Mexico City, Day Six - Friday

Excursion to City Center

At 2:30PM after class we went downtown with a couple of teachers from the school.

We rode the Metro downtown, which was pretty cool.

Who went? Starting with me and going from right to left counterclockwise,

• Hugo (teacher)
• Russell (from Ohio)
• Natalie (New York)
• Ramon (Russell's friend)
• See-ho (new student from Japan)
• Karimi (school director)

We went to the Hospital, the first hospital in the west.  This building was built in 1524!  It's five hundred years old. It's hard to believe it's still standing.  When they built shit, it lasted back then.  

That's a bust of Hernan Cortez - so interesting how things changed over time, there are a series of other, smaller bronze busts and you can see how the suits change over time.

There is a massive mural that records the meeting of Cortez and Montezuma.

There is a lot of impressive stonework on the Presidential Palace.  There is this one crest I found impressive.  The Mexican's (or Spanish) frequently tried to capture the idea that they worked together.  From a modern perspective this seems ridiculous.  In reality, the Spanish DOMINATED the natives.  Maybe today it actually makes more sense because the people of Mexico that I have met embrace their twin heritage.  This sculpture on the right is a Spanish Soldier, on the left, an Aztec Warrior.

Regardless of the meaning today, the centuries old artwork is still impressive.

The local seamen held a ritual cleaning (50 MXN), I declined to participate.  They say there are people who swear by it.  I don't know, it wasn't for me.

We had dinner in a place called Tenampa that has the best Mariachi's in the City.  What is really interesting is that both Hugo and Karimi knew all the songs.  A cultural note about Mexico is that these songs are sung at every fiesta, every birthday party, nearly every get-together.  They have a shared heritage of singing certain songs.

We don't have that in the US.  We have like, "happy birthday" and some Christmas Songs - but nothing that virtually everyone sings at every party.  They were in AWE of these Mariachi's.  The group behind me played like 5 or 6 songs to the table behind us.  What's more, apparently the lead of this group is some kind of legend in Mexico city.  It is a strange feeling to be culturally blind.

Best Tequila ever (says the drunk guy)

Hugo ordered a bottle of Centenario and a bunch of glasses filled with ice as well as cans of Fresca.  Tequila, Squirt or Fresca, and Lime is a Paloma.  (The hangover was worth it) For my tastes that was the best Tequila I have ever had.

Hugo said it was good and cheap.  (Note: I later found a bottle at Walmart for < 300 pesos, like half of what most other 750ml bottles of liquor cost)

La Opera

I don't have any pictures from the Opera, but after Tenampa, Natalie, Russell, Ramon and I headed to La Opera to close out the night.  We had a little more to eat, and a little more to drink.