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Mexico City Zocalo


During my eight-month stay in Mexico in 2007-08, I had travelled to Mexico City a few times and had got acquainted with its various zones but my final trip brought me closer to understanding the daily city life.

Till today I remember this strange experience when I had stayed for three nights in Mexico City before leaving the country for home in India…

On the first night, on the way back to my hotel, I had stopped at a place for some music CDs. The woman selling the CDs had been very chatty and we had spent some time talking about the city life and the neighbourhood. She told me that she lived with her son in the small building outside which she had put up the make-shift stall. Half an hour later, I caught her eyes looking beyond me, upon the street. There was a curious expression on her face. It was dark outside and I couldn’t see anything interesting there when I turned around for a quick glance. She kept looking out in the dark. I saw fear in her eyes. She started packing the CDs in a bag. Maybe she was carrying business in an unauthorized place and was afraid of someone checking on her, I thought. It was almost 10pm so I paid for my purchases and left.

The following night I passed by the place again. The woman smiled and greeted me warmly. She called out to her son and introduced him to me. He was a smart-looking guy who appeared to be in his late-20s. He told me he was an ex-cop. He had left the job because he didn’t like it anymore. He proudly showed me a silver coin. “It’s a 17th century silver coin,” he told me as he handed it to me. “Will you give it to me?” I asked him jokingly. His mother had voiced her surprise when he had showed me the coin. She told me he showed it to only few people. So I was taken aback when he said he would gift the coin to me. He told me he had found it while working in his cousin’s farm in Colombia where he had gone on a holiday. Colombia…ex-cop… I started connecting the two words to a common link…drug dealings? No, I shook off the thought because he seemed to be a very good person. Seeing my interest in music and dance, he asked me if I was interested in going to a popular disco with him. I told him I was running slight fever and it was true. I had been feeling unwell since the previous day. Still, I enjoyed talking with the two till the mother suddenly urged her son to get indoors immediately. He was hesitant. With a terror-stricken expression on her face, she told him that there was a car in the street which had been lurking around the previous night too. He wanted to check but she was so disturbed that he said a hurried goodbye to me and rushed inside the building. I didn’t know what to make of that situation but I knew that the woman was extremely nervous about something. I helped her pack her CDs in the bag. She said a quick goodbye and hurried inside the building. I had seen an expensive-looking car when I had turned around to take a look but the dark window glass had made it impossible to see its occupants. I couldn’t understand why the woman would get so upset by someone who obviously seemed to be very rich. I decided to check on her the next morning.

Next morning, I couldn’t see the stall anywhere. The place was closed and shut down. Both mother and son had moved elsewhere but why? Maybe the occupants of the car belonged to some drug cartel? Or they were from the police force? Or else… The mother had been clearly worried about the safety of her son so the people were obviously interested in him. After all, he had worked in the police force. Were they alive or perhaps slaughtered in vengeance? I had read and heard a lot about the unspeakably grisly tortures conducted by drug cartels by way of vengeance and intimidation. I couldn’t return to the place in the evening or the next morning as I was running high fever. But something told me they were alive because they were good people and they had been very nice and friendly with me.

Had I in some way complicated their lives by hanging around with them? Maybe the mother had overreacted to the car lurking around her place for two consecutive nights… The car driver could have been trying to find parking space around or something like that…Or maybe she had genuine reasons to believe that someone was hounding her son? The questions remained unanswered.

You can read all about Mexico City, my experiences in this exciting metropolis and at many other beautiful destinations in Mexico in my ebook Discovering Mexico

Click here to read the book synopsis and sample chapters and to know how you can buy a copy of my ebook.

If you’re interested in knowing all about Mexico, do check my three e-books Discovering MexicoMexico: The Country, Its History & The Maya World and A Guide To Mexican Cuisine which are available for sale on this blog.

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See you soon…till then take care 🙂