Distrito Federal (Stefan Thaens, Belgium) 4:18
The Distrito Federal is the federal district in which Mexico City is located—the entire area is known locally simply as “the DF.”
The first time I went to Mexico it was to Merida, in the Yucatan. I fell in love with the place from the moment I got out of the plane and smelled the air. Okay, I was at the airport in Cancun (where I would board a bus for Merida), so the air wasn’t entirely fresh, but it didn’t matter—it was sweet and warm and instantly made me happy. It was on that trip that I decided to include a Mexican setting in the novel that would eventually become Luck + Death.
The moment I got some more time off I went back, this time to Mexico City. I had already decided that I wanted the DF to be the part of Mexico that Gat visited, so I wanted to see it for myself and get the feel of it. Of course, I would be writing about a future Mexico City, so I had some leeway in how I dealt with the details, but that was no excuse to get lazy. If I wanted to create a believable future DF, then I thought I’d better get to know the real, current one at least a little.
During my trips I scouted locations, visited a massive protest that paralyzed much of Mexico City, swam in a cinote, met bankers and communists and restauranters, flirted, and got drunk in a jazz club. As with any place you visit as a tourist, my memories of it are an amalgam of bright colors and vivid moments blended in a surrealistic blur.
The song Distrito Federal by Stefan Thaens embodies the spirit of those memories very well. At the same time, it has the right amount of drama—the sense of something impending—to be a great musical counterpart to Gat’s arrival in Mexico City to meet Vicente Suarez, the charismatic head of the Suerte y Muerte cult.
For anyone who’s interested, I maintain an occasional blog about the future of Mexico (in science fiction and in the real world) called Once & Future Mexico.
Distrito Federal was originally released as I Like It Like That by Stefan Thaens, which can be found here. It was released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. (stefsax / CC BY-NC 3.0)
The photograph by owenfinn16 shows the Chinatown in Yokohama, Japan and was released under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. It can be found here. I cropped the original photo and altered the saturation.