According to Scott’s schedule, we were to head out to the pyramids today, and we’d gotten a good start on an education about them at our Anthropological museum tour yesterday. However, the evening deluge got us back to the hotel after nine, so we put off the pyramids, but will get there. Stay tuned
So, today, it was Bosque (wood) of Chapultepec, where many of the nation’s museums are located, including the Anthropological place we visited yesterday. We had to start off with a protest, though, marching by outside the park. Lots of messages about teachers and education. We are for them, of course, 100% without even knowing the issues.
The park itself is a large wooded forest, the “lungs” as some say of this metro area which comprises 25 million people and famous air pollution. Honestly, though, the pollution is not evident. Unlike China, where it seemed gray all day everywhere, we see clouds and sky all the time. Plus, the rain. We hear scientific measurements have proved things are getting better. But this asthmatic is having no respiratory distress at all.
Back our journey into the woods, though. We found more great art. Some fine food (Tortilla soup with creme and and feta on the side). The last stop of the idea was the Castillo (castle) of Chapultepec (name is an ancient goddess pre-Aztec), possibly the site of Montezuma’s castle. Also the site of the Mexicans’ last stand against America in that 1846-48 war that gave us Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and our own California. Now it’s a huge and historic museum of Mexican history. Which, unlike our own, consists mainly of wars and revolutions. The exception being they were all fought on home soil. Perhaps my favorite exhibit was–Verdad! the Truth!–Santa Anna’s wooden leg. But the rest of it was quite grand. If you come this way–and do–The park is worth a day at least.
IF ALL THAT SOUNDS BORING, TRY THIS LITTLE TALE:
A couple of days ago, we took some $$ out of the ATM. Turns out one of the bills was torn slightly. A 200 peso note worth about $12.50. No one would take it. What can we do we asked? Go to the bank. Luckily the machine and bank were near the hotel. Explained the situation to the teller. She passed us on to another teller who spoke English, though I know the first one understood me. The English speaker talked to someone then sent us to a bank officer who did not speak English. I explained again. She said she could do nothing without a receipt, which we did not save. Okay, she said, how about you write a letter telling me your situation. In Spanish I said? Si. So I did. Made a mistake, crossed it out. “No equivicados” Mistakes not allowed. Got a fresh sheet of paper. Wrote the note. Apparently it passed inspection (She obviously was not a Spanish teacher). She made a copy of the letter and of the fresh bill she was going to give us. Then she directed us to come back Tuesday (this being Friday). Well, we leave tomorrow for a tour of various cities. She looked dismayed. But we come back to this hotel on next Friday. Bueno. In a week we will have earned our $12.50 and I have at least some minimal bragging rights about my functionally literate Spanish.
[Supplement: We returned too late on the following Monday to get to the Bank and had to leave early on Tuesday, so never learned whether we would have been able to recover our treasure.]
A good day, all in all. On to Cuernevaca.