2018, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Mexico City Day 4 October 28, 2018

For breakfast we once again had Pan de Muerto.

We took the subway downtown and it was the basically the emptiest we’ve seen, as it was Sunday morning. (There might have been a car to the track that was this empty too.) 

We walked up from the subway to the Templo Mayor. This it the temple that was found under the city in the 1970s. (There are a whole series of buildings that haven’t been excavated because they are under other buildings currently in use.)

by Diego Delso [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

So most of it is obviously gone. But what they excavated is very large, though it’s hard to appreciate how large it is until you get to see a diorama of the downtown with the temple in the middle. It is gigantic. The temple site is a little reminiscent of Troy, as the place was expanded and expanded and expanded over many years.

It is a pretty incredible site. If it was really expensive, I’m not sure I’d say it’s worth the price of admission, because you can see the temple from outside the museum, but it’s pretty affordable and all the information is within the boundary. Unfortunately we couldn’t see the whole museum and had to stop partway through the indoors exhibits because of the race.

So we wandered around the Centro Historico until we found what looked like a non-touristy place to eat. It was a bakery that also appeared to serve food. So we went in and sure enough there was a full menu including breakfast. I had Molettes, these kind of open faced sandwiches, with beans and cheese and salsa, sort of like a bruschetta. Jenn had a delicious chicken salad. We had a really nice waiter too. We thought about baked goods but thought we’d not eat them before we got to the race.

We took the subway to the race and the second line was just as empty as it was the day before, which was weird. It was busier when we got off, at the right stop this time, but there was still nothing like the lines of Montreal. 

Unfortunately our water was found this time and thrown out. We had to buy tiny bottles for $2.50 each, where a litre or a 1.5 litre bottle outside is around $1. It’s silly to complain over such low prices, but it does seem crazy you cannot get free water to drink, especially when they didn’t appear to limit people drinking. (In Canada it would be a lawsuit waiting to happen.) 

The race itself was excellent. The weather was great, warm but not too warm and it didn’t rain. There was some drama, even though we all new Hamilton would win the championship. Verstappen ran away with it but there was plenty of action in part because of the short circuit, so there were always cars coming by. The seats were good, with full view of a large TV and with audio you could hear when the cars were not coming by. I was actually able to know what was going on, so much more than in Montreal. It made for a great experience and we both were very happy we went. A better experience than my first race, for sure. (I should point out we had “worse” seats than in Montreal.)

After the race we took the subway back to our neighbourhood because we had such a busy few days. We took a different line and got off at a different stop, which turned out to be really close by to our neighbourhood. We bought ourselves some palettas, I had a kiwi one and Jenn had a mango chili. They were dirt cheap – I can’t remember how much but they were dirt cheap – and they were delicious. Then we walked up into our neighbourhood and sat in the Parque de Mexico deciding what to do next.

What we decided to do next is go Mezcal shopping. We went to a nice store where a guy had 20-30 different types and it was overwhelming. Fortunately he gave free samples! We walked out with a pricey but unique bottle which we could never get here.

Then we wandered over to the other side of the neighbourhood to try a brewery. This brewery didn’t have a menu nor did the staff speak English (the latter is understandable) so we had to look at the board, which was, funnily enough, mostly in English: “Belgian Blonde,” “Red IPA” etc. We ordered pints. The “pints” were the kind we have to deal with in Toronto now, i.e. 16 oz glass instead of the old 20 oz glass and, worse, they were not even full (they were closer to 14 oz pours). They were $5 or so. This in a city where a bottle of beer is often $2.50. The beer was fine, but we think maybe one reason why craft beer hasn’t taken off in Mexico City is because it’s hard for the average person to afford it. (Brewing is expensive so it’s possible that they can’t afford to compete with the major Mexican brands that sell beer for so little.) Also, the men’s bathroom was disgusting, which was funny given the beer and food prices.

After the brewery we bought a bag of really tasty chips for a $1. Then we walked to the department store near our place so Jenn could go shopping. Then we watched a bit of baseball.

We went out for food early because we wanted to go to this tamale place. Even though Jenn checked the hours online, the tamale place was essentially closed when we showed up. (It was technically open but there was no sign of anyone working and the chairs were all up.) So we wandered around for a while until we found a more traditional taco place, full of smoke from the open kitchen. We sat outside to avoid the smoke and had cactus salad and some really tasty traditional tacos. I ate too much and got really full.

Then we went home to see the fucking Red Sox win the World Series, dammit.

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