Me: “¿A donde va este camión?”
Me: uhhhhh….. that’s funny, I thought I made it to Mexico a few weeks ago.
Yeah, it’s definitely confusing at first. In Mexico, Mexico City is usually referred to as just “México”. I was ready for “La Cuidad” or “D. F.”, but noooooo…. Contextual speech processing is difficult when you you’re picking up maybe a third of what’s going on around you.
Anyway, Mexico City is the second largest aggregation of brainy bipeds to happen, well, in the history of our planet. And given that intelligent life looks like a pretty rare occurrence in this whole ‘universe’ thing, Mexico City may be the second largest, most complex self-sustaining (on the timescale of years) physically localized reaction/interaction/resonance of energy/matter to have occurred ever, and perhaps ever will. And that would, in my opinion, make it a ‘big deal’.
The bus from Acapulco to Mexico City passes through some of Mexico’s most beautiful countryside. The toll highway is completely spotless. It’s landscaped for hundreds of miles, there are tunnels galore, and perfect pavement. You won’t find a road this nice in California. I continue to be amazed at how unbalanced Mexico is… why the F is this highway perfect when just yesterday in downtown Acapulco I was walking by people (literally) decaying on the street? Arg. Anyway, it’s hard to get good scenery pictures with an iPhone, but the countryside is so beautiful that I did get one to come out. This is a random hill…
The highway also went by the tallest mountain I’ve seen in my life thus far, Popocatépetl. It’s hard to see in this picture, but Popocatépetl is there in the background, sitting tall at 5,452m (17,887 ft):
¡Y México (D.F.)! Believe it or not, I only got one picture in Mexico City. This is the National Palace from the Zócalo, at night.
No pictures, but the Mexico City metro is pretty awesome. It doesn’t compare to NYC’s though. It’s pretty much like any other metro in the US of A, except one distinction. There’s nobody asking for change. No beggars. Instead of beggars, the ‘bums’ walk up and down the cars trying to sell stuff. Gum, cd’s, tamales… I wonder if that’s because people won’t give change away, or if it’s because people are too embarrassed to beg, or what? Well, for whatever reason, if you go up the Pacific coast to one of the richest cities in the world you’ll find some 5-10 thousand people asking you for change. Say what? Something doesn’t match up here.
The main thing that struck me about Mexico City… I was expecting more of a New York experience. Mexico City is really nothing like New York. There’s many more people in Mexico City, but it doesn’t achieve the densities you find in Manhattan. The streets are definitely paved and functional, and there are occasional skyscrapers, but nothing like the land of 50+ stories you find in Midtown. Apparently Mexico City’s got money now, but that’s a relatively new occurrence, and I guess time’s still needed for the infrastructure to catch up.