So I managed to get up at stupid o´clock in the morning and drove through downtown Los Angeles and out the other side again to get to the airport. I even managed to take the car back to the right place with only 1 wrong turning.
Unfortunately going to Mexico meant going to a substandard 3rd world airport. Yes LAX really is a dump with a massively outrageous security queue. The flight was fine except we had to pull out of our landing and go round as another plane was too close by.
The Mexico City airport was quite nice actually and whizzed through passport control. This American guy asked me if I wanted to share a taxi so I said fair enough. There is an official queue as you have to be careful with unlicensed taxis. The guy in the queue said we could go to both hotels (also he tried to short change me) but the taxi driver said he would only go to one stop but it was walking distance. So we went to the other guy´s hotel and he looked up on the internet where my hotel was (he also offered to give me some money if I needed another taxi). It was about a kilometre so I walked (obviously up the main roads).
There were loads of police around and some roads were shut. I saw this woman with a pale face and scars and thought she must have some horrible disfiguring disease. I went round the corner and then realised that everyone had pale faces and scars and fake blood too. There were a bunch of them who ran (not sure they should do that really) and hid under a transit van for some reason. I carried on up the road and then realised I had to get across the vast swarm of people. No choice but to join in Zombie-ing, trying to look as if my rucksack contained a pile of severed heads rather than clothes. Not sure I passed muster – surely even zombies can go on holiday and get a tan – but made it to the other side and the hotel. The hotel is really nice and I found out the event is the march of the Zombies. Here is an article from the web: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2066762/Nearly-10-000-zombies-march-Mexico-City-bid-smash-New-Jerseys-record.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
BTW – should add I spent quite a while brushing up my Spanish on the plane. I´m going to need it too. It is coming back but some of it is a bit mangled like I was trying to think of the verb “to hire” and came up with “rogar” but that means to “beg”.
So I had a shower and went back out again just up the road to the Zócalo which is the main square and the 3rd largest in the world. I took some surreptitious photos of Zombies using the zoom and got some video as a group of zombies gathered around someone pretending to be dead lying in a pool of fake blood. Unfortunately they then spotted me and surrounded me chanting “turista, turista, turista”. I had to just smile and go along with it. Someone then took a photo and they then surrounded him chanting “foto, foto, foto” so I took the chance to slip away. Did I also mention there was a guy with a model of a Rubik´s cube on his head?
Just a note on security. Actually it feels really safe here with so many police and traffic police (and so many people too) but I´m only taking a little cash out each time. I put the bumbag on and it made me look quite fat so I put it down my trousers which makes me look well endowed and is more secure. Anyone who tries to pickpocket me is going to get more than they bargained for!
Anyway I then went for a little walk down some of the streets around the Zócalo. It is so crazy here and so much noise. The cars all beep their horns, there are street vendors all along the pavements selling tat and trying to outshout each other ¨quatro pilas, veintecinco pesos”. And then there are the street accordionists who are pretty dreadful really. The pedestrians all cross on red lights and then the cars beep their horns at them. I saw a motorcyclist who just weaved his way through the people crossing.
I´m still struggling with the currency a little bit so far. In the US it was easy as you just knock off a third but here it is 20 pesos to the pound so a bit more maths.