Mexico City is for lovers. M and I, on our pre-honeymoon (luna de miel), feel right at home amidst the couples kissing on the crowded sidewalks, flirting at the feet of splashing fountains. Compared to Turkey, where hand-holding seemed a risky gratuity, this is as refreshing as the cool mountain air that keeps the largest city in the world breezy and light. Smiles are easy to come by. No one is in a hurry, except in the giant pastry shops, which are apparently a requisite for an enjoyable Saturday afternoon. You can set your watch by the late afternoon thunderstorms that let loose a fury of warm rain to drive everyone home. Whether cozy inside our high-ceilinged hotel room, reading, or tromping around in my Tevas, I relish these storms.
Yesterday we rode the metro, which, at 3 pesos (about 23 cents) a ride, is the cheapest in the world. It rocked us to Coyoacan, place of the Coyotes, a quaint tree-lined village that was Frida Khalo´s hood from birth until adulthood. (thank you Leilani for the recommendation!) We visited her Casa Azul, a lovely courtyard-enclosed home where she painted from her bed and navigated her tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera, whose toad-like appearance is hard to reconcile next to her smoldering beauty. I marveled at her painting entitled Still Life, a sensuous ode to fertility, in a wooden frame Frida designed to look like a womb. After a delicious late lunch of fried fish and bean soup, we pranced through the crescendo of rain that drove us back to our hotel for a rest.
Today we leave for Cancun, where we will explore the Yucatan. ¿Is it possible to feel nostalgia for a place after only four nights? My heart is full: with the teenage boys playing twilight soccer in the courtyard of a cathedral, the chubby-cheeked ninos holding tight to their parents´ hands as they cross the busy streets, the vibrant colorful shops filled with art supplies that look good enough to eat.