Well, Sunday was interesting. Before we get to the interesting stuff, though, let’s talk music: forever, forever, ever, forever, ever?
I was reading an amusing account of Rihanna’s recent flounce around seven North American and European cities to promote her new album on Popjustice. It’s worth a read. In the account, the writer mentioned a Swedish pop group called Icona Pop. I am not as up on my Swedish pop music as I should be. So I Internetted around a bit, and found a place that was streaming their six-track Iconic EP. I have since found out that I am totally behind on this, but damn shit, their song “I Love It” is utterly fantastic. I listened to that one song a ton yesterday. I’m listening to it again as I type these words. Just in case you are out of the loop like me, here’s the YouTube thing:
While we’re on the topic of ace pop music – and really, is there any type of music as good as really good pop music? I’m all over some Pink Floyd, but gimme a “Holiday,” “Better the Devil You Know,” “Never Ever,” “Push The Button” any day of the week – here’s a couple more that I’ve been listening to recently. First, Sky Ferreira’s “Everything is Embarrassing”:
And here’s the amazing amazing amazing so-damn-awesome “Losing You” by Beyoncé’s sister, Solange Knowles.
Incidentally, “Dirrty” by Christina Aguilera was number one in the UK this week ten years ago.
And while she’s damn hot in that video, she looks even better nowadays:
Right, let’s get on with it. I should first explain a little about my living situation. I live in a strange building. There’s a salon de fiestas directly beneath my apartment, and on the ground floor, an out-of-business restaurant. The function room can be annoying at times. There are often parties on Friday and/or Saturday, but on the whole, it’s tolerable because they usually finish at 2am and there’s plenty of Fridays and Saturdays when I’m not even home at that time. But this Saturday night’s party didn’t finish until gone 2.30am, which would not be a problem were it not for the regular thing that happens every Sunday morning: a church group. You don’t see many black people in Mexico City. I see more if I walk down the stairs while the church group is arriving or leaving than I will the rest of the week. Not sure where they are from, but they all speak English, and the service is English. The leader of the group is always yelling “Jeeeeeeeeeeee-zus!” They aren’t particularly loud, apart from the first 30-45 mins when they have a drummer and they sing some songs. So, if I’ve been out, I’m woken up, without having had enough sleep, by Christians. Does nothing to make me feel any warmth towards the church, quite frankly. So: late party noise, six-ish hours sleep, early church noise, and then a mid-afternoon party going on upstairs. My upstairs neighbours are complete and utter cunts. I’m sorry to use that word. I’m not actually sorry, because I can’t think of another word strong enough. We need one, actually, that doesn’t apply negative vibrations to a slang word for vagina, don’t we? We need the strongest swear word to be one that isn’t about a female body part.
So anyway, they started having their party which was a little frustrating, so I upped and went to Starbucks for a bit (see previous post). When I came back, I saw about fifteen people arriving. Sigh. That means this is a proper party, not just a loud gathering. It felt like my cue to go out for the evening, and hope that, being a Sunday, it wouldn’t go on too long into the night. So I went out, to a place called Tortas Jorge. It’s a nice place. They usually have a guitar player singing all night. There’s loads of bullfighting posters on the walls. And the service is terrifyingly slow. But, you can sit down at a table, mind your own business, and have a few drinks. It’s nice. So, I did just that: had a few drinks, had a torta, listened to the man singing, wondered exactly how young the girl across the way was, who was caressing a man who was knocking on sixty years old (she couldn’t have been more than 22 or 23). Generally, a pleasant Sunday evening. I left there around 10pm.
With the optimism of a Belieber asking for a retweet, I walked down my street towards my apartment. From about 100 metres away, even though the lights from the apartment were dim, I could still make out figures on the balcony, and from about 50 metres away, I could hear the thud-thud-thud of music. Of course it was too much to hope that it would be over, regardless of the day of the week. So I went to a bar in my neighbourhood that I’d walked past, but never been into before, called Micheladas el Camellito.
