computer magazine. We followed the sunny Californian coast most of the way down. I bought a taxi ticket. I wanted to confirm my flights, as they both seemed to be a few hours later than I had planned. The red and orange muggy sky is obviously caused by pollution from traffic. I had no energy to do anything, as I had not slept from Tokyo so I went straight to sleep. I woke up at 6.00am, with the smell of the drain from the bathroom. I started reading about today’s planned route. I ate Egg Mexicana, coffee and bread breakfast in the Café El Popular. I was very cold in my shorts so had to go back to the hotel later to get warmer clothes. I walked around the square: the Cathedral, Aztec museum, and murals in the palace. I had a quick shoeshine under a professional canopy, about as good as new, went through a pawnshop, a fancy restaurant and where the sales assistant for postcards completely ignored me. I sent off my cards at an elegant post office. I stopped at another branch of Café Popular where I had a Mexican mixture, which included marinated spicy beef – very filling with Mexican-type additions. The Art museum contained lots of nudes – I had overdosed in the other art museum. I had no energy to walk about the gallery; so just sat in the foyer. I felt a sudden dose of jet lag. I walked across the park up the observation skyscraper: a booming jukebox, hazy horizon and very hot at the observation floor. I walked past many music shops (keyboards and other instruments). CDs are not much cheaper. The maid had just finished cleaning my room. It was a slow hotel lift.

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