September 15th, 2006 – by: lealealou
From Left, Aussie Lisa, Irish Bill, Irish Dave and German Iris.
Excuse my Language, but sweet Jesus!! The Mexicans like a party!! Friday the 15th was Mexico's independence night, and around 5 million people made the population swell to 27 million for the night, to mark the begining of the Mexico's war of independence with Spain. Traditionally, the president reads a freedom speech from a balcony overlooking the one million people who cram into Zocalo, the main square. At the end of the speech the people give a 'cry of freedom', and then various bands play into the night.
Sadly, there was to be no presidental speech this year, as with the ongoing protests about the extremely close presidential election, the security forces thought it best this tradition be carried out at a smaller nearby square. We were advised to head to the Zocalo anyway, and we weren´t dissapointed as around 500,000 had still turned up, to dance the night away to various types of bands.
With Bill, Iris and Swiss Tom.
We went with around 12 guys and girls from our hostel, and had a laugh and a lark before heading to our hostel's sister hostel Moneda, where a party was in full swing. We danced to a reggae band with the guys from our hostel, 3 Irish, 2 German, 2 Swiss, 1 Scot, 3 Aussies and a few Israelis and English, as well as the 50 or so from the other hostel. They were dishing out free shots of Tequila
, not by the glass of course but by standing on a chair and making you stand underneath them, while they put a napkin under your chin and pour it down your throat, dentist chair style! We didn´t need to buy many drinks after a few of those, needless to say!
We left the hostel around 11 to rejoin the party in the square, just in time to catch the awesome fireworks display that lasted about half an hour.
Looking the wrong way for the fireworks. Behind you!!
We then headed back to the hostel but discovered on the way that the Mexicans have an interesting traditon. The kids are encouraged to buy small plastic eggs filled with flour, cans that spray a wet stickty gooey substance, and to top it off, lots of confeti, which they throw at unsuspecting passers-by. And foreigners are worth double points, we found out the hard way!! It was all good fun and after getting destroyed ourselves we bought some supplies to turn the tables on the locals, who were amused to see us getting both destroyed and involved.
We ended the night in a club playing some drum and bass shite, and eventually headed back to our still buzzing hostel for what little sleep we could snatch. The next day's military parades were followed by another huge demonstration that must this time have topped a million, with every side street and lane for miles impassable.
Jarod, Lisa and us in Zocalo.
We were actually in McDonalds (I had a hangover remember!) when the demonstation came ripping down the street. The manager of McDonalds decided to close the shutters and we found ourselves in our very first (and last) lock in...without the alchohol so not much fun really, especially when it was a good hour before we were allowed out into the sunshine. It was all and all an awesome experience (the party that is), and would reccommend it highly. Just go easy on the tequilla, its stronger than at home!!!