I'm A Legal Alien Now

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mexico, Tre


It was time to go to Teotihuacan! Enrique, my driver, picked me up and we were off. On the way, the traffic really wasn't bad because we were heading out of the city past some slums which clung to the hillsides rather impressively.

Then, the ancient city of Teotihuacan itself. Teotihuacan is all a bit mysterious, but what is interesting is that each successive Mexica culture just built over it and it was, at its height, the centre of Mesoamerican commerce which meant that there are things like ocean iconography murals when it is 500km from the ocean. The two main pyramids, the Moon and the Sun, are at perfect cardinal points and are so big that when the Aztecs settled here, they thought they were built by giants.

Near the Moon, I took this photo after Enrique pointed out the relationship between the Pyramid of the Sun and the mountain behind. Neat, eh? The Moon and the Sun are actually the same height, but the Moon is marginally higher because of geographic elevation. You can only climb to the first tier of the Moon though, which I did presently.

Then a brisk stroll down the 'Calle los Muerta' or the Avenue of the Dead (a misnomer as the Aztecs thought the smaller pyramids were tombs).

Soon however it was time to face a formidable foe- climbing the Pyramid of the Sun. This is what confronted me.

Those are some serious mofo steps, suckahs. It may not look it, but they're all about 30cm high and it's very steep which means that going up your legs start to shake and then coming down it's so steep as to be a wee bit scary. There is a railing- in parts- but it wobbles. In one place I found it easier to crawl up the stairs almost like a ladder than use the railing.

I got halfway up when I suddenly started feeling incredibly dizzy. I sat down in the shade of the bricks for a while. I was going to go back down- it seemed ridiculous to keep going if I were going to collapse and tumble down- but then an old lady zipped past me so I had to keep going to the top. Luckily, the last two sets of stairs were perhaps the easiest.

Then, the vista.

That's the Pyramid of the Moon from the top of the Pyramid of the Sun. Look at all the tiny people!

It was pretty amazing, and chilly at this height. After I'd had my fill I headed back down. At the bottom, I took these two photos to try and impress upon others the difficulty of the ascent. Physically, it was one of the hardest things I've done for a while.

After this, I popped into the excellent Museum. Enrique then took me to the Obsidian/Pulco workshop. I was expecting a bit of a 'my cousin's shop- very good price' moment but it wasn't too bad apart from the pushy salesman who obviously works on commission. I discovered that Pulco (no idea on the spelling, but that's how it sounds), despite being made from fermented cactus juice, is actually really nice. I bought some nick-nacks then it was back for lunch and a kip.

When I awoke from my kip, I discovered that my legs were really rather sore. They still are. I have to sit down like an old man, bracing myself as a I go. I potted around the Zona Rosa for a while, having a few beers. Here is a typical Zona Rosa scene. The big pink shopfront is a sex shop. They're rather open about these things in Mexico City, surprising for such a Roman Catholic country.

So that ends my time in Mexico City. Fabulous place. I don't need to go back for a while, but I wouldn't mind going back to Mexico again soon- the Yucatan or somewhere.

Last night I went to a party with Jack and his friend. I also got totally smashed. There are ten minutes of time I know I was having a really animated conversation with a relative stranger which are a hopeless blur due to a vodka shot. Got home at 3.30am. The hangover should've been far worse, but I suppose it's true that you don't get much of a hangover with good vodka. We went to Halo for a while until I got so hungry I went across to CVS with Jack for a packet of chips. We ran into a guy who recognised me. I looked at his place- a year ago- and he remembered me! Crazy times. In other news, I appear to have made some sort of financial calculation blunder. I'm not in any trouble, but I thought I was much more comfortable than I am. I blame Dell.

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Blogger anney said...

Oh my, has it really been over a year since you left?

That doesn't feel right at all.

Meanwhile, congrats on getting up those steps - I am not sure I could've managed it.

2:33 AM  
Blogger Ian said...

They're a bit of a bugger but because the pyramid is built in a tier, there are plenty of places to stop and have a breather, Chichen Itza- which is the other famous one near Cancun- is just straight up which would very possibly kill me.

10:35 AM  

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