Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891


Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.


Penned upon the 1st of November, 2009

The Plaza Popocatépetl by night.

Greetings from Condesa, Mexico City! Yea, Ms Merah and I are abroad; each intercontinental for the first time. Our inspiration, primarily, is artistic – we have two weeks in Mexico to take in the bountiful museums and galleries; the works of Kahlo, Rivera, Orozco and Siqueiros; the beautiful architecture and design. We’re just in time for the Day of the Dead, of course – our charming hosts have set up a touching altar, and marigolds have appeared everywhere through the city. Condesa is quite indescribable at night – the streets surrounding the Parque Mexico are filled with lampposts, fountains and fairy lights.

After Mexico, we head north to Houston, Texas, to visit (among other things) the Rothko Chapel and the university’s Jung collection. Texas has a fascinating mystical intellectualism which I’m keen to experience. Then, we’re off to Anaheim, California, to meet Melanthios & Hanford, and to take in the city! Travelling has been… well, a period of rapid instruction. Certainly, everyone we’ve met has been perfectly polite, and we’re steadily transnavigating the language barrier – today we succeeded in catching the Metro (the subway, the underground, the rail, the tube, the train, the burrowing iron horse) into the Zócalo and touring the Palacio Nacional, and also in failing to find a hat in the city’s centremost hattery to fit my freakishly large head.

Historically speaking, incidentally, the Diego Rivera murals which line the interior courtyard of the palace – depicting Mexican civilisations from the Pre-Columbian nations to his Communist vision of Mexican class revolution – is fantastically well-done. I can’t verify every detail, naturally – though the tour did bring all my studies flooding back, “Ah, yes! Maximillian, Pancho Villa!” – but the focus on great political events and statements but, just as much if not moreso, on the practicalities of everyday life – of pre-invasion practices of cooking, mining, smelting, medicine, ecology, literature, government – is an excellent way of bringing home the universality of human experience. Ms Merah pointed out to me that such an artwork could never find so grand and prominent a place in a centre of Australian government – where most people are unaware that the indigenous population even had permanent settlements before colonisation. “Black armband,” my argyle-clad foot.

Anyhow, I really ought to try to sleep through the lively Halloween party dominating the street’s soundscape. Cheers much for your patience, all!

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Commentary upon “¡Hola!”

  1. Melanthios was heard to remark,

    Upon the 2nd of November, 2009 at 10:47 pm,

    We cannot wait to see you! I would love nothing more than to simply spend the day in conversation and pleasant company. There may even be cookies!

  2. Sir Frederick Chook was heard to remark,

    Upon the 3rd of November, 2009 at 4:43 pm,

    Hurrah, thank you! Chatting and having cookies sounds simply ideal.

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