Arrived in Mexico today, just before lunch. Truly an international city. Large numbers of chinese and italians, if the restaurants are any indication. Haven’t had a chance to leave the old city yet. I have three days here before I need to find a new hostel. Thinking about skipping town when that happens. Down to Oxaca (Pronounced Wah-haka, apparently). Places I want to hit while in Mexico City are Frida Kahlo’s house and Diego Rivera museum/house. Apparently there’s a Trotsky museum in the area – hey why not. Mexico city food is as expensive as in the states. Another vote for scooting off to Oxaca early.
Saw the ruins of a huge temple today. Litterally across the street from an enormous Cathederal. Definitely an interesting viewpoint on religion. Apparently the locals knew the temple was nearby, thinking that the Spaniards simply leveled it (which they did) and built over top of it. Apparently the Catholics don’t like competition when it comes to religion. There is a huge museum next to the ruins full of stuff they pulled out of the wreckage from 500 years ago. Interestingly, every time they crowned a new king, his first order of buisness was to pile dirt on top of the old temple and make it bigger, and cap it off with stone. So there’s something like 8 shells from previous temples inside the outermost one.
The drivers in this city are crazy. They will back up anywhere, any time. The poverty here is astounding. Lots of people with shrunken or missing limbs. I walked past a lady today with no arms doing needlepoint (with prothstesises). Truly heartbreaking. People here don’t even have carts to move their saleable trash in – they just drag wooden crates behind them using a tatered and frayed rope, donning a dirty blanket as some sort of poncho. Watched some barefoot 4 year old kids playing soccer in the square. It’s 8:30pm. They’re still playing outside.
There’s some sort of Oaxaca independence rally going on in the square out front. Looks like they’ve been camped out there for at least a few days now, Egyptian style. Will post pics later.
Ran into a professor of anthropology/linguistics leaving the airport. Supposedly he had his laptop stolen and was heading down to see his mother. When I popped out of the subway I was mildly amused to see police officers all wearing bullet proof vests. My hostel is quite litterally a stone’s throw away from the national palace (assuming you’ve got a good arm). Allergies are killing me. Mexico City is exactly what I expected it to be. South America is distinctly european; Mexico is… Mexico. Still processing that.