we jumped on a tour bus yesterday and did the whole tourist thing for awhile. saw some monuments, museums, giant landmarks and met a few new people. since the city doesnt feel fit to trim the trees that line the streets of the city, we were constantly cautioning each other to duck as a branch whizzed by our heads. some branches got the best of some tourists who failed to heed the cautions, sometimes much to our entertainment. what? branches smacking people in the face is rather funny.
my girlfriends little brother got accepted to university for the fall (congrats ya little gaffer) so we decided to celebrate. we went to a greek restaurant just down the road from our apartment for dinner. not even five minutes there and already we had heard at least a couple dozen plates broken. we learned quickly that it wasnt because the wait staff was especially clumsy but that it had something to do with greek tradition. we asked our waiter if we could get in on the fun. three plates were promptly brought to our table. first, they said, we had to dance with them. so there, in the middle of the restaurant we were taught how to greek dance. i have the embarrassing pictures to mark the event. when all the dancing had been had, we got to breaking plates. those greeks know how to have a good time.
full of good greek food and funny greek memories, we moved on looking for a place to dance with some locals. being the only white foreigners in most spots we ventured into made me feel more like i was an animal in a zoo than just another patron. possibly a giraffe. we bounced around to a few places trying to find the right atmosphere and more space (they really like to cram themselves like sardines into places). we found a small, chill reggae bar near our place and chose to relax there. everything was going great until out of nowhere someone pushes me. i turn to see a large, angry mexican hombre yelling something at me in his native tongue. within seconds theres half a dozen people standing between us using more words i dont understand and your basic sign language to calm the situation down. theres a brief stare down and the angry mexican walks away.
im fuming mad at this point and trying desperately not to go after my would-be assailant. fight or flight has kicked in and flight doesnt seem to be on my radar. my girlfriend continues to pull on my arm and plead with me to leave the bar. i do and we see her little brother off in a cab back to his hotel. as we walk back past the reggae bar we see the couple who intervened to stop the fight and stop to talk with them. they apologize for their friends actions and are very warm and kind. they introduce themselves and we get to talking. good people. out of nowhere my would-be assailant comes out of the bar and heads straight towards me. but instead of engaging me with fists he places his right hand out and in broken english apologizes for his actions. didnt see that one coming. he explains in spanish how sorry he is and kat translates for me. he offers to buy us a drink as a small token of reconciliation and we accept. we end up enjoying the rest of our night talking with my brief mexican enemy and the couple who proved to be great peacemakers.
as we’re parting ways at the end of the night, the guy who acted as peacemaker (i dont know how to spell his name) takes off his necklace and offers it to me. he explains through kat that his girlfriend had recently picked it out for him as a token of their love and that he wanted to share that as one new friend to another. he explained that he felt a strong connection between us and wanted to send me back to canada with something meaningful from mexico. he didnt want our image of mexico to be that of violence but that of love. i asked the two of them if they happened to have fallen from heaven earlier and they laughed. he pointed skyward and said its all for him. i smiled and nodded in agreement. it is ALL for him.
we hugged and said goodbyes for about ten minutes, exchanged numbers and contacts and planned to meet up again before we left mexico to head back to canada. kat and i both walked home, smiles pressed firmly on our faces, still reeling from everything that had just transpired.
just another day in mexico city.