Thursday 30 July 2009

A month in Mexico City

The crickets are chirping outside as we sit in the kitchen, wondering what's next. It's 22:00, we are alone and have just eaten spaghetti a la Bjarni. It seems that tomorrow we will have to leave this place that has been our home for the past month. We are trying to contact the landlord, to find out whether it is possible to extend our stay over the weekend, to sort a few things out, and if not - what time the room must be empty. Her phone is silent and we still haven't gotten a reply to the mail we sent yesterday. I realise it has been a month - A MONTH! - on the road. A month spent sightseeing in a city of millions and getting lost on its streets. A month of cooking european meals in a mexican kitchen. A month of me fighting in our living room with Spanish while Bjarni maniacally improves the code of our photo album. A month in which I become used to the city enough to tell Bjarni I am getting bored here.

And suddenly it strikes me how much this place differs from the things I got used to in Europe. I relive our arrival, the mild culture shock that hits me on our way from the airport to our new home. It is late at night: police patrols flashing their lights on the streets of our supposedly safe neighbourhood, shabby houses with the laundry drying on lines, the gate we pass through to get to our home. The very next day, when I go barefoot to the fridge for something to eat, a large cockroach scurrys across the floor. I decide to always remember to wear shoes but as I don't meet him again, in about two weeks I forget my decision. And then I see him again - on the street this time. Mexico becomes to me the city of policemen with shotguns. The unbearable smell of baked corn. Unnur and Adrian forever late. Security guards at our gate who we still can't tell apart, even though there are only two of them. Probably. Mexico is broken sidewalks, dark grey, unpainted buildings and thousands of cars on the streets. It is chaos, noise and mariachis. It is a beautiful palace in the Chapultepec park, colorful boats on the Xochimilco's canals and a few hour's fun in the Six Flags amusement park. Here I eat tasty sincronizadas - three pieces for 15 pesos, bought from a vendor on our street. I drink incredibly cheap juice made of fresh fruits.

And I can't wait to leave the city.

The three trips we have behind us do their job. Tepotzl√°n gets me accustomed to Mexico's bus system and whets my appetite for pyramids. The view of the 75-meter-high Pyramid of The Sun in Teotihuac√°n, the world's third largest, makes me aware of how small we are. The trip to Toluca that turns into a birthday party in Metepec and sightseeing of little known pyramids in Teotenango de Valle, my favorite so far, causes me to keep wondering what else Mexico will suprise me with.

But for now though, the crickets are whispering to us and we still don't know what, where or when.

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The past!