Teotihuacan & Zona Rosa

Got a fairly early start to go visit the ruins in Teotihuacan (about 45 min from Mexico City). Scorching hot but otherwise good weather. We traveled on the non-tourist local bus (less than $3 each) Interesting events during the trip included being stopped at a Federal Police roadblock and having every passenger and their luggage searched (including of course, the only gringo on the bus, me). After arriving back in Mexico City we braved rush hour in the Metro to get to Zona Rosa. When I say braved, I’m not exaggerating. They pack those subway cars tighter than Shinjuku station in rush hour. Actually, I’m gonna go ahead and say it: Mexico City subways are more crowded and crazier than Tokyo.
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The Trajinera Scam

Fairly relaxed third day in Mexico City. On the agenda: taking a Trajinera (elaborately decorated boat) down canals first used by the Aztecs. Our destination (sort of) was something called “Island of the Dolls”. It’s a bizarre area off a canal where a man started placing old and mutilated dolls everywhere to appease the spirit of a girl who drowned in the canal where he lived. Eventually locals joined the insanity and it added up to a really bizarre collection of dolls hanging everywhere from trees and such. Anyway, if you wanna see some good pics of that place, you can look it up in the Google because we didn’t get them. We managed to find a launching point for the canals, but our best guess is it didn’t access the island, and the last person willing to tell us that was the man selling us the boat ride. Only after we get going does the story change from taking us to Island of the Dolls to that place being too far away and we’re going to a “replica”. Hah! In any event, the boat ride still managed to be an interesting and slightly fun (albeit mega-touristy) little trip and made for a fairly relaxing day.
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Mexico City: Downtown/Historic District

We arrived in Mexico City a couple days ago reasonably well rested after a couple uneventful flights. I’m withholding my complete verdict on the “Cabin Comfort” pillow, but tentatively it seems ok and I managed a short nap on the way here with it. As usual, Martha snoozed most of the flight with her travel C-Collar on.

All our baggage arrived safe and we were pleasantly surprised to undergo a security check before leaving the baggage area that ensured the baggage we were departing with did in fact belong to us. They checked our check-in baggage receipts against those on the actual bags. Martha scooted through customs without anyone giving her or her bags a second look. However, as soon as I came through the baggage scanning area, security seemed to tense up and one guy started to divert me to the “random” baggage check. I think I set off the gringo alarm, but as soon as Martha said “he’s with me” en Espanol they waved me on. Martha’s grandparents were waiting for us past the threshold and THANK GOD they were, because we were gonna be descended upon by vultures with all the baggage we brought for the hiking trip.
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World Trip 2011 Itinerary

Planned Itinerary, May 31 – August 11, 2011:
1. Mexico (Mexico City, Puebla, Tlachichuca, Hidalgo Village, Pico de Orizaba)
2. Russia (Moscow)
3. India (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur)
4. Thailand (Bangkok, Kanchanaburi)
5. Cambodia (Siem Reap, Phnom Penh)
6. Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon)
7. China (Guilin, Beijing, Xi’an)
8. North Korea/DPRK (Pyongyang, Nampo, Mt. Myohyang, Sinchon, Kaesong)

Here, There, and (hopefully) Back