October 1st, 2007

Ombligo de la Luna

The next adventure took me to Mexico. Because I'm not going to learn Korean, I can be more aggressive about Spanish and the GMAT. Flights to Mexico City are inexpensive, so I jumped right on one. This was my second trip here. I had really fond memories from before and felt that the hostel I stayed at was one of the best on my trip. So, of course, I went to a different hostel to see if that changed the flavor of the city. I learned that hostels in Mexico are remarkable, but we will get to that shortly.

Mexico City is dirtier than I had remembered. I probably missed that because last time I visited right after Bangladesh and had stopped seeing dirt. That said, I think the city is very pleasant. It is incredibly friendly, inexpensive, and loaded with neat stuff. One of the main roads has custom art benches spread out along its length. One of them has three levels and is about 10 feet tall. I don't understand where the city's bad reputation comes from.

The time I was here before, I stayed at a hostel run by a techno DJ. The majority of the hostel ended up going out to see him spin. I remember coming back at around 3 or so. I ended up spending a lot of time with the people I met at that hostel. This hostel was more remarkable. It was run by two men (who weren't the owners). There was a cafe attached. I was the only guest. I also never saw anyone in the cafe. I never got a key to the hostel, so I couldn't come in unless someone was there.

My first night, I was invited out to a club. Because this was in Mexico, going to a club means speaking Spanish. Therefore party = study. Convenient, no? Before going, my hosts made some marijuana toast and then smoked some more. One of them had met the DJ online. It was a techno club. Between 12 and 1, drinks were free. All the rest of the time, drinks were far from free. At around 3:00, they decided to host an after party at the hostel, and most of the club left.

Including me, there were about 9 people at the after party. I don't like marijuana, but think it smells better than tobacco. At one point, I counted 6 people smoking pot, or preparing it to be smoked. I didn't pay attention, but assume the other two people were smoking tobacco. Watching people smoke didn't really hold my interest, so I headed off to bed shortly after we got back to the hostel.

I had been pre-advised about the next night. There was a party at the hostel. People started smoking out at about 5. DJs started spinning around 11 and it lasted till around 8. I lasted till around 3 when I decided that I would happier asleep. I'm getting better at sleeping in less than ideal situations. I fell asleep without problem and slept ok.

I woke up around 10 the next morning. So did my hosts. They had been running on two hours of sleep and one meal daily since I arrived. After two days it was starting to show; even after smoking-out, they looked tired. I wasn't particularly interested in another party and figured that I didn't have much to worry about. They invited me over to the house of one of the DJs and I decided to accept. It was in one of the touristy neighborhoods of Mexico City and I hadn't done any tourism at that point. The DJ had not gotten up at 10 am. She was still asleep when we arrived and didn't wake up to let us in, so we walked around the market for a while before trying to get in again. I got curious why we headed out someplace so early after a party till 8. I learned that the party was without the permission of the hostel owners and that they guys didn't feel like getting yelled at when they were that tired.

When we finally got there, I saw three of the DJs from the previous events. I also saw some people smoke pot. After a couple of hours, I followed someone to get his windshield replaced and watched the mechanics work, and smoke pot.

As evening approached, someone proposed going to a party. It was only around 8 or 9 when this happened, so I figured that this was a different type of party. None of the other parties started hopping until 12. My host asked me what I wanted to do. I said, “I'm pretty tired. I'm not excited about a party.” He told me that he was exhausted, too and didn't really want to go. Someone persuaded him to go for one hour. One hour later, we were just arriving at the party, which was 30 min., by car, out of town. And, I had watched people smoke pot (twice).

As one might imagine, the party was a repeat of the previous evenings. However, I had my camera this time. What does one do with pictures of people smoking pot and dropping acid? Every single person I came with was pretty tired at the beginning of the party, but the group didn't get inertia to drive back until around 3.

I left the next afternoon before my hosts had gotten up.

Let me describe the people I met. Every one of them smoked. I didn't meet any other foreigners. All of them seemed to speak some English. The women were all preparing to go to college or in college studying dance and/or psychology. The men were all preparing to go to college or officially doing nothing. That said, they were all friendly. I never lacked someone to talk to in my broken Spanish. I had a few interesting conversations, too And, even though high all of the time, my hosts did a pretty good job of watching out for me, checking in now and then to see if I needed anything.

Let me end this post by asking for it. I can't remember the last time that I got sick beyond the most basic stuff. I'm curious if I will get this posted before I get sick.