Thursday, July 21, 2016

México City Is In México, Why Can't Kansas City Get it Together?

Just finished my last test of my time here, now I just have one more presentation to give then I'm done! I probably won't finish this before then, but just some temporal background for ya. In the meantime I thought I'd talk about my time in Mexico City my second week here, since I never really got to that.

Had one presentation to give my second week of school in history class, but for the most part class wasn't too difficult. If I could change one thing, I would've wished it was a little better paced, given I had next to no homework the first 3 weeks and then these last 2 weeks have been the most work I've done in a very long time. Anyways, after a week of going to class for 4 or so hours then taking a ride home with our Uber driver Fernando, I got to sleep in a little on Friday. If you count 6:30 sleeping in. I do. Walked on over to the center campus to meet up with the rest of my group after some breakfast with my host grandma, and decided that I was done trying to fit in and wear pants every day. I would much rather look like a tourist than sweat the whole day in 80 degree weather. One of my better concessions this trip. It was about a 3 hour trip on the same bus we took the week before, with the same driver too. Once we got to the city, traffic was worse than anything I'd ever been in before. Once we actually got in, we made a stop at the house of Frida Kahlo, where there's a museum now. Giant blue house. That was pretty cool actually, but it was definitely a pretty touristy place. We stopped and had some lunch at a place that was a little less than sanitary but I'm still alive so I guess it wasn't too bad. Had some spaghetti noodles in what seemed like spaghettiO water and some some other stuff, but nothing too exotic.

After that we got back onto our bus and headed towards our hotel so we could drop off all our stuff. México City felt more like a New York than anything else, it does have about a million more people after all, and had the tall buildings and wide city streets I'm used to. Our hotel was called "Hotel Canada", for reasons I'm not sure. It was shoved between two other places, as is the Mexican style I guess, and all you could see was the door at the entrance. It was bigger on the inside though, and we all got our keys from the front desk. Since I'm the only guy I got my own room, on the top floor to boot. Even then that was only 6 floors up but still. Actually, they don't start counting floors until you go up a floor, so it was technically the 7th floor. Compared to the bed I have at my host family, the bed I had felt like heaven. I thought about just going to bed right there, taking the next 17 hours to sleep for no real reason at all, but decided against it at the last second. Instead, I watched cartoons in Spanish for about half an hour. It was only about 3, but I took an unnecessary shower anyways. My hope was that, in contrast to my shower at my host family, I would have hot water for more than 3 minutes. As if on queue, an imaginary genie said to me, "Be careful what you wish for...", cause I for sure got hot water, but instead of a, "Oh yeah this is a nice, hot, relaxing shower", it was a, "If I get in this shower I will very likely die", kinda shower. There was a knob for hot and a knob for cold, but the cold one didn't work so it was just hot. In other words, for the next 2 nights it was a "Hop in for 2 seconds, hop out, soap up, repeat", kinda process. In then end I'm not sure which of my two showering situations is worse. .

Later that night we all hopped on the bus again and went to a museum of anthropology, and it had stuff from all sorts of different ancient cultures like the Aztecs and the Tolmecs. We didn't have a whole lot of time so I basically did a speed run through all 6 different parts of the place, and even then I still got to see some pretty cool stuff. They've got the original Aztec calendar there and that was pretty amazing, it was yuge. Pics to follow. We only had an hour to run around there so it wasn't a whole lot but it was still a good experience. After that we headed back to the hotel for the night. Went out and walked around for awhile with some friends that night, and got some pretty good tacos, not gonna lie. One thing to note, I haven't had a single burrito or hard shelled taco here once. Silly U.S. and its silly food. It was pretty cool to walk through the street at night because there was a ton of people and there were lights and excitement going on everywhere. We also went to dinner at a restaurant one night, but I don't remember which night. Weird thing about that: since the city was just one giant lake when the Aztecs had it, the entire city is sinking a little. They didn't do anything to the ground when they built all the buildings in hundreds of years ago so there are some buildings, like the one we went to that was at least 10 stories tall, where you have to walk uphill to get to one end of the building to the other. Pretty crazy.

Next day we went to another museum and also went to a place where you could see a temple that was still somewhat intact in the city. That was pretty cool. Getting my days a little mixed up, but at some point during that time we got to go to Hidalgo, a place with some leftover ruins of the Tula. They had some cool pyramids and even a couple of fields with mini arenas around them where they played the ball game where if you lost you got sacrificed! Or maybe the other way around, I don't exactly remember. That was kinda crazy though, because there were temples if you looked one way, but then half a mile the other direction you could see gas stations and fast food places in the other direction. A very strange juxtaposition. That was really cool, but what really got me was the Aztec temples we got to see the other day. I thought the ones at Hidalgo were big, but here they were incredible. For one, it took like 2 hours to get to the top of one of them because there are so many people trying to get up that they only let about 25 people go up at a time, and then theres like 2 checkpoints on the way up that you have to wait for as well. Some pretty steep stairs though. Really cool view of the place though, and you could see just how big of a city the Aztecs had. Again, pics to follow.

In general it was a pretty fun weekend trip. Got pretty sunburnt but saw a lot of cool stuff, and am super glad I was able to go and run around en even bigger city than Querétaro. Avoided getting sick again, at least for the most part, which wasn't true for everyone. Definitely was a trip within a trip for the books, and its a good thing I'm writing all this down cause I'd probably forget most of this if I didn't.

Well I finished all my school stuff a little bit ago, so now I'm actually done with school. Feels so good to get that over with, gonna be honest. Gonna find out grades tomorrow and then just hang out with my family and new friends for the next couple of days! I'll probably post one or two more times, so savor these last sweet moments!

Getting a little selfie action on top a temple

One of the streets in México City

Nice little calendar

Looking down from the top of the temple of the sun

Looking up from the bottom of the temple of the sun

Original square in México City, these buildings have been here since the Spaniards first built them

On top of a temple in Tula

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