December 2nd 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Val guarding our bags at our “hotel”, the station.

The usual train station good morning – a prod with a broom.  And it was at some unearthly hour as well – about 5.30.  All that we could do was sit around for a while until it got light.  Treated ourselves to coffee + toast at the station café at an exorbitant price, then after a wash (in the first-class toilets) we put our bags into the left-luggage office, and then headed out into town.

First stop was, once again, the Australian embassy.  The receptionist nearly turned us away, because of lack of information, but fortunately the woman who knew about our case turned up at the right moment, + called us in.  After a few minutes wait, we saw the consul.  He said we couldn’t have a working visa, but made it clear that we didn’t really need one.  We left our passports, + were told to come back that afternoon to collect them.  In the meantime, we went out to visit the pyramids of Teotihuacan.  Found a metro station, + followed the instructions of our guide book, as to which stop to get off at to catch a bus.  However, it turned out the metro has since been extended, so a friendly policeman directed us back into the metro to go an extra couple of stops.  A waste of 2 tickets, but they only cost a peso each.  Caught a bus up to the pyramids – that was expensive.  First view of the sun pyramid was not impressive, especially as we approached it from the worst viewpoint.  However, after climbing to the top, + seeing all the ruins around, our opinions altered.  There was a broad avenue leading from the sun pyramid to the moon, with steps leading down to it at intervals along its length from both sides.  Walking along it almost gave a feel of Imperial Rome.  Bought Val a birthday present – a statuette of a sun god, which was also a flute.  $160 – not too bad.  There were many of them on offer, from various people.

Retraced our route then to Mexico DF, + as it was a little early to go to the embassy, decided to visit the Gallery of History in Chepultepec Park.  The park itself was very impressive – nicely landscaped, + with many interesting buildings.  Enjoyed the exhibition at the History Gallery – many paintings + models illustrating Mexican history from 1810 on.  However, even tho’ we rushed thro’ it all a bit, suddenly discovered we were pressed for time.  Walked back to the embassy, which turned out to be much further than we’d thought, + arrived in the office just as they were about to shut up + leave.

Our passports safely returned, we strolled at a more leisurely pace along the Reforma.  Called in at the Hotel Pennsylvania to see if Franz + Annette were there – they weren’t.  From there walked back to our “hotel” – the train station, tho’ we did stop en route – first for café con leche, then to stock up with supplies at a supermarket, such things being few + far between.  Dinner in our hotel, accompanied by a drink, then, once again, bedding down on the floor.  Out like a light.

Not sure about the Australian consul telling us we didn’t need a working visa; since we made it clear we wanted to work, presumably he was telling us to ignore the law. Some of that famed Aussie bluntness, I suppose.

Apologies for the lack of a photo of Teotihuacan; we would have taken several, but there is a gap in our photographic record here – my recollection (which may or may not be confirmed by later diary entries) is that we are missing a film, presumably one that did not come back from whatever shop we consigned them to. So for a little while, you will have to make do with place-servers.

The little statue of the Sun God was, of course, bought from a child roaming the place, who assured us it was an actual historic relic. Unfortunately, it did not survive the journey home; we regularly sent home parcels with our various acquisitions, photos, etc… and this little chap was smashed en route.

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