Friday, 31 August 2007

Thrills, spills and anthropology

After the cosmopolitan charms of Oaxaca, we got a bit of a rude awakening in Mexico City.

Arriving on Monday night, we started off badly by staying in the shit Hostal Moneda (don´t go!), which we were told would cost 290 pesos when we booked, but which suddenly became 390 pesos when we arrived at 7pm. $10 might not sound like much to you, but we are jobless paupers now :-(

We should have gone elsewhere, but we caved in to the benefits of free internet, breakfast and supper (not good), and ended up in a cockroach infested room, which Debs wasn´t very happy about at all.

So we got up super early on Tuesday morning and immediately moved to the much more comfortable Hotel Isabel - a great colonial style hotel with cable TV and a safe in the room, so we were well and truly living it up after that. Also, it was cheaper. Result! Then the fun really began.

1st adventure: Head west! To Chapultepec Park for the National Museum of Anthropology. A marathon trawl through the entire history of Mexican civilization, featuring loads of cool little trinkets and massive sculptures. Truly impressive. Debs went nuts with the camera:

We headed back through the park and were delighted by tame squirrels begging for our dried chickpeas with chilli sauce (finger-stainingly good), but disappointed that the Hall of Mirrors was closed, apparently for no reason. And then...

2nd adventure: It´s a crime! I got totally rolled in the Metro at Pino Suarez. 3 or 4 youths crowded me from all sides as we were getting on, and I couldn´t push my way past them. It all happened very fast, and I couldn´t quite watch/guard all my pockets, but thankfully, our super special and top secret security precautions protected my stuff with flying colours, and by the time Debs came to my rescue and pulled me free of the mob, all they had managed to do was half nick my sunglasses, which they then dropped on the floor as they legged it. Quite good!

For our 3rd and final adventure of the day (this is pretty good going for a Tuesday) we went to the best "sporting" event ever: Lucha Libre at Arena Coliseo. It´s wrestling, Jim, but not as we know it. Two teams of masked opponents "fight" to the finish, apparently disregarding any rules that may or may not be there in the first place. There were also 2 referees in the ring who spent most of their time hanging around just watching the show. It was hilarious! We especially enjoyed the bit when the 3 good guys all synchro-dived through the ropes to smash into their heavy metal bad guy adversaries. Take that! All sorts of controversy and amusement ensued, culminating in 2 fighters being stretchered off, and "Blue Panther" being unmasked - OMFG!

There were some other good names kicking ass out there on the canvas that evening, including Dr. X, Tony, Bucanero, Vaquero, Koslov and the incomparable Ugugu. Oh, also this one dude apparently dressed as the Sugar Plum Fairy, I kid you not. He riled his bad guy rivals by blowing kisses at them. Maybe that was what led to his being stretchered off later...

Super amusing. We shouted ourselves hoarse, but have no pictures cos they wouldn´t let us take the camera in :-(

If only we´d been to this before those proto-crims tried to rob me on the Metro - I would have used some wicked moves and totally kicked their sorry asses, Mexican style.

And that was just 1 day in Mexico City, Dios mio!


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