Sunday, April 17, 2016

GE 2016: Morose in Mexico City

Urgghhh... sadly, we ran straight into the underbelly of Mexico City on our first leg of this year’s event. While on a subway, pick pocket thieves grabbed Rainey’s pouch with all of his money, credit cards and WORST OF ALL – his passport.  And in that moment, the whole plan for Great Escape 2016 changed. 

But first, the good part of Mexico City, i.e. the stuff we did before disaster struck.  Bill opened the Mexico leg at 8:30M and our 4 teams decided to go in different directions.  So Rainey and I headed out alone to climb the Pyramid of the Sun while Wendy and Georgia took on the inner city and the Bajan teams opted for a boating adventure (which turned out to be a very interesting but particularly odd experience).

The Aztec pyramids are made from chips of volcanic rock (not huge blocks like the Egyptian pyramids).  So they are smaller.  But you can still climb all over them (unlike the Egyptian ones).

Creepy to think that humans were sacrificed right where we were standing.

When we got back to town after the pyramids, we explored the old historic district (known as the Zocalo) and even took in some museums.  I don’t love museums and art galleries, so we usually skip those challenges, but yesterday two were right on our scavenge path and thus we visited.  I now acutely remember why I don’t like galleries and museums. 

One scavenge was to "make a tortilla."  So this is me "borrowing" a street vendors tortilla press.  I had a tough time wrestling the tortilla from the press and ended up with a broken and folded-over final product.  I do NOT have a future as a taco vendor.

My weak attempt is the folded-over and broken tortilla on the side of the heated grid.

I love the colors of the buildings.  Every one a different hue.

THEN THE BAD NEWS:  At 4PM we were on the subway, heading to the university area outside of town, when Rainey realized he’d been a victim of pick pocketing.  The jerks got a bunch of cash and his credit cards but the real loss was his passport.  We immediately contacted the American Embassy.  But it was Saturday afternoon and the Embassy is closed until Sunday.  The voice message politely informed us that emergency replacement passports can take 3-4 days.  Yikes !!!  If that is true, Rainey is now stuck in Mexico until Wednesday or Thursday of next week.  There went this year’s competition.  So very sad.

While Rainey went to 5 different police stations to fill out a police report, I rushed off to meet the other teams (Chloe and Chris; Savannah and Bop; and Wendy and Georgia) at the Lucha Libre wrestling match since I had the tickets for everyone.  It was hysterical.  The wrestlers wore the crazy masks and there was so much posturing and pretending and strutting around.  Plus audience participation is highly encouraged and the crowd was yelling and booing and jeering and really getting into the matches.  A true cultural experience.  If ever in Mexico City, do not miss this.

Chris and Chloe wearing the Lucha Libre masks before the match.

I had planned to stay with Rainey and we’d just meet the group whenever he got a passport.  But then Bill told us our next destination: Tokyo. And I immediately changed my mind.  For those of you that don’t know, my youngest son Jordan is currently studying in Japan.  He is in a “total immersion” program where he lives in a city in the middle of Japan (Kofu) with a family and goes to a regular Japanese high school.  As he repeatedly tells me, NO ONE in Kofu speaks English.  Since Jordan’s Japanese is in its infancy, it’s been a somewhat rough adjustment for him.  So not only have I been missing him like crazy but I’ve also been worrying about him getting homesick. (Note: Jordan is the least likely person to get sad or lonely, but a mother worries).  So we decided that I would go on with the group and visit Jordan.  One of the strict rules of the competition, is that you cannot collect any points for scavenges unless both team members are present.  So since we cannot get any points for Japan anyway, my plan is to take a bus or train to Kofu and spend at least one night checking out Jordan’s new life.  Rainey should be able to meet up with us in the country after Japan (fingers crossed).

So I am now on the way to Japan – along with “Flat Stanley” (who is a project for my friend April’s daughter’s school).  I’m trying to take photos of "Flat Stanley" wherever we go and I guess the class will discuss where he is and what he is up to. Until I meet up with Rainey again, "Flat Stanley" will be my companion.


Heidi said...

So sorry to hear about Rainey's mishap but perhaps a silver lining as you will get to visit with Jordan. Once again thanks for your updates so love all the stories

Unknown said...

Oh, Miss Zoe. You have to fake sick on museum days. Classic mistake.

Unknown said...

So sorry to hear this, but glad you guys weren't hurt.


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