Saturday, March 12, 2005

Xochimilco picnics

Me and some of my friends went on a picnic to Xochimilco which is this really interesting area of town with canals, where many of the original floating gardens are still intact. The indigenous (pre-hispanic) Mexicans inhabited Mexico City many years before the city was colonized. Their cities were built right over top of a large lake just like modern day Mexico City. They built these ingenious floating gardens for agriculture and would pole around them in wooden boats to collect the goods. Now people still grow things on these gardens and have houses etc... The canals are a popular attraction for Mexico Cityites (chilangos) and tourists alike. People like to come on a sunny weekend to have a picnic on one of these boats while a guy poles you around on the canals. It can be a bit crowded and touristy at times, but it's relaxing and fun too. If you don't bring anything of your own there are all manner of other boats gliding up to sell you trinkets, quesadillas, tacos, and even Mariachi boats which will serenade you as you go.

Some of the houses are pretty nice.

These are the tour boats which are all decorated with the names of women in colorful paint. Those trees hold the floating gardens together- I'm not sure how it works.

A barge full or mariachis. Mariachis are always full-in something. A car full of Mariachis, a bar full of mariachis, a street filled with mariachis. In mexico city there is a plaza filled with mariachis for hire. Dat's a lot of Mariachis homies. Now I know that the guy in "El Mariachi" wasn't all that much like a real Mariachi. All I can think is those suits must get hot, they have to bang out songs all day long, and being a wailing-about-your-girlfriend mariachi doesn't give you the same cache with the gals as a wearing low-cut jeans and ripped T wailing-about-your-girlfriend rock star, but I can also think of worse ways to make a few...