Mexico City: the arrival: Vodka et al

Trip Start Mar 17, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Well here we are: Mexico City: I still cannot believe it!

Dr T wants me to fill you in about the vodka on departure in London first. He should write his own stories: he is very funny but a shameless liar! So you probably know about the newest safety rule on planes: no liquids bigger then 25cc: forget your toothpaste or day cream or water. This is especially nice if they also manage to lose your luggage and you have NOTHING. But that is not the point.

Greta and Ann gave us 6 mini bottles of Absolute Vodka before we left (the same you gave us once, SM and Michi, remember?), content 15ml. We put them all in a sealed plastic bag, all according to the rules and took them in our hand luggage. You have to show them at security and there was my bag: with 90cl Vodka in, while other people had deodorant or medicines. Security and our fellow traveler were surprised: they had not seen that yet. But: we had nice Vodka all the way to Orlando.

Flying to Mexico City, we decided to be good: I know, I know, unlike us but we behaved. For once Dr T was worried: we only had 50 minutes between our connecting flights, would we make it and if so with our luggage. Our stop over was Houston and I was the one did not worry this time (do I get into the right mood?). I was looking forward to say: Houston, we have a problem (I always wanted to say that), should we miss our flight.  But, no: very smoothly, we catch our 2 planes and, oh wonder, the only free seat in the plane is next to me. So 3 seats for us and I have place and can get out, whenever I want, till ... Dr T changes his aisle seat for the window seat and less than 5 minutes later a dude asks, someone sits here and sits down without waiting for the answer. There is a strong Gin smell. (Do you feel him coming, Broekske? No, it was not so bad as your experience). Within 10 minutes he took over 'all' the joined space you have AND at least 1/5 of my space, like men do. No, really guys, you do!!!! I am cranky, being squeezed and completely crooked, leaning onto my boyfriend. Aha, an idea, when I go to the bathroom, I ask  Dr T to tell the man, I will take my own seat back and he can have to empty seat, at the window. Now it is his turn to be cranky and walks back to his old place.

We land in Mexico City at 17h, withdraw some money and walk to the official taxi stand to get a cab. We bought a Mexico book and that told us exactly how to get a safe taxi. Mexico City is indeed a dangerous place. It is located at 2239m height, the 3rd largest city in the world, the most populated (22 million) and has 350 neighborhoods. Still the author of the book calls it 'manageable' ... . A couple of years ago, for its 675 anniversary, millions were spent at restoration.   

The sun is still up when we drive through the city and my eyes almost roll out of my head and my chin in sinking to my chest.  My hubby is cheerfully chatting but I am speechless. Where is the restoration? The buildings are empty, without windows and the whole picture breads poverty. I regret so much not polishing my Spanish a bit: this will not be easy. The words of the song I still heard this morning in Lancelot comes to mind: everything is broken and nobody speaks English' (Tom Waits, of course). I feel like I have been transported to another planet, a feeling I only had once before, in downtown Hong Kong. Dr T wants to know what it reminds me of: Bangkok, Istanbul, Colombo, Budapest, Jerusalem? I cannot compare it to anything I saw before. And: I cannot speak with my mouth hanging open.

We arrive at the hotel: The Ritz!!!! Our girlfriends, Greta and Ann gave us as a goodbye present: a night in a fancy hotel, so girls: the bill is coming up.

Hahahaha, did you believe we stay in The Ritz? Well, we do, but it is not THE Ritz, it is a Tulip Inn with the name Ritz. Hmmmmmm: no airco, no fridge, no coffee machine, no ice maker. We are in the Centro Historico, the place to be, so we walk out to sniffle. Can you imagine, two houses further: a liquor store, where we look for Vodka. I find the Absolute Mandarin within seconds, while hubby looks for the cheap ones. Can you believe he found a liter bottle for 2,5 Euro and really bought it????? We bring our treasures to the room and taste Tony's bottle: yuk!!!!  We go for a walk, as you do, to pick up the local colour the first day, find terraces, drink Corona and go for a meal in an Italian restaurant. Yes, I know what you are thinking we ARE in Mexico but hubby does not eat Mexican food... . The place mats are in Spanish and Dr T tries to read what is on top. The first word is 'porque' which means 'because' and he thinks it means pork. What says: because we make everything fresh, it does take a while becomes a sentence full of pigs: this is promising! Walking home in the dark, we see a window cleaning basket hanging of one of the facades of a building. BUT:
-          It is complete dark and they have no lights
-          The basket is in fact a skeleton in iron covered in what we know as garbage bags. The 2 men have difficulties balancing.
-          They do NOT clean windows but SEEM to restore the decoration on the fašade.
-          The house is a jewelry shop!!! None of the police men/women seem to blink on this.
Back in the room, it is hot and very, very noisy, although we are at the 6th floor. We do not quite understand what the noises are but we will tomorrow.
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