Let me start by saying upon arriving San Jose airport to yesterday, I been a pussy. (I know, I know, a sexist term, etc.) But I was flipped out about going to Mexico with the very little Spanish i know. On Day one, i spooked easy, plus I only had the $200 pesos Juve loaned me.
The first ATM I went to didn´t have letters on the keys, only numbers. And since I know my code by letters, I freaked out. Plus a line started forming, so I went back to the hotel tail between my legs. I ended up surfing the net, watching TV and napping a lot.
This morning I was more assertive. After watching Obama´s press conference on CNN, I went to the Business center of the hotel and looked up things to do via Trip Advisor and Google. I went to the front desk and used my bestest Spanish to ask how much it would cost to go to El Centro via Taxi. The lady behind the desk answered, $70 pesos. I said I only had dos cientos, and would the cabbie have cambio. She answered yes.
The cabbie got me to the Palacio de Gobierno but he didn't have change. He parked and went to a cab in front of him to get some. I tipped him, which left me with $100 pesos.
The Palacio was amazing. I did take pics, which I'll post when I get home next week. It sees like Guda digs the goddess Minerva. The one "setback" was that stairs and a trick knee don't mix. I climbed to Level 2, which would be Level 1 as in Mexico, Level 1/the ground floor is known as PB. I'll hafta ask Juve what it stands for again. I didn't go the extra steps to the Congress Room , so i missed another Orozco mural.
Upon leaving I asked a security guard for directions to a bank because I needed to exchange dinero americano a pesos. She pointed me to Banamex.
At Banamex, I told the "hostess" what I needed. She asked if i had any identification. I replied "¿pasaporte?, she sed Si! Then she gave me a number: 524. They were at 460-something. I waited my turn, it wasn't too long a wait. The exchange itself was quick. Then I told the teller (cajero?): "¿puedo usar my tarjeta en las maquinas? (holding up my Wells Fargo card) Es de banco americano Wells Fargo." He replied si. Thankfully, the Banamex ATMs had letras y numeros.
I then walked around looking for Californias, the bear bar. Unfortunately I took a wrong turn at Calle 8 de Julio. i saw a bunch of little markets, school kids, mechanics, and a place called Queer Nation, but it didn´t open until 5pm. After walking quite a few blocks, i rechecked my map and saw I went the wrong way. i retraced my steps.
i found the street the bar was supposed to be on. but being pooped and not having had coffee or breakfast, save a bit of cookie that Juve brought, I popped into Cafe D´val for a coca en botella, cafe americano fuerte y fajitas de res con tocino. So far tummy doing good.
After that I found Californias on the corner, but it too was closed being too early.
I did some more walking and found a plaza with an old library. Beautiful old doors, and pieces of the ediface on the ground. (Took some pics here)
I walked around more, finding a calle that was filled with front door farmacias. I kept getting asked if I was looking for something. I shoulda sed Si, por arthritis!
By this point I started wearin out, so i hit a corner market and bought tres botellas de agua. I sat in a´park and drank one, but got hit up by a missionary collecting money. He grilled me for a bit. A girl walked by and he said something. I didn´t respond. No, te gustas mujeres, he asked. I didn´t answer, just laughed. Then he asked me again for $$. I said no, and got up and walked on.
I grabbed a cab closer to the Palacio. I told the cabbie I wanted the Hotel Victoria express, but he didn´t know where it was. He asked if i had it written down, so i pulled out my passport. He told me get in as cars started honkin behind him. He read the address in my passport, and away we went. He asked if the Victoria express was a store, I told him it was a hotel. He asked me my name and if I was from San Francisco, and what i was doing in Guadalajara. I told him i was visiting with a friend who was working here this week. He asked if i had family here. i told him, no I was just visiting, and that I had familia en la Cuiudad de Juarez. We got to the hotel pretty quick. He helped me out the cab and I gave him $100 pesos. He reached in his pocket for change, but I sed no cambio. He insisted, but I sed no no no necessito. He said "Gracias, Evaristo" and shook my hand.
Now my feets is killin me, more specifically my ankles. My mom had run an errand prior to me flyin out, so I pulled out the bottle of alleves, with the easy-open arthritis cap, she got me. Let me say, someone needs to tell that pharmaceutical company what "easy-open" meands to a person with arthritis. Holding down 2 tabs with one hand, while twisting the cap with the other IS NOT EASY OPEN!!!!! Needless to say, I made cracks in the bottle, but never got it open. Have to wait for Juve to come back.