My YA Experience

Coyoacán: getting to know Frida and other strangers

I live on the edge of Coyoacán, the bohemian home of Frida Kahlo in the south of the City. Last Wednesday Laura and I visited la casa azul de Frida Kahlo, AKA the Frida Kahlo Museum. We got there about an hour before it opened, and the queue was already beginning to form, so I recommend getting there early! I didn’t know much about Frida Kahlo before going (except what we learnt in year 8 art class), but the museum was really interesting and I learnt a lot about her life and her art, even if the museum was quite a tourist trap (you have to pay for a permit if you want to take photos, about 70 pesos).

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On Sunday I ventured into Coyoacán again to explore the centre, and on my way I stumbled upon an art market, full of colourful paintings and traditional Mexican music. I was watching the old people dancing  when another woman and I got talking. her name was Rufina, and she was really friendly and even invited me for a weekend away in Metepec (Toluca) sometime, as she has a house there and her son likes photography, so she wanted to go, and for me to come as she says having young people around keeps her young. She actually asked me to guess her age, and unsure and not wanting to offend I guessed 50-something. She turned out to be in her 70s, but wow she looked much younger! I then danced with who I assume was her husband (definitely in his 70s), but I still have no idea how to dance like a Mexican. After the dance, Rufina introduced me to Eduardo, a guy from San Francisco who has been living in Mexico for 3 years now, who apparently was a very good dancer. He tried to explain the basic steps to me and we danced two songs, but despite his best advice (“close your eyes, feel the music, the rhythm, don’t think about it”) I don’t think I’ve got the knack of it just yet. I got Eduardo’s number, and Rufina said the best way to contact her was to come back any Sunday to the same place, she was always there (in a world of instant messaging, phones and social media this was a tricky concept to handle). Hopefully we’ll meet again!

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I then carried on to the centre of Coyoacán, visited the mercado artenasal, read my book in the park and bought a kiwi ice-lolly to enjoy on the way home 😊. It sounds so obvious, but I’ve learnt that to meet people and have the best time you really need to just go outside, even without a plan. No one’s going to invite you somewhere or teach you to dance if you stay home watching Netflix!  DSC_0190.jpg

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