Back to Mexico

Trip Start Jun 11, 2005
Trip End Sep 01, 2005

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Thursday, July 28, 2005

I'm back on the road. So...if any of you ever have 30 hours to kill, and feel like...I don't know...sitting still - then the bus ride from San Miguel to El Paso might be for you. Me? It's not really my thing. But it wasn't horrible. The bus was nice and had AC and movies. Horrible movies, but movies nonetheless. And I learned something really cool about long distance buses. Obviously the same guy can't drive the whole trip, at least not without expensive doses of cocaine and amphetamines. So to keep costs low, they use two drivers. But here's the cool part. While one guy is driving, the other guy gets to sleep. Under the bus. In a little room next to the luggage compartment. It's just a bed. With a vent in the door so he won't asphyxiate. Although the bus fumes can't be good for him. Where does he pee? No clue. But we stop every 5 hours or so. That's plenty.

The drivers were pretty good too. Except at one point I woke up at about 3 a.m. because we were swerving a bit. I looked down the isle and I can only assume the driver had dropped his beer or syringe, because he was only half visible under the steering wheel. I think the item must have lodged under the brake because we were going extremely fast considering no one was directing our giant bus. When the driver finally resurfaced from under the dashboard he seemed as surprised as I was that we were still on the road. The rest of the trip passed without incident. Except that our bus from Juarez to El Paso left several people at the border. I can only assume they're being questioned at Guantanamo Bay. I hear it's like day camp.

El Paso was what it was. I won't get into it. But I ate Chico's four times in four days.

The bus ride back was much better because I had no one next to me for most of the ride. It really flew by. Well, as much as 26 hours can fly by.

I splurged on a cab to my hostel because it was rush hour and the metro is nuts. So it would have been rough with my packs. The cab driver was interesting. He asked me what I was doing in Mexico. I told him I just finished my Spanish classes so I could graduate. He asked me what I studied. I said Anthropology. He asked if I was a spy. I said..."What?" He responded with, "You know, the FBI, the CIA." I was familiar with the institutions, I just didn't know how the hell he went from Anthro to spy. But he solved this by then telling me a lengthy story about how the ex ex ex ex-Mexican Army is more dangerous than Bin Laden and is planning on blowing up Houston. He explained this by making the big KABOOM! sound and mimicking a large mushroom cloud with his hands. I reached up from the back seat and took the wheel for a minute while he finished his story. He also wasn't very familiar with Mexico City. My hostel is right next to the Zocalo, the most famous area in the city, but he had to use my map in the guide book to find our way. He didn't quickly glance at it. He kept it until we arrived at my hostel. He was nice. We may have coffee later.

Mexico City is great. It's extremely accessible and they're are a lot of great museums. The metro is fantastic and costs 20 cents. Yesterday I went to a few art museums and to the Anthropology Museum. The Anthro Museum is huge and amazing. It's put together really well.

The Diego Rivera museums are cool. It's not really my style, but I like the message and the power of his work. I really like the recreation of the Rockefeller mural. Here's the story: Rockefeller commissioned Rivera to paint a mural depicting "Man at Crossroads, Looking with Hope and High Vision to the Choosing of a New and Better Future" for the Rockefeller Center in N.Y. Rivera was dismissed when Rockefeller saw that he had included the Soviet flag and a portrait of Lenin in the foreground. Then the mural was destroyed. So Rivera recreated it in Mexico City. And he added a degrading picture of Rockefeller. The painting is definitely of man at a crossroads. It's amazing.

And I just love the streets of Mexico. All the sidewalk vendors, all the bootlegged movies and CDs. You can by movies on DVD before they hit theaters. And there's awesome food everywhere. I had gorditas yesterday that were phenomenal and so hot that I wept a little. And they sell pancakes on the street. Not those sissy crepe things. Big, fat, fluffy pancakes. I haven't eaten any because the guy flips them with what looks to be an old shoe, but they smell lovely.

And I went to see Sin City at the theater last night. It was rated "C" whatever that means. I don't think the Mexicans knew either, because several of them walked out in the middle of the movie. And the uber Catholics all took a collective, disgusted breath when all the blasphemy about the killing the bishop came out. The rape, the pedophilia, the cannibalism - nothing. But the murder of the bishop was atrocious. What does that mean? No idea.

And did you know European playing cards don't have an Ace. They have a 1. Odd. But it makes since. What can be higher than a King? Not a damn thing.

I'm hanging out in DF the rest of the day, then taking a night bus to Chiapas. I just can't sleep well in a bed. So it's another 16 hour bus ride for me. I'll post from there.
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kaylabryson33 on

dane's funny
you're freakin hilarious dude. but not as hilarious as the sleeping compartment on the bus. dig it.

linzstoker on

i keep telling you!
Dane, these pictures were amazing. You somehow take something that looks simple enough in and of itself and make it look spectacular. I don't know how you do it. I loved your black and whites, the Jesus face, and the perspective you took many of them from. You really do have a special eye. And funny comments, too...quite the entertainer. The Santa Claus post office one was my favorite.

dane on

Re: European playing cards
A clarification. The guy I was playing cards with was from Holland. He told me cards were like that in all of Europe. Cornelia lives in Sweden. So I don't know what countries have what cards. I'll remove my generalization and just say Dutch cards. Everyone wins.

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