My previous experience of lucha libre was two years ago in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, down in the south of Mexico. It was a small affair. Not more than a thousand people there watching. Last night, at the Arena México here in Mexico City was a different affair altogether. A big arena holding around 10,000 I’d guess. And it was a lot more showbiz, with big screens above the wrestling ring, some exceeeeeeeeeedingly hot lasses in bikinis stood around doing whatever needed to be done – holding up signs, accompanying luchadores to the ring, just standing around with their breasts smiling at the ever-present camera. Sadly, my camera was confiscated at the entrance, so I have no photos of the wrestling action (or the lasses). We were treated to plenty of wrestling action too. The bad guy tag teams won a few, the good guys won a few. It was all very gymnastic and a heck of a lot of fun; even though it boggles my mind that so many people do seem to genuinely think these contests are real. I even managed to ask someone where the toilet was in Spanish, which was as much as I’ve ever spoke.
And what better way to follow up watching glistening men grapple with each other than to go to a hi-energy club? Now, I’m no clubber, and it’s many a year since I’ve been in any kind of nightclub, but I’ve never ever been in a club like this before. Again sadly, camera confiscation happened before I went in so, once more, no photos. It was called Patrick Miller, modestly named after the dude who DJs and runs the place, and was a very bizarre mix of people. It was like being in a nightclub scene in a German movie from the mid-eighties, with random Mexican blokes chosen to be extras dancing in the background. From what I could tell on the basis of an hour or so in the place, there are a fair few in-the-closet gay Mexicans, who dress like they’ve just got off their taxi shift, but gaze lovingly at the fancy dancing younger dudes. And the urinal trough was full of ice cubes, which was a nice touch.
Doubling my number of nightclub visits from the previous decade in one night, the next stop was some place that I forget the name of, but might be called Rocket if the stamp on my hand is any indication. This place was fairly different from Patrick Miller. It was right next to the big angel statue which seems to be the city’s most recognisible landmark. An elevator that holds two people, plus the lift operator (a woman who, being charitable, was mid-fifties, and wore a velvety jacket and a black Ken Dodd-ish wig), creaks up to the fifth floor, as the thud-thud-thud of early Daft Punk-ish music gets louder. It was full of beautiful, beautiful women, and men sporting (possibly ironic) moustaches. It was a fog of dry ice, cigarette smoke (jealous, British smokers?), and arms being waved in the air quite possibly like they just don’t care. Needless to say, I felt terribly out-of-place.
Then taxi, tacos, toilet, toothpaste, and I can’t think of a way to write “going to sleep” that begins with T, thus ruining my alliterative closing sentence.