Yes, we’re wandering, but we’re still Americans, so Sunday was Super Bowl. We didn’t really have any skin in the game, but we live on a street full of places to get cheap beer and watch sports soooo. Sunday evening we marched all the way around the corner to Veintiuno, which, if you have any knowledge of Spanish, you know means 21. Yes, all (well, most) of the beer is 21 pesos. In my limited knowledge of Spanish, I misunderstood the host. I thought she was saying that there were specials if you bought a bottle of tequila or 12 beers. I was sadly mistaken. Once we were seated, we realized that that was the minimum purchase to sit and watch the game!
So, 12 Tecates later … No, I’m joking. We did buy 12 beers for a whopping 12 US dollars. We figured we would give some of them away if our friends didn’t make it, they did but only after much chagrin trying to find Covid vaccine proof. Apparently, the one Tapatío (that’s a native GDLer) had never been asked for vaccine proof before. We have been asked a a bunch of times when we enter places that are mostly bars. As we’ve said before, pretty much every place checks your temperature and makes you apply hand sanitizer (boy, are my hands dry. If I didn’t look like an old woman before, my hands give me away now) (I will confirm that it is only the hands that give away…). As another aside, I forgot to mention that when we went to Lucha Libre, they literally sprayed us down with sanitizer. We even had to pirouette so they didn’t miss a spot.
This week, three noteworthy events happened:
- There was a protest at the Glorieta (aka roundabout, aka rotary, aka traffic circle, aka roun-point) de los Niños Héroes in which the protesters lined up and blocked all the entire circle. Traffic was backed up and honking in five directions. Yes, Tapatíos, like New Yorkers, love their horns. The protest was peaceful and organized and the police let it go on for 15 minutes before making them move. The drivers were not pleased, but nothing untoward occurred.
- I heard loud talking and music, which seemed odd as we are on the 14th floor. I glanced out the window a few times before I saw a foot in the window. A group of men were hanging by ropes outside the building. They were patching and painting. It looked less than safe (just like the day we were walking down the street and a man was soldering something (it looked like some official metal box) without any protection or even a cone to warn pedestrians. One of the men asked if he could use our balcony, so he moved the plants and furniture out of the way and his team proceed to hoist him the rest of the way up the building. Did I mention it was windy yesterday?
- It rained! Well, some drops fell from the sky for maybe 5-10 minutes.
The Glorieta de los Niños Héroes is technically a monument to six soldiers lost in the Battle of Chapultepec between Mexico and the United States. If you’re wondering why Sept. 13 is a more important date to Mexicans than May 5, this is it. The US, which was massively better manned (yes, they were all men) won and took Chapultepec Castle, which sits on a hill just outside Mexico City. The six cadets jumped to their deaths to avoid capture.
Today, the monument is known as the Glorieta de los y las desaparecidos (the roundabout of the disappeared) and symbolizes all the missing people of Jalisco. According to news reports, that number is almost 16,000, some missing for more than a decade, and the protesters, who numbered between 100-200, are frustrated with the lack of progress and resources available to identify bodies or to look for those who are unaccounted for and that there have been only 10 convictions. The protesters marched down Avenida Chapultepec (we live at the end of the road overlooking the monument), which has a large pedestrian median, before blocking traffic into the glorieta (You can see them blocking the entrances in the second photo). They then read out the names of many of the missing.
The monument (credit top photo: De Pancho GDL – Trabajo propio, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72740376) and the protest.