The following day, I was still sick, but not to the about-to-pass-out point, which was a vast improvement. Arizona Boy, Waterproof Trousers and Irish were heading off for the wilds of Honduras that morning, so I dragged myself out of bed and out to the lobby to say goodbye to them. A couple of hours after that, I had to dope myself up on Imodium, bid a very miserable farewell to my BFF Sara and board a minibus heading to Guatemala City. Once at the airport, I braved the first food I'd had in about 40 hours - McDonald's chips (that's fries to you, America).
My logic in eating McDonald's chips was as follows:
1. Said chips are deep fried, and therefore very unlikely to result in a repeat upchucking performance;
2. Said chips are covered in salt, and salt is important when you're dehydrated;
3. Said chips would provide a large number of calories without me needing to eat very much.
Genius plan, no??
Anyway, the flight to Mexico City was relatively uneventful. Well, besides the fact that the flight contained the Guatemalan under 10 soccer team, and that whichever member of the team was sitting behind me felt the need to kick the back of my seat for the ENTIRE flight. But once we landed in Mexico City? Things got...somewhat more interesting. We landed in the pouring rain, only to be told - after sitting on the runway for 20 minutes - that there were no air bridges available and that we'd need to disembark onto the runway and take buses to the terminal. Which would have been fine, except that half the plane - including myself - got stuck behind an old man who managed to walk down one step around every minute. So we were all rather drenched by the time we got to the terminal.
Upon arrival at the terminal, it seemed that around a millionty planes had arrived at once, and Mexico City only had about four staff working the immigration gates. The queue to get through immigration took over TWO HOURS, and by the end of that time, I was about to sit down on the floor and cry. About half way through the insanely long wait, there was a bit of a kerfuffle behind me, and a familiar figure ducked under the barriers. That figure?
Okay, so it was Michael Richards and not Cosmo Kramer, but whatevs. Apparently he decided that being a celebrity(-ish. Seinfeld was more than a little passe by 2008!) should entitle him to queue jump. The Mexican authorities took great delight in giving him death stares and pointing to the back of the line.
Anyway, I eventually made it through the queue, claimed my luggage, and headed for the pick-up area. Only to find that two hours was apparently far too long for my $96 transfer driver to bother waiting. I attempted to find a phone number for the company to insist that they send the driver back, but the only number listed was in Peru. NOT particularly helpful. So I headed for the taxi rank, only to have half a dozen taxi drivers refuse to take me to my hotel because parts of the city were flooded. Thankfully, the concierge guy stepped in, and insisted that one of them take me.
So I eventually arrived at my hotel, arranged a tour to Teotihuacan, and collapsed into bed. Only to wake up the following morning with approximately a thousand mosquito bites on my back, thanks to a particularly bloodthirsty and unwelcome roommate.
I dragged myself out of bed and onto a tour bus. The tour consisted of me and three slightly mad Argentinian women who spent all day calling me Chris. I'm going to go ahead and just show you a bunch of pictures of Teotihuacan because I don't really remember that much about it on account of I hadn't eaten since the chips the previous day...
On the way back into Mexico City, we stopped off at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which I found rather hilarious. Why?
1. Because it looks like a football stadium from the outside.
2. It houses the original icon of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and in order to pray before her, you stand on a series of travelators. One goes left to right, the one behind that goes right to left, the one behind that goes left to right and so on. This ensured that everyone got a chance to pray without causing a traffic jam.
3. You could get yourself blessed with holy water outside the Basilica. Except that the holy water was housed in huge plastic rubbish bins, which just made it seem kind of gross.
4. There was a GIANT statue of Pope John Paul II and one of his Pope-mobiles outside.
Who doesn't love an unexpected statue of a dead Pope?!
Up next, the most enormous flag of ever, some weird happenings at the National Anthropology Museum, and I fly to Las Vegas.