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Zacatecas and Guanajuato

So after I finished detailing this piece of information, many readers (maybe 3 out of the 5 people who read this) will come to the conclusion that I am an idiot and will therefore will not continue to read this blog, but what the hell.

So I left Taxco on the 20th of September to catch a flight from Mexico City to Chihuahua later in the afternoon. I arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare, after arriving at the wrong terminal and having to take an obscenely expensive taxi to Terminal 2. Note to travellers; if you find that you need to get from Terminal 1 to 2 in Mexico City airport, take the FREE air train (kinda like the monorail), instead of paying $100 pesos for a five minute trip.

I got all my info out, and started the automatic check in process...of course there was an error, with the machine informing me that I could only check in if the flight was to leave between 24 hours and half an hour later. Shit, I then remembered that my flight was changed a few days earlier, and that I had only vaguely glanced at it, only realising in the airport that my flight was changed to the day before. Taking this as a sign that I shouldn´t go up North and with no intention of paying another $200 for a flight nor battle a 20 hour bus journey, I caught the next bus to Zacatecas. It wasn´t untill I got to Zacatecas that I was able to check my email and discovered that in fact my plane left the day after, not the day before. It was midnight in a town 8 hours from Mexico City, so I decided not to go back and forget about the sorry affair.

Zacatecas is awesomely wierd. For some reason there were a shitload of shoe shops, sweet shops and law practices. I´m not sure why this is the case, maybe it´s an asylum for criminals. I took a tour of a silver mine nearby, about a half hour walk from town. Owing to the fact that the tour was in Spanish, of which I understood a little, and that I had been to Potosi in Bolivia a few years earlier, I found the mine to be interesting, but not fascinating. From what I could gather, it was the usual story of the Spanish discovering something valuable and using the indigenous population as slaves to mine the silver...you know, that old chest nut. From there I could an overrated cable car from one side of the town to the other, to where there was an amazing view of the city. Did I mention the architecture is amazing?

Next stop was the picturesque town of Guanajuato, described as 'wonderfully colonial.' NEWS FLASH: LONELY PLANET ARE COLONIAL APOLOGISTS! To be fair to the ole LP, I'm pretty sure they were referring to the impact on the architecture there, and not the slaughter and enslavement of the local people, you know, the not so wonderful things about colonialism. Guanajuato is a uni town with plenty of art students, a handfull of hipsters and otherwise stereotypical Mexicans, but there weren't as many cowboys as in Zacatecas. Shame. Like with most places I have been in Mexico, there was also a sizeable political movement. It's extremely exciting politically here at the moment, at least for travellers, I'm sure for Mexicans the fact that someone bought the election and that the narcos own the government isn't quite as fascinating. But anyway, there were Yo Soy 132 in the square, talking out against the major parties and Labor Reform...I'm not sure quite what that's about, but I will read into it and let you know. No doubt the maybe two people that read this won't be able to sleep untill I tell them all the details. I do know a bit about the Yo Soy 132 (I am 132) movement. Loyal readers may remember me talking about Pina Nieto and the PRI party in Mexico. During the presidential elections Pina Nieto was at a town hall gig addressing a number of people, including 131 students. After someone asked Pina Nieto about his role as governor of the Federal District in ordering the violent repression of a 2006 protest which ended in two deaths and the rape of women by some in the police force, Nieto defended his actions, saying he prevented something worse from happening. After the town hall, PRI and the national media accussed rival parties of stacking the event with these students, further angering them. To show their solidaity with the students, the phrase Yo Soy 132 was born, meaning I am the 132nd student. The movement campaigns against media bias, electoral fraud and corruption, and has become quite massive here.

Guanajuato is home to one of the more bizarre museums i have ever been to, the Mommy Museum. I forgot the details, not that there were many on display, but apparently a bunch of bodies were found around the Guanajuato area in the mid 1800s, which now fill the displays of the museum. The severely fucked up thing was seeing fetus mommies, as well as the fact that most of the mommies still had hair, which humanized them and made the place even more creepy. Visiting the museum was challenging, because I had met a Japanese guy who had little knowledge of English and none of Spanish. So i tried my best from translating Spanish signs into Australian English and then into English that can be understood by someone trying to learn this ridiculous language.

Posted by jeremyampt 20:26

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