1 August 1995

First discovery must be a result of NAFTA, 6 pesos to the dollar on the imperialist exchange rate. The local economy crashes, and a few cents left in the pocket.

Long taxi ride in from the airport, a quick shower, and down to the bar for beer with lime, and cacahuates– peanuts. How orient yourself in a city 10 million people reside in? 2240 metres altitude–a high plateau–and after slight rain the air tastes good, not yet the noxious stuff Mexican friends warned of. So read up on the Mexica–

(meh-SHEE-kah) or Aztec

      and find them grim, weird, as their art had suggested–their seat of cleric power Tenochtitlan (partly excavated from under the modern City's zocolo). In 1487 priests consecrated new temple to Huitzilopochtli, the ceremony stretched to four days. Sacrificial victims taken during war & raiding campaigns were arrayed in four columns, each row of prisoners extending three miles out through the maize fields. 20,000 human hearts, still pumping, torn out to favor the gods over four grisly days. What drug inspired them? Finally the priests, whipped with the effort, called it quits....

     So we go down after dark to the zocolo to see the old ruins. Luckily a loose flyer touches us with tender simplicity–

     Sor Juana
       y la cultura barroca

     Entrada Gratis

concerning lovely poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz who as a child cut her hair short & vowed to keep it that way–until she had taught herself many scholarly things. "For I am but ignorant and tremble...."

Off a massive colonial stone building flutters the banner for another exhibit–Torture Instruments of European Origin. With a picture of some grim machine.


Andrew Schelling | 9:00 p.m.
Contents | Mudlark No. 9