Mexico City Day 2 Part 1

Continued from Mexico City Day 1.

I didn’t set my alarm last night, and I slept like a baby until traffic started honking in unison outside of my window. The honking didn’t happen until 9am, so it was alright. I felt rested, got out of bed and went straight to check my email.

Some of my friends who are also attending the wedding are arriving on Thursday. I’ve been trying to coordinate with JM and BM(See Portland for reference) on what they wanted to do on Friday. JM was supposed to email me so that I can plan accordingly and not do the things that they wanted to do on Friday ahead of time by myself. Well, I didn’t get an email today, so I guess I’ll just say “Fuck It!” and do whatever I feel like doing. I am actually a little peeved about not hearing back from him despite him saying that he would email me back.

Now that I don’t have to coordinate with others on the order I see the city, it didn’t take long for me to decide on what I wanted to do today. Whenever I travel, it’s always the attarctions that I have to leave the city for that I stress out about. The fact that I have to leave the familiarity of the city, the subway, the bus, the taxi, the train, the walking, and whatnot keeps me stressed. So many more things could go wrong when you leave the city. What if the bus/train/car breaks down, what if I can’t find my way back, what if I can’t even find my way there, etc. You get the idea. I decided that I would spend the day going outside of Mexico City and go visit Teotihuacan so that I can get the stressful part of travel out of the way first. Now I need to get downstairs and eat free breakfast that they serve until 10am.

This looks promising.

Carnitas and beans for breakfast!! This is my kind of breakfast. Why have breakfast for breakfast when you can have either lunch or dinner for breakfast!

Excellent, I went for seconds. I decided that this would also be lunch since knowing myself, once I get on the road, I sometimes don’t like to stop and have lunch.

After a hearty early lunch, out the door I go to the bus stop.

Centro in Mexico City is very clean. I would say that it’s cleaner than 6th Street in Austin. It definitely smells better here than Dirty 6th.

VW Jetta with identity crisis.

They even use the top of the trash trucks here.

There is not a very strong coffee culture here. This is the first coffee shop I’ve seen other than the occasional Starbucks. I miss the smell of coffee.

I walked by, and did a double take. I kind of want to buy a harem of these anatomically correct mannequins. Why do we not have these awesome mannequins in the US?

I like the flying baby one.

TACOS AL PASTOR!!!!! AAAHHHHH!!!!! I need to have some later. The smell is so enticing!

Why are you teasing me…

Found the bus stop. It’s located nearby Palacio de Bellas Artes.

And it arrives quickly, all for a very reasonable price of only $4 pesos.

The concierge at the hotel said that it was about 20 minutes ride to the terminal stop, Autobuses del Norte, where I’ll be catching another bus.

Aha! I got a seat. Not long after I sat down, a couple speaking English sat down right next to me. I asked them where they were from, and the girl said she was from Oregon and the guy was from Alberta. They were also headed to Teotihuacan. Almost immediately after our introduction, the guy said that he thinks he may have seen me walking around Centro yesterday. I most definitely do have a distinct “look”.

I’ve arrived at the bus terminal.

Ticket booth for the buses to Teotihuacan.

Our bus arrives. It comes every 15 minutes or so.

As soon as I got on the bus, a guy hands me two markers. WTF? It didn’t take long for me to figure out that he was trying to sell these. He would pass them all out, and then collect them back up, unless you wanted to buy it. People do this all the time, does it ever work?

It’ll be about an hour’s drive to Teotihuacan.

Two musicians climbed on board and started playing and singing. I didn’t give them any tips. I would have if they had brought an accordion player.

Heading out of the city.

The scenery was mostly pretty boring.

Brave chickens walking right next to dogs.

After an uneventful bus ride, we got dropped off in the middle of nowhere.

A five minute walk took us to an unassuming ticket booth where a guy was trying to selling his services as a guide for $500 pesos. No thanks. Just sell me the regular ticket and let me in.

Alright, got my ticket and got in. I read reviews about how there are crowds of people here, but the crowd is actually pretty sparse today.

See, no one around.

The toilets here have no seats. I confirmed with my two new friends, and the girl said that the women’s restroom also had no seats. I don’t get it…

Plus, their soap here is the color of blood. I didn’t use any soap here. Sue me.

This was surprising. There was no bathroom attendant here when I came in, but I guess at other times there is one. I am surprised that no one stole the money just left there unguarded.

A lizard on a giant cactus.

The scales here are massive.

The main reason why everyone’s here, to see the pyramids.

