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So this weekend wasn’t quite as exciting as some of the previous ones, but it was still pretty good. Got good sleep, caught up on the Tour de France, and did have a couple decent adventures. I’ve actually been working hard lately, which is something that I’ve never discussed in this blog heh. The project I initially worked on ended up being largely complete when I got here, so I ended up spending the first 2 weeks or so helping finish it up. Then I kinda had no project to work on for a week and just observed some of the infectious disease residents for a few days until they came up with another project for me to work on. The project involves comparing the outcomes of the HIV patients at the clinic who are enrolled in clinical trial protocols versus those who are just normal clinic patients. The idea is that the protocol patients receive free drugs and appointments and are forced to show up, whereas none of those are true for the normal clinic patients. We’ll see if there is actually a difference, but only after I review like 225 paper clinical charts in the hospital archive (yippee!). So that’s what the last 3 weeks of my life have been–all day in the clinical archive trying to decipher information from these charts. Sometimes it’s complicated, sometimes the info just isn’t there, and sometimes it’s really, really mindless. Thank you podcasts, you are a lifesaver. If you’re looking for recommendations, the NPR podcasts are great. I really want to plug this podcast called “The Dirtbag Diaries” (hey don’t judge a book by its cover!). If you like the outdoors, adventure, travel, extreme sports, etc., you’ll love this podcast. It’s just people telling their stories, and they’re very exciting. Very fun to listen to and live vicariously through them. Check it out!

I also listened to this book called Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. It was really interesting, and I would highly recommend it. I’ve always been skeptical of running due to the seeming inevitability of joint destruction if one is a runner, so I was particularly intrigued by one of the premises of the book that running shoes are largely to blame for this phenomenon. Basically the book really promotes running barefoot to become a stronger runner and avoid injuries, which was understandably pretty bizarre at the beginning. However, the author makes a really good case for it, and after some internet research it actually doesn’t seem that crazy. It’s a good fast read, and there’s a lot more than just pushing barefoot running. Lots of stories on ultramarathons and this incredibly isolated tribe in the mountains of Mexico that are some of the greatest long distance runners ever. Pretty cool. If anything this book made me undertand why in the world somebody would want to wear these hideous things. They’re called Vibram FiveFingers “shoes.”

vibram_fivefingersYes, podcasts and audiobooks are the only things keeping me sane during chart review.

Back to Mexico. On Saturday I slept in, caught up on the drama of Lance vs. Contador in the tour, and then checked out a couple places in the city. I headed back to the Bazaar Sábado market, which was even more lively later in the day. It was pretty much the same with more stuff, but I snapped a photo of this brilliant piece of artwork.

and zooming in...

and zooming in...

its in spanish, but i think you can figure it out

it's in spanish, but i think you can figure it out

Next I checked out the Polanco neighborhood, which is the upscale area where all the shoppers go. It was pretty much what I expected–fancy, expensive…not for me. It didn’t take long for me to hop back on the MetroBus and head home. There was a nice park, however, with a beautiful statue.

MLK...kinda random

MLK...kinda random

On my way back home I finally took a picture of a sign that I’ve been meaning to capture since the first week I was here.

heh..everyone should get this

heh...very funny

Yeah, I know, Saturday wasn’t that exciting. Sunday was pretty cool though. I’ll let the picture captions tell the story.

so last night i decided i was gonna go check out this little town called Tepoztlán about an hour southeast of the city by bus, and it worked out pretty well. hopped a microbus to the station, bought a ticket for the 8 am departure at 7:55, got redirected to 3 different departure doors, and somehow got on in time. of course, i was a little confused when i looked at the ticket of the person sitting next to me who had a different destination. fortunately i was right in thinking that the bus just made a few stops along the way and Tepoztlán was one of them. unfortunately i didnt realize that they dont actually go directly to the town. you have to get off at the toll booth where the town is, which i figured out when there was a fork in the road with one direction pointing to Tepoztlán and my bus going the other way...hmm...well i just got off at the next stop and hopped on another bus going the other direction and it worked out great...anyways the drive had some more fantastic views of this beautiful country

so last night i decided i was gonna go check out this little town called Tepoztlán about an hour southeast of the city by bus, and it worked out pretty well. hopped a microbus to the station, bought a ticket for the 8 am departure at 7:55, got redirected to 3 different departure doors, and somehow got on in time. of course, i was a little confused when i looked at the ticket of the person sitting next to me who had a different destination. fortunately i was right in thinking that the bus just made a few stops along the way and Tepoztlán was one of them. unfortunately i didn't realize that they don't actually go directly to the town. you have to get off at the toll booth where the town is, which i figured out when there was a fork in the road with one direction pointing to Tepoztlán and my bus going the other way...hmm...well i just got off at the next stop and hopped on another bus going the other direction and it worked out great...anyways the drive had some more fantastic views of this beautiful country

