Red Eyed and Sleep Deprived
And here we are! After over 24 hours of flying, customs clearing, gate to gate running and jumping in and out of planes hoping to make it to the next flight on time; we have arrived.
Red eyed, sleep deprived and jet lagged, the true feeling of our trip never sunk in so heavy until we looked out of the airplane window at dusk, just to view a sea of lights beneath us folding over the horizon in every direction; it was endless. Rolling hills of buildings and rows of motor vehicles were covered by a blanket of dark fumes. During our descent we could bear witness to 20 million people living in a nutshell and it was then we were reminded of the true feeling of what Mexico City really is; the largest city in the world. We worked our way out of the airport and into a taxi headed towards our hotel. The city meant business as usual and immediately we were culture shocked, double-slapped in the face by its crude reality; homeless people, street corner rubbish piles, hectic traffic jams, electric cables going everywhere and anywhere, and overall its poverty mark. It wasn't the Sunshine Coast anymore and we could feel our little safety bubble starting to burst. Mo engaged in conversation with our taxi driver and asked him about Mexico City's current situation, after all, he had been away from home for 2 years. Our friend explained that it may not seem like it but things were getting better. He's been in the business for over 40 years so if anyone was to notice, he's the guy. We got to our hotel, well spent but unable to fall asleep, today had a lot to take in. However, as we wrapped up the first encounter with our newest adventure, it couldn't help but reassure our existing fears and also fuel the excitement of our main drive; the adventure had truly begun.
The next morning as we adjusted to our new surroundings we set out for Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera's home known as the Casa Azul (blue house). To get there, we walked out of our hotel and jumped on the subway, the wrong one to start off with, then Mo realised so we got out, walked across and got in the right one, all for $20 pesos (AUD$1.50). We safely made it to Coyoacán and it was then we started to appreciate the rugged beauty of the city's features; cobble stone streets, colourful houses, churches and tall trees; all led us to Casa Azul. The famous artists' incredible home has now been transformed into a museum dedicated to the life and art of Frida Kahlo. The house is in it's original condition which gives you a great insight into how they lived.
You can learn a lot from Frida. She channeled all of her hardships into creative energy to create art with such beauty and meaning. Frida's paintings made me speechless as you could feel the pain, heartache and hope within each stroke of paint that touched the canvas. This creative expression was everything to her. It was the way she dressed, the reason she built her home and the purpose of her life. Later on that afternoon we were sitting at our hotel's restaurant, having a coffee and beginning to write this post. The man on the news talked about the recent spike of sexual assaults on the subway (30%), Mo looked at me straight in the eye and translated what he just heard, my safety bubble way beyond burst.
Now I am sitting in an apartment in Oaxaca city after a long bus ride. During the drive into Oaxaca we got the feel of this new city and started immediately settling into the slower pace of daily life. Things are quieter here, families are everywhere, there are cultural events at every corner and the focus on Oaxaca tradition is paramount. I like this town and I'm sure you will too!