Mexico City

Friday14October

I feel oddly refreshed as we rise and pile into the transport. We thank our hosts for their hospitality, and get underway. It’s yet another behemoth drive as we head to Oaxaca, and a pre booked hostel. What starts off as me feeling ok from the night before quickly gives way to the realisation I was still drunk, and I sleep for a number of hours in the back of the ambulance.

My hung over slumber is disturbed by Murray as he calls from the driver’s seat. We’re coming into Mexico city. Now this wasn’t our original plan, but unfortunately Peter has decided he can no longer continue on the trip as he is missing important classes. He has booked a flight home and we need to drop him somewhere with access to the airport.  Thus begins our nightmarish attempt to drive in Mexico city

I wanted to stop here, but we really don’t have the time and it is a pretty dangerous place.  Apparently kidnapping is big business, so it’s best not to dawdle. Our more immediate danger is the traffic. Nobody has a clue. The bus drivers are drunk, or they appear to be, and no lanes, wild overtaking, cutting in and breaking hard ensures total chaos.

Once we (somehow) manage to navigate safely through the madness, we come to understand just why this is the biggest city in the world. As far as the eye can see, in every direction, lining the hillsides, is the urban sprawl. It’s a tumbledown, dirty, crumbling assortment of shacks, breeze block structures, huts and washing lines. Winding down the window is not recommended. It feels unclean, it feels dangerous, it smacks of 3rd world poverty. There are no government regulations to build housing, so anything goes, and earthquakes claim many lives as a result. It doesn’t seem to end and in spite of it being hideously ugly, it still manages to take my breath away.

After what seems like forever, we reach city limits and power on towards our next destination. The road snakes up into mountains as it’s getting dark, and it is somewhat unfortunate as we can just pick out what appears to be beautiful views and scenery in the blackness. It’s probably the longest drive to date, but that still doesn’t stop us going out on the town when we finally reach Oaxaca. I opt for the kilt, it feels like a party town and it doesn’t disappoint.  I find myself dancing with two Mexican girls, while the clubs male population stare daggers at the kilted gringo.  One of whom is particularly interested in me, yet she doesn’t speak English, and I don’t speak Spanish.  We attempt the tried and tested method of talking at each other, but it’s to no avail.  She follows me around the club, and in spite of pressure from the rest of the team I’m just not interested.  Sometimes knowing you can get it is as good as getting it.

What the hell am I talking about?  I should have just kissed the girl!  Curses!  It’s 6am when my lonely youth hostel key turns in the lock.

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