08 December, 2006

The Guanajuato Gang

Part IV - Ten Day Jaunt in Mexico

This was my gang in Guanajuato which made my stay very memorable. Beside me is Ryan, his wife Lily, then Marco holding the couple's baby whose name and gender I immediately forgot, and of course Crazy Su.

Marco was waiting at the hostel when we arrived. We got introduced (I had only been in touch with him via email before the trip) and along with Crazy Su, we quickly set off to explore central Guanajuato. We were led by Marco to most of the major sights - from the Alhondiga, Mercado Hidalgo, Jardin Union, Baratillo, University of Guanajuato, and much more. He did an outstanding job in showing off his hometown, and I interrupted our tour a few times to take pictures - blown way as I was by Guanajuato's mixture of architectural styles, colorful facades of the houses including the ones on the adjacent hills (Marco's house itself was painted green), and fun, lively vibe. Although his native language was Spanish, Marco spoke passable English, actually even better than Crazy Su’s. At times our trio's communication became quite comical - I'd talk with Marco en Espanol and reprise the convo for Crazy Su's benefit, and vice-versa. Probably explains why I needed a stiff drink afterwards.

The next day, Crazy Su and I spent the entire day sightseeing. We stopped at the Museo Casa Diego Rivera, where Mexico's most famous painter was born and raised until age 6. The museum contained mostly his early works, in a variety of styles - Cubist, Pointillist, and Impressionist. The portion of the mural (see picture) shows a poor native family being denied entry to the Alameda (Central Park), while the affluent, lighter-skinned and fancy-dressed upper class exchange smirks.

Another highlight was taking the funicular up to the Momento al Pipila on the hillside which affords fantastic views of Guanajuato. Pipila ("the Turkeycock") was Guanajuato's Independence Day hero who helped overthrow the Spanish, and whose statue looks like one of the Fantastic Four. It is indeed quite an incredible view - you appear to be standing directly on top of the Jardin Union, and the Cathedral seemingly so near that just by reaching out you can touch it. Was really glad Crazy Su was around, who else would take my picture? LOL. We also climbed up a steep, narrow staircase to a point immediately behind the statue's shoulder, where the view was much worse. She was terrified of both the climb and the funicular ride, so I unmercifully teased her and had a good laugh at her expense while she clung to me for safety.

The gang met up for dinner at a pizza place with cheap Corona beer. Marco proposed going to a club afterwards, and though I was pretty tired was prevailed upon to accompany them to smooth out the communication. So we all (except Ryan and the baby) walked over to Colorado, a disco popular with young Mexicans playing mostly Norteno and cumbia music. Marco, for some reason, bought an entire case of beer (24 bottles) which the four of us obviously couldn't finish. After dancing – or rather, flailing her arms, bopping her head, and generally just hurlting about – for a few songs, Crazy Su declared that she didn't like the music at Colorado. I inquired why that was so. She said she wanted to hear English songs played and actually instructed our waiter to call the manager. Unable to resist this opening, I pointedly remarked, "Well, last time I checked we are in Mexico". In the end, Marco suggested that we head to another place, and I quickly backed up his idea. In truth, I wanted to simply disappear - due to Crazy Su's complaints and the attention her "moves" was attracting - the other dancers were stealing sideways glances at her, and after having their mouths agape for seconds would invariably turn away and cringe in horror. It wasn't hard to notice her style, or lack thereof. The only worse dancer I've ever seen was Elaine in the Seinfeld episode, "The Little Kicks". Lily, on the other hand, is very talented and possessed smooth, creative moves. Heard that she even won some salsa competition in the past.

So finally, we stepped out and walked ten minutes to the next stop, Chel-Oh's. More of the same really, except they had two jampacked dance floors, and the crowd seemed to consist mostly of teenage Mexican girls on a school clubbing field trip whom I'd have trouble believing are at least 18 years old. Same as in Colorado, the locals kept looking at Crazy Su and wondering what the hell she was up to. Inexplicably, Marco bought yet another case of beer. To this day, I have no idea what happened to the unopened bottles as I excused myself at 1:30am and flagged a cab back to the hostel. Nor did I care.


Anonymous said...

Very funny at Crazy Su's expense. I hope she does not or can not read this:)

Anonymous said...

You made me miss the gang and my time in GJ so much!! I dont think I have ever been jealous of another guy the way I have been at you!!!

Anonymous said...

Judging from the baby's clothing, it's safe to assume the gender is female.

Eric, having a great Xmas in London? Call me when you get back. Marivi