|Arrived in Mexico City after a very long journey from Heathrow. The first Mexican i met was the immigration officer... he took one look at my name on my passport and knew immediately that what he was saying was completely wrong! First of many people to stare in amazement when I tell them my name. But apparently he said he'd seen that name before and there are loads of Irish over here... not so sure about that! Pat, a lady from the British Council was waiting for us and took us to our hotel. It was surprisingly really nice, they even put a sign outside saying Bienvenidos British Council!
Next morning we got up for breakfast... the cooked breakfast is a little different here... chicken and vegetables! Not quite the bacon sandwich I was craving... but at least they had tea!
The whole point of our stay in Mexico City was to have sessions with Pat and find out more about the British/Mexican exchange scheme and what our job will involve. The sessions and meeting Pat made us all feel a lot better, but a little bit daunted at starting proper work.
We had our afternoons free to explore so we went on a tourbus of the city.
It's such a weird city... obviously very Latin American feel to it, but some of the buildings and all the roadsigns make you feel like you could be in an American city. The traffic is mental! I suppose not too surprising for a city of around 25 million people, but we were at a roundabout and shocked to see cars drive round in opposite directions at the same time. Apparently the highway code is to get by without crashing!
We went to see the national folklore ballet in the evening which was amazing. It did fit many of the stereotypes that we have of Mexico, lots of men in sombreros playing the guitar! Costumes and dancing were brilliant though!
Our next trip was to the pyramids at the Teotihuacan site. We saw two huge pyramids, the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon along the Avenue of the Dead. We climbed the Pyramid of the Sun which is apparently the 3rd largest in the world, needless to say we were ready to collapse by the time we got to the top. Views made it worth it though! We were amused by the people selling things around the pyramids... I don't know where they got this phrase from, but everything was "Look... almost free!"
In the evening we went for a dinner hosted by the international coordinator from Southampton Uni. We met Mexicans who studied in Southampton years ago and had some amazing Mexican food. The food is so different to the tex-mex we're used to. Since the uni was paying we had a few margaritas... got to get something out of my 3 grand a year!
Friday was sad as we all had to say goodbye to each other as we went off to our different cities. I think the nerves kicked in then! All the others caught their flights and coaches in the morning which meant I had a boring day at the hotel by myself... Mexico City isn't exactly the kind of place I could explore on my own! I managed to get myself and all my luggage to the coach station on time. I couldn't believe when I got on the coach how nice it was. I was dreading the 10hr overnight journey but the seats were luxury, so much nicer than an airline... you could lie right back. I slept for nearly the whole journey, probably more than I did at the hotel!
Arrived in Colima early morning... the adventure begins here!