Fútbol, pharma, (couch)surfing, pyramids…

Pretty fun past few days here in Mexico City. On Wednesday after a truly exhilarating morning spent in the clinical archives pulling data from old patient charts, I joined the ID fellows and a few med students for lunch. Initially I thought we were just going somewhere near the hospital, but we ended up taking a taxi to a restaurant not terribly far away (actually probably could have walked faster than the taxi–traffic here is pretty slow). It ended up being a really nice restaurant, and everyone had appetizers, soup, main course, dessert, coffee, etc. It was pretty fantastic. However, there was one nice woman there that I did not recognize. I felt like we weren’t going to have to pay for this meal, and the only reason I could think of was that she was a patient or something expressing appreciation and taking the department out to lunch. Of course, that made no sense since basically all the HIV patients that come to the clinic are of very low socioeconomic status. Then before everybody left the woman pulled out some pamphlets with scientific research articles, and then it all made perfect sense. Good old pharma–wining and dining for antiretroviral drugs. Whoops…sorry Vanderbilt, Dean Rodgers, and my PPS small group haha. Well the food was pretty amazing. For those not from Vanderbilt, the medical center is very explicit in not allowing any type of gift from pharmaceutical companies. Fortunately after talking to some of the fellows, it doesn’t seem like this is a very common occurrence.

Later that day I had another very fortunate opportunity to be able to go to the World Cup qualifying game between Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago. I was unlucky to come during the summer since the soccer league in Mexico just finished, but at least I was able to catch one of the national team games in the Estadio Azteca really close to my house here. It was spectacular! Granted, the players looked like ants from where Luis and I were sitting, but you could still follow the game really well. The main reason I went was to experience the crowd–the Mexican people have so much passion for their country’s fútbol team. There’s basically a constant din in the stadium with the non-stop cheering and/or heckling. Mexico ended up winning 2-1, which was good. Here are some pics inside and outside of the stadium. It’s a really cool place with great views of the mountains surrounding city and, just like the rest of the city, people everywhere.

Estadio Azteca

Estadio Azteca

Just before the game starts

Just before the game starts

From the inside

From the inside

Thursday night was pretty cool as well. I met up with a bunch of people from the CouchSurfing community here in Mexico City. CouchSurfing is a website that connects travelers around the world to people who are willing to offer them a place to stay whether it be a room or, you guessed it, a couch. It’s a great idea, and I’ve been a site member for a long time but actually never surfed on anyone’s couch before (though I intend to). It was a good opportunity to meet people here in the city, both locals and travelers, and a good way to improve my Spanish (and practice my English too for a change haha). It was a good time. Kind of a hike though since Tlalpan, where I live, is pretty far from the central part of the city where most of the activity is. So I ended up not getting off the MetroBus until nearly midnight, waiting for the microbuses that apparently quit running, and ended up walking the rest of the way home. Kinda sketchy walking alone at midnight in Mexico City, but I made it home safe and sound with no issues. Probably will take a taxi next time tho haha (but ya gotta be careful about which taxi you choose here…tho really it’s not as bad as the rumors are).

Not much to speak of about Friday. Went running in the park in the afternoon, which was pretty difficult actually–probably a combination of the altitude and not getting enough sleep. Also went to a great taqueria that night with Luis, although the street the restaurant was on basically had no power–apparently there are electricity issues in this city when it rains. The traffic lights were also out on one of the biggest roads in the city, but to be honest I don’t think that really has any impact on the way people drive here heh.

Saturday  was spent going to check out the pyramids of Teotihuacan, which are pretty amazing. Teotihuacan is an enormous archaeological site in the Basin of Mexico, containing some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the pre-Columbian Americas (thank you wikipedia). Teotihuacan was at its zenith during the first half of the first millenium, so it’s kinda old. It was a really fun day checking out the pyramids with three people I met from the CouchSurfing get-together the other night–Miguel, Brenda, and Daniel. Took a while to get out there since we had to keep asking random people for directions (and they usually weren’t very good ha), but it was well worth it. Check out some pics.

The crew at the entrance. Pyramid of the Sun in the background.

The crew at the entrance. Pyramid of the Sun in the background.

Pyramid of the Sun

Pyramid of the Sun

Steep! I need some EPO stat!

Steep! I need some EPO stat!

View from the top

View from the top

Yo with the Pyramid of the Moon in the background

Yo with the Pyramid of the Moon in the background

For some reason we started taking pictures of ourselves jumping off stuff at the top. No idea why but it was fun. Heres Daniel getting some mad air.

For some reason we started taking pictures of ourselves jumping off stuff at the top. No idea why but it was fun. Here's Daniel getting some mad air.

My turn

My turn

Pyramid of the Moon

Pyramid of the Moon

Avenue of the Dead

Avenue of the Dead

Smaller pyramids

Smaller pyramids

More pics with captions here. Fun day. Plus at the end of the day we were swarmed by people begging for us to come to their restaurants–I have a video and it was pretty wild. Basically couldn’t move the car haha. We ended up going to one of the places, and I got to try some pulque, which is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of the maguey, which is a type of agave. A traditional native beverage of Mesoamerica. Pretty disgusting stuff! Though it got a lot better when they mixed in some type of fruit and a little sugar. The agave is a pretty alcoholically prolific fruit! Tequila, mezcal, pulque–what’s next? In addition, for lunch we went to a little barbacoa stand in a local market nearby. It’s always very reassuring to see flies flying around the food as you’re ordering it haha. Well I haven’t gotten sick yet. When in Rome…(except if you go to this proverbial Rome place and don’t have the normal flora endemic to the gut of a Roman, well there can be some problems). Oh and on that note, the food here is generally pretty darn good, but occasionally you’ll get something that’s pretty much, well, disgusting. There are a lot of torta stands here in the city, and a torta is basically a sandwich filled with all sorts of stuff. Here is a picture of a torta that for some reason I ordered the other day. New rule, if there are like 8 ingredients in a sandwich and you only know what 2 of the words mean, may or may not be a good idea to order it (this was the latter haha). It’s hard to gauge the size of this sandwich from the picture, but it was a monster–stuffed with all sorts of stuff like eggs, pork, ham, like 3 hot dogs cut up, 4 types of cheeses, more stuff I have no idea. Pretty sure it belongs on this classic website.

Yum?

Yum?

Hope you all are doing well! Oh and remind me to tell you some stories about Mexican drivers some time. It’s interesting. More soon,

Nate

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One Comment on “Fútbol, pharma, (couch)surfing, pyramids…”

  1. hbrianne Says:

    Next time you order something ridiculously huge, take a picture of it with something we all know the size of (oh boy, so many jokes there!).

    I love the obligatory jumping shots!


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