28 Nov Mexico City, not so dangerous
As I write this I am sitting in Fortworth/Dallas Airport, in my Khaki “posh clothes”, and after a few days here I am most assuredly pining for Mexico, yeah the food here is great (even if the giant rack of ribs I ate last night caused 3 am toilet runs), and it still feels like living in a movie, the magnificence that is Mexico has taken some of the shine off of Texas. That and arriving on Sunday, heading straight into downtown Dallas, and finding it deserted aside form large quantities of hobos, all of whom requested a smoke or change every time I left the hotel, which has done wonders in helping me cut down (on smoking and on going outdoors).
Last time we were here we stayed in Fortworth, this time we stayed in downtown Dallas, if you come here, don’t. I have never seen a city so void of life in all my travels, as I said, the only people around seemed to be us, and homeless people. I felt more comfortable walking around a place everyone says is dangerous (Mexico City) than I did heading out in this empty, dead city of stone and glass, but the ribs were good.
So we have moved on from Mexico, as much as we would love to stay, we both have commitments. I am going to see my mum and sister in London, and Sarah has the charity thing to do in India, after that, we will see.
Mexico, or future home
I have never been more reluctant to leave a place than I was with Mexico. It is without a doubt, my favorite place I have ever been. There is something about it, it has everything you could want and need, and all for a great deal cheaper than most places in the world. Sure Thailand, Cambodia and laos are cheaper, but Mexico has a certain something they don’t. I could not live in Thailand, by the end of our time there we were ready to leave. The same for the rest of Asia. I had a great time in these places, but really, only as a holiday destination.
Mexico on the other hand, I could see myself one day calling home.
Our last days in Mexico were spent in the city, at first I was a wee bit nervous about going there, most things I read warned about how dangerous it was, and most people I spoke to said the same thing, “don’t carry valuables, keep your eyes open”, etc etc. With all this negativity, it is no wonder we were so on our guard. I had my hands in my pockets, guarding my valuables for 4 solid days. As it turns out though, Mexico city was fabulous! I was so glad we were able to find a cheap, but safe hotel on Expedia last minute. The streets seemed fine, the people friendly, and no one really paid us much mind. I am sure some areas are dodgier than others, but that is the same anywhere in the world.
Our hotel was ok (The barefoot inn), and in a really nice part of the city (Condesa), quite posh actually, the local restaurants had some great meals, and we felt pretty safe walking around in the evening looking for some nosh.
We went out to the historical district and perused the old buildings and some amazing churches, we had a great meal at a little local hole in the wall, we went to a department store to pee and were greeted with a great view from the upper levels. Then taking it to the next level, went up to the 42nd floor of the latino american building and were treated to amazing views of the city, it is huge, like the most built up parts of most cities, but spread across a vast distance, I suppose you have to put the 20 million odd Mexican city dwellers somewhere.
Feeling comfortable with our surrounds after a few days here, we booked ourselves tickets to the Lucha Libre (mexican wrestling), and headed out to another part of town in the evening. The wrestling was incredible, big guys in masks doing incredible acrobatics around the ring. You have to see it to believe it, they use the ropes for their amazing displays, jumping with no hands from bottom to top rope before doing a double somersault, landing on their opponents back, swinging around their necks and throwing them to the floor, amazing. Their agility and accuracy is scary, a few times one guy would run to the edge of the ring, and dive through the ropes straight as an arrow, slamming into the dude outside the ring with his shoulder, arms pinned to his side, and land on his feet…you what!
The wrestling was cool, badly choreographed skimpy girls and all. We left the stadium at about eleven thirty at night, walked to the trains and caught the subway back to our area, then walked the ten minutes to our hostel, never once did I feel like I was in danger. It’s funny how strongly opinions can influence your feelings of a place, I am just glad we managed to make up our own minds and enjoy this awesome city.
Toluca Airport, and goodbye
Our last night in the hotel was a bit disappointing. someone had decided to have a party on the roof, and the walls are paper thin. The party went on until 5am, which meant no sleep until 5am, painful because we had a flight out of Mexico at 3am the following morning. We planned to head out to Toluca airport (we saved a hundred dollars each on a flight out from Toluca rather than the city), so had decided not to sleep and just go the airport in the evening and wait out the time there. Luckily when I let the guy know of our issues, and suggested he let us stay late to make up for the bad nights sleep, he agreed and let us stay in our room through till the evening. This actually worked out better as we could have an afternoon nap and weren’t so tired waiting the seven hours for our flight (which thanks to free wifi was easy as).
*For anyone wanting to travel to Toluca Airport, get to Observatorio station, cross the road, walk into the bus station and get a ticket to the airport, really easy, and not the horrifyingly dangerous expedition you might have read it was (I mention this here because of how hard it was to find out how to get to the airport).
I am really sad to be leaving Mexico behind, but know I will be back, there is no place in the world I would rather spend time chilling out in than this. A big statement, but for me, undoubtedly true. If you get the chance go, go.
Only another four hours left until our flight back to Australia, thank you baby Mexican Jesus for series 3 of “True Blood”.