I find the best way to travel is to find a local family, have them adopt you and then let them show you the best places to see. That might be the sole reason I traveled in Up With People, an easy in with nice families in cool places. This plan worked exceptionally well in Mexico City. I would like you to meet my Mexican Family:
We met in 2008. I had a horrible cold and I was without luggage. Yes, a snotty, dirty clothes wearing, non-Spanish speaking female. Basically I was every temporary adoptive family’s dream. For more on that time you can check out my old dusty UWP blog.
Because they loved me so much (no they aren’t crazy for that, I can be very charming in Spanish once the snot clears) they insisted I visit again and because they are awesome, I happily obliged. They took me to many wonderful places but for today I will tell you about Guanajuato.
On they last day of my visit we took a very long car ride (as are most car rides in, out of and around Mexico City) and ended up in the beautiful town of Guanajuato. Perhaps it’s just me and my lack of education but I get surprised when things look European in Mexico. Guanajuato shocked me, so much so I almost remembered that Spanish was not the language of the Aztecs. It was like taking a little trip into the past, back to the good old days of imperialistic exploitation. Sounds like fun? Well, at least it’s pretty. I looked up why it’s pretty and I found out it’s because it has excellent examples of neoclassical and baroque architecture (as opposed to the pictures on this blog which are excellent examples of pictures a camera takes when it has been dropped too many times).
I really enjoyed strolling through this town (the entirety of which is deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and confusing my family by taking pictures of doors and doorknobs. In our strolls, we came upon a wonderful artisan market. I wish I could actually make this post useful and tell you when this market occurs and where but I can’t, so happy adventures! This market was filled with really nice stuff: (not really crappy tourist stuff) paintings, pottery, silver jewelry and weapons. I purchased gifts of vases and an oil pastel painting and bought myself a very fabulous vase. If this event is a regular occurrence and with no help from me, you can figure out when it happens you must go. I would have spent all afternoon there. As it turns out I ended up spending most of the afternoon in el bano.
Before we discuss that, let’s see some more nice pictures. A picture of me standing next to a sculpture depicting the local University students “Callejoneadas” who roam the streets in old-timey costumes and serenade the tourists.
A picture of my Mexican brothers by the, “fine examples of colonial architecture.”
We continued to roam and were about to get into line for the mummies. The mummies are the main tourist attraction in Guanajuato. It makes sense, colonial architecture doesn’t have the cajones that petrified dead people do.
Sadly those dead people will have to keep waiting for a visit from me. After 6 weeks in Mexico (lifetime total), no stomach problems and much bragging I was kicked off my high horse and placed on to the throne of doom. I don’t know what it was, I would like to think that resort strawberry margaritas take less than 3 days to beat up your intestines but I have no idea. I’m telling you this not because I think you would like to know about my potty parties but so we may all take a moment to appreciate the glory of Mexican health care (and wallow in sadness of our doomed to be doomed American sick care system).
If you ever get sick in Mexico, along the highway driving back into Mexico City. You’ll be okay, probably even if you don’t have the most awesome family every to take care of you. The small town you enter will have a pharmacy, one where the doctor is in the same building. He won’t charge you when he diagnosis you with “Idiot American Stomach Ailment.” Then you only have to walk next door to pick up the two prescriptions that will cost you just $15 (that’s not a copay that’s the TOTAL) and will have you feeling well enough to fly by the next day. Magic.