After another sleepless night where I ended up sitting in the common room blogging in the wee hours of the morning, I ended up going back to bed at 5am before waking up four hours later to get ready for the 10:30 walking tour that I had missing yesterday.
I managed to get to the meeting point just in time just to find out that I was the only one there – well, me and the guide, that is.
I told her I had no problem waiting for awhile to see if more people would stop by late but, alas, it was just me.
To her credit, she still offered to give me the tour just one on one but I told her that I knew that it would kinda suck for her and, frankly, I like to be in a group of people during a walking tour anyway.
So, I told her I’d be back tomorrow and I headed back out into the city.
There was a festival going on in the main square as today was February 2nd and it’s the day Mexicans celebrate Jesus returning to the church. What that means, well, I have no idea but it certainly did explain the various women I saw walking around with little baby dolls.
I’ve also seen alot of people dressed in tan colored official looking military clothes playing stand-up organ players asking for money. Turns out these people are not doing it to beg for money but instead they are doing it to keep up with a tradition started many years ago when the organs were brought over from Europe.
In fact, not just anyone can carry on the tradition. You have to pay to be a member of the organization in order to be allowed to play it so they actually lose money by standing there for hours on end.
Also, there is alot of jaywalking. Like, a lot! Not like normal jaywalking where you cross the street when there’s no traffic. Nope. People here just run out in front of traffic to get across the street. It’s the most bizarre thing to see and everyone here does it!
I also found out the reason for the heavy police presence around town is due to ongoing protests against a certain president. I’ve yet to come across the protests which may actually be a good thing but I must say I am kinda curious what mass protests in Mexico looks like.
Anyway, after a failed walking tour I just decided to walk the streets again like I did the day before and ended up back at the hostel around 1pm.
I went in my dorm to find Gautier, a guy from Lille, France, who had just arrived to start his trip in Mexico.
Poor guy got pickpocketed on the metro ride from the airport and had his wallet (with money and credit cards) and his phone swiped from him.
He was busy arranging with his parents back home to do a Western Union transfer and I offered up my help.
I really had nothing to do and I really did want this trip to be more about the people I meet than the things I do.
We walked together up to the Western Union office just on the edge of town and while he went inside to wait in one of the notorious long bank lines, I headed next door to a pizza joint.
Hey, don’t judge me! I wanted pizza!
I ordered in my broken Spanish and then he asked for my name to write on the receipt for when my order was ready. After saying “Todd” a couple times and him not knowing how to spell it I finally just chuckled and told him to write down “Jose”.
The rest of the day was me meeting different people at the hostel and, in turn, making plans for the next couple of days.
There was Peter from Cairns, Australia who does drafting and actually gets to travel for his job from time to time.
Turns out he was returning from an 18 month stint in Vancouver and spending the next 4 months travelling around with his girlfriend Stacey.
I also met Felix from Hamburg, Germany – a laid back kinda guy who’s taking some time away from school where he’s studying automotive engineering (how very German!).
I had already planned to go to the Luche Libre wrestling match tomorrow night so I suggested we all go together.
I also heard them planning out a day trip on Saturday to Teotihuacán, a city with temples and ruins an hour north of here.
I had been looking at doing that myself but in the end I had decided I really didn’t want to wander out there on my own and actually had decided to move on to my next city on Saturday.
Well, I just couldn’t pass up a group trip where I didn’t have to plan it all out so I extended my stay here in Mexico City one more day.
After chatting for a bit, the three of us went for dinner where I finally able to find some Mexican food that was non-taco.
With the help of Google Translate I was able to order the BBQ Grill plate for 100 pesos ($6) which was a huge plate of different grilled meats including steak, chicken, pork and chorizo sausage.
After dinner, it was an early night back at the hostel and bed by 9pm.
The next two days will be action packed unlike my first two days.
Tomorrow I finally do the free walking tour and then go over to the arena at night to see Mexican wrestling and the following day is the day long trip to Teotihuacán.
So, buckle up! Adventure ahead!