Still captivated by all things Mexican, gringo travel journalist and soulful memoirist Cohan (Native State, 2003, etc.) conducts a survey of his favorite countryside.
The author was at first in a fugue and a funk. Then he was in transit, on a magazine assignment to cover Mexico from the mist-capped mountain districts to the pollution-capped Federal District. Señor Cohan traveled from his home base in San Miguel de Allende to Oaxaca and Guanajuato, Xalapa and Tlacotalpan, no doubt severely stressing his computer’s spell check as he sampled historic sites and restaurants. He made quick visits to gardens in the jungle and old Franciscan missions, then moved on to the Yucatán and Villahermosa, Palenque and the Mayan ruins. He drank the water, ate the tamales and talked the talk. The text is peppered with Spanish words: the author had a refresco under a pirule tree, followed an amigo to the zócalo. Along the way, Cohan pays homage to the Aztecs, sneers at Presidente Vicente Fox, examines the cult of Frida Kahlo and gives a nod to that natural wonder, Salma Hayek. This romantic hombre is ultimately taken with the Mexico beloved by the likes of John Huston and Luis Buñuel. But Huston and Buñuel are just ghosts now, and San Miguel and Oaxaca have become disfigured by tourists in T-shirts and shorts.
Solipsism on a road trip South of the Border.