30 Oct 2007

Seth and the Snotty Ice Monster

Posted by Deborah

After almost 4 months apart (4 months!) I finally got to see my long lost boyfriend. But of course, things don’t always work out the way you want them to. Seth arrived on Oct. 19 just as planned, no problems with customs or anything. The problem was me – I ended up being sick essentially the entire 10 days he was here and then some. We still managed to see a few sights in Mexico City, Cuernavaca and even Taxco, but a lot of plans had to be sacrificed because of my energy level. I felt worse for poor Seth, who had to watch me blowing my nose constantly and then hold my hand. (Thanks for bringing me that hand sanitizer Mom!)

Anyway, we spent Seth’s first weekend in Mexico City. On Saturday, we met up with one of my former ESL students from Charlotte, Francisco Miranda. He was kind enough to pick us up at our hotel and give us a little tour of the Castillo/National History Museum in Chapultepec Park. The museum was pretty nice, and it had a great view of the city.

Then, Francisco drove us to Coyocan where we shopped at the weekend markets and people-watched. Later that night, we all went salsa dancing (including Francisco’s wife) at club Rincon Cubano. Seth showed off all the new moves he’s been learning in his salsa classes in Durham. Not bad for a gringo!

The next day we bought tickets to the double-decker Turibus so we could see the sights in some of the more famous neighborhoods. The whole route took more than three hours, though we broke it up by getting off in the zocalo to see the Catedral and the Templo Mayor museum.

View of the cathedral from inside the Templo ruins.

During the week, Seth slept in and then explored Cuernavaca while I was in class. My illness seemed to peak around Monday/Tuesday. It had all started the previous Wed/Thurs. with a killer mosquito bite that made my whole ankle swollen and also seemed to be causing assorted other muscle pain/general fatigue. The swelling had gone down by Saturday but then my neck lymph node got all inflamed. Huge, really. Like an Adam’s apple in the wrong place. The aches and pains continued and then a cold from hell started on Monday. So yeah, it sucked. It never felt that grave because I didn’t have a fever (though Seth says I was often freezing cold, thus the ice part of the “Snotty Ice Monster.”) The best guess diagnosis from my mom and her nursing coworkers is that I contracted a mild case of West Nile Virus from a mosquito, which makes sense since this all happened after that crazy ankle bite. There’s really no way to know for sure what I had, but that doesn’t really matter because if it was West Nile or something like mono, there’s no way to treat it anyway other than simple R&R. The good news is that I’m feeling almost back to normal now so nobody needs to worry about me.

So, Seth really got to see what my normal life was like because I wasn’t able to go out every night with him like I’d planned. He came with me to the orphanage to see the kids, and toured both the local market and the “black market” near the zocalo. We also saw the Muros art museum and the gardens at the former hacienda of Hernan Cortez. And, more importantly, Seth got to experience the amazing comfy chairs at the VIP movie theater. He couldn’t get over how cheap the movie food was in comparison with the U.S.

On Friday, we decided to try to see Taxco in the afternoon. But because we’d left so late in the day we only had a few hours before the last bus returned to Cuernavaca. We managed to see one museum before closing time – the Humboldt House, which was mostly religious art plus a very nice photography special exhibit. We did a little shopping, saw the main church and then took a very steep bus ride to the Guadalupe Church, where you could see a gorgeous view of the city.


On Saturday we decided to head back to Mexico City early so that Seth wouldn’t have to rush to the aiport Sunday and we could go out salsa dancing one last time at one of the big DF clubs. Well, that last part never happened. I fell asleep instead, thanks to my fabulous virus or whatever it was. But at least we had a really nice steak meal and an awesome hotel room.


Seth demonstrated his mastery of all things Jacuzzi by trying to turn the jets on before the water. It was hilarious.

Of course Sunday was no fun because we had to say goodbye. Since I was already kind of far north, I decided to take the train to the famous Basilica de Guadalupe before heading back to Cuernavaca. There was a lot more there to see than I expected – the basilica plus 5 other churches, a huge garden and a museum with a surprisingly sizable art collection. I think I saw at least 60 different renderings of the image of Guadalupe that supposedly miraculously appeared on the cloak of a Mexican peasant who was told to go out and collect roses in the middle of winter. That event is said to have occurred near the site of the church and the original tunic is supposed to be on display there but I couldn’t see it anywhere. I guess it might have been off to the side but it’s also possible they took it away because of the renovations they’re doing right now.


That’s all for now. I’ll post a blog on Dia de los Muertos as soon as I can.

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