What kind of mortar did they use to glue the stones together?

The stairs are really tall and really steep. I wonder how many people die each year from falling down.

Look, the steps are like over a foot tall each!

The scales are enormous here. I bet that’s at least a mile to the closer pyramid. This road that I am on is called the Avenue of the Dead. I had also decided to break off from my new friends as I was eager to get going and they were taking their time taking everything in.

This guy walking in front of me really likes his grape juice. Maybe I’ll start carrying a gallon of beer around with me…

Proof of life, in front of the Pyramid of the Sun. The weather is actually pretty nice in the high 70s. I could have worn shorts, but there was a nice breeze in the area. Speaking of weather, it’s supposed to be nice and sunny the entire week that I am here.

OK, deep breaths, and start climbing. I actually feel a little bit intimidated.

Made it up the first rung.

The facade of the pyramid had all these stones jutting out.

Someone cried when these got dropped.

No joke, this little section was like 70% grade.

Made it to the top! I would have felt better about myself had some little girls not called out to their grandmother, who also made the climb. I don’t know how she did it, because it’s actually a treacherous climb due to the steep and narrow steps.

Pyramid of the Moon.

Those platforms in the distance is where I entered the complex. That’s a long walk back.

It’s actually quite serene up here.

OK, time to climb back down. I don’t want to die…..

Well, I didn’t fall down and die. I did have one semi close call when there was some loose dirt on one of the steps. After reaching ground level, it was about a 20 minute walk back to the entrance I came in.

I asked the ticket booth where I can get on a return bus, the guy pointed at this bus that had just pulled up. Impeccable timing on my part.

I got on my bus, showed the bus driver my ticket and asked him if he was going back to Mexico City. He said yes then said something else to me in Spanish. I have no idea what he is talking about. Is my ticket no good? He says something else to me again, this time louder and faster. OK, I think he’s trying to tell me that I need to buy a ticket. Where do I buy a ticket? Now he is almost screaming at me and talking faster than I’ve ever talked before in my life. Yeah dude, whenever someone can’t understand me, louder and faster always gets the message across.

I looked at all the other people on the bus with my sad pleading eyes. I searched for a savior amongst all those emotionless eyes. Someone please save me from this embarrassing limelight. Finally, another traveler worked up enough courage to speak up. Apparently, I have to pay the driver again for the return ticket. I thanked my savior and then paid the driver the price of the return ticket.

Tired and sleepy on the bus ride back to Mexico City.

I think I know what this means…Yes, yes I do.

I was unable to get a good photo since I sat on the other side of the bus, but there were mountains of these grey houses seemingly built on a 45 degree incline. I am guessing they are not living here for the view, but rather because the land is cheap and the slope undesirable.

It’s kind of crazy to look at because the roads are really steep .

Stuck in a bit of a traffic jam, but we are getting close back to Mexico City.

That guy has a Chinese yo-yo. How strange to see that here in Mexico City.

What’s up with all these VWs here in Mexico City with identity crises?

Back at the bus terminal. I am pretty tired. Originally, I had planned on seeing Basilica de Guadelupe, but it’s out of the way and I don’t feel like way finding in traffic. I am going to head back towards the hotel, and maybe see something else along the way.

Found the bus stop. I asked the guy standing next to me if this was the bus heading South. He said yes.

Why have a digital sign when you can just write on your windshield with shoe polish.

When I reached in my pocket to take out 4 pesos to paid for the ride, the guy who I had asked about the direction of the bus said that I just need three. He had a five peso coin, and since they don’t give back change, his extra peso would go towards my ticket. As he said that, he handed me the five peso coin to pay for us both. Nice people exist in Mexico City. Everyone I’ve come in contact with here has generally been really friendly and nice. I didn’t know what I was expecting originally, but I’ve definitely been pleasantly surprised. As is always the case, the female sex still treats me nicer in every foreign country that I’ve visited, and Mexico is no exception. Ladies, show me some love.

I’ll be one of the first ones on the bus. This means I get a seat!

I don’t feel like offering my seat to pregnant ladies, elders, or really hot girls so I sat in the back on the sidewalk side so I can see the bus stop names as we arrive.

Within 3 stops, the bus was jam packed to the point that it started refusing new passengers.

Haven’t seen one of these in a long time.

Got off at the Palacio de Bellas Artes bus stop. It’s a bustling place.

Random street side book seller. With such limited shelf space, I wonder why these are the titles that they picked?

There are lots of places with small booths of electronics sellers here.

To be continued at Mexico City Day 2 Part 2.

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