We´re visiting during the rainy season. It´s rained nearly every afternoon since we´ve arrived. Usually we plan our outings before the rain hits which kills us as we really are nocturnal creatures. Before we just dragged little Umberto with us to various cafes, where he´d sit quiety playing with his cars while we drank coffee and talked. This time around this is so not an option. The girls simply will not sit. Piper hates the crowds, and cries the whole time. Camille just wanders around checking out all the tables. Luckily, Mexicans for the most part are far more tolerant of children than Americans. The last time we attempted a cafe visit, we meet up with our friend Gabriel, and his very cool girl friend Danillea who has a six year old son. Piper sobbed, Camille followed the couple of dogs that hung around, and Umberto? Well Umberto played ping pong with Daniella´s son. They were not only all over the cafe we were in but in the resturant next door. At one point, Umberto was crawling, commando style, under people´s chairs. And D´s son hit the ball onto one couple´s table where it bounced into the man´s face. Was anyone mad? Nope. It´s amazing really. But it´s not really comfortable for us.
Tonight H decided the kids had to go out. We had spent the morning at the park where I walk, and then had lunch at Happy´s. But H still decided the kids needed more time. I pointed out that the sky was nearly black with rain clouds but H is ever optimistic. Of course half way through the god awful cluster fuck that is Mexico City at six, it started to rain. It started off with a few harmless drops and quickly transformed into a deluge that made the cluster fuck all the worst. We sat through various lights, listening to the horns blaring, people yelling. The kids fell asleep, and we decided to go El Pendlum to have a coffee. Of course there was no parking, an ever present problem in this massive city. We ended up driving around, and soaking in Mexico City, wet.
H has always said that rain transforms a city into something new. And there is something new and different about a city seen in the midst of a storm. Because Mexico City is such an outside city, there are plenty of people regardless of the weather. In every doorway, arch, or pavilion, people stand close together, waiting out the afternoon rain. There are flashes as people run from one saftey to another. My favorite was a man with his arms around two women who shielded him and themselves with two umbrellas. The metro bus stops were filled with people waiting impatiently but at least dry for the packed city buses to take them home, or out.
And as it grew darker, the city began to shine. Neon lights blurred when glimpsed through the wet windshield. The rain added a clean touch to everything, and the city began to glow. And despite assholes in their cars, the constant beeping, the fucking valet parking that takes over entire roads, there was something magical in the post rain streets. These are the moments when Mexico City seduces you.
I wish I could post our pictures but we´re running on a telephone modem here, and plus my photos are all on H´s laptop. If we get a chance we´ll post them soon.