If i told you it were a gay bar, and you had a peek inside, you wouldn’t be shocked by my description. It wasn’t a gay bar, though. There were no women in there, just a few tables occupied by dudes. A late middle-aged dude in a sweater sat on his own near the back, and two pairs of husky dudes sat at separate tables near the front, and a couple of guys sat outside in motorcycle leathers. The walls were black, the lights were red, the music was trance-y, and the TV was showing the Packers-Giants game. I ordered an Indio. They had no bottles, so it would be “barril.” Fine. Half litre or a litre? I guess I’m gonna be here for a while, so litre, por favor. It came in a plastic cup, the sort you get at sports events or concerts. The beer was shit. And I was starting to get a headache. Could do with going home. The game had finished, so the bar staff had fired up YouTube and we could see what they were choosing on the TV screen. Sound and picture quality: not good. It was nearing 11pm: no way the party will be over. But the bar was grim. Colour photocopies of caricatures stapled to the wall: Bono, Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Lady Gaga, Mr. Bean, Barack Obama.
Then things got interesting. One of the pairs of husky dudes got up to leave. They stood for a while outside near a parked taxi. And then they got in. One of them in the driver’s seat. As he pulled out to drive away, he rammed into the car parked in front of him. As it happens, a bar employee was stood outside smoking while it happened. They had a wee chat through the driver’s side window, and being a nosey bitch, I went outside to “have a cigarette.” As I lit up, the car pulled away, and the barman ran down the street thumping on the window for as long as he could keep pace. One of the other husky dudes from the bar came out. As did the other barman. This barman grabbed his keys, and opened the door of the car that had been rammed. The husky customer grabbed his keys, too, and went to his car. They both sped off. Like, way too fast. TV car chase fast. It was kind of thrilling to watch. It didn’t happen at the time, but for the sake of this re-telling of events, let’s just pretend that the “Starsky and Hutch” theme tune was playing in my head as it happened.
The other barman and husky dude stood around talking, peering down the street in both direction, and I went back inside to finish my beer. The sweater man coughed. Then cleared his throat. Then I heard him spit on the floor. Then I heard the sound of chunks being blown. He’s not-? Is he? He is! He was sat there, throwing up all over the floor. No attempt what. so. ever. to get to the bathroom. I couldn’t smell it, but it still made me retch a little just knowing it was there on the floor a few metres away. I glugged down beer a bit too quick. Didn’t taste good. Thankfully, to distract me from vomitty man, the husky dude and the barman’s cars came back around the corner and parked outside. And so did the taxi. At this point, I got money out of my wallet, put it on the table, and got ready to leave: I don’t want to be a part of a bad Mexican scene.
And this is the amazing thing: everyone was really calm and amiable. When the cars pulled up, I was half expecting the taxi driver and his pal to be dragged from the car, taken out back and given a good going over. Didn’t happen. The taxi driver was all, hey sorry about that. The barman whose car had been pronged was all like, whatevs. The husky dude came back inside to get his beer, caught my eye, and we raised our beers towards each other and “salud!”-ed. He went back outside and told his husky pal about what happened. I didn’t hear it, but could see his arms indicating a pincer movement. The vomiting guy got up, struggled with the one step in the bar, and stumbled out into the night. I asked the barman for the bill, and if his car was okay. He told me it was fine, in a manner that sounded like, “yeah, we do this all time.”
I walked home smiling, desperate to write this all down. The party was still going on, so I put on my big headphones and listened to Daft Punk. It’s 1.30am right now. The party died down about an hour ago. There’s still house music going on, and there are still loud shoes clomping around, but sleep is definitely possible. Good night, y’all.
Yesterday’s albums. Left to right, top to bottom:
What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
Stankonia – Outkast
Iconic EP – Icona Pop
Since I Left You – The Avalanches
Pesents Author Unknown – Jason Falkner
Congratulations – MGMT
Let England Shake – PJ Harvey
Homework – Daft Punk
Discovery – Daft Punk