Download e-book for iPad: A Visit to Don Otavio: A Travellers Tale from Mexico by Sybille Bedford

By Sybille Bedford

This affectionate research of the Mexican mood is ''one of the main fascinating shuttle books ever written.'' - The Atlantic per 30 days

Before returning to the previous international after global warfare II, Sybille Bedford resolved to determine whatever extra of the hot. ''I had an exceptional longing to move,'' she stated, ''to pay attention one other language, consume new meals, to be in a rustic with an extended nasty historical past some time past and as little current historical past as possible.'' And so she set out for Mexico - and, by the way, to put in writing what Bruce Chatwin referred to as the simplest trip ebook of the 20 th century, ''a e-book of marvels, to be learn repeatedly and again.''

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At any moment now we shall be passing, unrecorded, the Tropic of Cancer. It is here that we enter the Tierra Templada, the mild lands, and it is here that the known Mexico begins, the Mexico of the wonderful climate, the Mexico of history and archaeology, the traveller’s Mexico. Here, between the Twenty-second Parallel and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, between the Pacific and the Gulf, on the Mesa, in the two Sierras, down on the hot strips of coast and the flats of Yucatan: everything happened – the Aztecs and the Conquest, the Silver Rush and Colonial Spain, the Inquisition and the War of Independence, the Nineteenth Century of Revolutions and Hacienda Life, of the Church 26 {Page:27} mesa del norte – mesa central – valle de mexico Rampant and the Church at Bay; General Santa Anna, always treacherous, always defeated, rattling his wooden leg for office, and Juarez tough with Robespierrean obstinacy and virtue; the shadowy reign of Maximilian and the harsh, prosperous reign of Diaz; Civil War, Banditry, Partition of the Land, President Calles and President Cardenas, the Oilrush and the March of US Time.

Rows and rows of claret, pretty names and sonorous names of Deuxie`me Crus, Chaˆteau Gruaud-Larose-Sarget, Chaˆteau Pichon-Longueville, Chaˆteau Ducru-Beaucaillou, alas all are expensive. A tray of small hot pasties is brought in, mille feuilles bubbling with butter. ’ 41 {Page:42} a visit to don otavio I have some done up to take back to E. There is French brandy, Scotch whisky, Campari Bitter, none of them really ruinous, but none of them cheap. Decidedly, the local produce. I get a quart of Bacardi rum, the best, darkest kind.

Complexions are either cafe´-au-lait, nourished chestnut, glowing copper, or milky mauve and dirty yellow. Everybody looks either quite exquisite or too monstrous to be true, without any transitional age between flowering 37 {Page:38} a visit to don otavio ephebe and oozing hippopotamus. The male ephebes are dressed in extreme, skin-tight versions of California sports clothes, shiny, gabardiny, belted slack-suits in ice-cream colours, pistachio and rich chocolate; their elders are compressed in the darkest, dingiest kind of ready-made business outfits, and ladies of all proportions draped in lengths of sleazy material in the more decorative solid colours, blood-orange, emerald, chrome yellow, azure.

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