Friday, 9 September 2011

Indios en México

Given sufficient time, one might actually be able to do justice to the gloriously confused riot of contradictions that is Mexico City. All we had were three and a half days, so we did what we could. And even though I say so myself, I don't think we did too badly :).

The first thing that struck me, as soon as the cab had made its way out of the airport was how familiar things looked! It was almost as if India had been crossed with California. But in most ways it resembled the former more than the latter.

What was left of the first day after travelling was spent catching up with friends, some old, some not. But while we were at it, we also managed a fairly informative and very intriguing trip through a selection of what the city had to offer in food, drink and music. On each count, there was enough to thrill!

I suppose if I tried to do justice to our trip in its entirety, I would have to make do without too many details. It's rather like how I went about exploring the bits of Mexico City that we did explore anyway. I decided to forget about all the minute details and just immerse myself in the sea of experiences to maybe obtain some sense of this world, sometimes so strange, and at other times intensely familiar.

The Centro Historico is definitely a place worth a visit. But the sheer number of people you might see on any given weekend might be intimidating for those not used to a literal experience with masses of humanity :). And all that, with an absolutely minimal contribution from foreign tourists!

We spent one whole day crisscrossing back and forth the several square miles that comprise the historical center and managed to go through the Templo Mayor complex, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Palacio de Bellas Artes, several restaurants and bars and one supremely novel experience of eating at a Mexico City food market at the Mercado San Juan :).

In comparison, the Sunday was most relaxed! We were staying rather close to the Castillo Chapultepec complex, so we simply ambled into the park and decided to walk up the hill for a better look around. While we were at it, we also toured the Museum of National History, which was a little difficult to ingest due to the lack of English. The views were quite nice though.

It was the afternoon spent at the Anthropological Museum that was really the high point! The entire time we spent in Mexico City was overcast and peppered with drizzling rain, but that one afternoon the skies really broke down upon us. So you see, we really didn't have much of a choice but to pick our way through some several thousand years of history of Mesoamerica and its peoples. It was an enlightening experience indeed!

The section on Teotihuacan was especially of interest seeing how the very next morning we were headed for those very ruins! The weather, quite miraculously, held up for the whole day, making the trip a most exhilarating experience!

We decided to climb both the Moon and the Sun temples. Or rather what was left of them. We of course, also learned that these are not in fact pyramids, but merely elevating bases for temples. On the way back, our guide even took us on a tour of that holiest of Mexican shrines, the cathedral of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

With that, it was time to pretty much wrap up a fairly whirlwind trip! There was just enough time for one more relaxed dinner made up entirely of local specialties :). Then it was off to catch our red-eye back to New York.

I suppose I should add while I'm at it that my one day in NYC coincided with TS Lee, so I was quite content to stay indoors. It wasn't the most sentient day I've had, but oh well :). It was good to take a day off before attempting my next big road trip! I guess I'll leave the interesting bits from that drive for later.

Currently: catching up!
Listening to: Eliza Doolittle - Rollerblades

No comments: