Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

More on that magical land south of the border

Well, of course, where I am now, I'm from north of the border, but what the heck, the whole point of these posts is that I'm being an idiot tourist.

-- The police here drive around with their blue and red lights flashing at all times, so the crooks will know they're coming. What they do if they want to pull you over, I don't know, but since there is no such thing as a traffic violation in Mexico City, it probably doesn't come up very often.

-- There are magnificent monuments in the middle of the traffic circles in El Paseo de la Reforma. The one near my hotel is called Angel de la Independencia. In principle, you could climb the steps to the base of the monument, but you could never get there alive. The cars go around the circle in both directions simultaneously. There must be a system to prevent head on collisions, but I could not decode it in the time I had for observation.

-- There are no clocks in this city. Not on the walls, not on the public edifices. When I got to my hotel, there was no clock in the room. I went down to the desk to report it, and they looked at me like I was nuts. There is no clock anywhere in the Banamex Center. There are no clocks behind the bars. If you're interested in the time, you're on your own. But why would you want to know that?

-- I have a friend who lives in town, and she took my colleague and me out to dinner last night. Indeed, as I observed previously, there aren't any good, authentic Mexican restaurants in my neighborhood, so we took a short drive. They brought my margarita in what I can only describe as a soup tureen with a stem. How they expect people to walk out of there is a mystery, but people do it. I managed to, but they actually asked me if I wanted a second one. The food was good, and plenty. The tortillas are completely different from anything I've had in the U.S. (I'll have to ask Alfredo how they do it when I get back.) However, they don't believe in vegetables here. We're talking 100 million people with vitamin deficiencies.

Next post will be another substantive one about the conference. There's still too much to say but I might as well keep trying.

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