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Trip Start Oct 01, 2012
28Trip End Aug 01, 2013
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The Anglo Foundation (where 6 of the Southampton girls and token boy will be working) have been treating us for the last couple of days in Mexico City, paying for dinner, our museum entrance fees and the Turibús. SO incredibly nice of them. The induction involved being shown around the language centre and then a talk about life in Mexico, places to go, and advice about food- avoid habanero.
Damien took us to the Anthropology Museum, and on the way we saw some crazy rain dancers, who climbed up this unbelievably tall (and wobbly) pole, whilst playing wind instruments and banging some drums. After tying themselves to a rope they then made tumbled backwards off the top and swung all the way down and around the pole. The Anthropology Museum was interesting, but we all just kept laughing at each other and the stupid things we were doing/saying... blame it on the altitude. We then continued exploring this fascinating city. Interesting fact about the Mexican Metro, they have separate sections along the platform for women and men, with a barrier inbetween. Crazy. Apparently "women deserve the right to travel peacefully."
Jetlag was hitting us hard, and we had to power through the frequent crashing. An ex-ACABRIT who now works in Southampton University's international office had arranged a dinner for all the Mexican alumni to meet us all, which was lovely. This was the first tasting of fish tacos, beef tacos, chilli, and OCTOPUS. They forced me to try it, it wasn't too bad, just the idea of it being octopus makes me dislike the taste. Frozen Mango Margaritas were incredibly tasty and instead of the glass being coated with sugar, they used tangy chilli flakes, which actually kind of worked. The meal was at a really nice restaurant, but we were on a terrace where the patio heater wasn't working, so by the end of it we were feeling the cold as well as the jetlag and so were all ready to battle with the traffic again to reach our beds.
Mexico City is completely different to how I expected it to be, watching films like "Bordertown" and "Savages," in an attempt to scare myself, didn't exactly set the bar high... check out the pictures below from Centro Histórico (Zócalo.) The Turibús took us into the plaza where we initially saw the cathedral which was cool, but then we turned our heads to see the huge Mexican flag flying in the middle of the square and then the impressive buildings bordering the square with tinsel-like decorations covering them to mark the Mexican Independence day (16th September.) We were stunned, it was incredible! Check out the pictures below:
There are a couple of things that I have noticed about Mexico City so far. Number 1, the traffic. The traffic is insane, to do a 5 minute journey by car, you would have to allow yourself about 30 minutes. The traffic is at a standstill at all hours of the day until about midnight. To give you a better idea, it is so jammed that the Mexicans make the most of the opportunity to sell things in the middle of the motorway lanes. Additionally, you will hear car horns beeping from the moment it wakes you up in the morning.
Number 2, instead of the usual "what to do in case of a fire" signs that can be found in most hotels, in Mexico, they have "what to do in case of an earthquake." Each building has specific earthquake safe zones, usually next to pillars. They usually have one once a month apparently, and sometimes the tremors will go unnoticed.
Number 3, there are Mexican flags everywhere. Flying from houses and buildings, its nice.
I decided to be brave at a restaurant for lunch and order enchiladas. Looked appealing, until I delved into the wrap to discover some horrible looking cheese which refused to melt. I won't post the pictures to this blog, but if you check out my facebook, you will be able to understand. Jodie ordered a salad as she wasn't feeling that hungry, and it was basically fat strips of cheese and ham with some lettuce. Bleurgh.
At night we hit the bar with some of the Anglo staff where we were, again, generously treated to a bottle of tequila and shown how to slam the shot glass on the table "with character." The Mexican tequila is much tastier than what I have tried before, maybe due to my bad tequila experience in Vegas, everybody has their bad experience with tequila story... 3 Mexican sized shots later we then ordered a long drink, I can't remember what its called now but, it was a shot of Tequila Tradicional with lemon (which is called lime in Mexico,) ice and salt coating the glass. Pretty strong, but gooooood.
I'm writing this blog entry as I've come to the end of my great first visit to Mexico City, no doubt I will be back soon though! I've had a great time with some amazing people, who I barely knew before this trip, but will be visiting for sure throughout this year. 12 become 5 this morning, as those staying in Mexico City went their separate ways, and now I've just said goodbye to two more... which leaves 3 Southampton students left in Hotel Bristol before we get the taxi to the airport. Re-packing was a nightmare, definitely expecting to pay something for this luggage weight when I get to the airport.
Cancún here I come! AHHHHHH :D