Mexico: Week One

It is the end of my first week here in Distrito Federal, Mexico. Despite feeling overwhelmed for the first 3 days, I have begun to settle in. My friend and the designer of my gear–Miguel–has managed to already schedule a fight for me on September 15th, which may be followed by a fight against Sepulcro the following Tuesday. I am a tad bit nervous, but confident.

Win.
Miguel Ruiz: designer a creator of both of my masks

I have been training at the Guerrero Gym, which is the home to luchadors such as Rush and Astral. I have had the pleasure and honor of training with Sepulcro, Hurrican Ramirez, and Pierroth–all three in one day, in fact. Although the original plan was to try to get me into CMLL’s training school, this seems a bit of a stretch after some of the talent that I have seen.

Now, for some (very) surface observations.

The differences between the US and Mexico and vast and are far too great in number to enumerate here, but I will explicate a few notable differences, some of which may be specific to my region/barrio:

  • Lucha libre is, in fact, widly popular–at least in Distrito Federal: Although barely bigger than a breadbox in the US, lucha libre events are chronicled in several dedicated magazines, and is even reviewed by sports analysts. Luchador masks are a huge cultural signifier, and are depicted in everything from graffiti to advertisements.
El Santo
Really big. Like, bigger than this.
  • This also means that there are a ridiculous amount of luchadors: In the US, especially my home near the Puget Sound, lucha libre is truly a novelty. For luchadors, this means that there is a large subculture of luchadors. It also means that lucha libre is exceptionally competetive.
  • In Mexico, at least in this area of DF, we spend a lot of time just hanging the fuck out: Really though, college life has nothing on what I have experienced here, whether in the street, in Miguel’s taller, or in someone’s house, we spend a lot of time just…bullshitting.
  • Strict regimented schedules, often referred to as “western time,”seems to have little merit here: By most standards in the US, I am considered to be quite relaxed about punctuality–perhaps to the frustration to some of my friends I am sure–but am quite punctual by any standards that I have witnessed.
  • We don’t go to bed early. Ever: party or not, going to bed after well after midnight is a pretty standard affair, whether or not one has to work in the morning. This is nothing new to college students or people that work swing-shifts, but for an entire un-isolated portion of the population…
  • People actually connect: Not only to neighbors know each other, people–strangers–actually say “hello” in the streets (Okay, “Buenos dias/tardes/noches”).
  • The streets are pure, unadulterated chaos: imagine that laws of the road were merely…suggestions. Stoplights included. Motorcyclists split lanes, cars don’t stop at intersections, and the lanes appear to bear no meaning. This type of anarchy is every road that I have encountered thus far in Mexico. California drivers have nothing on drivers in DF…

I would not use the phrase “culture shock”, but it has been an adventure thus far. Next week: Guerrero Gym: photos and a comparison of Lucha Libre Mexicana and lucha libre in the US.

Cuidate,

El Fénix

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Osvaldo del Bosque says:

    i’ve been following el Fenix since the local South Park event early this year! glad you are having some fun in good old Mexico! Viva el NW!

    1. El Fénix says:

      Thanks Osvaldo! Training hard down here, but I am looking forward to coming back and sharing!

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