I actually made it up and out of the house in a reasonable time. I loaded myself up with sausage, egg, and two cups of coffee and made my way to the Metro. It’s only a short walk from my place and I had been meaning to ride it since I got here. I thought the coffee would have cleared me out before I got out of the house, but apparently not. I paid my $5 and made my way through the gate.
My destination today was the pyramid of the sun. It was a short bus ride out of the city so I was making my way to the station. It shouldn’t have taken too long really, the underground service is far-reaching and functional. But as always, not everything goes to plan.
I had been quite smug. Back in the UK, I had stopped eating any bread, pasta, and most importantly, beer. I had eaten something in China, most likely the skewers of delicious rat meat, that has fucked my internal bacteria up. But here I was back to drinking beer and feeling fine about it. That’s what I thought anyway.
I got to my first changeover, hopped on my next train, and hopped straight off. I had to duck out and find a restaurant, and quickly. I don’t think I’ll ever be allowed back in, but crisis averted, now just to pay my fare again and continue on my journey.
I boarded the previously abandoned train and made my way onwards, but not too far onwards. I felt the emergency brake come in and the smell of rubber. Mexican metros use rubber wheels so their breaks smell like burnt tires rather than the sweet smell of asbestos we have on UK train brakes.
We started up again, pulled into the next stop, and all got kicked out. The line was closed. If I had just stayed on the last train I could have made it the whole way. Modelo’s revenge. I made my way out of the station and looked at the easiest route.
There are tiny little buses in CDMX. They cram people in and tear around the streets like motorized sardine tins. I don’t think I have ever seen one with a working muffler and they sound like concords. I was planning on getting one of these all the way to the bus station. The issue is, they don’t have marked bus stops, you just have to guess and flag them down. I couldn’t figure it out so just decided to walk to the next metro, I was in no rush.
It took me a while but I made it, paid the toll yet again, and finally made my way to the Norte Bus Station. I was still feeling queasy from the latent two-day hangover but I was going to be okay. I loaded up with water and got on the lovely old coach. The seat was dipped and comfortable, I had a huge window seat, and the route there took me all the way through the city and out into the hills.
As we moved further out of Mexico City we came through the mountains that surround it. Houses built with no apparent plan or regulation are everywhere. By the looks of it, you can just build whatever you want wherever you want. A guy I was chatting to the other day mentioned that he and his brother send most of their money home so they can build another floor on their family house for their parents. Life, culture, and community spread far out from the center of the city, it was vibrant till the last. The hills and valley were crowded with beautifully colored buildings.
I finally made my way around the pyramids, they were very impressive. Vendors selling hats, whistles that sound like cheetahs, and knockoff Jordans, were everywhere. They gave the place a lot of color, their bright scarves and pretty trinkets added a lot to the grey ground and grey brick of the buildings.
Very little is actually known about the history of the Pyramids. They were presumed to have been built around 1 – 100 AD and were used as places of sacrifice. The blood from the sacrifices was drawn to appease the gods of both the moon and sun, hence the names of the pyramids.
Usually, you can make your way up the pyramids, but for some reason, at the moment you can’t. What you can do though, is stand in front of the many different sets of stairs and clap. It makes a sound like a duck because of the way the sound bounces. Endless fun. I took my time, did some sitting down, and watched the world go by. I hopped back on the bus and made my way back.
Metro nightmare number two came into play when it turned out that the one line I needed as a connection was still down and the route was now six metros rather than two. A long and convoluted journey finally got me back. The Mexico City underground is janky as fuck, but that’s excused because it’s phenomenally cheap.
I finally exited at San Consum and made a beeline for the market. I knew exactly where I was going. There is a whole row of sit-down food stands throughout the center column of the stalls. I have no idea how the process worked but I was determined to figure it out. I stood around for a while and waited for a seat to become free.
So the situation is, you grab a pen and an order pad, write down what you want, and then give it to the one person seemingly in control of distributing the food. I had no idea that’s how it worked, but by watching, and some loose miming by the people at my table I managed to order. I got some flautas – rolled and fried tacos filled with goodness and topped with salad, cheese, and cream, and some deep-fried tacos, kind of like a fried empanada. I’m sure my body is overjoyed.
Every day there is a new food to eat. Something I have never seen or heard of before, and every single time it is delicious. I’m yet to venture into the eyeball or brain end of the culinary pool, but it won’t be long I don’t think.
I had my first real-life flaming hot Cheetos the other day. I lay in my bed and smoked some of that MawiWawi, lost complete sense of the world, and shoveled them into my face whilst watching a movie. They were heavenly, I still have the red dust under my nails, it’s a part of me now.
I came back and started work on one of the test pieces I have to do. I don’t feel qualified, but I think I should be able to pull it off. I hope I can anyway. It is a little above my skill level, but I’m not stupid and the brief they have laid out is pretty thorough. It would be a gateway into really actually having a career as a writer.
My housemate has invited me out this evening. I don’t know if I have the battery for it. He is lovely, and I’m sure his friends are too, and I know it’s a Saturday, but I’m old, stupid, and weak. I also really want to get this piece nailed tomorrow. I’m making excuses for myself more than anything. I guess only time and my weak will determine what lies ahead.