Wednesday, 6 September 2017

A peep at Mexico city

There were just two of us and a tranquil golden retriever for the Wednesday BCP Communion this morning. Former choirmaster Jeff generally comes on a Wednesday when he's here. We took the opportunity to look at Psalmody for Sunday next, and later to choose hymns over the phone, so that all is prepared for present choirmaster Peter when he returns this Sunday.

Afterwards, I decided it was time to check out the car, which I haven't needed to use since the brake fading episode descending from Villars the Sunday before last. As I've never lifted the bonnet on a Subaru car before I wasn't sure if I'd be able to make head or tail of it. Thankfully, everything is helpfully labelled and the engine was clean. There was no sign of fluid leakage, and the reservoir level was what it was meant to be. I started it and did some quick stops to satisfy myself it could be relied on. I had intended to go out for a drive later on but became absorbed in other tasks and ended up walking into Montreux along the lake to buy some fruit instead.

I took my HX300 camera with me and photographed a few birds. Few of the shots were satisfactory however, but I also took pictures of the complete succession of lakeside contemporary sculptures in the section adjacent to the covered Marketplace. A very mixed bunch indeed, not entirely to my liking, but of interest nevertheless.

In the evening I watched an interesting documentary in the Megacities series on BBC2, on Mexico City, population 22 million and still evolving. Key items were domestic housing, public transport, water supplies and sewage disposal, one of the largest systems in the world is under construction.

The city has expanded over decades with self-build housing, much of it unregulated and illegal. Former shanty town dwellings have consolidated into proper houses and grown their own services to some extent. Fresh water is one of the most expensive household items costing as much as twenty percent of income, a nightmare for poor people. The place isn't short of rain, but until lately rain water collection hasn't been organised. Now, a scheme helps householders make reservoirs under their houses, collecting and filtering rainwater to use, transforming lives and budgets.

The city covers nearly 1,500 sqkm, so many have to travel long distances to work. As it expanded, low cost minibus transport los peseros grew up spontaneously and organised itself into routes without regulation. There's even a smartphone app for information. There are larger buses, taxis, a metro and a cable car, all contributing to keeping people and the economy moving. It's a remarkable testimony to third world individual and public enterprise, coping with rapid growth imaginatively.

No comments:

Post a Comment