Welcome to part two of my first day in Mexico and on Euro Trip 2017 (yes, I know Mexico isn’t in Europe…)
When I last left off, I had finally arrived in Mexico, albeit at 1am so I didn’t really see any of it.
After another sleepless night I finally got my ass out of bed around 11am.
Now, in my normal, every day life, 11am would be considered early for me – it’s very rare for me to be alive to the world before noon.
However, on the backpack trail – if you wake up that late you’ll find a hostel completely empty as everyone has already had breakfast and headed out for their days of adventure.
So, here I was, in an empty hostel with absolutely no idea what to do for the day. Normally I go on a free walking tour the first day I arrive in a new city as it’s a really good way to get a feel for the city and learn what there is to see and do in it.
Of course, the tour started at 10:30 so I was on my own.
No worries though as I just headed out the door and started walking.
Well, you get the idea. I did ALOT of walking today. Ironically, I didn’t actually GO anywhere. I just walked up and down the streets taking in everyday Mexican life.
In fact, other than the very brief time I found myself in the main plaza where all the tourists congregate, I was pretty much surrounded by locals.
It was kinda cool not really doing anything and just observing every day life. In past trips I was all about getting out there and seeing EVERYTHING I was supposed to see and making sure I didn’t waste a single travel day.
Now, after a few trips, I’ve definitely mellowed out on that and I think it makes me a better traveler.
Before I would actually stress over not accomplishing what I was supposed to that day and over planning out each day.
Anyway, you’ll definitely notice a more laid back me on this trip and there will be plenty of days like today where I just kick back and don’t do anything.
But, I digress, where was I?
So, I headed out to explore and I decided to wear the brand new pants I had bought just for this trip. After a block of walking I quickly discovered two things:
-I should be wearing shorts
-The pants I bought kept riding down in the back and I had to keep hooking them up with my fingers – LAME!
Luckily I packed a second pair of pants and I guess my trusty jeans will have to be the only pair I wear once I get back to the cold weather in Europe.
Now, I noticed this right away but I decided to just grind out and keep walking into the city mostly because I really didn’t want to walk back up those 4 flights of stairs to get my shorts.
I decided I would walk all the way down to the main plaza (about 30 minutes) on one street and then walk back up a different street just to see different stuff.
One thing you notice right away in Mexico is that police are everywhere! I mean there are guards at banks and jewelry stores but also just standing around all over the place. There are also tons of police cars around so in a way you kind of feel safer, I guess.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I also came across yet another anti-Trump Mexican. Near the plaza a woman was dressed as a nun with garters with a sign and an American flag with Nazi Trump written on it.
Yeah, the Mexicans are not fans of Trump…
I was also keeping an eagle eye open for food – more specifically, some authentic Mexican food.
This is where I once again felt completely helpless not knowing Spanish as I would stare at menu boards and I wouldn’t recognize any of the words.
I finally stopped at a place that had “5 tacos y refresco 42 pesos”. This I understood as I just, rightly, assumed refresco was a drink like a pop.
So, I walked up and said in my best Spanish “Cinqo tacos por favor” while pointing at the sign.
He then said something in Spanish and just looked at me to respond so I just pointed at the sign again and told him “Cinqo tacos”.
After this stalemate lasted a long, agonizing minute or two I realized he was asking me what KIND of taco I wanted as under the sign they had 4 different ones listed.
Of course, I didn’t know what any of them were so I did the ultimate ugly tourist move and pulled out my phone and used Google translate to figure it out.
I ended up ordering pork rind and what I ended up with were 5 gross, greasy tacos filled pretty much entirely with refried beans and (I’m guessing) a bit of pork rind mixed into it.
Ick… that was a nasty meal!
In the afternoon I moved from my cold, solitary private room to a six-bed dorm room and booked a couple extra nights as well.
My new roommates are a Danish girl in the middle of a year long trip through South and Central America, a girl from Singapore leaving for Cuba tomorrow to take a 12 day salsa class (damn, now that’s commitment) and an American from Chicago who has to always be on the defensive about Trump.
Hostel life – I love it! Where else can you find such a mix of different people?
Anyway, at night I just headed down the street and grabbed some more tacos at another place. This place was recommended by the guy working the hostel and, sure enough, it was waaaaaaay better than that crap I ate earlier for lunch.
After that I banged out the last blog and went to bed.
Sadly, it was another sleepless night as I finally just gave up on sleeping and went into the empty main room where I proceeded to type out this entire blog you’re reading right here.
So, while I didn’t get any sleep, at least we got a blog out of it!
Bring on day 2!