I'm A Legal Alien Now

Saturday, June 30, 2007

I have a new hero, and Mexico Dos

My new hero:

Now for Wednesday in Mexico:

After passing this rather startling building in the Zona Rosa, I began a long trek up the Paseo de la Reforma to the Centro Historico. It was much further than I anticipated. I was headed for the brand new Museo Arte Popular which showcases Mexican handicrafts, which I love (I have only just realised, apart from leaving my pyjamas in the hotel room, I neglected to buy some Day of the Dead stuff, and that saddens me). It was a great museum, with a neat shop.

I then stopped in the Alameda Central, a big formal park, where I saw mounted policemen wearing sombreros, which greatly amused me, so I took a discreet photo.

At the end of the Alameda Central is the Palacio Belles Artes, which has become one of my favourite buildings in the world. It was also hosting the world's largest ever Frida Kahlo exhibition. I like Kahlo's work, but it was very crowded. I was hoping to learn a bit about her, but everything was unsurprisingly in Spanish. However, the interior of the building was so wonderful it was well worth the stop.

I then confidently set out on what I thought was the Avenida Cinco de Mayo. I had this problem quite frequently, in that I thought I was on one street, when I was actually on another heading the opposite direction. This time I ended up in a very scruffy part of town where I would not want to be after dark. One other time I ended up on the shoulder of a highway. After stumbling upon the naked protestors again I eventually found my way to the Central Cathedral and Zocala, the huge town square.

It was very smoggy and quite warm and I started to feel dizzy and faint. The altitude and pollution? What is startling is that Mexico City is at the same altitude as Australia's highest mountain. I didn't get headachey apart from this one time, but I later discovered that it was affecting my sleep. I had thought that the constant bolting awake then falling asleep was just an unfamiliar bed and slightly noisy hotel corridor, but it a common symptom of your body readjusting to a foreign altitude. Anyway, I was also starving to I retired to a groovy Mexican diner (groovy as in wonderfully unfashionable and authentic). Feeling much better, it was time for a kip.

Post kip, I headed up to Polanco, a posh residential area to pay a courtesy call on my colleagues at our Embassy there. There are many lovely houses.

Walking back, I took this photo which for me just screams Mexico City. I took it from the aforementioned highway shoulder.

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