Thursday, July 05, 2007

Mexico City

Well, I've arrived in Mexico City for a couple of months of summer research. Flying in was a strange experience - we came in at night, so as we approached we began to see more and denser networks of corridors of electricity draped like burning blankets over the mountains. The airport was enormous. We came in a small plane, three seats across, routed from Houston, and I felt like a toy box rather than a serious aircraft, like the enormous ones from Europe and Asia. There were mobile transport vehicle gates (I have seen similar things at Dulles airport in Washington, DC) that picked people up from planes sitting on the tarmac, settled down to the ground, conveyed them to the terminals, and then rose up again to let them disembark at terminal level. Our little plane, however, was met simply by a huge bus that took us, after getting stuck in a line of traffic -- on the tarmac -- to a dilapidated concrete door. It was truly the stuff of dystopian science fiction, and if I hadn't know better, I would have thought Mexico City to be a nightmare City of Machines.

That said, as bad as the smog is, it is notably better (at least so far) compared to what I experienced in Santiago last (southern hemisphere) winter. After settling in to our hostel (more about that at Nicole's blog), we took today to walk in Chapultepec Park. We had intended to go to an art museum, but were unable to cross Paseo de la Reforma due to some kind of parade or protest, it was hard to tell. So we climbed to the Castillo de Chapultepec, which is the preserved for many reasons, but today houses the national history museum and the European-style castle of Emperor Maximilian and his wife Carlota.

There are large and extraordinarily yellow butterflies throughout Mexico City, called the mariposa papalote (comet butterfly). I got extremely lucky to be able to take this picture of one (it flew away a second later), with some of the skyscape in the background.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi patrick this is anthony, nicole's cousin. you're a great writer your blog is very interesting.