Mexico day 1 – September 25th
Note: Im still unable to upload photographs. The 56k WIFI connection is almost unbearable.
I arrived to Mexico at 5:45 am, and hopped in a yellow cab at the airport on my way to Javi’s place. Javi had told me to make sure and grab one of the official cabs to be safe. it was early and the traffic was already horrendous. My cab driver seemed quiet, dressed up in black, and wearing a leather jacket while holding a SUPER SIZE soda cup. His name was Gonzalo, and in an effort to engage conversation I asked him what is his favorite place to recommend to new visitors. His first advice were all places to go out and party. I knew Mexicans liked to party even more than us Spaniards… And there was a proof. 6:00am, and first thing on his mind other than cultural places was PARTY. I wish I was at that point in my life still…. He did suddenly loosen up and mentioned he was from D.F, and had never left this place. If he was to leave his country to visit others it would be after knowing his to the fullest. The first place he would go to would be IBIZA (Spain) for he loves electronic music and partying (well, here was my second proof), and then China for culture he said. I explained that there is more to Spain than ibiza and there is in fact a lot of cultural things to enjoy. He explained all the different foods he loves from here: Pozole, Birra, Quesadillas de maíz con tinga, pechuga de pollo, guisada con tomate y Chile chipotle.
Burritos are tipical only from the north he says. “We love to eat! Somos Muy comilones!, in fact our “chavitos” (kids) have now #1 obesity. It’s sad. “Oh! Don’t drink water front he tap here!!!!!you will get sick!” Drink tequila instead. I hate of, it makes me sick but my girl loves it and takes it in “caballitos” (shots)”
The drive that normally takes 15 min took as over an hour, he was very pleasant to talk to thankfully, and I was also very happy to have negotiated a flat cab rate! The entire time I was talking to him I could not help to notice that he looked very familiar, way to much. It was strange but he short of looked like my very first boyfriend here in the states. Somebody I was with for 7 years. While he is American his dad was from Mexican background, and I always told his dad I would one day come visit Mexico, and he would encourage me to not waste my time and do it! He passed away years ago from cancer and I miss him dearly. Anyway, it was just strange that the cab driver looked so much like his son, my ex, as I am arriving to the one place I he was from. I had to take a picture of him, as he was the first person I talked to during this new journey and this new country.
I got to Javi’s place and I was excited to see him! We had not seen each other since highschool really, other than a few brief encounters during Christmas time when we got back. He was waiting for me and ready to show me Mexico City! First stop: World Trade Center and fruit stand down his street, this last one was amazing! Fresh cut fruits: papaya, mango, and some kiwi-look-alike fruit I forget. All with lime juice and grounded pimento. Ooooooh my sweet lord of the fruits! Best fruit I’ve ever had! We went off to a coffee shop and then to walk the entire city for hours! This poor man had been up since 6 and waiting for me, and I had him walking till 6:30 pm. He took me to my hotel, to calle reforma, Palacio de Bellas artes, the historic downtown, filled me in in historic facts and fun facts, kept me laughing, took me up to the mirador ( which is an imitation of the Empire State), walked me thru little streets I would not had dare to wonder alone , where domino players were betting money, little nick-nack markets were overflowing every corner with ANYTHING you could imagine, all shorts of new food (for me) was being sold in little corner stands, sinking streets full of deep holes would surprise you while taking a step, cops holding their guns would be guarding different areas, mariachis waiting in their outfits to be hired at Garibaldi’s plaza, traffic and pedestrians lights were not taken in consideration ( I felt like We were gambling out lives every time we crossed), and a huge protest was also take. place a d hence why some of the main streets were blocked.
The protest : the education system in Mexico has always allowed teachers to pass down their titles to their kids, this means their kids could be part of the education system and be teachers without really earning a degree, but have it passed on. The state has now decided this is not in benefit of their kids, and is trying to forbid it. The protesters: the teachers.
I’m withholding my opinion on this one….. But if you know me, you know where I stand.
I noticed that people here seem very happy, things appear to happen slow…. except for traffic, there is not ONE garbage can in the street, it’s forbidden by the state ( I had to walk with a Starbucks’ cup in my hand for miles until I was able to throw it away), and there is PDA everywhere! Couples kissing, hugging, holding hands, laying on the grass making out, or on the stairs of a monument, on a bench, at the protest, as they walked ….I was so happy to see that, and it reminded me that this is part of who we are, of who I am, as my Spanish blood runs thru my veins. I have learned to leave without that for so many years in the US, that I had forgotten how much it means to me, and how wonderful it is to see in others as well, as love and happiness is a great feeling to share out in public for it is contagious 🙂
Anyhow, we both ended up exhausted and parted our ways. I sunk into a bathtub full of bubbles and jets that I was so lucky to be upgraded to, and didnt come out for what seemed like hours…. Dinner with a glass of Jamaica water and wine (highly recommended) and off to bed to rest up for CUBA!