Our Travel Blog
 
 
We got on the bus in San Salvador, El Salvador on Monday morning 6:15, drove through Guatemala and arrived in Tapachula, Mexico around 20:00 that same evening. At 21:30 we boarded the overnight bus to Mexico City. One sleep and 3 and a half movies later, we finally arrived on Tuesday afternoon. Our legs were eager to get walking again!
 
We took the subway to an area where we waited to meet up with our next hospitalityclub.org host. We had a few hours to kill while we were waiting so Karen went on the hunt for something Ivan- and Karen-friendly to eat. Tacos for 3 Mexican pesos ($0.30 USD) everywhere. Karen found a Taco booth that served potato tacos with as much toping as you wish. To her surprise, she found a beautiful green avocado sauce, topped it with tomato and cilantro salsa and then more avocado sauce. Proud of her discovery, she returned with the vegetarian tacos to Ivan. He looked at them with some concern, asked her to taste the sauce first before taking a big bite of the taco...only then did she realize that the avocado sauce was really a hot chili sauce!! They say that God loves laughter - well He certainly got a good laugh at that moment. Ivan's comment seeing Karen's disappointed look at that time was "It's okay.... it is just preparation for India!!!" as he finished both hot, spicy tacos. Karen went back to the merchant and got one without any green sauce...
 
We moved our bags to another location just to the side of the subway exit where it was less crowded and waited there for some time. We were approached by a very skinny 15 year old girl, carrying a small childrens backpack, who started talking to us. Ivan could see from the start of our conversation that she had something in her hand which she was tightly holding onto. After a few minutes we were joined by 3 of her friends who were also curious about us. They were all between the ages of 15 and 19. She showed us a bottle of cleaning material in her backpack which she and her friends were using to sniff. They were all holding kleenex soaked with the cleaning material up to their mouth and nose. She told us that one bottle costs 28 Mexican pesos ($2.80 USD) and lasts for 3 days. They were periodically asking to see money which we of course didn't offer to show them. On the frail arms of the girl and also on the forehead of one of the kids, we could see some clear bruises from some type of dispute taking place where they stay, not far away on the next street in their "bedroom", under that piece of plastic sheet...
 
We eventually met up with our host, Al, who took us back to his place. Al is also a world traveler who has been to at least 60 different countries. He speaks French, English, Spanish and Portuñol, is interested in history and of course geography. If we find him a good price for a plane ticket to India, he said he might also come next year in January!
 
This morning, after having to exchange some US dollars into Mexican pesos for bus money, we made it to the Indian Embassy. The Indian Consul himself asked to speak to us as he had some questions about our situation to decide whether or not he was going to allow us to apply since we were not residents of Mexico. He granted this permission and we were then one step further to getting to India! The visas should be ready by the first week of January.
 
Here are a few of our observations of Mexico city so far: The temperature is much cooler. The city is over 2000 meters (6000 feet) above sea level. The city is very dirty with a black dust everywhere - on the ground, buildings, the vehicles, trees, air, everywhere. Karen noticed so far at least 3 or 4 people with blue masks covering their mouth and nose. There are fewer guards and less barbed wire around the buildings than in El Salvador. Most people are wearing long sleeves and or coats (sometimes even winter coats!) during the day when the sun is shining intensively and for us it feels warm enough to wear only T-shirts. We suppose this is why so many dogs are also seen wearing coats in the streets and in their properties. Christmas lights are everywhere. The subway system functions the same as in France (maybe less strikes ? ˆˆ) except for Mexico has a visual symbol different for each stop, probably for the people who don't know how to read and write to be able to find their way...
 
Tomorrow is our day off: sleep and organize our stay!
 
 
Friday, December 22, 2006
Mexico City, part 1

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