Saturday, October 27, 2007

Toque-me: A decidedly sketchy way to get your kicks

A friend of a friend recently came to town for a visit - Ronny, the guy on the left above - and we headed over to Plaza Garibaldi to pack as much chilango fun as we could into his few days here. Plaza Garibaldi is basically mariachi central - they´re all over the place in their fancy pants serenading people - a small Plaza packed with nightclubs that attracts a crowd ranging from children to old people and whose entertainment includes passionate singing, cock fights and elaborate skirt- and lasso-twirling, in short, a very strange and rather Mexican scene.
While waiting for Ronny downstairs in the bar in his hostel near the Zocalo, I struck up a conversation with the Mexican kids sitting next to me who were from north of the city and we ended up dragging them along to what they assured us was a place we were sure to get robbed. The taxi driver agreed with them but said we´d be fine as long as we didn´t pass the yellow building.
Two pitchers of pulque later (guava and strawberry flavored), our new friends decided it was time for a toque. Which sounds sketchy if you translate it as a "touch," but in this case it translates to a "hit" - of electricity. Two people grab the two metal pieces and everyone holds hands, then the guy with the wooden suitcase gleefully cranks up the electricity, which feels like extremely intense vibration and immediately gave me flashbacks of Mr.Knight´s 9th grade science class ("I´m going to need a volunteer with LONG BLOND HAIR for this next experiment." Anyone remember this?) Anyway, the verdict? Toques sketch me out and I probably wouldn´t personally do it again, but I think I will make all friends who visit me take a hit.

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