Wins and Fails
After an exciting night and another restless sleep, I was ready to go again the following day to see what the city had to offer. It was a good museum day with rain and heat in the forecast. So I headed down with several girls who were staying at my hostel, including K who I had met while checking into my hostel, to EL Museo Nacional de Antropología . I didn’t have any expectations for the museums in Mexico City. I have to say all the museums I visited, including this one, are world-class.
The museum follows the development of Mexico, starting from its first people who migrated here from Asia to the fall of the Myan and Aztech empires. All the artifacts are excellent representations of the culture and artwork of Mexico. Each piece or group of works has detailed Spanish explanations of what you’re looking at and the importance behind it. The few reproductions are impeccably done for you to glean the significance of the temples and ruins from across the country to see the architecture and the way ancient Mexicans lived. Over the curation and the simplicity of the language used, making it easy for a translation app to accurately convey what is being said is still the best I’ve seen to this day.
The first half of the museum took us all morning, and we ended our time with one of the crowning jewels of Aztec culture, the infamous Sun Stone. Researchers are still trying to decipher the stone’s cultural importance beyond being a calendar. I honestly had no idea how intricate and beautiful this stone calendar was. I had seen countless images of this piece in my textbooks, but they did not do it justice. In fact, compared to images of ancient Greek statues, I found that all of the photos of Aztec and Mayan artifacts lacking. The feeling of grandeur and intricacy of the carvings get lost in translation. When you see them unclose in person, expect to feel awe, including when you spot the 6ft penis statue of fertility. I had to point it out to the group I was with because they missed the not-so-subtle stone member in the room. So far, this is my second favorite museum I have ever been to, the first being the Detroit Institute of Arts. I highly recommend stopping here when in Mexico City (CDMX).
Starving, we left the museum and tried to find a place to eat as it began pouring down rain. After a 20-minute walk, we found a place that was open as we were already into the fiesta hour that many restaurants take. The food was off the hook here. I got an enchilada with salsa verde, and they served us espresso after lunch, with was magnificent!
Tired and ready for a nap, we headed back out into the rain and to the hostel. K and I had booked a Día de los Muertos Lucha Libre show through our hostel, but the other girls were going to Mixqec, where I had been a day too early for the festivities. I stuck with my promise and went to the show, which ended up being my biggest regret of the trip.
I’m not a wrestling fan, but I always wanted to see a Lucha Libra match. So, I gathered with the group going for a pre-drinking session at our hostel. I should have known that I would not enjoy my evening when our guide told everyone how nice and expensive the tequila they were giving us was… Being a huge tequila snob who prefers mezcal, I was unimpressed by the bottle of well grade Sueza they pulled out. Side note: For those who don’t know what mezcal is, the scotch of tequila is the best way to describe it. Mezcal is smokier and earthier with an expansive flavor profile range compared to its counterpart.
We walked 30 min to the arena from the hostel to see the match, and man, was it a show. With dancers, pyrotechnics, and little people wrestling, it was more of a performance than actual wrestling. Although I thought it was cool, I was having difficulty being in the moment. I longed to see the cemeteries alight and filled with families for the holiday. So I decided to leave early and head to Mexico’s National Cemetary. Which was supposed to be open later so people could pay tribute to the rich and famous people who were married there. When I got there, the gates were locked, and it started to pour. With public transportation being done for the evening and stuck in a neighborhood I was unfamiliar with, I hailed an UBER.
I returned to my hostel, hoping to get a good night’s rest, but sleep eluded me. Maybe I was too tired, perhaps it was the disappointment of the evening, or maybe it was because I was burnt out from the everyday grind of my life. Whatever it was, sleep only came in 30 min spurts throughout the night. Finally, around 4am, I decided to take a nice hot shower in hopes of relaxing a little and being lulled to sleep by the scalding hot water on my skin.
I got in and lathered up shampoo in my hair, taking deep breaths to relax. Just as I was about to wash away the soap off my body, the water pressure left a trickle of water till it finally shut off completely. If you have never been stuck with soap on your hands or body, unable to wash it off, you should be grateful. I was a wet sticky, bubbly mess, and I had no idea when the water would be back on. If you haven’t read about my 2nd day in Mexico City, let me explain what to expect from the end of October to early November in CDMX.
Being the 5th largest city in the world and with very old water and sewage system, there are always prepares that need to be done. To complete these repairs, especially the high-volume pipelines, the city shuts off its water supply for 2 or more weeks. Those with money leave the city or pool together money to rent portable bathrooms for the neighborhood. Restaurants and hotels pay trucks to come and pump water into the building every couple of days. My hostel did this and had a few hours in the morning and the evening in which we could shower, flush and use the sinks.
Up until I was butt ass naked in the shower covered in soap, it had only been a minor inconvenience. It was at this moment that I regretted every decision that got me here in the first place.
With little dignity and crushed hopes for any sleep, I toweled off my body, wrapped my hair up, and got back fully clothed into bed. Still sticky and unable to sleep, I pondered all my life choices, trying to remind myself that water access is a privilege. If people across the world could live without running water in their homes, so could I, right? Nope. I may not look like I care about my looks most of the time, but I assure you I do have a vain diva that lives inside me who was showing her face. I sat there for an hour and a half, exasperated, till I heard someone in the room above me jump in the shower. I sprinted towards the bathroom as fast as possible to find that the water was back on!
When I say I have never showered faster in my life before, it wasn’t from excitement for the water being turned back on. No, it was out of fear that I would be stuck with conditioner in my hair just to have to do this all again.
This is where I’ll end this day, which felt like it flowed into the next from lack of sleep. Some days you win; some days, you lose. This one was an in-between that started off strong, but choices were made that I regretted, but there’s no way to turn back time, so on to my next day in CDMX.
Places To Go
EL Museo Nacional de Antropología – The National Museum of Anthropology – Free – Av. Paseo de la Reforma s/n, Polanco, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexico National Cemetary – Free – Virginia Fábregas 31, San Rafael, Cuauhtémoc, 06470 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
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