Monday, March 12, 2012

Mexico City, Second Impressions


Which, I wonder as I wander, might be considered the Worst Job in Mexico City? Oh, there are miserable occupations anywhere you go, but there seem to be some true bummers here. Pity, por ejemplo, the poor organ-grinder in the streets of El Centro--not just the grinding, which must be hell on the arm, but to have to listen to the same insipid jingle day-in-and-day-out, like driving an ice cream truck but without even any ice cream to sell. Nor, it seems, do they exactly rake it in. Perhaps more profitable is the position of bathroom attendant--some of the busier WCs probably make out quite well at four or five pesos a head--but then there's the fact of having to work in a bathroom all day, not that easy on the soul, I imagine. Or, the young mothers selling marzipan candies in the Metro, so profoundly zoned-out from intoning marzipan-marzipan-marzipan for hours on end that they don't notice their little children playing in rivers of subway-filth? Or maybe, the dozens of poor sacks passing out leaflets for eye exams in the optical sector of downtown, whose leaflets no one wants and whose voices are run-ragged from repeating Examen Gratis to the point of total meaninglessness? I understand feeding your family or putting yourself through school, but I can't imagine there aren't days when these unsung martyrs of the megalopolis wake up and just can't possibly face another ten hours of organ-grinding or marzipan-hawking.
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It turns out that the Teatro Coliseo, across the street from my rat's-ass hotel, is not a derelict porno theater as I had assumed, but is in fact one of D.F.'s two lucha libre arenas, with fights every Sunday at five, and with balcony seats going at a mere thirty pesos apiece, attending was a no-thinker. And how excited was I? Very! But the truth is, friends, from my balcony-vantage at least, that lucha libre is a teensy bit boring--just regular "wrestling," with predictable good guys-bad guys scenarios, laboriously-choreographed fight sequences and marginally-sillier costumes than the American breed. Really, the most interesting part was the crowd commentary--I doubt I'll ever hear such colorful variations on the word puta as long as I live, and the fat, shoeless man down the row from me who kept up a persistent chinga-tu-madre whistle throughout the show was the very model of obstinate, brainless raunch. Not even the female wrestlers were spared--in fact the heckling intensified during their segment. But, for all that, I'll probably be back next weekend.

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