Pyramids, McDonalds and way too much water

One would think that after a long day of travel a good night’s rest was what I got last night.  Not exactly, I slept until about 3am and then awoke to the sound of the power shutting off in my host home.  There was a storm in process.  Keep in mind that there are no seasons in Cuernavaca other than rainy season and dry season. This is the City of Eternal spring so the temperatures are steady year-round. What changes is the amount of rain.  Let me tell you…it can rain, and rain and rain!  I stayed in bed listening to the rain for about 3 hours.  My home doesn’t have air conditioning (few homes here do because it’s not necessary) so my window was open.  Over my window is a large awning.  The rain pelted the awning all night.  At first it was very soothing to hear the raindrops.  I drifted in and out of sleep.  However, by 4:30am, I was done with the rain and just wanted to get some rest.  That’s when the power clicked off again and this time the computer outside my bedroom started making a beeping noise every ten seconds.  FOR OVER AN HOUR!

Needless to say that I was not full rested today, but the adrenaline was still there so I knew I could make it through a long day of bus riding and pyramid climbing.  Unfortunately, it became a long day of the former rather than the latter.  I started the day with a delicious fruit salad of mango, cantelope and papaya.  There’s really nothing like ripe fruit in Mexico!  We had eggs and toast before we made our way to the school. My host mama sent me off with a ham sandwich which I didn’t think was an issue until I realized that we would be gone for almost 14 hours.  At least I had a granola bar with me!

Fruit salad for breakfast!
At the school, I had to take a brief oral proficiency test so that they knew where to place me for classes that start on Monday morning.  I was placed in the most advanced class (yeah me!) with several of the other teachers.  I’m excited to be with them for two weeks.  They are all very, very interesting people!
Once the oral interviews were over, we loaded the bus and hit the road for our long day!  Things started smoothly with a quick stop at coffee shop.  I was tempted to buy a piece of carrot cake while I was there, but I passed.  Then, an hour later, we stopped at a McDonalds in Mexico City to pick up coffee or another snack.  I enjoyed looking at the menu items and comparing the prices and items to the US menu.  I ended up purchasing a hibiscus bottled water (agua de jamaica).  It is a Coke product sold only here. 
The condiment bar at McDonalds
Coke products at McDonalds

My hibiscus drink

After that, we went to the Cuicuilco archeological site just outside Mexico City.  The views from this site are beautiful.  I enjoyed hearing about the history of the site and the current issues being faced as new age religious groups such as La Mexicanidad try to use them for spiritural and ritualistic worship.  
A group panoramic shot that doesn’t give justice to the view

Next, we drove through Mexico City.  We drove along the Avenida Insurgentes which is one of the longest and largest streets in the city.   On Sundays, part of the street is closed so that people can walk, bike, skate or scoot through the city.  There are many Ecobici bike rental stations.  Of course, this didn’t help traffic much as two lanes were eliminated from motorized vehicles, but it was interesting to see all the families biking together.  Here are some pictures of the UNAM (University of Mexico)

Once we left the city, we drove about 30 minutes until we entered the World Heritage site known as Teotihuacan.  We got about 30 minutes of walking and listening to Charlie (our school’s archeological tour guide) before the sky opened up and it began to pour.  Being in a wide open area during a major thunderstorm with absolutely no shelter anywhere, no way to call the tour guide’s cell phone, no idea where the bus was and 2 hours until our meeting time was not exactly what I had envisioned for today.  There was no way to avoid becoming completely soaked.  Even those with ponchos and umbrellas were soaked.  We did eventually find our guide who led us to the bus, but it took over an hour to find everyone from our tour. We ended up leaving because the sky made it obvious that the rain wasn’t going to stop.  A quick stop at another McDonalds in Mexico City and we began our journey, in the rain, back to Cuernavaca.  

This is a little bitty one.

When we arrived in Cuernavaca, it was pouring still.  We (my new roommate and I) had planned on walking home from our school.  However, it was dark and raining and Charlie told us he would call a taxi.  No taxi company answered the call, so Charlie drove us all home.  At 9:50pm, we finally arrived back home.  

We weren’t sure what to expect in terms of lunch or dinner from our host.  We were hoping there might be something to eat when we got home, but our hosts were sleeping.  We are not permitted to go into the kitchen and look for food for ourselves. That is considered very rude here in Mexico when you are a guest.  As I write this blog, I eat my last granola bar.  I’m anxious for sleep and am anticipating a much drier, less complicated day tomorrow!

All in all, it was a good experience.  It just wasn’t the one I had planned.  I am getting to know all of the people who will be here for the next two weeks.  I hope to write about them in a future post.  For tonight, I am signing off and heading to bed where I’m hoping the drops of falling rain ease me into a better night’s sleep.  

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