Dispatches From The Road, México: DF Turkey Trot
In November 2005, after having lived in Mexico City for close to a year, I lost my appendix. By lost, I should rather say it violently decided to check out by causing me to wretch up my organs and writhe in pain ‘til a doctor cut it out of me twenty minutes before its toxic closing act. Whereas Mexicanos have universal health care, I did not and was lucky enough to have said doctor be the brother of a close friend. I emerged from sick bed in Colonia Roma not only able to breath the sweetly contaminated winter air of DF again, but without being hauled directly to debtors prison as well. My best friend Tanya wheeled me around Costco with a frozen turkey in my lap the next day and that Thanksgiving I watched the rest of our insane expatriat and journo cohorts drink up a storm while I quietly whispered the most heartfelt thanks I had ever in my short life.
Eight years later, Tanya, is a seasoned chigringa and when I came back to this beautiful Mordor in the shadow of its own Mount Doom, no Costco was on the roster as we made our way to the Mercado San Juan to have cheap fatty prosciutto sandwiches and all-you-can-drink vino at Las Tapas before arranging to have the bloody head and feet bludgeoned from the freshly dispatched corpse of a 18 kilo Tom turkey. If knowing where your food comes from is not something you deal with well, it may not be your bag, but the gore and mind-numbing task of ripping pin feathers out of its clammy breast was well worth the trouble when we dove into its succulence again with a greasy, buttery, drunken mix of chilangos, artist, expats and foreign correspondents in the house we are sitting in the ever-hipper- than-thou Condesa.
My last year of eviction and homelessness in San Francisco was recently punctuated by news of another loss this week, although this time of the emotional sort. No less jarring, and violent in its way and one that will undoubtedly leave a scar not unlike the one that still pokes out from my hairy stomach and reminds me from time to time of its existence whenever I’m a little too ambitious in my awkward attempts at sit-ups or sex.
Thanksgiving was never a favourite holiday of mine growing up, with its creepy tradition of celebrated genocide and staid Christianity, but as I lose myself in this ridiculous mega-everything I called home so many years ago I’m again breathing gratitude for it’s chaotic balm and these fucking nut jobs I’m surrounded by. Te quiero México. Muchisimo.
El Mercado San Juan
Ernesto Pugibet (@ Luis Moya)