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Day 1800: Interesting places/things.

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

With another free day to wander I hit a couple of places that I wanted to see but were closed on Saturday and Sunday do to the civil unrest and no work day Sunday. One of the places which I was interested in seeing was an old building right off the plaza that is actually a pawn shop. Kind of interesting when you have the city palace, the main church, and a pawn shop sharing the main plaza. I guess as history goes and why a pawn shop was allowed to stay in its location is that it has been doing business like that for as long as the plaza was there so it became its own entity and then tourist attraction. The few blocks off of that side of the square is all dedicated to jewelry as well so I guess it fits and creates a good lead in. Smart marketing. How it works is like any other pawn shop. People who are in need of cash bring in their jewelry, salespeople make an appraisal (most of the time just weighing and giving gold/silver related prices). If they accept they take the appraisal ticket to a payment window and they receive their cash. I am not sure if they receive some time themselves to buy the merchandise back or if it is a completed sale like a normal pawn shop. Inside the building there are some other financial services, but there are two large salons with a bunch of cases and tons of used jewelry all with price tags up for sale. It was neat to walk around and take a look at all the different stuff. I am not a jewelry connoisseur so can´t tell if the stuff is a good deal or not but there were quite a few people looking around at the stuff. I wasn`t able to take any photos inside the salons but in the main halls they had some nice stained glass which I can never resist taking photos of (Israel/Palestine).

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Walking back through the Zocalo (Central plaza) to catch the metro, I noticed these guys lined up against the church fence. What they are are freelance handyman. They basically line up out there with their tools and a sign that states their specialty and wait for customers who will shop them and then take them to wherever to fix whatever. Pretty neat concept.
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After a stressful time tourist crap shopping (which is jockeying for position with long bus rides as not my favorite things to do), I took a stroll back to my hotel instead of using the Metro. Just down the road from my hotel I saw this really cool cafe/sandwich shop. It was kind of an oddity so I went to check it out. One of the highlights to visiting Mexico city is going to watch the Lucha libre events (basically WWF Mexican style). As I missed the couple of events a week that they had when I saw this place I figured that I had to go in to make up for a missed opportunity. The place was owned by one of the retired luchadores (wrestler) and was now a very popular lunch spot. They made primarily sandwiches and some typical fare in an old cafe style set up. On the wall were many different masks as well as all the memorabilia from his time as a wrestler. The sandwich maker looked just like the newspaper clippings and photos but he was kind of young so I am thinking it was probably a son. Down the same road were also some old school 1940-1950´s dedicated coffee shops with the old memorabilia and photos. The places were very classic and not touristy as all as they were constantly filled with locals having a coffee or snack.

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If you could down this thing in fifteen minutes it was free. Didn´t see any photos of past winners so don´t think it is possible. The regular sandwiches are pretty damn good though although a bit pricey.

Day 1796: Ciudad Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

It was a well devised plan my trip to the pyramids. After doing my last and final ruins explorations, whooooopeeeee, I grabbed my stuff and caught a passing bus back to the capital. For many people who hear Mexico City, they think of one of the most populated cities of the world with all the crushing antagonisms that go with it. Being so, I wanted a smooth transition. Arriving at the same terminal I had already arrived and departed from all that was needed was to take the Metro into the area where my target hotel was. For those who have not read my prior romances with metros, I love cities that have metro routes. Nothing is difficult when there is a metro. Even when you are lost, wandering around usually entails running into a big “M” sign pointing to steps leading down into the tunnels. From there you can get anywhere and as long as you know what terminal you need, you can get there. Although metros are a great way to get around a massive city, you have to be careful especially when you are just arriving or departing as trying to take the metro during rush hour with all your stuff can be a bit of a disaster waiting to happen. That was also a reason for a detour to the pyramids and a early exit. I just needed to keep my metro time somewhere between 10am and 4pm and there would be a lot less hassle. Even though I had to make a change of train, it was no big deal and for the princely sum of 2P I was in the heart of downtown MC and on the search for my hotel. I only had some general directions from a traveling website that recommended a good hotel which was not listed in the guidebook. After going into the wrong hotel because I associated the name incorrectly, thankfully they were booked, although at the time I felt like I was screwed, but when I went back to my list to look for number two option I found out I had gone to the wrong place. A few questions to bystanders later and my bags were in my room and I had accommplished my goal of getting to my destination with a minimal of hassle.

The rest of the day was scouting around my local area figuring heading into the central zone was better left for a full day. Being a major metropolitan area with colonial period and earlier influences, I thought that the city was very similar to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Hmmm, I forgot to take pictures so I will show you a picture of my Bimbo Penquino`s animal collection that I have been carrying around throughout Central America. They were a free gift when you bought Penquinos (Hostess cupcakes). There are fifteen different animals but I was only able to get 8 different animales with a lot of duplicates. Not sure they will be going with me much farther as I have been scouring Mexico and not being able to find the bonus pack. I guess some kid will be happy if I give them away. Not so much travel related, but reason why I was fat.

Day 1795: Teotihuacan, Mexico

Friday, April 30th, 2010
As I had one ruins site left that I had alloted myself, I chose Teotihuacan. Palenque is probably Mexico`s highest rated site, but that would have caused me to choose plan C: which was to then travel through to ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 1791, and I still hate buses.

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
day-one-1.JPG An hour and a half. Thats the maximum. Any more than that and your going to hear me bitch. But onward we must go and go I did. I ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 1790: It´s a Mexican family vacation.

Sunday, April 25th, 2010
dscn2143.JPGAs it is the weekend here in Puerto Escondido, and I am now staying in the principle beach area, I get to intermingle with locals on vacation rather than foreigners. With my ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 1787: Exploration day.

Friday, April 23rd, 2010
With my chores done, rested, and the other side of Puerto Escondido to check out, I headed out to see what was out there. Of course I had to start the day checking out the fishing boats coming back ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 1786: Increasing happiness.

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
Like I wrote before about not getting complacent and mixing things up a bit as you never know what the next move will bring. Well, the prior day I had scouted out a new place to stay as although ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 1780: Puerto Angel, Mexico: Fishing village life

Friday, April 16th, 2010
dscn2051.JPG Earlyish I was up and at em having a full day to unwind and check out what the town had to offer. It´s nice knowing that I am going to shack up ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day 1779: Getting the hang of it.

Thursday, April 15th, 2010
dscn2029.JPG dscn2028.JPG Shots on the drive through the deserted stretch between Arriaga and Huamalco. Endless stretches of beaches in deserted bays. I would have given ... [Continue reading this entry]

Xela, Guatemala: Thursday, Semana Santa

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010
thursday.JPG thursday-1.JPG thursday-2.JPG thursday-3.JPG thursday-4.JPG [Continue reading this entry]