Waterborne vendors on the canals of Xochimilco tempt weekend boaters with souvenirs, clothing, toys for the kids, and food. The network of waterways is a hub of commerce. This man offers candied apples.
Others sell pan dulce, empanadas, tacos, beer and soft drinks. Some cooking is done right on the water: here boiled or roasted corn—Mexican comfort food—over a wood fire.
Visitors hire musicians at every turn. A small, blue barca containing two marimba players pulls alongside a family boat, mesmerizing a young lady with soft music.
Norteño bands congregate at a canal-side restaurant, hoping for a gig.
Mariachis abound. They seem to spend more time poling up and down the canals waiting to be hired than actually performing. They have a lot of downtime, just like the mariachis at the Jardín in San Miguel de Allende.
Everyone enjoys singing along. What traditional tune so inspires this family? Quiereme Mucho? La Paloma? Guadalajara?
No—they are singing I Did It My Way.
I love zither music, so when this salterio player came alongside and pitched me, I immediately asked him to play Cielito Lindo. Laura shot a clip of his performance. The fee for one tune? $20 pesos.
If you watch the clip to the very end, you can hear the bass player suggesting a couple more tunes and me responding No más!
On the canals, music complements every situation. Here mariachis set the mood for two lovers.
We drifted through the waterways for a couple of hours, sipping Pepsi Cola thoughtfully supplied by our boatman (for a price), listening to music and the laughter of families enjoying themselves on a warm afternoon. Our first visit to Xochimilco was just another of those tourist "must do" events. Someday we'll return again just to experience another relaxing afternoon among happy people.