update (i.e. can’t think of a title)

All right it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but life’s good. Last Sunday was interesting in that it had some pretty big highs and a pretty crappy low (you can take that as literally as you like). After a nice sleep following the long but exciting day at Teotihuacan, I decided to get some exercise by going to the Tlalpan bosque (forest) to do some running and exercises. It takes like 20 minutes to get out there, but it’s well worth it since all the trees and fresher air are a nice respite from the madness that is Mexico City. To get out there I first take a “microbus” and then walk a bit. The public transportation system here in the city really is fantastic. You have a number of options. The fastest is definitely the Metro, which is super cheap and goes all over the city. Then there is the MetroBus, which is a bus system that runs solely in the north-south direction along Avenida Insurgentes basically the entire length of the city. Insurgentes is the longest avenue in the world! There are a lot of longest and biggest things here in Mexico City…yea that’s what she said.

Then you have these buses called “microbuses,” which I haven’t figured out yet. They’re smaller green buses that just run smaller routes in the city, but I really have no idea how to figure out where they go aside from the sign on the front indicating one location where they go. I guess you just figure it out over time. Then there’s the whole taxi system, which I try not to mess around with. The taxis in Mexico City are notorious for crime–probably mainly for foreigners (like me). Basically the guideline for extranjeros (gringos) is not to take street taxis and only to use taxis called sitio taxis that are apparently more secure. I prefer to walk as much as I can, especially alone late at night. I feel a heightened sense of awareness.

Enough with public transportation. It’s just such a better system than where I live in Orlando and Nashville. Very nice not to have to rely on a car (although unfortunately my preferred mode of transportation of bike would essentially be equivalent to suicide in this city heh). After the run (and sadly I don’t think I’m forming RBCs very quickly), the walk back took me through some really cool markets. There was a great farmer’s market with tons of fresh fruit, vegetables, and stands cooking all sorts of Mexican food. One thing that I have really enjoyed in my travels is just walking around and observing the different peoples and cultures. Like Southeast Asia, here in Mexico there are always markets with people buying/selling food, crafts, etc. I often end up buying a lot of stuff just cuz I have no idea what it is and want to experience it, and it’s fun to see how the local people interact in these environments. Food has such a different role in these countries than in the United States. One thing I ended up grabbing was this dessert called the “Pastel Imposible,” which just looked too delicious to pass up. It’s pretty good, but I’m not sure why it’s called impossible (maybe just because there’s absolutely no way I can finish it!).



the sign says auriculotherapy, and Im very interested to learn what kinds of diseases can be cured through the orifice that is the ear

the sign says "auriculotherapy," and I'm very interested to learn what kinds of diseases can be cured through the orifice that is the ear

After the farmer’s market, I headed over to the downtown (centro) of Tlalpan, which is always buzzing with activity over the weekends. There were tons of stands as usual, but this week there seemed to be an abundance of stands offering alternative medicine type stuff. All sorts of weird herbal remedies and such, even this weird type of massage machine. Not sure what to think about all this stuff–the ridiculously high rates of late HIV testing that I observe with my research project make me think that there’s not a whole lot of faith in the traditional medical system here, but I can’t really back that statement up so take with that what you will. After walking around asking for all sorts of food samples (puedo probar?), I settled on this Oaxacan restaurant set up under a very large tent. Being adventurous, I just asked the server to recommend something, and this is what I got.

No idea what it is, but yum

No idea what it is, but it was almost the size of the table and yummy

Did some serious damage to this dish, but it got the better of me later heh...ugh

Did some serious damage to this dish, but it got the better of me later...heh...ugh

It was amazingly delicious. Definitely not something I would normally order, but it was great (tho it may or may not have contributed to something that I experienced during the next 24 hrs ugh…) The cool thing about Mexico City is you get people from all the different regions of Mexico, and they bring all their different styles of food as well. Endless culinary adventure!

Lucha Libre...think about that weird Jack Black movie nobody saw but fo real

Lucha Libre...think about that weird Jack Black movie nobody saw but fo real

Later that night I got to experience Lucha Libre with one of the ID fellows. Lucha Libre is the equivalent of American wrestling, and it was, well, interesting. I coulnd’t take my camera in, but it’s basically what you would imagine with wrestling–except a lot of the luchadores wear masks. Basically they have luchas with 3 “rudos” versus 3 “técnicos”. The rudos are the bigger, more muscular fighters that fight dirty, and the técnicos are the smaller but extremely agile guys who really do some amazingly athletic maneuvers. I wasn’t a big fan of the rudos, so it ticked me off when they won (yea it’s fixed, but there’s some improvisation too). Lucha Libre is a phenomenon in Mexico. Entire familes come to watch the luchas, and these guys are the idols of the little kids. You’ll even see all these old grandmas who probably go to mass every day standing up and heckling/cursing at the luchadores. It’s bizarre. Definitely a unique experience that I probably won’t be frequenting too often haha. Here’s a quick clip of this guy Mistico who I saw–he’s pretty ridiculous.

All right before I sign off, I want to emphasize one thing about the food here–partake at your own risk haha. The night after the luchas and the next day of work were pretty rough haha. I have some suspicions of the culprits. First thing, if you ever have the opportunity to drink pulque, be careful. The two locals from Mexico I was with didn’t even touch the stuff , so that should have been a pretty clear sign heh (I remember them alluding to GI issues that can result and some really sketchy rumors about how they facilitate the fermentation process that I don’t want to repeat). That or the barbacoa with flies, or today’s gut-bomb. I don’t know what it was, but yea it wasn’t much fun ugh. However, I do believe that it is an obligatory part of this Mexican adventure haha.

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One Comment on “update (i.e. can’t think of a title)”

  1. Vchau Says:

    I can’t believe you saw nacho libre in real life. hahaha, that’s crazy talk. I happen to think that movie is pretty hilarious. I particularly like this caption “but it got the better of me later…heh…ugh”. Good job with continuing the TMI bits. Glad you are indulging in foods without listening to the better judgment. Be careful.

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