05.07.2005 - 11.08.2005
11:20 - El Cenote Azul
Scalloped cobblestones supported my aching feet, a swinging pillowed platform (complete with dining table) offered my body a chance to rest. House music blared through my headache, drowning out the traffic we had just shut a door to. We were in the courtyard of El Cenote Azul, a hostel near la Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), the university so large it was called University City. We were three metro lines and a few blocks from the airport where we had landed that morning at 6:30. (A good way to be immersed in a city is to ride the public transportation. As the metro here isn't completely underground, it offers a tour of regular city places: bus stops, cinder block buildings, stadiums, etc.) El Cenote Azul is a brick building, fronted with a high, solid blue metal gate, which opens onto the courtyard where we were relaxing. The red of the brick and the blue of the flat walls, plus tall green plants created an invitingly cool atrium in which to wait. As with most hostels, check-in occurs in the afternoon. This particular hostel I had found on the Internet, and made reservations, hoping that these were received. As it turns out, they were, much to our relief. No sooner had we dumped our two backpacks alongside the linen and towels on two of the four beds in the dorm room, we went in search of pesos. I recognized the neighborhood in which we walked, since not an hour before, we had been "misplaced" and wandered that same barrio. At the time, we weren't thinking earlier about looking for a Bancomat where we could get some money. Walmart loomed beside thel bank, Bancomer... and we avoided the former like the plague. 20:30 In the rain-cleansed evening, we were faced with the challenge of finding a mercado other than Walmart (to which every native referred us)...Not believing the international chain store had abolished all of the local markets, we waited 'til morning to find at least one.