Maniacal Mexico City - Noise, Noise, More Noise!

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Tuesday, February 22, 2005

When our hostel airport pickup driver dropped us at the Zocola (Central Square) and showed us the street we needed to walk down to our hostel our senses were reeling. We had spent all night on planes and in airports (Honolulu to Dallas Fort Worth then to Mexico City) and both had the beginnings of the flu and then we were hit by a wall of noisy, colourful, seething humanity. Drums, music, shouting, spruiking and laughing all at once. Our hostel and in particular our room was right above it all. Mexico City is not a place to expect a quiet night of sleep or a daytime siesta. From about 9.00am onwards our street could not be used by traffic as the street vendors and people walking through just take up all the space.

History is apparent everywhere. Excavated Aztec temples can be seen right in the city and when the Spaniards came in 1519 they built amazing Cathedrals,Palaces, government offices and haciendas, still all in use. Many of these have sunk (like the leaning tower of Pisa) and the skyline always looks a little skew wiff even when you are sober. Our time here has been spent exploring and admiring the Centro Historic district where most of the 400 year old plus buildings are.

A real highlight was to take a day trip out to Teotihuacan which has some of the most remarkable relics of ancient civilization. It is the remains of a mystery civilization (before the Aztecs - possibly 300 BC) who built massive pyramids. The city housed 250,000 people. The pyramid of the Sun is the third largest in the world. Although both suffering from severe flu, we managed to climb the smaller pyramid of the Moon and to walk the 3 kilometres through the avenue of the dead and visit most of the archaeological sites.

English is not spoken here at all. We are more at sea language-wise than we have ever been in our travels before. We have a Spanish/English phrase book which helps a little. Even the key boards for the computers for the Internet are all Spanish and we have to remember where various things are in windows by memory! We get by with acting out what we want, pointing, and sometimes writing down from our phrase book. We even had to buy a ticket for a bus to Acapulco without an interpreter and achieved it OK!

On our last afternoon in Mexico City we went to the bullfight. The ring is the largest in the world and only the best Matadors in the world compete. It was an amazing spectacle of colour, music and of course brutality. In one fight, right at the end, the Matador was gored when he thought the bull was dead. The Matador was hurriedly stretchered off and appeared to be in real strife, but we never learned his fate. The bull however was unceremoniesly killed by a second Matador!.
The crowd call of ol'e echoes through the stadium as the matador swings his cape and when it is over, if the crowd is pleased with the matador, they throw their hats in the ring (maybe that is where the phrase came from?). The matador then picks up each one and throws it back to the owner as he does a triumphant circle of the stadium.

To sum up Mexico City is a difficult task but the words lively, colourful, noisy, bawdy, gaudy, vibrant,and cultured all come to mind. Such a fascinating place. And so on to Acapulco.......

Footnote: The Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan is UNESCO World Heritage listed.
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