Viva Mexico Cavrones! - ACTUAL BLOG.

Guadalajara Travel Blog

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Dear friends, enemies, free masons of the world and followers of Coach Ditka,

 

I am writing you all from a rainy day in Puerto Escondido, Mexico.  Evidently there is some hurricane messing everything up in the Yucatan peninsula, and it stretches all the way to the southwestern part of Mexico.

Aahhh....but what a trip it has been thus far.....it has been full of futbol (viva las chivas!), Orozco murals, dancing, cervesas, pozoles (food), the legendary Luna family of Guadalajara, running across highways, lucha libre (Mexican wrestling), more dancing, long bus rides, the soon to be legendary Cruz Martinez family of Mexico DF, more cervesas, ceviche (food), zocalo, the leftovers of Hernan Cortes, pyramids, palaces, some dumb French guy named Mathew, some cool Chilango (someone from Mexico DF) named Obadid, a turibus, museums, tortas de pavo (food), rain, Rivera murals,  the boats of Xochimilco, chiampas, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament, more dancing, the metro (subway/el), more cervesas, more long bus rides, an excellent anthropology museum, and now the playa.....

 

Here are just a few notes/thoughts on the adventure thus far...

Friendliness

I do not know exactly what it is, but this is the friendliest place I have ever been to in my life.  Maybe it is because I understand the culture well from Chicago (2nd most Mexicans in the USA behind LA).  Or that I speak with more of a Mexican accent than anything else (I am sure they could tell you otherwise).  The people are very outgoing, fun loving, and good natured.  Anybody I talk to is willing to help, laugh, or just have fun.  It has been a kind of surreal experience with the Mexicans that I have encountered.

 

Overcrowding of Mexico DF

Mexico DF is the biggest city in the world with around 22 million people.  Despite this, it is located in a relatively small area... I would say a little bigger than metropolitan Chicago.  I became quite familiar with the different neighborhoods and the metro system through a "guide" by the name of Rosa.  The culture is to live with your family until you are married.  Therefore it is much more dense, as generations of families live in the same house.  It makes the city much more compact.  The metro trains come once every two minutes, and keep the population moving.  I thought they did a very good job with the mass amount of people until one morning....

I woke up early to go to a museum.  I had my coffee in my hand at 8 AM ready to enter the train. As I saw the crowd on the train I realized that it was rush hour, and it was too crowded to drink my coffee while on the train, so I threw it away and waited.  Every train was packed like sardines (and they arrive once every 2 minutes), but I found a tiny bit of space to fit my fat ass on one.  It was fine for a few stops, and I noticed that some of the fellow people by the doors had to temporarily leave the train so that people behind them could exit, and then would re enter.  All was fine until we got to the station Balderas, where the pink line meets the green line.  As my train approached, there were 1,000 people waiting at the station, and people were yelling in the middle of the train that they had to get out in order to transfer lines.  The door opened, and i waited for my fellow compatriots to temporarily leave and reenter as we had done at the other stops.  Nobody moved, and the people in the back begged to be allowed to exit so they could get to work.  I stepped out (I was the only one)  to allow some people to exit, but as I stepped out, three of the 1,000 people waiting tried to squeeze and push into my place.  I said "aaayyyy mierda" (ooohhh shit), as I was stuck in the middle of the people trying to exit and the people trying to enter.  They just pushed the guero (white boy) to the side, maybe one person exited, three or four somehow entered, but in the long run, everybody was fucked!  I said forget this, I am taking a cab.  It took me 20 minutes to find a cab that was not occupied.  It was quite funny.

  So the lesson of the story is Mexico city deals very well with the overpopulation, just not during rush hour.

 

I remember studying in college about the lack of water in the city, and how the actual city is sinking due to the emptiness of the waterbed bellow.  It was interesting to see numerous buildings at strange angles due to their sinking.  There was so much to do in DF, but what truly made it great were the people.

 

What else...

I went out with the Luna family in Guadalajara.   We all ran across across the expressway to get to one of the brothers houses.  There was a 4 year old kid running with us.  Interesting!

 

I really like the painters of Mexico like Jose Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera.  They do not just paint pictures, but tell very realistic histories of Mexico through their murals.

 

I turned into the ultimate Machismo Mexican Male with public displays of affection on the streets of DF with Rosa.  It is funny because I am not like that at all, but when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

 

I have wrestled a few times.  The 1st time was in Guadalajara.  I found this gym that was in the Lucha Libre center.  Lucha Libre is the Mexican version of the WWE or WWF, whatever you want to call it.  For one and a half hours all we did was flips, like the Jessie White tumbling team.  I was going crazy, cause it was ridiculous, and I just wanted to wrestle.  For the last 30 minutes we wrestled Lucha Olimpica (freestyle wrestling).  Evidently that is a school to train people for Lucha Libre, and they do some real wrestling on occasion.  It was pretty funny, and I purchased a few masks for sentimental value.

 

I fought in a Brazilian JIu Jitsu tournament in Mexico DF.  It was fun, I won one and lost one (to the champion).  Once again, the people were very friendly.  They even lent me a "Gi," the required uniform.  Sport is a great way to interact and get to know the real people of a city.

 

Other notes from Mexico:

Mexico is the most catholic country that I have ever been to.  People consistently go to church on a daily basis.  They worship their patron saints, and make offerings to the corresponding shrines in specific churches.  Many people make the sign of the cross any time that they pass a Church.  Many fear god, and act surprised when they meet non-religious people....like me...........and the Pope is from Germany????

 

I got sick in Mexico from eating to much food from street vendors.  I found some sort of clinic in Cancun, and the service fee for the doctor and the 3 prescription drugs he gave me came our to a total of $9...interesting......I do not know much about the Mexican health care system, but that was surely a deal, and the stuff worked.

 

Speaking of street food, I ate some Chapulines in Oaxaca City.  Chapulines are fried grasshoppers.  The big ones taste good, like corn buts flavored with garlic, lime, and peppers.  The small ones taste like sundried tomatoes.

 

The drivers in Mexico City are crazy.  I swear that they like to play chicken with pedestrians, and you better run out of the way of the cars or else.

 

I will next be off to visit the island of Proleteriats in what I will entitle the "de la soul" project.  You wont here from me for a few weeks so...

Adios, Ciao, cuidate mucho, a la Vaerga, viva las Chivas, and long live "de la soul,"

tony

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Guadalajara
photo by: monky