Mexico City Continued....

Mexico City Travel Blog

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Ruins of Templo Mayor

Love this city more as each day goes by.  The Mexican people and their way of life so different from our own. 

We are now learning to see humour in the constant whistles, hisses and kissing noises that follow us wherever we go!  The traffic within the city - well ones life is ever in danger crossing the street.  Even though there are traffic lights, they have no meaning here and at every corner stand the brave police with whistles and white-gloved hands trying to put in order all the chaos.

Since arriving in Mexico City we have been asked to lunch and fiestas so often, the Mexican men are certainly not shy in approaching us in the street or restaurants etc!  Francisco, the policeman we met a few days earlier has taken us on a tour of the city.

  It seemed to be that every policeman on every corner was his friend and in the middle of 6 lane traffic he would stop the car and chat to and introduce us to his friends.  Showing off no doubt.  The police have many privileges and a flash of their badge entitles them to park anywhere, to ignore red lights and drive on the wrong side of the road.  Francisco would curse other drivers as he drove through red lights and say "they should know he was a police officer"!!  We were given the grande tour, to the congress and back to the zocalo via the markets.  Actually I should say through the centre of the market where all the stalls were and people and NO cars.  Felt like we were driving through a flock of a thousand sheep with them scurring and jumping out of the way.
Ruins of Templo Mayor
 

Traffic jams are a common occurence and of course one must beep the horn, even when the traffic is flowing smoothly.  Upon learning to drive I'm sure everyone is instructed on the use of the horn in every driving situation.  Although for such traffic congestion and chaos I've yet to see an accident. 

We were fortunate enough to meet a Mexican lawyer near the Almada Park last night.  He spoke fluent English, having studied at the Uni in New York.  We found out more about Mexico in two hours than we have in the past few weeks in the country.  He said "Mexico is a corrupted country".  One of his many jokes was the United Nations made a list of the 20 most corrupted countries in the world, but Mexico was not on the list.

Monument de Los Ninos
  Reason - they paid them off not to be on the list. 

Our new friend was going to help me try and locate my brother who was missing in Mexico.  He tried to reassure me of some of the situations my brother may be involved in.  One - if he was in jail for whatever reason they would take most of his money & possessions but he would be allowed a phone call.  He said that the police are corrupt and will often plant drugs on a person but a tourist will be in no danger within their jails and are treated better than their nationals.  He was going to ring an agency called Locatel, they try to find missing persons within Mexico.  Hopefully by tonight he may have some information for me.  Tonight, we are going to a plaza called Garibaldi where local musicians play. We're looking forward to conversing with him some more as his knowledge of Mexico is very informative.

Much of the cities buildings are extremely crooked.  We had assumed it was caused by the 1985 earthquake but the city was actually built on a lake and many of the buildings are sinking.  Hence the crooked and broken sidewalks and the rise and fall of the streets.  Some of the buildings are rising as well.  It certainly adds to the character of the city.  The earthquake did cause massive damage, there were 500 buildings affected.  Some completely destroyed.  The most damage occuring in the centre of the city, one block of buildings that collapsed has never been rebuilt and there is a park there now.  Although its not used by the locals as they remember the many people killed there when the buildings collapsed.  In many areas of the city earthquake affected buildings stand empty, awaiting repair instead of demolition. 

Armando has been a great tour guide and we have learnt a lot about the history of many buildings in the city.  Its interesting to know that there approximately 95% of the people in Mexico were Catholic.  But during the 1800's the Protestants became active.  They actually took over some of the Catholic churches. The San Francisco church in the city was stripped of all the statues of saints and these alcoves are still bare.

The Spanish went to a lot of trouble to convert the Indians to Christianity.  In many cities the churches have crosses with skulls at the base.  In the eyes of the Spanish this symbolized the victory of Christianity over the Indian religions - the skulls being one of the indian religious symbols.  To teach the indians about Christianity they drew pictures and made plays so they would understand easier.  Hence pinata is actually a religious event.  It was originally paper shapes of the devil and the children were blindfolded and given sticks to beat the devil.  To beat the devil meant a reward of candy and toys. Kill evil and be rewarded with happiness.  It is sad to see that beautiful temples of the Aztecs etc were destroyed by the Spanish in their quest for total Christianity of the Indians.  The Templo Mayor was the main temple of the Aztecs.  It was destroyed by the Spaniards in 1521.  It was discovered in 1913 and since discovering a stone of the goddess Coyolxauhqui in 1978 extensive archeological work is now being done and many objects have been uncovered.

To be continued.....

 

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Ruins of Templo Mayor
Ruins of Templo Mayor
Ruins of Templo Mayor
Ruins of Templo Mayor
Monument de Los Ninos
Monument de Los Ninos
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