I spoke at length to a guest who's a long way from home. He's from Mexico. He showed us photos of Mexican cities, vacation spots and his hometown. I remembered. "The mee-shee-ka", I uttered softly. He heard, "Yes! You know?"
Yes, I know. Somehow, all that I saw and read last month at the British Museum on 'Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler' (exhibition ends 24 Jan'10), came rushing back. I probably memorized the entire exhibition and am still not quite sure of why and how the subconscious mind did that. I had done alot of extensive reading back in school about the history of the country and recently focused alot more on the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire; the short and painful history of colonialism. The Nahuatl language enchants me. The differences between their scripts and codex as compared to the Egyptian scrolls are most compelling. Mexico is one place I'd love to visit.
It's a little surreal that I only know the ancient cities- names, existence, culture and locations, but not much of their current incarnations. I can visualize these cities on the old maps, but know nothing of today's vibrant cities and the Yucatan Peninsula that is also host to Los Cabos.
He has an interest in architecture. I'm not really sure how, but we spoke of how the churches have been built on ancient bases of temples now destroyed in the various cities, starting with Tenochtitlan, today's Mexico City.
See, museums are wonderful and they impart practical knowledge. Museums and their curated exhibitions provide us a link to the world and its citizens through another perspective. We didn't go into the politics of history. We centred on the rich leftovers and the charms of today's spots in each city. I saw a fraction of Mexico through his eyes and the life with his family.
Ookay, cheap thrill, but it brightened the work day.