This is the story of my 6 months of studying in Arizona in 2010 and subsequent travels in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Enjoy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mexico revisited

A month and a half. That has been the time it took for me to land firmly enough to go back to my blog - and even now it is a weird feeling. Before I dive more into that, let me tell you the story i owe you about our last two days in Mexico.

See the cacti?
Leaving Oaxaca early early (out of the hostel little before 6 AM) we took a bus back to Mexico City, from where we had left 2 weeks earlier. Beautiful trip with the landscape changing several times, from mountainous to flat agricultural land. Some spots almost resembled the Sonoran dessert in Arizona, with vast areas of huge cacti. Only here it was a bit greener.

We were going to stay at Emmanuel's house, my Mexican friend I met in Russia, whom also guided us around during our first days in the city two weeks before. He picked us up and took us home, where we waited a bit for his parents to come home. Then we had a big lunch served by the maid (!), and afterwards Emmanuel had to go to work for the rest of the evening. Instead we spent some time with his mom and brother, Juan Diego, who wanted to take us to Frida Kahlo's house. Unfortunately it was closed. Instead we went to see the University, as big as a city it has 306.000 students!

Considering to go out with Juan Diego, we ended up deciding to stay in. Not because of lack of sleep as such, but at this point we were so exhausted after the travels that we needed to rest. The next morning Emmanuel's mom served us quesadillas with beans for breakfast, and then was so kind to take us to the metro station so we could explore the city on our own! We walked from the station to Frida Kahlo's house, not far but challenging because we didn't have a proper map! However, we managed with a few directions from people who couldn't bare to see us looking lost, and our joined map-skills. :)

For those of you who don't know who Frida Kahlo is, I can briefly summarize that she is one of the most popular Mexican painters, who lived from 1907-1954, if I remember correctly. The one with the mono-brow... Google her. ;) Her house where she lived during parts of her life with her husband Diego Rivera has this incredible blue color, which I have felt like taking into my living room since I was there. Maybe not so suitable, but anyway... The house is equipped with paintings, photos, and letters by Frida and Diego, and it was a really nice experience to be there.

From the house we went through a big park eating ice cream and watching squirrels in our attempt to find a metro station on the other side of the part. Always hard, as they are well hidden, but I have figure out this little trick: Look for a market place. Do to the large amount of people entering and exiting the station, a lot of vendors are attracted to sell their stuff around the stairs, which are then hidden. In the end we found it and went to see the Anthropology Museum.

A very cool "Tree of life"
A huge place, one could spend days exploring the exhibitions of the museum. It is divided in cultures, and hence gives great impressions of the development of Mexico - though slightly hard to get an overview of. We left when it closed, taking a taxi back to Emmanuel's house. That was however harder than expected - the driver knew the area where we were going, but not the street. Without GPSs in the cars, one can imagine the challenges of taxi drivers in Mexico City! With my fractured Spanish I understood that he was asking us if we knew the street, but obviously we didn't. It took quuuuiite some time for him, and several stops to ask for directions, before FINALLY, cold, tired, and hungry, we made it back. Sigh.

Juan Diego and Emmanuel
A little while later we left the house again, this time with the expert guides Emmanuel and Juan Diego! First stop was a favorite restaurant of theirs, where I tasted Tacos al pastor for the first time. And what a shame that I didn't discover those before! Delicious meat served with onions on a taco with pineapple, it was super good! After squeezing lime in my eye and eating too many tacos we went to a salsa club to get some exercise! We had to wait for a while till the music changed to salsa, but enjoyed beer and the good company in the meantime.

Too early the next morning Sofie was flying home, and Emmanuel took her to the airport while I slept... Sorry for being not sympathetic and joining, but like mentioned before at this stage I was exhausted. I spent the rest of the day with Emmanuel, after packing my things. We went to get tamales (UHM!) for breakfast/lunch, and then took off to see some areas of the city, where I hadn't been before. First an area where artists exhibit their art and vendors sell souvenirs and stuff. Really a nice walk around! With the help of the GPS on Emmanuel's phone we took a side leap to another house of Frida Kahlo's, where she and Diego worked and lived in periods.

Our next stop was yet another cute area of the city, of course with the usual vendors. Here I spent my last Mexican money on earrings to my dear sister, and then had dinner in a very Mexican restaurant! Remember that I got this incredible mango dressing for my salad, a shame that we can't get that kind of mangos in Denmark! :)

And then I was off to the airport. 11 hours later Helene and mom picked me up in the airport, took me home and cooked me dinner. I was in a bubble. Six months and four days of adventure was over. Just like that - though not quite...