October 07, 2003

Mexico City, Mexico (II)

I'm writing my memories of Mexico city a few days after leaving. I had a blast there, but was good and ready to leave.

Mexico City is a noisy, smelly, gritty city that makes little effort to disguise any of it. In fariness, it is the largest city in the world, and at about 22 million people. The rampant crime and overcrowding gives it the feeling of a city under siege. Street vendors, sewage and diesel are ubiquitous in Mexico City, and the noise is incessant. But these are only byproducts of people, and the people are what made the 3 days there a blast. I met a great bunch on the road to Teotihuacan - Gosia and Filip from Poland, Juan from Columbia, and Phil, another Canadian. We were travelling in the same direction, and so stayed together for a few days in the city and into Oaxaca. Thank you all for a great time.

I never did quite get used to the armed guards everywhere. Every store, hotel, government building, restaurant, gas station etc had heavily armed men out front. Private security firms represented most of the guards, but the police and military were present too.

I arrived on the morning of October 2nd, the anniversary of a student protest massacre right out front of where I stayed. Memorial rallies were being held in the square, and this probably heightened the police presence. The murdered students were communist protesters, and there are were more than a few axe-and-sickle flags in the square. The square itself is apparently the second largest of its type in the world after Red Square in Moscow, a with all the "red" banners present it certainly looked like it.

Posted by dhuska at October 7, 2003 09:59 AM