Rain, ash and tall buildings
Yesterday I had a business meeting with a client in Mexico City at 5 pm. Not a good time as it meant coming back late, coping with rush hour traffic, rainfall, etc. Anyway, we got there in record time and this client has just moved into a brand new building which is very modern and high tech. We were killing time up on the 12th floor and looking at the amazing views while waiting for the client, who was detained… If it had been a beautiful day we would have been able to see the volcanoes but it wasn’t and instead I share with you the black threatening afternoon sky in Mexico City that brought heavy rain to the south of the city.
The first time I ever came to Mexico was back in 1977 and there were no big tall modern buildings in the city then. In 1985 the big earthquake struck (7.9 on the Richter scale) and many of the taller of the buildings either collapsed or were damaged very seriously; there are still arguments to this day regarding how many lives were lost but it is something that lies deep in the collective mind of the nation. Since then, building rules and regs have changed and the big new modern buildings that you see sprouting up all over the city are, supposedly, built with earthquakes in mind, ie. to withstand them. The same applies to the second floor built over the top of the Periferico. However, since experiencing quakes and tremors over the years, some greater than others, then the idea of being in a tall building - or driving along the periferico either under the second floor or on it - when a tremor does occur does give you pause to think. But if the big one does come, anywhere you might be is dodgy. Just think of Chile a year or so ago, theirs was over 8 on the Richter Scale, that was definitely a big one.
El Popo is chucking out ash and the fine dust has arrived in Mexico City today and all flights this morning were cancelled. My friend T who was trying to get to Los Angeles gave up and came home again. No point in arguing with the airlines when the ash is swirling about.
Greenpeace activists scaling the flagpole
Meanwhile brave Greenpeace activists have scaled the massively high flagpole that is in the middle of the Zócalo of Mexico City, with a plan to unfurl a large sign as part of their campaign against genetically modified products, i.e. maize. Companies like Monsanto are particularly responsible for introducing genetically modified seeds into the country unbeknownst to the population years ago, so we’ve all been eating tortillas and other food products that are tainted with the technology of Monsanto. The tortilla, made out of maize, is the single most important food in this country; many people only eat tortillas when they have nothing else. In fact, everyone eats tortillas every single day. This is a very worrying situation.