Mexico City Thus Far
Gosh, time has gotten away from me in making updates on my trip, i.e. none after being here for a couple of nights. Amazing for me, but time has been pretty solidly filled so far. I slept on and off on my flight into Mexico City on Monday. An amazing feat for me, but I’d been up late packing and up early to get to the airport in Atlanta. So, despite the flight leaving late, it was pleasant enough and we actually landed close to on time. My first time in Mexico was landing at the comparably minuscule airport in Merida. Although I remember some confusion, it wasn’t too bad. Here, wow, immigration was nothing, looked at my form I filled out en-route and stamped it, nothing else. But customs was very confusing, no direction on where to go. I had checked that I have food (yes, a jar of peanut butter – I’m predictable enough to the people who know me well). So, of course, they asked what I had, but spoke no English… And of course, my Spanish amounts to a handful of words that I can’t string into a coherent thought. He asked if it was in my bag, and I thought he wanted it out, when I started towards the zipper, he motioned to just put the bag on the conveyor. So, they can tell a food is safe to bring in by x-ray?!?! I dunno! But that was that, I picked up my bag, and then pressed the red/green light button that decides supposedly randomly whether you get further inspection, and I got green. Adios! I had debated over paying for a transfer from the airport to the hotel, but everything I read suggested that it was easy and safe to pick up a taxi at the airport as long as you used the terminal inside the airport to pay for your cab – i.e. official cabs. And it lived up to it’s ease, although I do think I got much more cab than I needed – a VAN to myself. My bags aren’t THAT big! It was cheap, though, way less than the transfer, so whatever. Fairly uneventful ride to the hotel. At first I wasn’t impressed with the traffic here, thinking it was comparable to driving into Atlanta, but as soon as we hit downtown, I easily put it on a par with Cairo, Rome, and Naples. Street crossings on foot to be done with caution, hopefully with other denizens of the city who know what they are doing! Ha! That pretty much sums up day one, most of the tour group was on hand to meet each other, but a few arrived really late. We had dinner together. I had something that is supposed to be the ancestor of our Nachos in America. I thought it was called chilaquiles, but I think that’s really an element of the dish rather than the dish. It was quite good, kind of a mushy version of nachos and deceptively hot – i.e. you don’t realize how hot until your lips are tingling several mouthfuls later. I’m sure I’m not doing the dish justice, but I was told that Mexicans often eat it as breakfast! Yikes! Day two headed to Teotihuacan to see one of the ancient sites here. It’s largely intact because by the time the Spanish arrived the city had long been abandoned and the pyramids were covered in earth and shrubs and looked like mountains. The pyramids and temples were very impressive as were the crowds, predominately locals going with their families on holiday from school. It was at Teotihuacan that I discovered a massive blot of dust on my camera’s sensor. Yikes! I took a photo and there it was. It took me a couple of minutes to figure out where it was because at first I thought it was a spot on the LCD, but finally it came to light where it was. The camera has built in dust cleaner, but this must have gotten some condensation on it or something from the temp changes because its clearly stuck. I attempted to blow it off with my bulb in the room when I got back but it’s stuck firm. I went for a walk and found a camera store here. They gave me an address that’s nearby that will hopefully be able to clean it today. Anyway, in a way it was for the better. I was not tempted to climb the Pyramid of the moon or the pyramid of the sun (massive – supposedly one of the largest in the world) with my camera gear. I’m not sure I would have made it up with it. Lunch was near Teotihuacan, but not my favorite of the trip. I should have asked what mole was before I tried it… ugh! I’ve learned important information, it’s got chocolate in it… meat covered with a chocolate related sauce…. Dinner was much better, I can’t remember the name of the dish, but something I would say kin to enchiladas but the sauce was yes chilaquiles again! The best yet – it was enough meat and tortilla to balance the hot – perfect! This morning walking tour of the city, afterward free time, which will include the guide going with me to show me where this place is that can deal with my camera. Keep your fingers crossed!