Friday, December 26, 2008

I had a thoroughly unexpected encounter with Izta and Popo today. I was giving a class in the center of the city, on the fourth floor of an office block, as I have done every week for the last 3 years. I sit at a table in front of the full length windows, as I always do. Except today, when I looked out of the window, there was Izta and Popo, clear as anything.

I've never seen them before from that window. Not because I haven't looked, because I have often, although not for the mountains because I had no idea they were in that direction. I've never seen them before because they are normally hidden by the tons and tons of particles that hang in the air and go by the collective name of 'pollution'.

Why was it so clear today? Normally, December, January and February are the worst months for pollution, with the cold air trapping the polluted air in the geographical bowl that Mexico City sits in. But it's Christmas, and over the last few days most of the city's cars, which contribute something like 75% of the air pollution, have not been roaming the streets. Everyone has either left the city for a holiday or have been sitting at home getting merry with family and friends. The streets have been largely deserted. Giving the atmosphere something of a break too.



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