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Mexico City Week 2

Well, it's been a full week of shows!

The first several shows were pretty small audiences :/ The arena is HUGE, with more than five levels, 120 suites and seats all the way up to the ceiling. So I guess it would be hard to fill. But Sunday afternoon seems to be the time when most people want to go. It was packed yesterday!

I haven't written anything because I got Montezuma's Revenge :( :(

Who knows what I ate or did (or didn't do!) to set it off, but I was sick for a solid four days. It was hard to play because I kept wanting to, y'know, run off and take care of business, but of course you can't unless there's a part you don't play. In the first half there are several small breaks, so I took advantage of those to run off when I needed to. The worst part, though, was not being able to play well because I couldn't eat. I couldn't put any strength behind it, and it's needed for a two hour show. On top of that I was probably dehydrated, though I tried very hard to keep drinking broth, Gatorade, etc. I had a fever for two nights in a row, and on the third day I was seeing spots while playing because I hadn't eaten enough :/ Basically I couldn't catch up with my body's problems.

But I'm fine now! I'm very grateful to my bandmaster, Brett Barlow, who was very understanding with me and the others who were sick.

There were a LOT of sick performers this week...at one point (according to rumor) we had 15 people in the hospital for either altitude sickness, low blood sugar, or heat exhaustion. Some people have never been at high altitude, and some people got sick even knowing what to do to help prevent illness. I guess it's inevitable! As far as I know, everyone's 'stable' now, haha.

Anyway, I wasn't about to let Montezuma wreck my good time ;)
Today Aaron, Jason, Gerome, Tom and I went to Xochimilco and rode a riverboat!

We took public transit to get there, which is THREE PESOS. That's like $0.20. FABULOUS.

It was relaxing and fun in a quiet sort of way, just what we all wanted after a week of performing and being sick.

There wasn't a whole ton of stuff for me to take pictures of along the shore...it was mostly houses, some of which were big and gated with beautiful gardens and others made of tin and scraps. There were lots of flowering plants and bushes, and LOTS of dogs, strays and pets. On the river, there were boats where you could get tacos and other snacks, souvenirs, or hire a mariachi band to play you a song. We got some yummy tacos, or maybe they were taquitos. A mariachi band played for us while we ate!

The souvenir hawkers weren't too pushy, I was glad for that. Aaron bought a little wooden replica of the riverboat, Tom got a beautiful necklace for his wife, and I got some souvenirs as well though I can't share what because they might be gifts ;)

Overall it was a great way to spend the day!

Let's see, what else has happened this week...

There's an outdoor market right next to our venue that sells fresh produce, tacos and tortas, and clothing:

Many people like to go there for meals between shows because it's super cheap and better/cheaper than the catering the stadium provides. I got a meal and a drink yesterday for $2.50 USD. Can't beat that!

The language barrier is a little less daunting than it was when I first got here. Vendors and people in general are very patient :) To get to the boats today, we spent a very long time on Mexico City's lightrail and subway system. Aaron speaks spanish at a high level, and he helped me to ask for smaller bills at the bank and to get tickets for the lightrail. Jason knows limited spanish, but was able to hold a short conversation with a child on the metro. We ran into a few english-speakers too who were excited to try out their knowledge on us.

As far as safety, Mexico City during the day seems average for a major city. No one bothered us and we saw no one else being bothered.

Oh! Speaking of being bothered! PETA is here!!! Can you believe it??
Human rights is a big issue in Mexico right now (there were loud protests at one of our subway stops today). So PETA is protesting for animal rights in a place where people are living in scrap heaps.
I don't think much of that.

Well, Mexico is a complicated and beautiful place. I'm looking forward to Monterrey in a week...maybe that city will offer a different perspective on life in Mexico!