Is it a coincidence I'm listening to Queen again? Probably not.
It's been a week since I returned home from that far-off country of Mexico, with sunny beachsides and treacherous rip currents, delicious food and disease-ridden tap water (funky bacteria, really.) Beware el agua! In a week I managed to:
1. Get into a car accident.
2. Mountain-scramble my way up to the top of the largest pyramid on our continent.
3. Drink the water on accident and freak out more than twice.
4. Eat cheese icecream (not as delicious as it was hype.)
5. Video-tape a Mexican wedding and festivities- while drunk off margaritas.
6. Get drunk off 1 1/2 margaritas.
7. Take 763 pictures, 40 of them pictures of clouds on the trip to Mexico.
8. Be groped at a political protest in Mexico City. Left cheek totally violated.
9. Speak decent spanish! (Very proud.)
10. Visit 10 churches/ex-convents, over half of them under construction.
11. Walk alone in Mexico City and not be molested/kidnapped/raped/beaten/robbed. And people tell me this city is dangerous.
12. Saw the sacred cloak of the Virgin of Guadalupe- huge Catholic icon in Mexico. HUGE. It's appearance has created what I fondly call 'Guadalupe Land Theme Park'- on grounds there are THREE churches, an ex-convent, and a museum currently showing the exhibition 'Futbol y Fe'. Soccer and Faith.
13. Buy a 60 cent soda.
14. Ride a taxi around Taxco for 2 dollars. The transportation system is outrageously cheap.
15. Lose my preconcieved notions about Mexico picked up from friends and people from the Central and South Americas.
I can understand having no desire to visit the border towns or touristy vacation hotspots like Acapulco (only city I got within ten feet of ocean, and I couldn't swim in it. Federales said no.) However, if one has no intention of leaving the comforts of his own language and would rather stick to these English-catering places that are constructed for tourists- how can one complain about being treated as nothing more than a bank account? Small towns like Taxco give a friendly and festive aire to Mexico- no strangers more generous have I met than those in Taxco. And parties in the town square every night, ho! It was almost unreal, how Taxco is everything I envisioned a Latin country to be like, and yet when I was immersed it seemed like a faerie town, too good. Well, the city noise was real, anyway. And Mexico City was nothing like the rumors say- I didn't once feel that my life was at risk, or any such nonsense. In the guide books my mother and Deirdre brought along, the guides to Mexico City always read the same way, "MEXICO CITY IS GOING TO KILL YOU. NEVER WEAR ANYTHING CUT LOWER THAN WHAT A NUN WOULD WEAR. NEVER CARRY A PURSE; KEEP YOUR MONEY IN YOUR BRA. YOU ARE GOING TO DIE." No joke. They were that serious. Naturally I had a few pre-jitters on the ride there; but as soon we checked into a hotel that was blasting The Beatles as lobby and elevator music, I knew I must be safe. We took precautions (for the first day I didn't carry my bag around) and used common sense. Walked everywhere and took metros, didn't take offers for taxis (the guide said don't accept solicited help- duh!) and didn't eat from street vendors where the food looked like it was a spawning ground for life. Aside from all that, Mexico City was a blast. I had the most fun here: ancient ruins popping out of the woodworks, amazing architecture and a city that stretches as far as the eye can see. And the political activism I got to PARTICIPATE in, that was just a treat I will never forget. Even if some groping occured along the way.
VOTO POR VOTO!
Still recovering for upcoming trip to Canada. I have the travel itch!