Mexico City: El Jefe De Los Mariachis

Before visiting Mexico City (or D.F.; an abbreviation of distrito federal), I imagined a dirty, sprawling metropolis with seedy characters lurking down every dark alley. In reality, D.F. is more reminiscent of a European capital with beautiful cathedrals, a seemingly endless number of museums and galleries and an extensive and affordable metro system. 

LOOK UP! – Metropolitan Tabernacle | Palacio de Bellas Artes | Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de la Santísima Virgen María a los cielos | Monumento a los Niños Héroes

The highlight of our short visit was an evening at Plaza Garibaldi. Mariachi bands prowl the plaza looking for business and although it wasn’t in our budget to pay for a song we hoped someone nearby might be more flush and give us a sneaky free show by virtue of our adjacency.

We were in luck! We befriended some locals, shared a few beers and were serenaded by mariachis. Our new friends kept asking us “Which Mexican songs do you know?” To which we had to reply “Uh, none?” So they requested songs that required neither Spanish, familiarity with the song nor dignity to sing along. 

Making friends at Plaza Garibaldi

When the gentleman below showed up we decided he was El Jefe and his gun was for ‘encouraging’ patrons to pay for songs on slow nights, so when he asked me to dance I couldn’t refuse! He seemed impressed by my spectacular coordination and skill at dancing. 

Dancing with el Jefe de los Mariachis

Alas! We had an early bus the next morning so we couldn’t stay late but our night with the mariachis topped off a great stay in Mexico City. Hasta la proxima, D.F.!

Life Lessons Learned:

  • Look up! Look at the sky, look at the buildings, look at the stars, look at the trees. Don’t confine yourself to a life lived at eye-level. There are things that ought to be climbed and fallen off. 

Soundtrack: Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit

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