To Mexico City
We really were very,very unprepared, we couldn’t get a fix on the address on our GPS, no one we spoke to knew where we should go, so we decided to just head to the freeway and follow the signs ‘til we got closer, then we would ask for directions again. A simple plan-destined for failure!
As night fell, we were just entering the city limits. My cousin in Mexico City, Stanley advised us to enter in the evening when it would be cooler, it skipped my mind that it would also be darker!
Sure enough, about 10 minutes into the city we hit our first patch of trouble.
Mexican Police always have their flashing lights on, so you don’t always pay attention when you see the reds and blues in your mirror, but this Police Motorcyclist pulled up next to us and signalled for us to pull over. Uh oh, what have I done?
Well, apparently motorcycles are not allowed on this road, the Periferico, which is Mexico City’s ring road. The vague directions I had gleaned from my cousin told me to ride along the Periferico until I found the exit for Los Palmas. I explained in my broken Spanish that I had no idea about the motorcycle exception, and that I hadn’t seen any signs, and he just pulled out his rule book and showed my something which appeared to be written in Spanish legaleese. Roughly translated it said; “You owe me 15 days minimum wage.’ I told him I didn’t make minimum wage and that I didn’t have a job, which he didn’t find amusing, and then told me that the fine was 1,500 pesos, or £75. This was my first fine, how was I going to fare?
I informed the officer that I didn’t have that kind of money, and I got the expected response; “you can pay me here, now, cash 750 pesos.” Right, getting better, a little haggling and we were down to 500 pesos and I thought I had done well, until I recounted this story after I met up with Stanley, and he said I could have gotten away with 200 pesos, easy.
Oh well, it was my first time, next time I would do better.
After repeatedly getting lost in the maize of freeways and off shoots, we hired a taxi to lead us to my a Mall near Stanley’s house, and called him come pick me up and lead me to their home.
We spent a few great days wandering the streets of Mexico City, we were cleansed by a Shaman in the Zocalo, the main square in the city centre, visited the museum of Anthropology, we had our futures read by some birds, the feathered kind, climbed up the pyramids of Teohoatican, and took a boat trip along the old canals.
Then, swine flu hit, hard. The bars and restaurants closed and the government advised everyone to stay indoors. Everybody started wearing surgical masks and the streets became deserted. We figured it was time to leave, so we said our goodbyes, packed up the bike, and headed off for the Pacific coast.
Posted by Dan Shell at July 02, 2009 05:14 AM GMT
Getting cleansed by the Shamen in the Zocalo in DF