Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stranger with You: I Looked for the Hamster in the Chevrolet

Over a year and a half ago, while doing some work for the magazine n+1 in Brooklyn, I read a short story by Juan Villoro called 'Among Friends' in which a Mexico City detective, who is questioning a local screen writer about the kidnapping of an American journalist from an Oxxo in the Distrito Federal, constantly makes statements such as “This is pure Buñuel, God damn it!”

The claim that Mexico City is a surreal landscape is a popular one, and not just in literature. Several months ago I was in a meeting with a lawyer here when he gestured out the window excitedly, in relation to what I can't remember. "This is a surrealist city!" he insisted. "You could look out that window and see an elephant walking through the courtyard!"

I never found these assertions all that convincing. But then today I saw a man who looked like a body double for the ambassador from the Republic of Miranda in The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie while walking to the metro.

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