a benefit of overshooting my destination

a benefit of overshooting my destination

there isnt a whole lot to do in Tepoztlán, but the main attraction is the pyramid at the top of the mountain overlooking the city. See the mountain in the background? Basically you just follow the main road out of town. However, its a pretty rugged hike to get up there...think stairmaster except much prettier than watching the news or reading some crappy magazine at a gym

there isn't a whole lot to do in Tepoztlán, but the main attraction is the pyramid at the top of the mountain overlooking the city. See the mountain in the background? Basically you just follow the main road out of town. However, it's a pretty rugged hike to get up there...think stairmaster except much prettier than watching the news or reading some crappy magazine at a gym

somewhere beneath the graffiti this sign indicates that theres 400 meters of climbing (aka 1312 ft)...i randomly came across a website that said Its like ascending to the observation platform of the Empire State Building in the stairwell, except the Empire State Building isnt as high and the steps arent as treacherous....the hike was like 1.2 mi with 1312 ft of climbing, and by my calculation thats about 20% grade...if youre watching the tour de france right now, im gonna say that classifies as an hors catégorie (HC) climb and i finished the day wearing the polka dot jersey...wow sorry if you read this entire comment haha

somewhere beneath the graffiti this sign indicates that there's 400 meters of climbing (aka 1312 ft)...i randomly came across a website that said "It's like ascending to the observation platform of the Empire State Building in the stairwell, except the Empire State Building isn't as high and the steps aren't as treacherous."...the hike was like 1.2 mi with 1312 ft of climbing, and by my calculation that's about 20% grade...if you're watching the tour de france right now, i'm gonna say that classifies as an hors catégorie (HC) climb and i finished the day wearing the polka dot jersey...wow sorry if you read this entire comment haha

very pretty climb up!

very pretty climb up!

i thought this looked like an eagle or something..am i crazy or does that look like a beak? all right i guess im crazy

i thought this looked like an eagle or something..am i crazy or does that look like a beak? all right i guess i'm crazy

steep!

steep!

made it! the pyramid really isnt that impressive, but the views from up here are ridiculous

made it! the pyramid really isn't that impressive, but the views from up here are ridiculous

that little town down there is where the hike started

that little town down there is where the hike started

not sure if you can see the church, but thats the other tourist attraction of Tepoztlán

not sure if you can see the church, but that's the other tourist attraction of Tepoztlán

cool clouds

cool clouds

the summit also had some interesting fauna...some type of raccoon-like creatures that realy like to eat

the summit also had some interesting fauna...some type of raccoon-like creatures that realy like to eat

crazy tree reminded me of some Angkor temples in Cambodia...these guys thought it was pretty weird that i was taking a picture of them

crazy tree reminded me of some Angkor temples in Cambodia...these guys thought it was pretty weird that i was taking a picture of them

there was a great market in town....there was this one post that had a bunch of different types of nuts, and the locals were just grabbing nuts and sampling them while waiting to receive their order...being me, i just sampled a bunch and walked away..very classy

there was a great market in town....there was this one post that had a bunch of different types of nuts, and the locals were just grabbing nuts and sampling them while waiting to receive their order...being me, i just sampled a bunch and walked away..very classy

would be prettier with some photoshop

would be prettier with some photoshop

church

church

while i was looking at that photo, i noticed there was a dog in it, and it was wearing a black studded leather jacket...odd

while i was looking at that photo, i noticed there was a dog in it, and it was wearing a black studded leather jacket...odd

inside the church

inside the church

being a scientific type of person, i had spent some time trying to isolate the cause of the GI issues that I had a number of weeks ago. however, i ate/drank way too many sketchy things to identify a direct cause. so thats why when i saw this pulqueria i knew i had to give it a try. if i get sick again, bingo--pulque it is! if not, well that really doesnt prove anything cuz some pulque brews are much sketchier than others (and I feel like my first tasting was of that type unfortunately)..well i had some sangria-flavored pulque, and it was delicious! and 30 hours later...feeling good!

being a scientific type of person, i had spent some time trying to isolate the cause of the GI issues that I had a number of weeks ago. however, i ate/drank way too many sketchy things to identify a direct cause. so that's why when i saw this pulqueria i knew i had to give it a try. if i get sick again, bingo--pulque it is! if not, well that really doesn't prove anything cuz some pulque brews are much sketchier than others (and I feel like my first tasting was of that type unfortunately)..well i had some sangria-flavored pulque, and it was delicious! and 30 hours later...feeling good!

All right, that’s it. Lots of pictures and sorry for guzzling your bandwidth. Back to the clinical archives!

Nate

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