“Donde esta…”, “Mas lento por favor…”, Gracias por tu ayuda…”, and some variation of the aforementioned comprised close to fifty percent of my “conversations” in Spanish during my first few days in Mexico City. I figured I could ease my way into the language barrier. Mexico City is a massive, cosmopolitan city, surely I would be able to stumble by with my Spanglish without much difficulty. When I discovered that my cab driver from the airport didn’t speak a word of English, I realized I would have to dig deep for my high school and college conjugations and vocabulary. Fortunately, my Spanish has steadily improved each day and I’m beginning to engage in slightly coherent conversations without standing out as the dumbest Gringo in the room (though I always stand out as the only Gringo in the metro station). While talking with my bilingual Latin American friends, I quickly resort to self-deprecating humor to ease the pain of my learning curve ;).
It’s been awesome meeting travelers from all over the world and learning about their backgrounds, cultures, language, and way of life. Despite the shared interest in travel, there’s still a wide spectrum of interests on the road. Some like to get up early and explore their surroundings, while others sleep a large part of the day and stay out all night. An even rarer breed seeks the best of both worlds and sacrifices sleep in favor of day and night exploration. I’ve also learned that the local doesn’t always know best (but I’ll have to share that story for another time since my mom reads this blog). Thus far, there hasn’t been a shortage of people to meet or things to do, and the pace has been nonstop, since, there really is so much room for activities in Ciudad de Mexico. Surprisingly enough, I had my best night of sleep on an overnight bus ride the other night from Mexico City to the State of Chiapas.
Before signing off and calling it a night, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Lucha Libre fight at Arena Mexico.
This fight put WWE to shame and the Mexican people go crazy for it. The amount of athleticism that the Luchadores display in the ring was honestly shocking. It was like WWE meets Cirque du Soleil meets Broadway (they’re pretty good actors, after all). I ran into three of the international luchadores, including the sole American in the fight that night, at the Teotihuacan ruins, and told them that I was impressed by the performance last night. The International team took a beating against the Mexican team, but amazingly enough, these guys weren’t even limping and showed no signs of injury. Superheroes.
Miss you all back home!
Other highlights so far include: Coyoacan and Frida Kahlo House & Museum, packed metro rides, Mariachi mania at Plaza Garibaldi, Bosque de Chapultepec and Castillo de Chapultepec, salsa club (had to restrain myself to not make the local men angry), meeting a Colombian girl who worked in transfer pricing in Bogota and bonding over shared experiences, language learning, people meeting, and taco eating.