Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Hostal Moneda
Hotel Tuxtlan

Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Saturday, October 8, 2011

It was out of sheer novelty that we opted to stay in the dodgy hotel (let your mind wander... ok, that's far enough! Now reel it back in!). No rationale entered the equation. We should have read the signs. Perhaps the one in neon lights that read "Hotel Dodge" should've made this a non-starter! 

After all, it was in a dodgy street in a dodgy part of town. We suspected that they offer hourly rates to certain clientele (glad we didn't look dodgy enough). Other telltale signs were the reflective windows, mirrors above the beds and on each wall. But, it was gonna be just one night, right? 

Hindsight is a bastard! There's no way a flurry of bed bug bites was worth it! Let alone the ongoing fear that we had started carrying the little buggers! Nasty! A traveller's worst nightmare (well, up there in the top 5 anyway)! They're super-hard to shake.

Our suspicions were based on tell-tale bites neatly munched in a straight line. That's trademark bed-bug stylee! Once again, Dee bore the brunt! By now I'm sure you've realised how irresistibly deeleecious my sweet blood is to all the bloody, bloodsuckers out there! Lets hope vampires don't really exist... If I ever make a cameo appearance in a True Blood episode, I'd probably be a fairy! (If you follow the series, you'll know what I mean). Story of my life!

Our online research led us to believe that this part of Mexico City was the cheapest. They were right! But we forgot to raise one absolutely vital question (note to self!): WHY? Because it's also the dodgest, that's why! Basically we had two choices of accommodation in Mexico City - overpriced or dodgy. 

That meant that after one night of being brutalised by bloody bedbug buggers, we were forced back into a dorm room. Woe is me! We'd been well and truly spoiled. We felt totally suffocated negotiating our way between 3 double-bunks in a single room with a dirty bath and a slippery-wet bathroom floor. Eeeew! The only redeeming aspects of Hostal Moneda was the friendly receptionist and meeting lovely Katherine, an Aussie/Brit who was travelling south.
Our "friendly receptionist" told us which Metro stop (notice the rubber tyres on the pic of underground train) was best to get to the Frida Kahlo museum. She also pointed out that there was a cool, boho market within walking distance in the village of Coyoacan. We love Camden Town, so we figured this market sounded similar and familiar enough for us to enjoy. It didn't disappoint, especially the food market where we had better Chicken Mole and a regional dish called Chiles de Nogada - a stuffed poblano chile with a walnut cream sauce topped with pomegranate seeds and parsley. A confusing rich mix of flavours! 

But we didn't have to venture too far from our hostel to get good food though. Local "tias" (aunties) were cooking up a storm outside their church to raise funds. We forget the name but it was a toasted bun filled with fried meat and potato. A Mexican vetkoek?!

The Frieda Kahlo museum was interesting - to me - mainly because it's based in the house she lived all her life. Her art screamed: "Help! I'm a troubled soul"! Throughout Mario was distracted (and annoyed!) by being asked to remove his hat upon entry. A pointless rule as far as he was concerned. I have to agree. We have too many of those in this world already! His scowl as the pretend "Diego" on the pic was for real!

Another pic shows Manuela and Dee's distressed, pre-piercing faces. A look of anticipation. Mixed feelings. The line between pleasure and pain is so fine. It's often hard to know exactly when you're about to cross that line. You never really know until it's behind you! Suffice to say that tears shot to my eyes the instant the needle made contact. But I took a deep breath! As instructed, I acted the brave little soldier and sucked it up. Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

So I guess our view of Mexico City was soured by our experiences. Did I mention venturing out in a plastic bag in torrential rain? (see pic - M was prepared :) We left the city in a hurry just 2 days after arriving. But bear in mind that this city is one of the 10 biggest in the world. Depending on your source (and method of counting) it could be ranked as high as the second biggest city with more than 22 million people! There's a lot more to it and we just glanced the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure we'll be back on our way down southeast. I suspect we won't have a choice, given its transport connections. 

Next time we'll try a different part of the city and we'll enjoy it... darn it!
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