Old Mexico

Today was a day of walking to several churches, two museums, and several other architectural wonders, including the Mexico City post office. It is difficult to sort out the highlights, except to say that I took about seventy pictures. Most of the pictures, however, were not of the sites but of people.

The Mexican kids are a bit shy about having their pictures taken, but once you take it they want to see it on the monitor. That was fun.

We saw Aztec ruins near the main square, just behind the cathedral. They were discovered only recently. When the Spanish conquered, they used the Aztec temples for brick for their cathedrals--but there were enough ruins remaining beneath the surface to give a good idea of what once was.

Near the ruins stands an opulent museum devoted to the Aztecs. Because it is Sunday, the national square, the museums and all the streets are utterly packed with people. Street vendors, who make up 40 percent of the economy, are everywhere.

We made it to the Aztec museum long after my energy ran out. And I am the second youngest one on the tour. We have people over eighty who can barely shuffle along--but they seem indefatigable. They go slow, but they don´t stop.

Today is in the eighties and humid. Everybody is dripping sweat. I brought along a pair of shorts which I thought about wearing. However, last night I was reading in a Mexico City guide book in the hotel room which stated, ¨"shorts are not worn in Mexico City." So, I did not wear shorts, and I noticed that of the thousands of people we saw today, not a one over the age of perhaps five was wearing shorts.

We went through a park today which has been in use since the 1500s. At that time it was used by the Spanish for public torture and executions. For example, if a pair of women were caught arguing with each other in public, they were clamped with irons around their neck facing each other. They would have to live that way, clamped together, until they died of the infections from the rubbing against the metal.

The catalog of such cruelties is one I won´t recount. We only heard a little of it today, but you can imagine it is diabolical.

Our meal this afternoon was again delectable, served by an army of waiters.

Tonight, we walk to the ballet.

The music out on the square has been pounding since seven this morning. It provides a low rumble wherever you go in the hotel. It is particularly loud in the room. I sleep anyway without any trouble.

We ate lettuce today, a supposed no-no. Some of the group wouldn´t touch it. I did. I feel fine so far. First thing I did when I got into the hotel was take a drink of water of the tap, another no-no.