Getting around Mexico City is complicated — there’s subways, buses, taxis, cars and more. The average Chilango spends a lot of time just trying to get somewhere, so it’s no surprise that the transit department sponsored a few altars and exhibitions at this week’s Dia de los Muertos Mexico City festivities. As a resident, it’s fun to see a subway car or bus turned into a makeshift altar/cemetery.
(I think the underground trains make for great symbolism — much of the great ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlan is still remaining to be unburied, and during excavations for subway expansion, more ruins are often found. The Aztecs believed in nine circles of an underworld (not the same as hell — people didn’t go there to suffer after they died) and several layers in the sky too (more on their concepts of “afterworld” in a post later today).)
Also, because this is a big and chaotic city, it’s not unusual for someone to die because of commuting. Bus accidents are common, and I’ve lost count of the taxi accidents I’ve seen.