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Albert Maywood Courtright II

Reminiscences of Maywood Courtright


One tourist attraction everybody visits in (or near) Mexico City is the so-called “Floating Gardens of Xochimilco” on the south side of town. The gardens did float originally. They were constructed by the Aztecs by covering rafts with dirt, the amount of arable land on the islands where they had settled not being sufficient to grow their crops. The lake was very shallow and the roots grew down and anchored the rafts to the bottom. The vegetables and flowers are still grown to sell in the city markets. Xochimilco is now principally a place for people from the city and tourists to spend the day being rowed around in the flat-bottomed boats decorated all over with fresh flowers. Each boat has a girl’s name in flowers on the trellis at the bow and a man with a long pole pushes the boat along while standing at the stern. Seats are small wicker chairs like those we saw being sold on the market in Toluca. Each boat had a wooden table in the middle and you can buy anything you want to eat or drink from passing boats with charcoal stoves for cooking. Boats go by with mariachi bands aboard which will play any number you request, and small dug-out canoes paddled by women sitting in the stern try to sell you carnations and roses from big heaps piled in front of them. The only feature I didn’t like was having to bargain to get the price down for rental of the boat. I don’t enjoy bargaining but I don’t like paying more for something than it is worth either. There were thousands of boats moving in both directions on the various canals, a colorful sight. The name of the boat we hired was Rosita.

Table of Contents
Our First Trip to Mexico, 1940
Yolande Gets Turista

Last modified on 18 July 2022 21:04