Monday, December 30, 2013
Mexico City Pt. 4
Read more: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 5
Saturday, December 14, 2013 (morning): Saturday morning I went to a restaurant called Tea Connection. They had so many teas to choose from it was ridiculous. I ordered a sweet vanilla tea, which the waitress brought over to me in a tea pot and she set it all up in front of me. It was loose leaf tea, and there was even a timer for how long it needed to steep. However, she told me in Spanish, so I didn't actually understand what she was saying to me. By this time, my voice was pretty much gone from the pollution, so it was really funny trying to talk in Spanish with my American/lost voice accent. I feel bad for everyone I had to talk to. Afterwards, I wanted to ride the Turibus, but I missed the bus TWICE! I know, I'm so lame. But there was about 40 minutes in between each bus and the first time it stopped as I was walking back from the restaurant. The second time I just wasn't paying attention. I WILL ride it next time. Mark my words.
(afternoon): I was kind of upset because I felt like I was wasting a day. I had to buy more water from the store, and afterwards I decided to go buy some gifts because I really needed to do that. Like I said, you'll need LOTS of water, and you won't pee a lot because you'll be so dehydrated from the pollution/walking/high altitude. I should have played it smart though and bought a gigantic bottle and a small bottle of water, so I could carry it around with me since I never had water on me. It was always in my hostel. I decided to go back to Bosque de Chapultepec because there were a ton of venders selling stuff and I wanted to go to the gift shop in the Anthropology museum. Plus, I was planning on meeting Luis there later that night. After I went to the Anthropology museum I stopped at one of the venders near the entrance. He started talking to me in Spanish, then realized I didn't know how to answer his question completely. He then started talking to me in English. He was such a nice guy. His name was Valentine. We talked about a lot, and he told me he lived in America. He wanted to know how to say "hand-crafted" in English. Then he told me about this school in Mexico City that would teach me Spanish, and told me if I ever needed help on finding cheap areas in the city to let him know. I bought a few things from him, and he gave me a postcard for free as a gift!
(late afternoon): I didn't want to talk back to my hostel because I was meeting Luis so I walked over to the Botanical Garden to take pictures. It was pretty, but kind of small.
I still had an hour to kill before meeting Luis so I decided to sit on a bench and write down what I did in this journal I brought. I'm pretty sentimental, and I have a TERRIBLE memory, so I like to remember everything I did on my trip. When I was sitting down this young guy came up to me and started talking to me in Spanish. Like I said, Mexican men love white women ;) He didn't know a lot of English, but he was actually pretty good with what he did know. We were talking and he invited me to coffee, but I already had plans that day and the next, but I gave him my Facebook information just in case my plans opened up.
(evening): I met Luis at 5 where he worked. At first I didn't see him and thought maybe we were supposed to meet at Starbucks, and I misunderstood what he said, which I wouldn't have been surprised about. But then I saw him, and he started talking to me, but I wasn't in the mindset to comprehend Spanish. It took me a moment to realize what he was saying. When he grabbed his stuff we started walking in the opposite direction of Starbucks. I was confused, but he told me it closed early, so he was going to take me somewhere else. We ended up riding the subway, which was a new experience for me. It was like another world down there, and it was super crowded. He bought out tickets and then he had to show me how to put the ticket through because I'm not that intelligent to figure that kind of thing out. We got off two stops later and started walking around.
I'm not really sure where we were at because I don't know the city that well, but I do know we were closer to Centro (the center where all the government buildings are). Then we walked and walked around trying to find a cafe to get coffee. Again, I have no idea where we were because we were walking so many places. Finally, we found a place and got some coffee and dessert. We sat and talked for a while. It was nice being able to talk in Spanish and not worry about if I was saying things correctly. After being in classes and learning how to teach people English, the best way to learn is to just start speaking it. There is a lot less pressure when you are forced to speak it. I'm not going to lie, I told him a number of times I didn't understand him, but I was surprised we actually held a conversation.
We talked for a while and then we decided to leave. We got to a busy street, and I think he asked if I wanted to take the bus or taxi back to my hostel, but I'm not too sure. We ended up walking more and stopped at a mall with a giant lit up deer. We then walked around the mall. He asked if I wanted ice cream, but I couldn't eat anymore. In Mexico you'll find so many McDonald's ice cream stands that sell just ice cream products, and I pointed that out to him. One thing I loved about Mexico City is that everything opens up to the outdoors. So the mall was open and didn't have any walls to close it in because the weather is always pretty consistent.
Finally, we got a taxi that took us back to Condesa. However, he didn't really know where I lived so we ended up being dropped off at the other side of the park. Since the park was closed, and the only way I knew to get back was through the park we ended up walking for a long time more. We had to stop and ask several people where the street was. We even found one woman who spoke English which was easier for me, but I kind of forgot what she said because of my terrible memory. Eventually, we found my hostel! Then I said good-bye and headed to my room.
(night): That night I was talking to two of the women I was sharing the room with. One was an older woman from London and the other was a girl, about 26, from Germany. It was interesting hearing their stories about their travels. The woman from London had been traveling all around South America with her partner, but he went to India to visit a friend. She told me that at one point her and her boyfriend were in Guyana and they made some stupid decisions, like walking around at 2 am to a cash point. They ended up being robbed and her boyfriend was beat up. So, moral of that story, don't walk around Guyana at night. Luckily, I never had an incident like that.